After nearly a year of hard work reviewing data, gathering public input, developing a vision for the continued growth of Emerald Isle, and considering specific land use goals and policies, the Board-appointed Steering Committee has completed its work on the Town's 2017 Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The draft plan (which will be updated again in January) will now be presented to the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners for formal review and additional amendments, with final approval tentatively scheduled for February.
The draft 2017 plan maintains a similar overall vision for Emerald Isle as the current (2004) plan, and continues to place a high priority on preserving Emerald Isle's "small-town atmosphere" and its "family beach" image for our residents, property owners, and visitors. The draft 2017 plan also continues to assign a high priority to public access to the beach and sound, beach nourishment and inlet management activities, attractive community aesthetics, preservation of water quality, low building heights, low building densities, natural vegetation preservation, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Recognizing the need / desire for quality new development in certain areas of Emerald Isle, the plan also specifically promotes new commercial and mixed use development (and favorable policies for such) in the "downtown" area (centered on the Bogue Inlet Drive / NC 58 intersection), the Islander Drive area, the marina area, and along the main NC 58 corridor between Coast Guard Road and the Town Government complex. The draft policies promote more flexible development regulations, small scale wastewater treatment facilities intended to serve these targeted areas, buildings with both commercial and residential components - located closer to the street, and the future development of an appropriately-scaled meeting and events facility in Emerald Isle to host quality events year-round and additional visitor groups in the fall, winter, and spring months.
The draft 2017 plan is approximately 140 pages long, and includes much more information about Emerald Isle and outlines all of the Town's development goals and policies. The Town has received a great deal of thoughtful public input over the past year, and there are still opportunities to comment. If you'd like to provide input, please email Town Manager Frank Rush (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Town Planner Josh Edmondson (email@example.com), or plan to attend a special joint meeting of the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners on January 18 at 3 pm in the Town Board Meeting Room, or attend the regular Planning Board (January 23 at 6 pm) and/or Board of Commissioners (February 14 at 6 pm) meetings.