Despite opposition, Ingram Dunes could soon become housing instead of natural space

As groups try to protect a stretch of historic coastline dunes in North Myrtle Beach, this week two different agencies are discussing permits for a proposed housing development at Ingram Dunes.

Opponents to the project called the week "a double whammy" in their efforts to preserve the dunes.

Ingram Dunes, as it is called by locals, is at the center of a years-long fight related to a housing development. The 9.3 acre plot at the corner of Hillside Drive and 10th Avenue South is currently under contract with a buyer, and developers hope to build 31 single-family homes on the land.

Monday marked the deadline for public comment to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for a proposed stormwater permit for the development.

According to spokeswoman Adrianna Bradley, many public comments asked for a public hearing which DHEC is "carefully considering."

Generally, reviews take 90-140 days, she said.

The deadline came a day before the North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission is scheduled to meet and discuss tree removal at the site. At a meeting earlier last month, the commission decided to take no action on a request related to tree removal. According to the meeting minutes, the commission expressed concerns that it did not discuss the request in workshop and instead sent the decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

North Myrtle's Planning Commission is set to meet in workshop and discuss the tree removal application. After the workshop, the developer can ask the commission to reconsider its no-action vote, according to city information.

Damien Triouleyre with the Preserve Ingram Dunes group works his phone in an effort to raise support to protect the property from future development. April 2, 2018. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews.com

Damien Triouleyre, with the Preserve Ingram Dunes group, called the reconsideration unusual.

The dunes are an ancient piece of property and one of the highest dunes along the South Carolina coastline.

"This is a precious and unique piece of land," Triouleyre said. "We're really determined that it not be destroyed."

While there are two permit deadlines this week, which Triouleyre called a "double whammy," he said it is not too late in their preservation efforts.

Ideally, Triouleyre said, they would like the city of North Myrtle to purchase the property and keep it as a green space.

The state and local approvals are the latest in a series of permitting needed for the project, Triouleyre said. Other approvals are still needed before the project moves forward. It was also during the March meeting the North Myrtle Beach Planning Commission OK'd a subdivision plat for the project.

In a press release, the city noted the approval is not to decide the merits of a project, only that the proposal meets city ordinances.

Developers of the Ingram Dunes project could not be reached Monday for this report.