Seabrook basket maker issued business license

Pictured above is the area where Huger will now be allowed to set up shop. (Jon Bruce/WCIV)

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- A local sweetgrass basket maker will no longer set up shop under a tent at Bohicket Marina.

Following a fight in which she was denied a business license and told to leave the area by town administrators, Lillian Huger gained the support of the marina owners. She said she was denied a business license because town leaders said her tent violated zoning ordinances.

Huger said she set up the tent to battle the heat.

Now, things have changed. Marina owners took the issue to the mayor's office.

Following a Friday morning meeting between town leaders and marina owners, Huger was granted a business license and will be moving to the breezeway at Bohicket Marina.

Seabrook Island mayor Bill Holtz said the heart of the issue is that the town does not want tents popping up in business areas. He said the town is an agreement with the marina and that the marina doesn't want that either.

"We don't want somebody setting up a tent, setting up business every day or four days a week," Holtz said. "Because, they'll get blown away and we will get all the problems that go with the tent. You are in a windy area."

He said that is the purpose of the ordinance quoted by town officials to Huger, in addition to preventing tent cities.

"The problem is that there are other artists out there," Holtz said. "Pottery makers, should you stop them? Should you have an artist that draws, paintings... a professional photographer. ...We have had them up there for the billfish tournament. And, we've had tents and they take the tents down after the tournament. That is not a problem. ...They come in and ask permission and we get it done."

But to have a business run permanently out of a tent of for an extended period of time, according to Holtz, is unacceptable.

"With a town you have to have a rule," he said.

In regards to how the incident was handled last week by town officials, Mayor Holtz said communication must improve and that individuals with a quality product should be allowed opportunity in the town.

"We don't need this," he said. "...This was out of control and we want to keep that from happening."