Emerald Tidings

October 2017

  1. Town Receives Constructive Input About Islander Drive Redevelopment, Efforts Continue With Focus on Abandoned Go-Kart Track
  2. Please Lock Your Car Doors!
  3. Please Be Safe and Courteous While Driving on the Beach!
  4. Town Planning Additional Coyote Trapping This Winter
  5. New Sidewalk Planned for Old Ferry Road
  6. New Public Beach Access Walkways Planned
  7. Golf Cart Safety Classes Offered
  8. Check out the EIFD "Open House" - Saturday, October 7 - 11 am- 2 pm
  9. Join the Neighborhood Watch Program and EIPD for "Golf With a Cop" - Saturday, October 21
  10. Did You Know?

Town Receives Constructive Input About Islander Drive Redevelopment, Efforts Continue With Focus on Abandoned Go-Kart Track Property

The Town continues its efforts to promote quality redevelopment in the Islander Drive area, and conducted a special meeting on September 19 to receive public input on potential future improvements in this area.  Mayor Barber and the Board of Commissioners received many constructive comments at the meeting, and they continue to thoughtfully consider all public input in an effort to determine the best strategy for the eventual redevelopment and improvement of this underutilized area. 

The Town has been working for several years to improve the appearance and function of the Islander Drive area, with a goal to ultimately create an attractive and vibrant area in this part of Emerald Isle that will benefit the entire community.  As noted in previous editions of Emerald Tidings, the Town took an important step toward the ultimate achievement of this goal in June by purchasing the abandoned go-kart track property (1.8 acres) on Islander Drive, and then immediately retained a contractor to remove all debris and restore the site to a vacant tract.  The Town was fortunate to secure $450,000 from Carteret County (economic development funding) toward the total land acquisition and clean-up cost of nearly $700,000.  The Town's goals for this land acquisition were:  1) clean-up the property (goal achieved in July),   2) pursue a quality redevelopment project that will promote additional economic activity in the Town during the fall, winter, and spring months, and  3) promote additional quality redevelopment in the Islander Drive area.  Based on discussion during the past year and a stated goal in the Town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Town initially identified the development of an appropriately-scaled meeting and events center (with low building heights and comparable building size as existing development in Emerald Isle) as the preferred strategy to achieve goals 2 and 3 above.

The Town continues to work hard on this initiative, and will continue to consider additional public input over the coming months.  The Town is intentionally moving at a very deliberate and methodical pace to ensure that all ideas are thoroughly considered and that the end result is beneficial for the entire Emerald Isle community.  It is important to note that the Town has definitively stated (from the very beginning of this initiative) that any redevelopment project will in no way diminish the quantity and quality of public beach parking at the Western Ocean Regional Access facility, and will hopefully enhance this important public facility.  Although the Town initially considered incorporating the Western Ocean Regional Access facility into the overall plan, the Town is no longer considering that approach and will focus all of its future efforts on the recently acquired 1.8 acre tract.  It is also important to note that the Town is not planning to fund, construct, or manage any new buildings, and is simply attempting to position the land for future development by a private entity or entities - with equitable compensation provided to the Town.  Finally, although a meeting and events center was initially identified as the preferred strategy, the Town will thoughtfully consider any residential, commercial, and/or mixed-use proposals that achieve goals 2 and/or 3 above.  Essentially, a meeting and events center is one means to achieve these goals, but is certainly not the only means, and the Town will consider any and all ideas that are presented.  In the end, the Town simply seeks to foster quality redevelopment in this area, and that redevelopment could literally be anything that is attractive and consistent with the Town's development regulations.

Most importantly, the Town remains firmly committed to the "family beach image" and "small-town atmosphere" that make Emerald Isle such a special place for all of us.  Whatever the ultimate outcome in the Islander Drive area, any redevelopment will absolutely conform to these core values.  All of us at the Town have a keen appreciation for these values, and we have all worked diligently over the years to continually improve Emerald Isle in a manner that is consistent with these values. 

 

Please Lock Your Car Doors!

 

Overall, Emerald Isle is a very safe place and enjoys a very low crime rate, thanks in large part to the great efforts of the Emerald Isle Police Department and the Neighborhood Watch program. One of the most common crimes in Emerald Isle, however, is larceny from a motor vehicle, and this crime is easily prevented by simply locking your car doors and not leaving valuables in the vehicle!  In nearly every instance in Emerald Isle, the larceny involves a vehicle with unlocked doors, and the perpetrator simply opens the car door and takes the desired items.  Don't be a victim - please lock your car doors! 

Please Be Safe and Courteous While Driving on the Beach!

Fall brings absolutely gorgeous weather to Emerald Isle, and the beaches are often crowded with sunbathers, swimmers, and fishermen enjoying the beach!  Beach driving season is now underway, and it's important for beach drivers to be safe and courteous when driving on the beach so that all beach user groups can have an enjoyable experience.  The Town's ordinances are carefully crafted to promote safety and balance the interests of all user groups, and include the following key provisions:

  • a beach driving permit is required, and can be purchased at the Town Administration Building, 
  • only vehicles equipped with 4-wheel drive are permitted on the beach strand, 
  • be alert for other beach users, including small children and individuals who may be laying down on the beach, 
  • the speed limit on the beach is 20 mph, but please drive slower around other beach users, 
  • please stay away from the dunes and avoid sea turtle nests, and 
  • please do not litter!

Enjoy the beach........and catch a lot of fish!

Town Planning Additional Coyote Trapping This Winter

In response to continuing concerns about coyotes in Emerald Isle, the Town will again implement a coyote trapping program this winter.  The Town's first coyote trapping effort occurred last winter, and resulted in the removal of 14 coyotes from various locations in Emerald Isle. Despite these efforts, there are still believed to be several coyote families living in Emerald Isle, in several areas. 

Beginning December 1, interested property owners can retain the services of a licensed trapper on their property at no or minimal cost, and should contact Emerald Isle Police Chief Tony Reese at 252-354-2021 or treese@emeraldisle-nc.org for more information.  Under the Town's program, trappers are required to notify the Emerald Isle Police Department when and where traps are set and when coyotes are actually trapped.  Coyote traps will also be set on various Town-owned properties in areas not frequented by the public.  The Town's program is consistent with NC Wildlife Resources Commission regulations, and will be in effect from December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018. 

New Sidewalk Planned for Old Ferry Road

The Town will be constructing a new concrete sidewalk along the east side of Old Ferry Road between Canal Drive and the CVS store this winter and spring, and the new sidewalk segment should provide a safer pedestrian route for residential areas on the soundside.  This project was identified by the Town's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee as its top priority, and the Board of Commissioners included sufficient funds in the FY 17-18 Town budget for this project.  The project is being funded by a combination of fundraising proceeds derived from the Emerald Isle Marathon races and a General Fund contribution.  The Town continues to work hard to expand and improve the Town's bicycle and pedestrian facilities and amenities. 

New Public Beach Access Walkways Planned

The Town maintains a total of 61 public beach access walkways along the Town's 11+ miles of ocean beach.  Town staff maintain a detailed condition assessment of each walkway, and each walkway is assigned a numerical rating to determine which walkways are in greatest need of replacement.  Based on these assessments and ratings, the Town strives to demolish and reconstruct at least 3 aging walkways each year in an effort to promote the safety and enjoyment of beach visitors and maintain an attractive appearance in Emerald Isle. 

The FY 17-18 Town budget includes sufficient funding to replace aging walkways at Fairfax Road, Beachview Drive, and Whitewater Drive, and this work will be completed this winter and next spring.    

Golf Cart Safety Classes Offered

The Emerald Isle Police Department will be offering several new golf cart safety classes later this year and in early 2018 to better educate golf cart operators about safe use and the Town's regulations.  The new golf cart safety classes are scheduled for a variety of days and times, and will be held in the Town Board Meeting Room: 

  • Monday, December 4 @ 6 pm,
  • Saturday, December 9 @10 am,
  • Saturday, January 13 @10 am,
  • Friday, January 19 @ 6 pm,
  • Friday, February 2 @ 6 pm, and
  • Saturday, February 3 @10 am. 

Attendance at one of these golf cart safety classes will entitle the attendee to a $25 discount on the annual golf cart registration fee for the following year.  This discount will essentially negate a recently approved $25 increase in the annual golf cart registration fee, from $75 annually to a new fee of $100 annually, effective for 2018 registrations.  Those who attend one of these golf cart safety classes will incur a $75 registration fee, while those who do not will be responsible for the new $100 fee. 

Check out the EIFD "Open House" - Saturday, October 7 - 11 am- 2 pm

Emerald Isle is fortunate to be served by a dedicated group of firefighters providing quality fire and emergency medical services for our residents, property owners, and visitors.  Come out to Fire Station 1 on Saturday, October 7 and meet the guys, learn more about fire safety, tour the station, check out the trucks and equipment, let the kids enjoy activities, and grab a hot dog!  For more information, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/fire-department-open-house-2017-10-07 .

 

Join the Neighborhood Watch Program and EIPD for "Golf With a Cop" - Saturday, October 21

Emerald Isle is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers in our Neighborhood Watch program, and this group and the excellent officers in the Emerald Isle Police Department invite all golfers to participate in the second annual "Golf With a Cop" event to be held at Star Hill Golf Club on Saturday, October 21. Come on out and enjoy a great day of fellowship!  For more information, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/golf-with-a-cop-2017-10-21 . 

 

Did You Know?

The maximum mean roof height allowed in Emerald Isle by right - for all structures (residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings) - is 40 feet.  For many years, the Town allowed up to 50 feet by right, however, any new structures with a mean roof height between 40 feet and 50 feet now require a special use permit.  The only existing structures in Emerald Isle that exceed a 40 feet mean roof height are in the Sound of the Sea condominium complex, and these two structures were constructed in the 1980s at a time when the Town's regulations allowed taller structures.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, September 29, 2017 1:30:00 PM

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