Synopsis of January 9, 2001 Board Meeting.
At the Board's regular monthly meeting held on January 9, the Board granted final plat approval for a 9 lot residential subdivision and a 4 lot commercial subdivision located in Block 15 adjacent to the Emerald Isle Mini-Mart. These requests were made by JTW, Inc.
The Board approved a Resolution of Support for State funded beach renourishment and a study commission on Coastal Beach Movement, Beach Renourishment and Storm Mitigation due to be considered in the upcoming Long Session of the General Assembly reconvening on January 20, 2001.
In other action, the Board, discussed Special Use Permits in B-3 Commercial Zones and Gateway Overlay Districts and sent both issues to the Planning Board for further review and possible recommendation.
On another matter, the Board will review suggestions from the Bogue Field Committee at a January 19 workshop meeting and determine which of these recommendations should be offered for consideration to the committee working on the scope of work for the Area Land Use Study (ALUS) policy committee due to meet on January 30.
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING
OF THE EMERALD ISLE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2001 – 7:00 P.M. – TOWN HALL
Mayor Barbara Harris called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
Present for the meeting were Mayor Barbara Harris; Commissioner Emily Farmer; Commissioner Patricia McElraft; Commissioner Jay Murphy; Commissioner Emory Trainham; Commissioner John Wootten; Town Manager Pete Allen; Town Attorney Derek Taylor; Town Clerk Carolyn Custy; Planning Board Chairman Cary Harrison; Police Chief Mark Wilson; Kent Hood, Fire Department; Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation; Building Inspections Department Head Carol Angus; and Public Works Director Robert Conrad.
Mayor Harris commented that Commissioner Trainham had come forth with a recommendation list from the Bogue Field Committee that he wished to add to the agenda this evening. All commissioners had the list.
Commissioner Farmer moved that the Board add the Bogue Field Committee’s recommendations for the Joint Land Use Study Scope to the agenda. Commissioner Trainham seconded the motion. The vote was 2 for (Commissioners Farmer and Trainham), 3 against (Commissioners McElraft, Murphy, and Wootten). The motion failed.
Commissioner Farmer said this request had come specifically from Commissioner Wootten at the Bogue Field Committee meeting, and the Bogue Field Committee was following Commissioner Wootten’s request that it be on the agenda tonight.Mayor Harris said she had received it that day. Commissioner Farmer said they had not been given a lot of time.
Commissioner Wootten said he did have a dialog with the committee and did ask for the input, and what this was is a piece of paper of recommendations of things that should be brought to the Joint Land Use Study, but he just got the piece of paper. He was seeing it for the first time and was not ready to approve or discuss some of the things. They asked the committee for a report in the February timeframe. That is sufficient time to deal with it at that point in order to get it to the Joint Land Use Technical Committee. That was the point of all of this; that is where we are trying to go.
Commissioner Trainham said that was incorrect. He did not want the wrong impression to get before the group here tonight. The fact remains that the Scope Technical Committee is to meet before the next JLUS meeting, and this was the reason the committee had moved ahead and tried to provide for this. This was to be presented to our town manager.
Mayor Harris said Commissioner Trainham could, under the Comments, use his time to submit this then. The motion was denied.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA.
Commissioner Trainham said maybe he had lost sight, but he did not remember numbers 9 and 10 being presented to the Planning Board. He asked if he was correct or wrong. He questioned having 9 and 10 as discussion tonight without the Planning Board’s attention to it first. This is the way they have always operated, and he thought they should operate that way again.
Mayor Harris said it would be discussed tonight whether to go to the Planning Board or not. It will come before them whether they will give the recommendation to go to them.
Commissioner Trainham asked if that is what the discussion on 9 and 10 would be. Mayor Harris replied, "Yes, sir." Commissioner Wootten said his intention was to discuss scheduling, not any substance, who is going to do what and when and how.
Commissioner McElraft moved that the Board accept the Agenda. Commissioner Murphy seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to adopt the agenda. Motion carried.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDA.
Commissioner Wootten moved and Commissioner Farmer seconded the approval of the Consent Agenda, which included Minutes listed in a and b and the Tax Refunds and Releases and Line Item Budget Transfers. The Board voted unanimously to approve. Motion carried.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE FINAL PLAT APPROVAL OF A REQUEST BY JTW, INC. FOR A 9-LOT RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION IN BLOCK 15.
Mayor Harris explained that Block 15 is about 4 miles down, where the Coastal Mart is. Behind that, on Ocean Drive, is the property that is before them, and they will be discussing. She asked if Mr. Pate Phillips or anyone representing him was in the audience. She explained that the Board had the maps, the Carteret County septic tank permits to be issued, actual authorization for construction will be issued once the lot has been prepared. She asked Mrs. Angus if this had been done.
Mrs. Carol Angus said they had applied for and received the modification sheets for all nine lots, and at such time that the lots have actually been prepped, they will be given their authorization for construction.
Mayor Harris said no filling would be permitted on the properties. Mrs. Angusagreed and said only for landscaping, which will be very minimal.
Commissioner Farmer asked about the septic modifications. What do they entail? Is it a lot of fill? Mrs. Angus replied to look hypothetically at Lot 1. Commissioner Farmer asked if they would be creating a stormwater runoff problem. Mrs. Angussaid that area is now a V zone. There is a high ridge through there that the majority of them will go onto, and those that might not satisfy the regular system will have to have one of the low-pressure systems. Commissioner Farmer asked if Mrs. Angus had any idea what they would be doing with the power line. Will that be up to whoever buys the lot to move it—or is it underground? Mrs. Angusreplied that she did not know. Commissioner Farmer said it goes right through Lot 3. Mrs. Angus said she would have to assume at the time that it would have to be addressed when they are ready to develop it.
Commissioner Farmer asked Cary Harrison, Planning Board Chairman, if they had any concerns. Mr. Harrison replied that the only comment he would like to make was that at the bottom of the same plat, to the right of the graphic scale, it says there will be a maintained vegetative buffer along the rear of the lots 3 feet wide by 8’6" high in 3 years. This is something that is required of this subdivision and is related to the next item to be discussed.
Commissioner Wootten said he remembered this topic coming up in front of the previous Planning Board, and it was put on hold awaiting a septic permit. He did not understand what had changed because these words seemed to indicate that something got modified.
Mrs. Angus said every lot is given a modification sheet prior to anyone being able to actually go in and put the system in. If they are not allowed to go in and do the modification that they need to do to each of these individual lots, they can never get a septic tank permit. So they have to be able to go in, and they will not be given a permit out of the Inspections Department until final Board approval has been passed. Commissioner Wootten said they would go in and do what they need to do to the lots in order to make them acceptable to the County for septic permits. Mrs. Angus agreed.
Mayor Harris questioned whether there would be trucking of dirt to build it up.Mrs. Angus said, "No, not in a V zone."
Commissioner Murphy said the only dirt would be landscape dirt, and if it is more than one load in a day, it has to have Mrs. Angus’ approval. Mrs. Angus said they could not even do one every day for four days—she will not let them do that. Just landscaping, once they’re done, to let them put in a little grass or something like that.
Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to approve the final plat of the 9-lot residential subdivision in Block 15. Motion carried.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE FINAL PLAT APPROVAL OF A REQUEST BY JTW, INC. FOR A 4-LOT COMMERCIAL SUBDIVISION IN BLOCK 15.
Mayor Harris explained that this is the same area with Coastal Mart, and this is around Coastal Mart, where it is zoned for business.
Mayor Harris said the Planning Board suggests and recommends that a 15-foot buffer is not to be installed due to the drainage on the south portion of the lots. Also the adjoining Lot 9 has implemented a 15-foot vegetative buffer on the north portion of the property. Should the owners default in this buffer, the commercial area will be required to build or to plan a buffered fence in that area.
Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Harrison to explain why a buffer is a problem.Mr. Harrison said it is required of any commercial venture when they abut a residential neighborhood; and since this is in part the same group and they have already submitted the plat (the item before this), and they specified in that plat that they will have a vegetative buffer, it is the Planning Board’s concern not to simply say they have it, you don’t need to have it, it is actually their responsibility. Hence the Planning Board asks them to put this caveat on the plat so if these people defaulted or decided they didn’t want their vegetative buffer on the property anymore, then it would be incumbent upon the commercial property owners to replace it.
Commissioner Farmer asked if there is some reason why it doesn’t work to put them on the commercial property as well. Why not have more buffer? Mr. Harrisonreplied that there is a stormwater problem. They came up with a very thorough stormwater management plan for the lot and as things are looking right now, there are some inconsistencies between placing the buffer too adjacent to the other buffer with the proposed stormwater management plan.
Mayor Harris asked for comments from the audience.
Mr. Dick Eckhardt, resident of 4304 Ocean Drive, said that over a year ago this came before the previous Board, and the gentleman at that time was asked whether it drained well. It was treated humorously, and the answer never came up yes, never came up no. After Ron Marks made his presentation last week [sic], it occurred to Mr. Eckhardt that that is a bog. The reason he says that is he tries to ford it every once in a while when there is really heavy rainfall, to get his paper, and he normally ends up walking around it. So when they say stormwater plan, where is it going to drain? If you talk to the people at 102, 103, 104 Connie and one lot on Ocean Drive second house from Connie, you will find out that it is a very wet area, and that is where it drains. The Coastal Mart is already elevated. How do you drain an area like that when you see that we’ve had so much problem in the past with this bog that is not designed to drain? Where is the stormwater runoff going to run?
Mr. Larry Lavecchia, of Oceanside Engineering, explained the storm system. He said that basically each of the four lots is designed to hold an inch runoff. There is a system on the back of each of those four lots on the sound side. He was not the one who designed it, he was here as a representative, so he couldn’t say too much about it because he didn’t know a lot about it.
Mayor Harris asked what happened after an inch of rainfall. Mr. Lavecchia said there is an 18-inch pipe across the back of each lot below grade, and it is wrapped around with rock. There is a catch basin at the end of the pipe, and all the rain water is diverted into each end of the pipes to reach the catch basin and then fill the pipes. The pipe retains it.
Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Harrison if Phil Almeida of the Planning Board was satisfied that this would not be causing more flooding problems than already exist in that area. Mr. Almeida was present to comment but said he had not looked at the stormwater plan itself. According to the City Ordinance, they are supposed to provide storage for one inch of runoff, and that has been done. The question arises if the rain continues beyond that period, it obviously cannot retain on the site and will flow. That is a problem we have on the island at almost every location.
Commissioner Murphy asked Mr. Almeida if the pipe system that Mr. Lavecchia described was in addition to the one-inch. Mr. Almeida replied "no," that the pipe is designed to retain one inch of runoff.
Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Almeida if he was satisfied with the calculations that Mr. Dunahoo had come up with. Mr. Almeida replied that he hadn’t seen the calculations.
Commissioner Wootten asked, if the plan has been certified by an engineer that it will handle up to an inch? Mr. Harrison replied "yes." Commissioner Wootten said when you look at the property, the answer as to where it is going to go after the inch is that it will go down towards Ocean Drive because that is the lower part of the property. It will go into the residential area. With the town ordinances as they are written now, Commissioner Wootten didn’t know what else the Board could do.
Mr. Almeida said there wasn’t much they could do at this stage. What essentially is happening is the water also gets absorbed in the sandy soil. If there is a really heavy downpour, there will be problems.
Commissioner Farmer asked if it would help to require more vegetation to be planted. Mr. Almeida replied that vegetation is very good; in fact, they could accelerate the program for planting trees. If they look at the Moffat-Nichol report, they said about 20,000 trees have been lost. We should plan to replace them in a 4- or 5-year timeframe, so we are talking 4,000 trees a year. Even conceding that some will die, that is the level of effort required. Those trees will absorb some water and reduce the problem.
Commissioner Farmer asked if it would specifically help on these lots with the location of the septic field. Commissioner Wootten said the question would be the buffer on the residential lots because that is where it would really go. They are relatively small lots, so by the time they put a house and a septic system on the smaller residential lots, there is not a lot of room for vegetation.
Mr. Almeida said he does not believe there is room for vegetation from what he understands. They have provided for stormwater drainage in the area that was set aside for the buffer.
Commissioner McElraft said it was her understanding that there is real sandy soil in that area, which would absorb a lot quicker than any fill dirt. Since they cannot put fill dirt there, that will probably help a lot, too. Mr. Almeida replied that once the ground gets saturated, it cannot absorb. Commissioner McElraft said the sandy soil absorbs quicker than brought-in dirt.
Mayor Harris asked if there was anything in the ordinances that this Board could impose that would take care of more stormwater—planting, less paving, or anything that is on the books at this time. Mrs. Angus replied, "At this time, no."
Commissioner Farmer said there was something in the ordinance that says the Planning Board can require anything more that it deems necessary. Mrs. Angusreplied that they can, but that was not brought up at that point.
Commissioner Farmer said she is stuck on vegetation and wondered if there isn’t more that they could require. It is obviously not going to handle a 48-hour rainfall, but nothing is anyway. The buffer itself is not very big.
Mayor Harris asked Mr. Bob Conrad if there was anything that he knew of that could improve or take care of a downpour. Mr. Conrad replied that the topography, or climate or geology or whatever you want to call it, east of Connie Street will not support vegetation. You will not find a tree east of Connie Street in town except for Timber Trail. There is too much salt air.
Commissioner Wootten said that unfortunately, he did not think the Board had any alternatives but to approve it other than "Buyer Beware" of the residential lots. Commissioner Farmer said that could be a good idea and asked if there could be some sort of notification on these lots that they may have water problems.
Mrs. Angus said these lots are just now being virtually subdivided, so there is no proposed development today. In the event that a special use would ever be used as these lots come on line to be developed, at that point a special use could be attached to each individual lot that they would see that they would have to address the situation. Mayor Harris asked how they would do that.
Mrs. Angus said they are B3, and she does not know whether that would be the best answer. Since there is nothing designed for them right now, maybe they could do it that way.
Commissioner Farmer said the special use may only apply to 10,000 square feet.
Commissioner Wootten said the problem is the residential lots because they are going to be the recipients of the water. The commercial lot is contributing the water above an inch.
Commissioner Farmer said if there is nothing else they can do, at the very least they can warn the people who may be thinking about purchasing the lots.
Mr. Derek Taylor, Town Attorney, said they can make it public knowledge as much as they can, but they cannot force it.
Mayor Harris said there is no way to enforce anything if they publicize that there may be a problem. Mrs. Angus agreed, and said when they come in to see Jim, Mike, or herself regarding development of the property, they will automatically tell them anything that is done down there. She is even telling people who may be interested in the 9-lot residential subdivision that they have some pretty big obstacles they have to overcome before they even start. Being in the V zone is a big factor. There will be a lot of work to do.
Mr. Derek Taylor, Town Attorney said there are certain legal requirements of realty agents who know of certain things to disclose to the buyer. It may be public knowledge enough that they might be able to pass on the responsibility for that.
Commissioner Wootten said it is in a flood zone to begin with (Mrs. Angus said "The worst"), and that is a bigger warning to folks buying those residential lots than water above an inch. They will have to be notified of the flood zone, and that is a bigger warning, and that should be of bigger concern to folks buying those lots than storm water.
Mrs. Ceil Saunders, resident of 5136 Bogue Sound Drive, said that many years ago this came before the Planning Board about rezoning for the residential lots. They were rezoned for residential because it was all commercial, at which time there was to be a vegetative buffer behind the houses. With this new plan, there is a trench in the back and they said that if they need vegetation, they will put it up there. It seems to be sufficient.
Mr. Harrison said that given the code that is in the book, the Planning Board is satisfied with their calculations for retaining an inch and a half of their storm water and the fact that they had come up with natural area calculations that were in excess of 50%.
Mrs. Saunders said the vegetative buffer has to be maintained by the homeowners on the residential side on Ocean Drive.
A request from the audience asked for clarification of if it was 1 inch or 1½ inches? The answer from Mrs. Angus and Mr. Harrison and others was 1½.
Commissioner Wootten made a motion for approval of the final plat for the commercial subdivision for JTW, Inc. Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion, and the Board voted unanimously for approval. Motion carried.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE APPROVAL OF A RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STATE FUNDED BEACH RENOURISH–MENT AND RESTORATION COMMISSION.
Mayor Harris read the resolution, which is contained in full below.
A RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT
FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STATE FUNDED
BEACH RENOURISHMENT AND RESTORATION COMMISSION
WHEREAS, a state sponsored Study Commission on Coastal Be4ach Movement, Beach Renourishment and Storm Mitigation, after extensive deliberations, will make some significant recommendations to the State Legislature; and
WHEREAS, the Study Commission recognizes the need for both a state dedicated funding source and unique agency to handle restoration and preservation needs; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Emerald Isle have recognized that beach restoration is vital to the economic wellbeing of the Town and Carteret County, and
WHEREAS; the Board realizes that beach restoration cannot be achieved without a funding source external to the Town and Carteret County; and
WHEREAS; the Board also recognizes that no existing state agencies possess a charter combining the requisite requirement for economic development considerations as well as recreational and environmental factors; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Board of Commissioners support the efforts of the Coastal Beach Movement, Beach Restoration and Storm Mitigation Study Commission in recommending to the State Legislature the need for State funding assistance for and a unique agency to manage beach preservation and storm mitigation efforts.
Duly adopted this 9th day of January, 2001.
Barbara M. Harris, Mayor
Carolyn K. Custy, Town Clerk
Mayor Harris opened it up for comments from the public.
Mr. Bill Reist, resident of 8520 Woodcliff Drive, said he had a copy of the resolution and asked to meet with the Mayor earlier today because he had questions, but she didn’t have time for him. He also left a message for Commissioner Murphy, and Mr. Reist didn’t hear back from him. He said it was probably appropriate that he ask these questions in front of an audience, too, because maybe they will become educated and better informed in the process.
Mr. Reist asked who was the proud author of this resolution. Who put it together? Who wrote it? Commissioner Wootten replied that he had drafted it. Mr. Reistasked if it was the final, and Mayor Harris said "Yes, this is going before the Board this evening." Mr. Reist said there are a number of errors in it, which led him to believe they are not too well-informed. He left those for them to dig out.Mayor Harris asked Mr. Reist to keep it to the Board in general, that there would be no name calling. Mr. Reist said it tells him that the Board has not done too much homework.
Mr. Reist asked Commissioner Wootten if, in authoring the resolution, it came to him or did he author it from scratch. Mayor Harris advised Mr. Reist to make his presentation and they would come back to him. Mr. Reist said he thought an author ought to be proud of his work. Commissioner Wootten said he did not know where Mr. Reist was going. Mr. Reist replied that he knew he didn’t and that is why he would not answer.
Mr. Reist asked Commissioner Wootten if other towns had accepted the resolution. Mayor Harris asked Mr. Reist again to address the full Board. Someone nodded in answer to Mr. Reist’s question.
Mr. Reist said that the resolution states that the Board also recognizes that no existing state agencies possess a charter combining the requisite requirements for economic development considerations and asked what "requisite requirements for economic development considerations" means in layman’s terms. Commissioner Wootten asked if he could answer the question now or do it later. Mayor Harrisreplied that she preferred that Mr. Reist go ahead and make his presentation. Mr. Reist said he was asking some questions in order for the public and himself to understand what this is about. If they do not understand it, how are they supposed to know whether they are making rational decisions related to it or not.Mayor Harris said the whole resolution is supporting the beach nourishment that that committee has given to the General Assembly. Mr. Reist said he understands the resolution, but his question about the statement is what does the statement mean.
Commissioner Wootten said he would answer that when he got a turn to make a comment.
Mr. Reist asked if the Board had actually looked at the Division of Coastal Management’s charter or mission statement and also the Coastal Resource Commission’s charter or mission statement. He said the CRC does make provision for economic interests and before the Board acts on this, somebody needs to go back and really identify and understand what the CRC and the Division of Coastal Management is all about. He does not think anyone here had.
Since Mr. Reist felt that the Board is not well informed on this, he suggested that at the next meeting they ask somebody from the Division of Coastal Management and the CRC (the Coastal Resource Commission) to come to explain what their roles are and how they relate to this "requisite requirements for economic development considerations." That would be his recommendation. He would hope they would have these people when they have an audience where the audience would be educated and the Board particularly should be educated. He had attended 3 or 4 of the meetings of the study committee, and he saw Commissioner Murphy and Mayor Harris at one. But he did not see any other commissioners. He really thinks before they make any movement on the resolution they should better educate themselves.
Mr. Jerry Huml, resident of Pebble Beach unit C104 for about 5 years, applauded the Board for their proactive initiative on this perceptual statement. He thought it was vital and had three points to make: 1) the State has already formed a Beach Preservation Commission, and this seems to be very much in line with that; 2) he understood that Carteret County approved to work closely with the Corps of Engineers to get beach preservation and nourishment done around 2008, and this seems appropriate; 3) one of the very first documents that came out of this Board after they were elected and came on board contained two major things: one was beach nourishment and had to do with relying on the state and federal government to help fund beach nourishment because they sensed it was needed, that there were erosion problems, and that was one of their major goals and this was a step forward to achieve that goal.
Mayor Harris said there seemed to be some misunderstanding about the resolution. This resolution supports the Study Commission (out of Raleigh) on the Coastal Beach Movement, Beach Renourishment, and Storm Mitigation. They are sending their recommendations for state money, and Bogue Banks needs to let them know they support this. That is what this is about. The Board has passed two resolutions already that they are for beach renourishment if they can get state, federal, and local funds.
Commissioner Trainham said those resolutions were not unanimous.
Mr. John Grady, resident of 113 Fawn Drive, applauded the Board for coming up with some sort of recommendation on trying to save the beach. He knows there are a couple who are not interested, period. He applauded them for supporting this because the County Commissioners last night approved it also and approved the 933 which has been dragging on for 50 years. If we keep on, there won’t be any beach out there. It won’t do any more damage here than it does in Wilmington with their $121 million last year and this year. And it is time for somebody to support the County commissioners. They approved last night $691,000 that will not come from tax money but from occupancy tax. It will get on the long range plan so we can get on the state and federal program, and it is time for us to quit dragging our feet. He applauded all who are for it.
Mr. Bob Isenhour, resident of 313 Channel Drive, echoed what Mr. Huml said, that he applauded them for approving, if they do, this recommendation. Certainly it is something that in his opinion is needed. Having said that, there is more that is needed here. He took his hat off to Reese Musgraves and the other leaders in Pine Knoll Shores as well as Buck Fugate in Indian Beach. They have approached this problem, they have taken the bull by the horns, and they are handling the matter. They have a problem just like we do. Their resolution in Pine Knoll Shores will pass in March, and they will have sand on their beach by the end of this year. Indian Beach, in like step with Pine Knoll Shores, if the state comes up with the money for the property that they own, will have sand on their beach, and that sand will go right up to the border between Indian Beach and Emerald Isle. He understands the Board is considering forming a committee to look into what should Emerald Isle do. He thinks they should make that decision themselves and go forward with a public hearing and a resolution, but he understands also that Emerald Isle has a different situation than Pine Knoll Shores or Indian Beach. We have three different problems: 1) 1st through 30th Street, which if we were able to join with what Pine Knoll Shores and Indian Beach are doing, we might just be able to tag along and be able to be in the same time frame and at least get nourishment in the first 30 blocks; 2) the Point, which is a more complex issue; 3) the rest of Emerald Isle. If the Board forms a committee, he asked that they do it quickly and move on. They have lost one house, four others are in imminent danger; in fact, all of Bogue Court is in imminent danger as well as the western end of Inlet Drive. Sandbags are a temporary fix, and they have to do something down there as soon as they possibly can; and in that connection, a study has been done by some private individuals who have paid for that study with no Town help whatsoever, no taxpayer money. He had been unable to reach the people today, so he was not at liberty to talk about the details. He said it was well done; however, they have gone as far as they can go financially without some help. The help is going to need to come from the Board, with their help in endorsing a resolution to get funds to help this problem and help us with the Corps of Engineers. It is dead without the Board’s approval of this resolution.
Mayor Harris commented that they had asked the County to submit to their long-term feasibility study—she and Mr. Allen were at their meeting the previous Friday—to include the Point to see if they can get the Corps to work with them on that situation. As far as the sand from 1st to 30th Street, the County said it was too expensive. It has been addressed.
Commissioner Wootten said as the Mayor had indicated, the Study Commission which was chartered by the state did come forward with a recommendation that was published in the paper in the last week or so, to establish an independent commission to oversee beach renourishment and also to put forward a scheme for the State Legislature for the introduction of state money into the effort of beach renourishment and storm mitigation as well. There was a dissenting opinion on the part of one of the commissioners here to that commission finding that received some publicity, and there was some concern on the part of some of the commissioners on this Board that that dissenting opinion would be viewed as an opinion coming from the Town of Emerald Isle. The purpose of this resolution as it is drafted is to confirm to the Study Commission, and maybe to the Legislature, that the Town, or most of the commissioners, will reaffirm to the Commission that we support that and we support them and we do not agree with the dissenting opinion. The dissenting opinion rendered was that the independent commission was not needed, and maybe even funding was not needed; and the point was made that the authority exists already within the Division of Coastal Management and the CRC, and those agencies were reflected in the comments of the dissenting opinion. He did look at, and had in front of him, the by-laws from the CRC and the Division of Coastal Management. He went through them very thoroughly. This is an opinion, an area of disagreement. He personally thinks that if they are ever going to have beach renourishment, they need an independent commission that will balance economic welfare of this Town and the County against the dangers and damage that will be done to the environment and the wildlife as a result of beach renourishment. The basic question is should the environmental community be solely in charge of beach renourishment considerations. The Study Commission that was supporting this resolution said "no," that we need an independent commission. This resolution supports that decision that we need an independent commission. Going through the bylaws of the agencies, the Division of Coastal Management, etc., there is no mention of economic development and best interest of this beach as an asset for the economic welfare of the County and the Town. He was not trying to belittle the Division of Coastal Management or CRC or any of those, but their job is to preserve, defend the public trust, to keep things the way they are. That is why they are in existence, that is the nature of their existence. What we need for beach renourishment is an aggressive activist group that is going to have to draw that balance between the two. That is the reason this statement is written that there is no unique agency that can do that. The Study Commission found that, and that is why they recommended this unique commission. That is why the resolution was drafted, and he hopes the commissioners approve it.
Commissioner Farmer said she does support beach renourishment. She read a statement of her position that has been incorporated into the Minutes as an attachment at the end.
Commissioner McElraft asked Commissioner Farmer if, before she gave her dissenting opinion, she talked with anyone on the Board whom she represented to see if it was the majority of this Board that also agreed with that dissenting opinion.
Commissioner Farmer replied that she did not represent this Board. She was not appointed by the Board to represent Emerald Isle at all. She was appointed by Senator Mark Basnight.
Commissioner McElraft asked if Commissioner Farmer had requested from Senator Mark Basnight that she be appointed or a member of the Emerald Isle town commission be appointed the day after the election. Commissioner Farmerreplied, "Not to represent the Board, to have someone from Emerald Isle on the committee." Commissioner McElraft said "to represent this town." Commissioner Farmer said, "No."
Commissioner Farmer said if they looked at her dissent opinion, they would see nowhere on that does it indicate that she is commissioner from Emerald Isle at all. It says merely Emily Farmer.
Commissioner McElraft said that every e-mail that she had sent to everyone on the legislative study group says Emerald Isle Mayor Pro-tem. Commissioner Farmer replied that she sent one e-mail to the legislative study group saying that she was Mayor pro-tem in Emerald Isle. She did not represent Emerald Isle, and in fact if Commissioner McElraft read the articles in the newspaper, nowhere did it say that Emerald Isle dissented to these recommendations. All the newspapers said Emily Farmer did. Commissioner McElraft added, "Mayor Pro-tem of Emerald Isle."
Commissioner McElraft said that is the reason that the majority of the Board had decided to do the resolution. They feel that the legislative study group looked at her dissenting opinion. She had talked to several of them and they said they absolutely evaluated everything that was on there, they had talked about it in the past, and they decided not to put that in their final report. So everybody on that committee is wrong except for Commissioner Farmer. She said the State of Florida, of whom they are patterning this commission from, have given them a lot of advice. The advice they gave is what they did about 30 years ago when they established their own commission and started having funding that was dedicated to beach nourishment. They were able then to get all the federal projects, walkways, everything that they needed to comply with the Corps of Engineers. The only way we are ever going to get funding in Emerald Isle for beach nourishment is not going to be from the county, it is going to have to come from the state. We’re going to get our portion from the county and from the occupancy tax, but we are going to have to depend on the state, and the state hopefully not only will have the $12 million, but they are looking at lottery and other things to be able to put into this beach nourishment. There will be more money in there than the $12 million. The only way we will get it, like the Clean Water Trust Fund, is to have dedicated funds for beach nourishment. That is why she thinks this resolution needs to pass.
Commissioner Farmer said that this year the Division of Water Resources is spending $11 million on beach renourishment projects to come up with the state match for federal projects; and in fact, Water Resources, according to John Moss, who also spoke to this committee, has always come up with that match. That has not been a problem. The money has always been there for the state match.
Commissioner McElraft said that was prior to Dare County and all the things that are going on in Wilmington and the things that will be going on in Carteret County. There will be no state funds if we don’t get this commission to provide those state funds.
Commissioner Farmer said the Corps is saying their average is $10 million a year over the next 30 years, and that includes Dare County and Bogue Banks.
Commissioner Trainham said everybody in the room knows how he feels about beach renourishment. So far he has not been persuaded that putting sand on the beach without an in-depth study and without some committee work is the way to go. He has approved a local committee to come up with a better way to deal with the beach problem that they have inherited. He certainly is concerned about it. Furthermore, he is more concerned with the inlet problem down at the Point than he is with the rest of the beach. He feels that they would be missing something if they didn’t include that, and he appreciates the former commissioner’s comments about the Point. The Point needs to be there, and we need to do something to change the flow of the water there. He cannot go along with the resolution. When he made his bid to take this seat, he promised the taxpayers that they would be fiscally acceptable in most ways. He still feels that it is wasting money to put sand where it is going to be taken out by the rising ocean; and until he can find a better way to deal with this, he will have to vote against the resolution.
Commissioner Murphy commented that he agreed with Commissioner Trainham on the Point. It is definitely in as much, or probably more, danger than 1st through 30th Street on the beach. He said that he believes this resolution is a step in the right direction and actually sends the message to the state that the Town of Emerald Isle and its Board of Commissioners are in favor of this committee. It is important that they understand that. There has been a little bit of publicity that caused some confusion, and this resolution is a step in the direction to tell the state that we do need the committee and we do need that support.
Mayor Harris said on the commission that Commissioner Farmer was on, there were 19 members, and on that committee that wants to get money and have asked the state for money and have studied it thoroughly, are Senator Martin, Senator Shaw, Senator Allran, Representative Warwick, Mayor Altman, Representative McComas, Representative Rayfield, Representative Redwine, Representative Smith, and Representative Thomas. They all are asking the state for money. They all agree.
Commissioner Farmer said they can’t all agree on everything all the time.
Commissioner McElraft made a motion to approve the resolution of support for the establishment of a state funded beach renourishment and restoration commission of R-01-01-09-01. Commissioner Murphy seconded. The vote was 3 for (McElraft, Murphy, Wootten), 2 against (Farmer and Trainham). Motion carried.
DISCUSSION OF POSSIBLE SPECIAL USE PERMITS IN B-3 ZONES.
Mayor Harris asked if Mike Harvey of Benchmark was present. He was not.
Commissioner Wootten commented that the subject of the special use permit for B-3 business zone was brought up at the meeting in January. A plan was laid out that Benchmark, Inc., in the form of Mr. Mike Harvey, was going to assist the Planning Board to try to come up with some wording to develop this concept within the Town ordinances. The purpose of the agenda item today is not to get into the substance or words; it is really to discuss schedule so that they keep this thing on track, and they’re a little bit off track already because they do not have Benchmark providing information to the Planning Board yet. He wanted to make sure they did this promptly and everyone is singing from the same sheet of music as they move forward, whatever the decision is as to what should be in the ordinance or not. The Planning Board meets January 15th, so nothing has happened. The objective is to have a public hearing in February.
Commissioner McElraft asked if they could have the Planning Board do that with Mr. Harvey on the 15th. The Board of Commissioners has their special meeting on the 19th. When Mayor Harris said it was a workshop, Commissioner McElraft said maybe they could make it a special meeting on the 19th. She had discussed with Mr. Taylor before they started that it would still allow them the time to get all this in the paper. They need 20 days. Mr. Taylor said they have to do two publications no less than 10 days nor more than 25 days before the hearing.
Commissioner Farmer asked if anyone knew when Mike would be back in town.Mr. Allen said he would be back that day or the next. Commissioner Farmer said it could be conceivable that he would have something for the Planning Board.Commissioner Wootten said he was led to believe that he could in fairly short order. He thought they had gotten mixed up in schedules with him going out of town and Mr. Harrison going out of town. He said he was more concerned about the ability of the Planning Board to deal with the issue in a 3- or 4-day period of time.
Mr. Harrison said if they could get a workshop together with Mike Harvey and some representation from the Planning Board and some from the commissioners, they could pretty easily hammer something out and let Mr. Harvey work with the wording and get it to Mr. Taylor in ample time to have it appear in the meeting on the 19th.
Commissioner Wootten asked if they should set that as an objective for a schedule. Commissioner McElraft asked if they could schedule a public hearing in February or do they have to wait for the January 19th special meeting if they make it a special meeting. Mr. Taylor said they could go ahead and set a schedule aggressively, and if they can’t meet the schedule, back off. There are some issues for publication notice, and they have to deal with Carteret County News-Times. He asked Mrs. Custy if they could meet the schedule and get the publication done.Mrs. Custy said there was time to do it for February 13th but not the January 19thmeeting. Mr. Taylor recommended they set the schedule requesting a public hearing for the February regular meeting calling for a special meeting publication to be printed for January 19th. The Planning Board needs to publish themselves for public comment on the ordinance at their meeting on January 15th. All the Board of Commissioners would have to do is inform the Planning Board they would like them to bring them a recommendation for the January 19th meeting. The Planning Board will take care of what they have to do.
Mr. Harrison said they would need some sort of workshop before the regular meeting. Commissioner Wootten asked Mr. Harrison if he was suggesting that a group from the Planning Board and two commissioners get together with Benchmark prior to their meeting on January 15th. Mr. Harrison agreed, saying "as a workshop," so they would have the substance at their regular meeting to pass on, and they could pass it on to the Board of Commissioners at the January 19thmeeting.
Mr. Taylor said it was an aggressive schedule, but they are setting their own workload. They have no legal impediments in doing that.
Mayor Harris said that would give them time to notify everybody of the special meeting on the 19th. If the Planning Board has a workshop on Friday the 12th, that is not enough time for publication. Mr. Harrison asked what the earliest date they could hold a workshop with proper notice would be. Mrs. Custy said the first time they could get a notice in the newspaper would be the 12th. They could have it on the 19th, but she didn’t know where she would put them because the room would be full. Commissioner McElraft asked if they could have that meeting right before the scheduled workshop. Mr. Taylor said the Planning Board needed to act on it on the 15th. Commissioner Wootten asked Mr. Harrison if they could get this accomplished with two commissioners involved; that way they wouldn’t need to have a notice. Mr. Harrison said it wouldn’t be legally a quorum one way or the other if they have two Planning Board and two commissioners and one outside resource.
Commissioner Wootten said he would recommend that the Board pick two commissioners to meet with the chairman of the Planning Board and maybe another member of the Planning Board and Benchmark prior to the 19th with the objective of drafting wording for a special use permit to be presented to the Planning Board on the 15th and discussed on the 15th. If that all works, the Board of Commissioners would consider this topic on the 19th, which is now classified as a workshop but would have to be turned into a special meeting. The Board would decide on the 19th whether to proceed to public hearing in February or not. That’s an aggressive schedule but it can be done.
Commissioner McElraft said the two commissioners would have to meet prior to the 15th. They could deal with that offline since it is not a meeting.
Mayor Harris said a motion is not required to set up the schedule. If it doesn’t work out, the Planning Board will let the Board know.
Commissioner Wootten suggested that they decide which two commissioners want to do this. Mayor Harris said Commissioner Wootten should be and asked Commissioner Farmer if she would. Commissioner Farmer said she would be happy to. Mayor Harris said that Commissioner Farmer and Commissioner Wootten would meet. Commissioner Wootten said he was just bringing up the schedule.
Mayor Harris asked that they inform her if it does not work out, as the 19th will be a special meeting followed by a workshop. Commissioner Farmer reminded the Board that the special meeting would have to be held in the morning because she is going out of town.
Mr. Taylor asked that it be put in the form of a motion. That way they are calling the special meeting.
Commissioner Wootten made the motion that the special use permit be presented to the Planning Board on the 15th, at which time the Planning Board would turn it over to the Board of Commissioners for consideration at a special meeting on January 19, 2001. Commissioner McElraft seconded, and the Board voted unanimously for approval. Motion carried.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON A GATEWAY OVERLAY DISTRICT.
Mayor Harris said this is a gateway corridor overlay district that Commissioner Farmer has brought up and wishes to bring to the Board.
Commissioner Farmer explained that there was quite a bit of discussion when the Planning Board had the Reed Drive subdivision before it from Planning Board members and also residents’ concern preserving the entrance to Emerald Isle between the bridge and Coast Guard Road. One of the Planning Board recommendations was to work on some kind of gateway district. She is not that creative and stole at least the idea—it is certainly not verbatim—from Hilton Head. They have a corridor overlay district that set out what sort of things they should be considering: buffers and signage. She got some feedback from phone calls and e-mails from people in the community and came up with it, which she hoped they could keep on the same schedule as the Benchmark ordinance and pass on to the Planning Board.
Commissioner Wootten asked the Town Attorney for guidance about the gateway. Is it different from B3 and therefore can the schedule be maintained? Mr. Taylor replied that to follow the same schedule, they will be even more aggressive. In this situation, they are changing the zoning map. When changing the zoning map, creating a new district like this, there are different notification requirements. The notification requirements in this instance will require them to first class mail all property owners within the district and all property owners adjoining the district within a 100-foot border.
Commissioner Farmer said this is not necessarily a zone change. Mr. Taylorreplied that it is creating a new zone, an overlay zone. It is changing the zoning map. Commissioner Farmer said B3 now will remain B3 but there will be more restrictions put on, particularly vegetation. Mr. Taylor said it is different because they are creating an overlay zone; they’re really creating a new zone. If it had been B3, residential, B2, RMH, all in this area, they would all be covered by the additional restrictions, this overlay zone, like they did with the beachfront. In those circumstances, they have different notice requirements. There are two choices: 1) the one he had just described, first class mail according to the tax rolls to each individual within and adjoining or abutting the properties; 2) they can publish for four weeks in the newspaper, but that only fixes the situation for the residents that are in the area that newspaper would cover. They would still have to mail to out-of-town people.
Commissioner Farmer said she thinks they want to notify the property owners. She doesn’t think there are that many property owners involved. Mr. Taylor said that would require the zoning officials to make a determination on that.Commissioner Farmer said there are not really that many parcels there.
Mrs. Angus said the only question she would have is if they say within 100 feet of the zoning district they are talking about, they are encompassing Pebble Beach. Does she notify the homeowners association or every condominium owner in Pebble Beach? Mr. Taylor replied, "Every condominium owner."
Commissioner Farmer said she was not sure they would get Pebble Beach because it only extends down Coast Guard Road 200 feet. Mr. Harrison said it would be pretty close if they think about the breaks in the right-of-way. Mrs. Angus said they would be talking about the south side of the property, so they have a 60-foot right-of-way, and once they have gotten to the other side, doesn’t Pebble Beach begin? That’s their property.
Mayor Harris asked Mr. Harrison if the Planning Board had not in some way made their recommendations and addressed this. Mr. Harrison replied that they very generically defined part of the area, but certainly not with the detail that is listed in the document by Mrs. Farmer. They simply made the recommendation that they felt there should be an overlay district established. It was at that point undefined in terms of its depth and length into town.
Commissioner Farmer said that is why she got involved, because she knows that they have totally over-burdened the Planning Board and her Christmas present to the Planning Board was to try to do the really rough draft for them so they could go from there.
Mayor Harris asked if they want to tackle this gateway overlay district at this time. Mr. Harrison asked, "Can you at this time?" Commissioner Wootten replied it depends on the schedule. Commissioner Farmer said it will determine whether Pebble Beach falls into this or not. She doesn’t know how much time they have to give for people to respond.
Mr. Taylor said they basically have the same requirements for those notifications that they discussed before, that it has to be postmarked no closer to the date that they’re going to have the hearing than 10 days, and no farther out than 25 days. So they have to get it postmarked at least 11 days in advance of the hearing. That is a short string, but they also have to have a recommendation from the Planning Board as to what they will be discussing, and they do not have that yet.
Commissioner Farmer suggested passing this to the Planning Board with the goal that they try to keep an eye on the schedule, and if they can’t, they can’t. But this to her and a lot of people is as important as the traffic problem.
Commissioner Wootten said they can try that, but he thinks it will be much more of a controversial issue now, and much more divisive.
Commissioner McElraft said she thought it needed to be different timing altogether.
Commissioner Farmer said she got the impression from the Planning Board meetings, and she thought they had even talked about it at a Board meeting, there were a lot of residents who were very concerned that they were going to lose that view when they come over the bridge and wanted it protected.
Mayor Harris asked if they wanted to take it up with the other or not.
Commissioner McElraft commented that the Planning Board mentioned some vegetation overlay but they didn’t mention infringing on people’s property 100 feet or making buildings only 35 feet high when they’ve made commercial buildings already scaled down to 50 feet. She thinks this will take a lot more work than what they have, and to burden the Planning Board with that on top of the B3 right now she thinks is just not . . . . She appreciated what Commissioner Farmer did, but she doesn’t think that would be agreeable with too many residents or the property owners.
Commissioner Farmer said that is what they need to find out. They need to in fact have it go to the Planning Board and see if they agree with this draft.Commissioner McElraft said she agreed but didn’t think they should burden them with it at the same time the B3 is going on because she understood they were already burdened. She would like to hear from Mrs. Saunders and Mr. Harrison.
Commissioner Trainham said they need to proceed, and they need to proceed on the basis of the time limit, and as Commissioner Farmer has said, if they can’t keep up with it, they can back off. They should at least try.
Commissioner Trainham moved that they try to proceed with the same time line that has been set up for the previous item, and if it cannot be reached they will back off and make for more time for this item. Commissioner Farmer seconded. Vote was 4 for, 1 against (Commissioner McElraft voted against). Motion carried.
Commissioner Farmer thinks this is an extremely important issue to Emerald Isle, and she would hate to have to sit here and try to have a vote on whether they go into a moratorium on building again because the gateway stuff is not done. She thinks it is important that they try to keep it on schedule. It may not be physically possible, it may be that they can only get close.
Mr. Ed Dowling, resident of 404 Cape Emerald Court, proposed that they consider some recommendations. He had worked with some distinguished citizens by e-mail and soliciting 30 people. In talking with them, he had gotten a grasp of the situation. He recommended that they limit the purpose and scope "The gateway consists of out-parcel land on the corner of McLean site tract 1, 3.449 acres, 158,000 square feet plus Reed Drive in the wetlands contiguous to the 404", wetlands as soon as you come over the bridge that you see on the right to Osprey. The Osprey people would be the only ones they would have to canvas because it is within the borders. They already have a petition from the Osprey citizens who outlined six objectives to the building of it, and they addressed particular buffers. If you’re talking of a wetland buffer concept under B3, the Board of Commissioners is charged under the code with totally coming up with it. They have six different classifications in the code right now. They have to be sorted out to make a decision on the wetlands. If they have any questions on the fine items that the gentleman and the ladies he worked with who put together the gateway message that went out over e-mail to everybody in the room that is on two boards, he is prepared to address it. But he thinks if they limit it to that particular land, then charge the Planning Board with coming up with a natural area, "The idea behind the gateway is to require a greater . . . open space and to impose higher standards (and he thinks that is what they should charge them with) than are required." Division 3, "Standards for flood hazard reduction", under section 19-376, "requires a certain percentage of each lot to
maintain . . . promote the aesthetics. . . ."
Commissioner Wootten said Mr. Dowling had lost him, and he had no idea what he was talking about. Commissioner Wootten said he had an e-mail in Emily’s words.
Commissioner Farmer said they need to hear from the Planning Board. Mr. Dowling said he was trying to limit it in purpose and scope.
Commissioner Wootten asked if some group had drafted the piece of paper.Commissioner Farmer said that Mr. Dowling had helped and they had talked with 32 citizens. They got feedback from a bunch of people.
Mr. Rick Farrington, resident of 8802 Sound View Court, said he wanted to know what the hurry was. It seems like they want to change the rules to devalue the property. If they want the gateway, why don’t they get a fair market value of the property, raise all of our taxes, and buy the gateway? That would be fair. They sound like a bunch of developers.
Mr. Bill Reist, resident of 8520 Woodcliff Drive, asked if it would be inappropriate, since he sensed that a lot of people did not want to be educated, and maybe the Board does not like to educate, to read whatever Mrs. Farmer has put together so they have some understanding as to what it is about.
Commissioner Farmer said it would be appropriate, but that was not the point of this being on the agenda tonight. The only reason this was on the agenda was to pass it on to the Planning Board. The Board is not taking any action on it at all other than the language is merely draft language. Mr. Reist said it makes it very difficult when he is sitting in the back to get any sense. Commissioner Farmersaid they got into a discussion that they really did not intend to get into on the details of it. This was just merely to pass something to the Planning Board so that they wouldn’t have to start from scratch.
Commissioner Trainham said that is the reason why, when they started talking about the agenda, that if they were just going to do the scheduling, that is one thing. But they must not get into the details.
Mayor Harris said it had been commented that anyone wishing to hear the discussions go to the Planning Board. It is public, and she has invited everyone. The meeting is scheduled for January 15th at 7:00 P.M.
Mayor Harris reminded the audience that any comments to be made needed to be addressed to the full Board.
Mr. Ron Brooks, resident of 8526 Sound Drive, addressed each member of the Board to wish them a Happy New Year.
Mr. Jerry Stockdale, resident of 8521 Ocean View Drive, thanked those who voted in favor of the resolution to support the committee. We really need that. Obviously there are some points of opinion that don’t agree, but he thinks they are shooting themselves in the foot if they don’t agree with the people that have studied this thing and are willing to work with the state legislature to get us some money. If we don’t agree with that, we should come up with a better idea and try that one, and we don’t have a better idea that he knows of. He wishes there were a way that the Board of Commissioners could have a rule that if anyone is serving on a committee that gets publicity from the state, a state committee or county committee, where they are not representing the Board, that they make it very clear to the people that they are talking with on the committee or to the press that they are not representing the town and that it be very clear that they are not. When he sees things in the paper that one of our commissioners said this or that about beach nourishment or overpass over Hwy 58, it sounds like the Emerald Isle town Board is saying this, but obviously they’re not because he hasn’t heard those things in the discussions. At almost every Board meeting he has come to, he hears "we can’t do this, we can’t do that, we’re going to have to hurry up and stop somebody from doing this," and it seems to be the most oppressive acting Board that he can ever remember. He thinks they should look at doing some things that can be nice, like the sidewalks they’re putting in at Atlantic Beach or some things we could do on a positive note rather than always telling people they can’t do something. He thinks they would get along a lot better if things like that would come out.
Mayor Harris said they do have so many huge problems like storm water, the Point, beach renourishment, flooding people’s yards, that it does seem to be very pressing at times, but these are problems. They want desperately to have some good stuff, and it will come.
Mr. Bill Reist, resident of 8520 Woodcliff Drive, said that going back to the issue of putting 1½ inches of water. . . The Board bounced around on that and talked about having to notify property owners downstream that they are going to get this water, what have you. What about increasing the amount of water they have to retain on the property? They are talking about telling everybody, why not tell these people that they’ll have to hold 2½ inches or something like that.
COMMENTS – Department Heads.
Ms. Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation, commented that they will begin construction on the western regional access public bath house very shortly and improvements to that property and will have it ready for the beginning of the season. Mayor Harris commented on the fireworks, there were over 100 cars, and it was a big success. Ms. Sanderson said the Business Association was solely responsible for that, along with Mike Stanley, who served as pyrotechnician.
Kent Hood, Fire Department, said the Chief did not leave him with any comments.
Chief Mark Wilson, Police Department, reminded everyone that one of the services that the Police Department offers is that if you go out of town for a couple of days, call the Police Department and an officer will come by and check your house.
Mr. Cary Harrison, Planning Board, commented about something that was started in a very good vein a number of years ago, the establishment of beach access for people who can’t get on the beach ordinarily, who have to use a wheelchair. He had gotten a lot of cards that he passed to Pete with checks for $150, $10, $15, etc., that always had lovely comments about the program. The last card he got said that 4 out of 5 chairs were not working. He would love to see the Town do something to make this a line item since it is a very inexpensive program that is a very good reflection on the Town. The Business Association gave a chair, he knows of two families in the room who gave a chair, and other proceeds have been gathered together.
Mayor Harris charged the Town Manager to see that the chairs are fixed.Ms. Sanderson replied that the North Carolina Easter Seals donated another chair. All the beaches on the coastal towns now have these chairs, not all exactly alike. All the chairs are up and functional now. The only time that could have been was during the period when they had a sudden influx of parts being backordered from LandEase. Mr. Hood of the Fire Department said most of the problems they had were with the pins, which are hard to keep up with. Mr. Harrison said he had taken the pins on two or three of the chairs and connected them with stainless wire so they could be pulled out but wouldn’t fall off. Ms. Sanderson said those disappeared, too. They spent close to $2,000 in parts last year for the chairs. There is a lot of maintenance that they do put into them.
Mayor Harris welcomed our representative from the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Bob Conrad, Public Works, said they started construction on the emergency vehicle access at Doe Drive. It will probably be 60 days before it is completed, but it will be completed before the season starts. They have put about 250 Christmas trees at the Point, hopefully to try for a little sand, or at least deter foot traffic. They will be taking bids the next Monday on street paving; hopefully they will get prices that the paper reported that Atlantic Beach got of $1.00 a yard opposed to $6.00 or $7.00 that they usually pay. In the last couple of weeks, they have experienced freeze thaw cycling on the streets, which they normally do not incur, and that will be something that will create problems in the future. The soil temperature got below freezing for a sustained time, then thaws causes upheaval.
Mrs. Carol Angus, Inspections Department, said things are still kind of slow but are picking up a little bit. For the month of December, they had 7 new starts at a little over $1.5 million assessed value. As Planning Board secretary, she announced that the sign ordinance was also going to the Planning Board on Monday night. For anybody interested, the CVS drug store will be moving from the Food Lion shopping center to where the Beach Mart is, and the Planning Board will be looking at that Monday night.
COMMENTS – Town Clerk, Town Attorney, Town Manager, Board Members, Mayor.
Mrs. Carolyn Custy, Town Clerk, said the Administration Department is winding up their tax collections. Anything not postmarked by January 5th will now have a penalty attached to it. If people haven’t paid their taxes, they will be getting a bill with a penalty on it. Ms. Parker broke her leg in December and is back to work temporarily and the staff is glad she is back.
Commissioner McElraft had no comment.
Commissioner Murphy had no comment.
Mr. Derek Taylor, Town Attorney, had no comment.
Commissioner Farmer said she was speaking solely for herself. She does not live at Crystal Coast Beaches, NC. She referred to the signs on Hwy 58 and 24. She is not changing her address—she lives in Emerald Isle.
Commissioner Trainham said this had not been a good night for him when it comes to the question of the Bogue Field Committee. He was constrained at the beginning of the meeting tonight. He had asked the Mayor to put this on the agenda and then to have three members of the Board to vote it down, and it has created a real problem for the committee and for himself. The Emerald Isle Bogue Field Committee is making some suggestions to be taken to the Joint Land Use Committee, and he thinks this is going to have to go no matter what, but they had wanted to do this with the blessing of the Board because the Board created the Bogue Field Committee. For some reason, for the past two months, there has been considerable dragging of feet on the part of the Board to give some blessing to the Bogue Field Committee. There are some Bogue Field Committee members here tonight, and we are now at the place where they cannot say a word because we are down to the last comments. He said he resented this very much. He wants the three members of the Board who voted against allowing this information to be imparted to this group to know this is unforgivable. The eight points of study are going to be given to our Town Manager, Pete Allen, with or without the Board’s approval, and as indicated a while ago, he is not representing the Board on this. He is representing the committee. He would be derelict if he did not follow through on what the committee’s wishes are. Commissioner Trainham feels that the three members of the Board have been derelict tonight in not allowing this to come to the forum. He is disappointed; he feels that this needs to be said.
Commissioner Trainham also commented that any time he is giving any information to the papers, it is never that this is what the Board is saying. It has always been that it is his own judgment and his own feelings, and he thinks so far as he can tell, the paper reporters have been germane to this. They have taken note of the fact that this is an individual’s comment and not a comment from the Board. There should be a press release from the Bogue Field Committee, but at the present time our hands are tied, and if there is any kind of release, it will have to be done independent of the Board.
Commissioner Wootten said the Board tonight agreed not to bring the list of things up from the Bogue Field Committee this evening. It did not make judgment one way or the other about the details of the list. He personally did not approve of it tonight; although he thought something was coming, he didn’t receive the piece of paper until he sat down. He has questions on it. The key thing is that it does not have to be dealt with tonight. The decision by the JLUS Technical Committee is at least 30 to 60 days away from forming up. The Technical Committee, of which Pete Allen is a member, is going to meet to determine the structure or statement of work of the study. The committee is right in that they should have input into the structure of this JLUS study, but it should be done through the Board and should be done in an orderly fashion. He suggested doing this on January 19th if it is that critical an item.
Mr. Pete Allen, Town Manager, said he didn’t think everybody quite understood what they were working with. The last thing he wants to do is get involved in the middle of this. This Board did not appoint him, this Committee did not appoint him, to this position. His good honorable friend Derryl Garner appointed him. They have their meeting on January 19th, and he had told Mayor Harris that he would be cutting out on the workshop meeting early because he has to attend that meeting. Commissioner Trainham had handed him a bunch of regulations to submit on behalf of the Town. He had just gotten it that afternoon. He had not had a chance to review it, but he had looked at one or two things that he does not agree with himself. He does not feel comfortable going and representing the Committee when he thinks this should be a Board decision. He did not want to serve on this committee but agreed to serve on the committee because Derryl Garner asked him to serve. He will be more than happy to step down and let somebody else do it because they have put him between a rock and a hard place.
Commissioner Wootten said the meeting on the January 19th is not the final meeting that will decide what will go into the study. We have heard the Marines say it will be months before a statement of work for the study is final. We do not have to go rushing through this thing tonight.
Commissioner Trainham said he was referring to the JLUS Policy Committee, that it could be months, probably even years.
Commissioner Wootten said even the Technical Committee will not decide.
Commissioner Wootten said the Board had reviewed at the last workshop the possibility of beach renourishment from 1st through 30th Street. They looked at the possibility of piggybacking on Indian Beach and Salter Path in the same process, and they were advised that it was physically and scheduling impossible to do. This Board decided to form a committee, but it would be on a course of action that would be a year behind if everything is approved. The subject is not dead or forgotten, it was just not feasible to get done in the same timeframe as Indian Beach and Salter Path.
Mr. Allen said he still did not think the Board understands the schedule he is talking about. His meeting with his group is on the 19th and they are supposed to work until however long it takes to get a scope of work ready for the Policy Committee, which meets on the 30th of January. Somebody needs to tell him if the Board is going to support the eight items if they want him to represent the Town of Emerald Isle at that meeting.
Commissioner McElraft said they would let him have it before he leaves for Havelock, that they would have their opinions formed by then.
Mayor Harris said the Bogue Field Committee will bring it to the Board, then they will make their recommendations, and they will give it to Mr. Allen for the 19th.
Mayor Harris announced that with much regret she had received from the Chairman of the Planning Board, Mr. Harrison, this evening, that he will be resigning from the Planning Board. Therefore, there will be an opening for the Planning Board. Pass the word on, they need applications, fill them in, and get them to her as fast as possible so that within the 30 days they’ll have some applications.
Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner Emily Farmer seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to adjourn.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 P.M.