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Beaches: Fireworks ban grows at North Litchfield

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

North Litchfield Beach property owners continued on their path to banning fireworks on the beach with the approval of six more “Fireworks Free Zones” by Georgetown County Council this week.

State law says property owners, lessees or managers may apply to the county sheriff for extension of a “Fireworks Free Zone” that includes both their land and adjacent public properties — the beach in this case. Thirty-five residents of North Litchfield Beach have banned fireworks through the measure, according to County Council Member John Thomas, who lives in North Litchfield. He estimates that’s more than half the beachfront property. “Unfortunately, there are still a lot of gaps,” he said. “The bigger gaps are down in the south part where I live, but we’re making progress.”

Ladd Dezendorf, president of the Litchfield Beaches Property Owners Association, said he’s seen the interest in banning fireworks grow. “a lot of people are talking about doing that,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s solid except for one or two. I suspect that it will come to pass in time.”

The new North Litchfield “Fireworks Free Zones” include:

Charles E. Lynch Jr., 104 Shorebird Loop; Lutz G. Bauer, 198 Parker Dr.; Susan Loudenslager, 264 Parker Dr.; Otto I. Czechner, 512 Parker Dr.; James Teat Jr., 1034 Parker Dr.; and Cynthia Bindner, 1266 Parker Dr.

Each approved lot gets a sign declaring it off limits for fireworks. North Litchfield residents Karen Cline and Jennifer Chapman have been the leading advocates to end fireworks, Thomas said, after the community’s Homeowners Association declined to get involved. “There are some people who want to allow fireworks,” he said, “but they live farther away from the beach.”

The movement to ban fireworks has been organic, he added, with volunteers knocking on doors. “It’s taken three summers. That’s how we got to where we are. It’s not something I did but something Karen Cline started and Jennifer Chapman continued. People who live on the beach say it’s made a big difference with a lot fewer explosions going off at 1 o’clock in the morning, waking people up.”

Cline has moved to Charleston but was glad to hear the movement is alive.

“Fireworks were ruining the beach,” she said. “I saw them getting progressively worse with the trash, the noise and the kind of people who came in drunk. The reason people come into Litchfield is it’s clean, quiet and we can open our windows and hear the ocean.”

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