Across Georgia

Hotel owner to pay for harming dune

 

TYBEE ISLAND, GA. — A beachfront hotel owner accused of having workers remove part of a sand dune will pay $10,000 to fund environmental education programs as part of a settlement with the state.

Harry Spirides, the owner of the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island, signed a consent order with the state Friday. In July, he admitted hiring laborers to shovel sand in the middle of the night from a dune behind his hotel over three weeks in February and March.

Spirides has said he was just trying to clear sand from a walkway leading to the beach, but investigators noted that the walkway is 60 feet from the dune.

The total cost to the hotelier could be more than $20,000 after he pays legal fees and restores the dune, said Spud Woodward, the head of the Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division.

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