Latest News

US Supreme Court Denies Nies Petition 

In a ruling issued earlier today, the United States Supreme Court has denied the Nies' request for the nation's highest court to review their claims.  Unless reconsidered by the US Supreme Court, this ruling effectively ends the Town's 6-year legal battle with the Nies.  Thus, the November 2015 ruling of the NC Court of Appeals remains undisturbed as the definitive case law regarding the public's right to use the ocean beaches of North Carolina.  The Town is pleased with the US Supreme Court's decision, and is even more pleased that the public's historical use of the beach since time immemorial remains intact and that current and future generations will continue to enjoy this special place in Emerald Isle and every other NC beach community.

The Town extends its sincere thanks to its legal team, especially lead counsel Brian Edes and attorneys Allen Jernigan, Ruthanne Deutsch, and Richard Stanley for their outstanding work on this critical issue.  The Town is also grateful to the NC League of Municipalities, the leaders of every other oceanfront county and municipality in North Carolina, former Governor Pat McCrory's and current Governor Roy Cooper's administrations, and numerous other groups and individuals that supported the Town's position that the public has, and always has had, the right to use the entire width of the ocean beaches of North Carolina between the base of the dunes and the water.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, October 2, 2017 5:29:00 PM Categories: News

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. 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, October 2, 2017 9:24:00 AM Categories: News

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!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, October 2, 2017 9:23:00 AM Categories: News

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! 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, October 2, 2017 9:21:00 AM Categories: News

2017 EI Beach Music Festival T-Shirts! Get Yours Now! 

Get your 2017 Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival T-Shirts on sale now for $20!

Please visit the Emerald Isle Parks & Recreation Community Center  to purchase! 

Cash or check please!


Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, September 25, 2017 3:50:00 PM

Join us for the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival! - Saturday, September 30 

The Town of Emerald Isle, the Carteret County Tourism Development Authority, presenting sponsor Transportation Impact, and many other great EI sponsors hope to see you at the 2017 Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival on Saturday, September 30!  This year's free concert will again take place on the beach strand at the Western Ocean Regional Access from 11 am - 5:30 pm, and promises to be another great Emerald Isle event! 


This year's lineup includes:

  • Sammy O'Banion (MC and performing),
  • The Fantastic Shakers,
  • Band of Oz,
  • Too Much Sylvia,
  • The Embers, and 
  • Ken Knox and Chairmen of the Board.

The 2016 event attracted an estimated crowd of 9,000 people, and we hope to duplicate and exceed that total on September 30!  For more information, please visit . 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, September 25, 2017 3:45:00 PM

Hurricane Maria Expected to Pass Offshore of Emerald Isle 


According to the September 25 forecast, the center of Hurricane Maria is expected to pass approximately 225 miles east of Emerald Isle overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.  Based on this forecast track, the Town does not anticipate significant wind or rain impacts from Maria, however, rough surf conditions are expected for the next few days.  

Although a change in this forecast track is not expected, the Town encourages everyone to continue to monitor Maria's path in case of a shift in the track closer to Emerald Isle.  If such a shift occurs, the Town will post appropriate guidance on our various digital platforms:

- the Town's website ( ),

- the Town's email newsletter ( sign up at ),

- the Town's text message alert system ( sign up at ),

- the Town's Facebook page (Town of Emerald Isle, NC),

- the Town's Twitter account (@townemeraldisle), and 

- on the Emerald Isle APP, including Push notifications (search for "emerald isle nc" on Google Play and the APP Store).

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, September 25, 2017 3:43:00 PM

Presentation - Islander Drive Redevelopment – Possibilities, Parameters, and Public Input – Sept 19, 2017 


View the "Islander Drive Redevelopment - Possibilities, Parameters, and Public Input" presentation as provided during the Special Meeting of the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners, Tuesday, September 19, 2017.


Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:00:00 PM

Outstanding Community Support For Hurricane Relief Efforts 

Encounter 61 (an Emerald Isle based church) just finished filling a 24' box truck and wish to express their appreciation for the great showing of support by the Emerald Isle community!

The Town recently partnered with two different groups to collect supplies for victims of both Hurricane Harvey ( partner is Encounter 61, an Emerald Isle-based church - and Hurricane Irma (partner is the Swansboro Rotary Club, a respected local service organization - both collections received tremendous community support!

The Town of Emerald Isle is very thankful to our community for their generosity and for the efforts of Encounter 61, Swansboro Rotary, and Town staff coordinating the relief collection for victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, September 18, 2017 4:45:00 PM

New NC 58 Traffic Roundabout to Be Constructed This Winter 


The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has approved plans for a new NC 58 roundabout to be constructed at the intersection of Mallard Drive / Emerald Landing Drive, and the new roundabout will be constructed this winter.  The new roundabout is being financed and constructed by the new Publix grocery store that is expected to open in spring 2018.

The new roundabout is specifically designed to promote the efficient movement of traffic instead of a new traffic signal, and includes design features approved by NCDOT to enhance safety, allow pedestrian crossings in a safe manner, and create "breaks" in traffic flow to allow for side-street traffic to enter the roundabout.  The roundabout construction will be supplemented with additional street and sidewalk improvements along Emerald Landing Drive and Crew Drive. 

NCDOT has recommended the installation of roundabouts at 4 other NC 58 intersections in Emerald Isle.  The new Publix roundabout was endorsed by the Board of Commissioners as a "pilot project" to enable the community and the Board to further evaluate the effectiveness of roundabouts for the other proposed locations in Emerald Isle in the future.  Town officials expect to continue to work with NCDOT in the coming years to implement traffic improvements along NC 58 in Emerald Isle, potentially including the additional roundabouts recommended by NCDOT -- if the new Publix roundabout is effective.  Essentially, the Town's experience with the new Publix roundabout will likely guide future decisions regarding roundabouts in Emerald Isle. 

The Town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan, adopted by the Board of Commissioners after more than a year-long process to gather public input, notes that the Town does not support traffic improvements that will hinder safe and convenient access between the ocean side and sound side, and the widening of NC 58 and the Emerald Isle bridge from the current 2 and 3 lanes to 4 or 5 lanes is contrary to this policy.  This has been the Town's official position since at least 2004, and is also based on significant public input that the character of Emerald Isle would be harmed if a 4 or 5 lane road divided the ocean and sound sides of the Town.  In the absence of additional lanes, there are limited options available to promote the more efficient movement of traffic along NC 58, and NCDOT believes that the proposed roundabouts can lead to incremental improvement in traffic flow in Emerald Isle.  

Of course, no solution, including additional lanes, will ever fully eliminate traffic congestion in Emerald Isle, as it continues to be a highly desirable residential and tourism destination. However, the Town, in partnership with NCDOT, continues to work hard to identify any incremental improvements that can be helpful in the future.  The new Publix roundabout is a part of this ongoing effort.    

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, September 8, 2017 4:10:00 PM
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