A large private island near Folly Beach is up for sale for $15 million, but the next buyer may not be able to do much with it.
The current owners of Long Island, which includes about 140 acres of high ground, are hoping to find a buyer willing to put the land under conservation easement.
There is some serious interest but the stumbling block is getting someone that would hold the easement that is accredited by the IRS.
While a private island near one of the Charleston region’s most popular beaches might look ripe for a new subdivision — or perhaps a luxurious private enclave for a wealthy buyer — Long Island is almost entirely undisturbed, with no electricity, water service or roads. It’s only accessible by boat.
As a part of a broad package of land use rules, the city is considering increasing the minimum lot size for islands nestled in the vast section of marsh between Folly and James Island. Development on marsh islands also couldn’t cover more than 30 percent of high ground on a parcel with impervious surface.
Long Island also has historic value: on its west end is Star Battery, an earthen fort used by Union forces during the Civil War. The remains of a causeway that leads to nearby Oak Island, dating to that period, is still dry at low tide.
Mayor Tim Goodwin said preserving the island might enable it to be explored further for its archaeological value.
There have been previous attempts to develop it. In 1999, The Post and Courier reported that a builder wanted to put more than 200 homes there. That proposal hinged on connecting the property with a new bridge from nearby Pea Island, which is a fraction of the size. A year later, state environmental regulators rejected the plan for a bridge.
The current owners, two partners who hold the property under the name K&A Acquisitions, bought the island for $7.5 million in 2005, according to Charleston County property records. They presented their own development plans several times in the years since, but nothing came of them.
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