Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sand castle enforcement

South Carolina - Building in the sand is free, but beach lovers who leave their castles behind could soon pay the price. Under a new proposal, beachcombers could get a $128 to $500 ticket for not flattening sand castles and not filling in holes when they're through. City leaders intend to discuss the proposal more in the next month.

Todd Brower, a vacationer from North Carolina who sculpted a mound of sand with a spade on Friday, found the proposal ludicrous. "I'd laugh at them," Brower said. "I've never heard of such a thing. If I was fined for leaving a hole, I would never come back," he said. "I'd just go to Sullivan's Island."

Palan Lussier, a part-time resident of Ohio who read about the city's potential law, found it equally ridiculous. "You've got to be kidding me," she said as her children rolled in a hole nearby. "Someone has too much time on their hands," Lussier's husband Steve said. "Police have got better things to do than sand castle enforcement."

Police and Mayor Mike Sottile said enforcement would be nearly impossible. They would have to watch the creation from start to finish and then catch its sculptors as they walk away.

Isle of Palms City Councilman Ryan Buckhannon, who sits on the public safety committee that formulated the law's first draft, said the provision is part of a bigger proposal aimed at stopping droves of tourists from leaving items and large holes behind.

"It's a disposable world now," he said.

Tourists often abandon their tents, coolers and surfboards for others to enjoy. The proposed law would require people to pick up after themselves and knock over sand castles before leaving the area.

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