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Beaches: Council will review fireworks-free zones

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

There may be fewer places to set off fireworks on Litchfield beaches this summer.

Applications have been filed with Georgetown County to extend “fireworks prohibited zones” at a home on Norris Drive in Litchfield and six locations within Litchfield by the Sea onto the adjacent beach.

A special meeting of Georgetown County Council is set for 5:30 p.m. June 26 in council chambers to consider the applications.

Applications were filed for locations including 497 Norris Dr., the Litchfield by the Sea beach club, Bridgewater and Sandpiper Run condos, and three single-family homes at Charlestowne Grant.

State law allows property owners to declare their property a fireworks prohibited zone by registering the property with the sheriff’s office. Action taken by County Council last year established procedures for county residents to petition council to extend the zone to adjoining public property, such as beaches. For beachfront properties, the zone could be extended as far as the low water mark, but only for the segment of beach directly adjacent to the private property designated as fireworks free.

The seven applications are the first to be filed since council’s action a year ago.

“I think some of the paperwork dated back to last year, but [Litchfield by the Sea] had a change of management and it fell through the cracks. As the season approached, they decided they needed to get this done,” said County Council Member Jerry Oakley.

“I think folks over there are acting on their concern for safety,” he added. “The Fourth of July means densely packed crowds and a lot of children on the beach. Add fireworks into that mix and there are safety concerns.”

Oakley hears concerns from residents about fireworks on a regular basis.

“I get calls about bottle rockets landing on the roofs, an then there are the environmental concerns about debris from fireworks,” he said.

If the applications are approved, signs will have to be posted notifying the public of the new fireworks free areas.

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