Agendas and Minutes

August 20, 2001 

Planning Board

TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE 
PLANNING BOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES 
MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2001 
TOWN HALL

Chairman, Ceil Saunders, called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.  Members present:  Ceil Saunders, Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, George McLaughlin,  Ed Dowling, Art Daniel and Fred Josey.  Also in attendance, Secretary, Carol Angus; Frank Rush, Town Manager; and James W. Taylor, Inspections Dept.

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of June 18, 2001 were approved as written with the exception to a change in the vote on the Reed Drive Commercial Park.  Motion to approve the motion was made by Ed Dowling, second by Frank Vance, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

 

Report from Town Manager – Frank Rush, Town Manager gave a brief summary of the Board of Commissioners  meetings July 10, and August 14, 2001.

 

Report from Building Inspector – James W. Taylor, Inspections Director, advised the board of the permitting in the department for the previous month and that the CVS Drug store will be given their final compliance inspection this week.

 

Mr. Dowling asked Mr. Taylor for a recap of how things are progressing at the Osprey Bluff project.  Mr. Taylor said he had spoken with the contractor about some fill that was being stockpiled on the north section of the road.  It eroded into the wetlands area.  The contractor said he would remove the material and put up some temporary silt fence.  Street grading has not begun.  Mr. Dowling asked if stabilization takes place after the roads were in.  Mr. Taylor said that was correct.  

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

Reed Drive Commercial Park, Preliminary Plat – Mr. John McLean was present to represent this  project in its revision.  Mr. Alan Bell, surveyor, could not be present.  Mr. McLaughlin asked if the road would be in and out.  Mr. McLean responded that it will be however the board would like to see it done, but he believed it is right turn in and right turn out only.  Mr. McLaughlin said all the studies (Kimley-Horn and Benchmark) indicates it should not be there.  He thought when Mr. Almeida brought it up several months ago that there should be a road with a cul-de-sac at the end, and with the possibility of a signal light at Pebble Beach.  He was lead to believe that the Homeowners Association at Pebble Beach had approached someone about a traffic light there.  Because there is footage to make it a direct road for a horizontal crossing, he felt that is in the best interest.  The way it is lined up now, he sees serious problems.

 

Mr. McLean said he did not know where Mr. McLaughlin had been.  His understanding that this plan is exactly where everybody agreed to.  He had been told this is the plan to be prepared and it is prepared.  Ask the Board members if this was not true.

 

Mr. McLaughlin replied that Mr. Frank Vance had asked for a consensus at the review committee meeting and he did not get it. 

 

Mr. McLean said he has only been coming here on this project for a year and a half and will come again, but it should not be necessary, because he did exactly what was requested. He then asked Mr. Dowling if this was not the case.

 

Mr. Dowling said that was a review committee meeting and as such they could not vote, that is why they are here tonight to vote on the various portions of the property.

 

Mr. McLean said he had been told, since he was not at that meeting, to realign the road to align with Pebble Beach, add silt fences, sedimentation, and to lower the pipes.  That is all done, now this is exasperating. 

 

Mr. Almeida said that there was no consensus at the review committee meeting.  It was divided.  He personally was against it.  He does think that it was good to move the exit to align with Pebble Beach. There are other concerns that he has with the entrance at Reed Drive and has had from the beginning. 

 

Mr. Almeida then went into detail of his concerns. 

 

1.      Reduction of the right-of-way from 60’ to 40’.  He cannot find in any minutes where it was voted on to reduce the right-of-way from 60’ to 40’. 

2.      For the future, and setting a precedence.  You either have a sound basis for such decisions. By accepting the 40’ ROW the owner gets more buildable area which in turn, increase the traffic volume.  In an earlier meeting, there was discussion on the need to reduce the density of development on this particular property. He suggested the board  examine this decision.

a.       What is the justification for this decision?

b.      What implication does it have?

c.       What is the rationale for giving up 60’ of ROW owned by the Town so that a 40’ private road can be built.

d.      If the ROW is vacated, should the Town give it away at no charge?  The road is usually the responsibility of the developer.  Perhaps this board should recommend to the Board of Commissioners  that the town attorney be consulted on this issue.

Mr. Almeida asked for input from the members on these issues and started with Mr. Josey.  Mr. Josey said there was a lot of indecision about this and then at the end it was decided the right turn in and right turn out.  Mr. McLaughlin injected that he did not agree with that, that Mr. Vance had asked for a consensus but he did not get it.

 

Mr. Josey went on to add that a public road is 60’ and a private road can go down to 40’. This was discussed in March, 2001. Ms. Holz will be using more total square footage with all the addition of the loop around the road.

 

Mr. Almeida said it was discussed, but never voted upon.  Regarding the square footage, the fallacy is that there is a misunderstanding that internal road layouts are not the responsibility of the developer.  Typically, if you have a large tract of land, does the city give property for the developer to set out the roads.  Or, does the developer come up with the layout and give up part of the land so that the roads can be built?

 

Mr. Art Daniel said that, in this case, if you got back you find that the owners dedicated the ROW for Reed Drive Extension at 60’.  When he came on board, there was discussion about one-way, to come in Reed Dr, around and come out on Coast Guard Rd. From there it was on the agenda too many times.  People express their views over and over and he misinterpreted everybody’s viewpoint this time.  He thought this project was on “go”, as did Mr. McLean. 

 

Mr. Daniel said he felt the owner was trying to keep this under one acre of disturbed area. One way to accomplish this was to go to the 40’ ROW and make the loop.  There were previous alternatives, A, B, C, where C exceeded the square footage of disturbed land.  Right in right out, appeared to be an acceptable compromise. No one wanted to see traffic coming out of Reed Dr. Ext. on to Coast Gd. Rd.  The right turn in should not create any major problem.  The right turn out would allow the motorist to make a legal move to get to the direction they wanted to go. That way they can turn if they got trapped in a No Left Turn situation.  Also, no traffic should go straight across to Reed Drive.  No, he had no problem with the 40’ ROW. There is also a 5’ utility easement. One of the reasons is for utilities to be placed within the infrastructure.  This is a non-encroachable easement, which is set aside only for the street and utilities.

 

Mr. Vance said he had no problem with the 40’ ROW.

 

Mr. Dowling said he would recap what was done.  There was discussion about 40’, 50’, and 60’.  Never voted on any of those.  The 60’ ROW from the minutes of June 18, it was ascertained the 60’ ROW included wetlands, it would be taking about 240 sq. ft. or less than 200 sq. ft., about the size of this room.  Also talked about safety, and safety, in his mind, is at all times, paramount, especially for ambulances and fire trucks. They also talked about 50’ ROW.  Then they talked about 60’ ROW.  Now they must deviate from the ordinance manual and stay in that realm, when it is pointed out to the Board of Commissioners  then the board should point the rationale.  He has heard no rationale so far to deviate from the 60’ ROW.  They all have problems with it, and are going to build Reed Dr. and it should stay at what the town ordinance specifies.  While this is being talked about, where you bring the entrance in 460’ from HWY 58 to do away with the queue factor toward the bridge.  It will back up traffic at the light and not be able to exit from the bridge.  This is another factor for the 60’ to get traffic in and out.  Also, if you build a 70,000 sq. ft. shopping center, 60’ at the north part of Reed Dr., makes more sense because trucks off loading for the houses (stores). This has been covered meeting after meeting, that the impervious surface, if you look at the calculations, it lessens stormwater.  Based on the recent ruling, it is his understanding, he hasn’t seen the attorney’s ruling on calculations for stormwater, but the road surface, is he correct on this, he doesn’t know, he heard it through the grapevine, is not taken into the calculation. So therefore, you have a stormwater problem.  So we are back to the 60’, again we have not voted on 60’, or 50’ or 40’. 

 

Mr. Almeida stated that Town ordinance requires 50’ for public road, not 60’.

 

Mr. Taylor, Building Inspector, said that the width of the street surface will stay the same, no matter the width of the right-of-way.  Only the right-of-way on either side of the pavement will increase from 40’ to 50’ or 60’.  He went on to reiterate that he understood the reason for the 60’ reduced to 40’ was to be sure that no more than one acre was disturbed.

 

Mr. Almeida went on to ask of Mr. McLean that the ROW, as shown, is .99 acres, but the disturbed area will work out to more than that when the new wetland area is factored in.

 

Mr. McLean may want to check out these figures.  Mr. McLean agreed that he would do that.

 

Chairman Saunders asked that the board continue with their comment on the 40’ issue.  The board can then return to the disturbed calculation when the 40’ is finished.

 

Mr. McLaughin said he is comfortable with this explanation.  If the road size is not going to change, it isn’t going to make any difference.

 

Mr. Josey said he understood if it is a private road that it has to be 40’.  He is comfortable with that.

 

Mr. Dowling said if the board goes with the 40’ that the commissioners would be briefed that they have to address that issue with Reed Dr.

 

Ms. Saunders asked then if there was agreement with the 40’ ROW.

 

Mr. Almeida said he did not agree with it.  It is setting a precedent, but the majority agrees that 40’, so his word doesn’t count.

 

Mr. Almeida went on to say that Mr. McLean will be checking on the calculation for the disturbed area factoring the wetlands.

 

Mr. Daniel said they are revisiting the original permit and should have no bearing on this issue as far as the road is concerned.

 

Mr. McLean added that if the Corps gave permission to swap land, mitigating wetlands, and they would say let’s do that differently.

 

Mr. Almeida said that is true, but current State regulations, as he understands, if the disturbed area is more than one acre, that a stormwater management plan is required.  He looked up some old papers from 1994.  The ponds were filled, and one of the conditions was that a storm management plan be submitted.  There is a certification letter from Preston Howard, Director of Environmental Management, August 2, 1994, the conditions of certifications:  (4) Within approval from DEM for stormwater management is required for the development. He asked, “ Is that in compliance?”  Mr. McLean replied that it has never been developed.

 

Mr. Almeida said that subdivision becomes the first stage of development.  That should trigger that condition.  Mr. McLean replied, he had not.

 

Mr. Almeida said he felt this should be done, unless the state wants to waive the requirement.  Mr. McLean said if the board will grant their approval for this preliminary, he will do just about anything the board wants him to do.  Mr. Almeida said. O.K.

 

Mr. Almedia went to another issue of the entrance at Reed Drive.  It seems appropriate at this stage to recap the various stages through which this project has gone.  Review Committee on March 21 there seemed to be a consensus on the loop road with a 40’ ROW.  He was not in favor of entry at Reed Dr.  Before it could be formally worded, at the regular planning board meeting, it was presented to the Board of Commissioners  as having been approved by the Planning Board.  The Board of Commissioners  approved the layout contingent on vacating town property at Reed Dr. Ext.  However, this was returned to the Planning Board at the request of the owner as the Corps of Engineers indicated that the pond through which the road passed was under their jurisdiction.  The owner felt that the permitting process through the Corps would take a long time.  The process did not take too much time, after Commissioner John Wootten helped out in speeding up the process. At three planning board meetings May 7, 22, June 18 the Planning Board agreed that the entrance needed to be moved away from Reed Dr. Ext.  At two of those meetings the decision was unanimous.  At the June 18, only one member dissented.  This decision is consistent with the report from DOT, Kimley-Horn traffic study, both of which indicate that there would be significant traffic problems if Reed Dr. Ext. was used as entry to the subdivision. The third study by Benchmark, page 4, states that the town consider abandoning the access to the subdivision.  This was based on the potential traffic that will be generated by the 7-acre parcel.  That study was done the week after Labor Day Monday when the traffic is not as heavy. It has learned recently that this road may serve as access to an undeveloped commercial parcel owned by another entity located on the Northwest corner.  As a consequence, the traffic will be much more than projected by all the studies, and so does the problem. Therefore, the question that needs to be addressed is do we support the entrance at Reed Drive?  If so what is the rational?  What are the advantages and disadvantages?  Do you have a strong basis to disregard the recommendations made by the three studies?

 

These comments were then open for discussion.

 

Mr. Josey asked about the development at the northwest corner.  He wanted to know where that came from.  Mr. Almeida replied that he did not pull it up from thin air.  He believed Ms. Holz brought it up.  Mr. Josey said he remembered her mentioning that Spell had some property there.

 

Mr. Almeida asked if that property (Spell) is landlocked?  Or is the only access through this property?  Mr. Josey said that Spell property could be accessed through Osprey Ridge, so it would not be landlocked.

 

Mr. Daniel said he thought that Ms. Holz mentioned a possible benefit of providing an additional access to that property as an alternative to using a residential street.  He felt that was a gracious comment on her part to allow the street to be used for that.  He went on to say his rationale, in deference to those involved in preparing these reports, this has been a dynamic situation  that has seen many changes since they made their recommendations.  One was subsequent to another, and the situation has changed, not completely, but considerably.  As a Professional Transportation  Engineer, he does not believe that you will find any of them that will say it is better to put a third intersection in, in lieu of providing right turn to get traffic off Coast Gd. Rd., a new intersection that will introduce conflicts trying to use Pebble Beach. There are intercepting left turns and right turns,  created separate intersections, there are enough as it is.  Unfortunately, the proximity to Reed Dr to Hwy 58 is too close. In the old days we had service/frontage roads that went parallel to the highway such as in Havelock.  The wisdom of putting in Crew Dr. and Reed Dr. so close to Emerald Dr. was in the old school, and we are stuck with it.  You eliminate the intercepting conflict of one vehicle path with another vehicle path, opposing each other at 90°.  You would have that if you allow left turns at Reed Dr. Ext. to go to Coast Guard Rd.  You have a non-intercepting conflict when you have a right turn off Coast Guard Rd into Reed Dr. Ext.   It may create a rear-end situation if it breaks down.  In theory you have a right turn lane coming off the bridge approach and that should have eliminated the queuing effect.  But it won’t if the system breaks down. The best alternative is the right turn in and right turn out at Reed Dr. Ext. and another intersection to the south across from Pebble Beach with a potential for signalization.  There is a potential for resignalizing Reed Dr. Ext. and Hwy 58, but that would create a “sticky” situation.  What happens in a situation like that is that you have  clearance intervals, you have green time, a yellow and red clearance interval, and you’ve got stop time.  Each traffic phase has to have a clearance interval. When you take 8 seconds out of the cycle for each phase of a traffic signal, in a situation such as this,  they become too inefficient.  If there are too many phases there is too much capacity reduction, so you would not want to signalize Reed Dr. Ext. and Coast Gd. Rd.  By moving down to a new location, that gets you away from Hwy 58, and you don’t have that same loss of efficiency.  As far as he is concerned, this is the best logic to back up with right turn in and right turn out, at Reed Dr. Ext. then go to the other intersection for right, left, or to Pebble Beach.  Realigning the approach to Pebble Beach improved the geometrics.  He felt this area should be signalized.  

 

Mr. Vance mentioned that there had been discussion about cutting the hill down for sight on the town ROW, and Ms. Holz on her property.  Also, he felt there was consensus among the board up to where the wetland issue entered into it and stopped things.

 

Mr. Vance stated to Mr. McLean that at the end of the last Review Committee Ms. Holz made the statement if it would make everyone deliriously  happy to have a road go straight in from Pebble Beach with a cul-de-sac.  Some of the members said “yes”.  Other than that, it was left like it was.  He thought they had agreed upon, since the Corps of Engineers issued a change or modification allowing the fill and undo the other part, that it would stand as presented. 

 

Mr. Daniel said that would be a bad method.  If you have the road shown like it is, there are only so many parcels available to develop.  The other system would allow the entire parcel to be developed in one single development.  

 

Mr. Josey agreed with Mr. Daniel, if you want the possibility of a humongous shopping center that will be possible with that system without the Reed Dr. Ext., you’ve really got property there to develop.

 

Ms. Saunders asked if it was not agreed that with right turn into the property it will take traffic off Coast Guard Rd. and not block Hwy 58.  (Some side bar conversation took place that was not discernable).

 

Mr. Dowling said it was amazing how they all want to recap this issue, so they are solid in their minds.  They are not ready to present something.

 

Mr. McLean asked if the members were present at the Corps meeting and who represented the Corps.  Mr. Vance replied that it was Mickey Sugg.  Mr. McLean said they were told that within the next couple days he (Mr. Sugg) would write a letter stating that they could swap out the wetland.

 

He also said it was good for sixty days.

 

Ms. Saunders added that Mr. Sugg said it was a modification of the old letter.

 

Mr. McLean said the reason for a horseshoe road would be better than building the road that is already a dedicated town street. The hang-up was the wetlands which has been worked out.  He felt all along that Reed Drive should be as it was, it is already dedicated since the 1960’s, and easy enough to do.  He felt what was trying to be done was meet on common ground and do whatever could be done to make more acceptable.  He had felt all along that this plan was acceptable, and when his associates asked if they should attend, he replied they need not come tonight, this was “cut and dried” and was a done deal.  He had no idea there was any dissention at all.  He thought there was some approval was worked out with Town Board folks prior to the Planning Board knew what was going on anyway.  At least some conversations were held, and he believes most of the commissioners know what is going on.  I know we have to go through the procedure, but he is appalled that there is any question tonight.

 

Mr. Dowling said that Ms. Holz came two meetings ago and presented Plans A, B, &C.  The Planning Board liked “A”, but that was with the exit and a ball on the end (cul-de-sac) which turned out to be more than an acre, which required further permitting.  So it was excepted by all at that time, and he doesn’t remember if it was voted on that…………

 

Mr. Vance interrupted Mr. Dowling to say he had something out of kilter.  “A” was the best plan of the three.  Mr. Dowling agreed.  Mr. Vance said he didn’t like “A” at all.  (There was some confusion on which plan was best).  Mr. Dowling said he would stand corrected.  Plan “A” was the one that comes down 460’ from Hwy 58 the state had recommended. He went on to read that recommendation. A letter from Mr. Joel Crawford, NC Urban Traffic Engineer, dated July 1, 1999, stated “Therefore, to provide the required timing for traffic along NC 58 and the close distance between the two intersections, a signal at Reed Drive will fail during peak traffic hours. Pedestrian activity was not analyzed due to the large number of negative traffic impacts.  This area has a high likelihood of creating pedestrian traffic, therefore, providing additional signal time for their crossing would only produce increased delays and other safety concerns.  So Mr. Dowling thought they were working with an entrance at 460’ from Hwy 58 and only using half of Reed Dr. Ext. swinging over and down along the contour in a westerly direction and abutting up or contiguous to the Carteret Craven EMC plant and to the Bogue Banks Water plant.  He has no problem now, since there is a permit to fill in that wetland, and he appreciates how the road was jogged out to line up with Pebble Beach, and that is correct. But from his vantagepoint, he still lingers on the entrance at 460’ from the safety standpoint.  He will give Mr. McLean six studies to support this.

 

Mr. McLean said to “do with me what you will”, but he is in favor of building Reed Dr. Ext., where it is designated at this time. He thinks he can successfully talk to the town to say “let’s build it where it is.”  If the road hadn’t been on record since the 60’s he might feel a whole lot different, but since it has, he feels that is a pretty good court case.  He went on to say that he wants to continue with this plan and been trying to do it for a year and a half.  It’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard. We need to get to the point to say, Yes, you can do this, or, No you can’t.  That would make things a lot simpler. Incidentally, Lands End streets are only a 30’ right-of-way.

 

Chairman Saunders asked if the members would vote on this issue to see where they stand.

 

Mr. Almeida asked to go over an issue in Mr. Cranford’s letter, the same that Mr. Dowling read, on page 2, (actually page 3) looking at a shopping center on the 7-acre parcel  “To maintain acceptable levels of traffic operation, the main entrance to the shopping center would only be located at the intersection of the southwest property corner. This distance will provide the required length of roadway from NC 58 to clear queued vehicles at the existing traffic signal and the proper sight distance to safely exit the shopping center parking lot.”

 

Mr. McLean said this has nothing to do with this plan, does it?

 

Mr. Almeida said Mr. Cranford is trying to say that the entrance should be located at the southwest corner.  In essence, abandon Reed Drive Ext., and make one road cut at opposite Pebble Beach. 

 

Mr. Daniel said he can take the traffic engineering manual and cite all sorts of references about how far intersections should be apart, they probably should be 880 feet apart to facilitate traffic signaliza-tion. We are not in a situation that if you are taking an undeveloped area of land and do city planning and lay out a street system, we don’t have that option.  We have an existing highway system, and local street system on a platted street extension.  As Mr. McLean says, we are trying to reach a point where they can proceed with attempting to develop the property.  In deference to what Mr. Almeida says, he appreciates that, but he doesn’t think we can take the criteria out of a textbook that has been developed by good minds and for good reasons and base it on desirable geometrics. That’s cut in stone, but we are not there, we have to compromise.

 

Mr. Vance said that the board has been through this month, after month, after month, and things are discussed and then at the last review committee he asked them to all say something, and he didn’t hear a word out of anybody.  (There was considerable voicing of opinion that was not discernable).

 

Mr. Almeida said he was wrong, Mr. Vance replied he was not wrong, he asked them to say something.  He then went on to comment: “Why is it today you bring it up like that when we did it a year ago? Now, can we as grown people here, I’m tired of listening to back and forth, make a decision where we won’t keep going on and on?

 

Mr. Almeida responded that all it will take to make a decision is to take a vote and if the majority is reached, you have a decision.

 

Mr. Vance responded that it had been ready to vote on before, it was ready to go, except the wetlands became involved.

 

Chairman Saunders addressed Mr. Daniel that Reed Drive Ext. coming in (right turn); and then exit right, left, or straight across to Pebble Beach.  She went on to ask for a vote.

 

Mr. Dowling said he wanted to add before the vote that if it were recommended to be approved that the Preliminary Plat  have an entrance at 460’ to follow a southeast line along the contour line extending 12 to 18 foot level and intersecting Reed Drive at mid point.  To return to concept where you enter similar to Plan “A” that was previously basically approved.

 

Ms. Saunders said that was not approved because of other particulars.

 

No other comments, Ms. Saunders asked for a vote.

 

Mr. Josey made the motion to recommend approval to the Town Board of Commissioners  for the Reed Drive Commercial Park, to have right turn only into Reed Drive, right turn only out of Reed Drive Ext. down Coast Guard Rd., entry and exit for left and right turns on the southwest corner opposite Pebble Beach.  Mr. Vance seconded the motion.

Mr. Dowling added “On the certification that just came across to us, for your permit, North Carolina Certification in accordance Sec. 401 Public Law of 92-500 etc., etc.,

 

# 2, referring to the Preliminary plat, to agree or disagree, that this will be on the plat.  Deed restriction see attached example, assuming this is the attachment (holding an 8”x11” attachment), said shall be placed on all lots with jurisdiction wetlands to prevent future fill.

 #3 Fill is not approved for the two largest wetlands areas on the site except for a road crossing fill for the larger wetland nearest to Look Realty (no longer in place).

#4 Written approval from Division of Environment Management.  Are you willing to put a number, in addition to 7, #8 to the effects that wetlands approximately 10,000 square feet at 8’ contours will be a natural area without fill imperpitude.”  Mr. Dowling wants it to be part of the deed in compliance with the State, before he votes.

Mr. McLean said the best thing to use is the map given to the Corps, given to each board member, which identifies where the wetlands are—period!  He doesn’t know where the 8 foot elevations is in regard to that. This is the gospel, (holding the wetlands map submitted to the Corps of Engineers).  Mr. Dowling asked again if he will put it on the map and Mr. McLean said this has to be done, it’s part of the conditions.

Vote was then taken by show of hands in favor of the motion: Mr. Fred Josey, Mr. Frank Vance, and Mr. Art Daniel.  Those opposing the motion: Mr. Ed Dowling, Mr. George McLaughlin, and Mr. Phil Almeida.  There being a tie vote, Chairman Saunders voted in favor of the motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat of Reed Drive Commercial Park to the Town Board for their consideration.

Chairman Saunders then asked that Mr. McLean make note of a few concerns Mr. Almeida would like to see added to the map.

1.                  Locate the three fire hydrants (Reed Drive, new hydrant in project, and

one on the south side of the project)

Easements are not on the western boundary for part of the distance.  How is

the buffer requirement going to be done between commercial and residential.

Mr. McLean asked if he meant screening the water tank.  Mr. Almeida said no he meant the residential section.

Chairman Saunders said she knows that Ms. Holz had said she will plant trees on the owners property. 

Mr. Dowling added that there were two people in attendance that are from the Osprey Ridge Townhomes.  Ms. Holz had agreed that if they would call her and designate the trees, that she would purchase the trees for them to plant.

Mr. Almeida addressed 5’ the easement.  He asked that the eastern side easement be moved to the west side of the road.  Mr. McLean said he will do that.  He will be hiding a great big water tank 33’ high, he doesn’t think it can be hidden. 

Mr. Almeida said he was thinking that at some future date if the town wanted to bury a pipe to take it to a pond somewhere, that easement becomes easier to use than on the inside of the development.

Mr. Almeida then asked about septic tank permits.  The permits say there are four visiting or occupying an office.  Mr. McLean said he can give you reports that say the soil is good for septic tanks, but as far as applying for 2,000 gallons or 12,000 gallons, he doesn’t know. Mr. McLean went on to advise that the plans as submitted are transferable and certainly would have to be altered when the land is developed.

Mr. Almeida said his last item is stormwater. The town attorney agreed with Mr. McLean’s interpretation that we follow past practice. He is confused by the ditches by the roadside, where do they drain?  Mr. McLean responded that they drain to the wetland area.  Mr. Almeida asked about past practice and was advised of the same response.

Mr. Almeida presented a map he prepared to illustrate to Frank Rush, Town Manager to show how the past practice has been applied.  It showed how the drainage of the entire impervious area was not taken into account, only the impervious area was accounted for.  He feels that the entire parcel should be considered for drainage.

Mr. McLean said when he makes application to the State for stormwater plans, he assigns a 90% runoff coefficient to the structures and a 10% for the areas that are grassed.  That still has to be collected.  Mr. Almeida said that is when you do the subdivision requirement.  Mr. McLean said that is when you develop project plans, not when you do it piecemeal.  It is done as a subdivision, and then the individual goes and develops each parcel.  There are areas that are left unattended this is no man’s land, which causes flooding.

Mr. Daniel said if you are looking at post development vs. pre development and pre development is, as is, your runoff should not exceed that.

Mr. Almeida said you are disturbing the property, when you put in a road.

Mr. Daniel said when you change the impact, then yes.  Hopefully, when we rewrite the stormwater ordinance, we will take care of that.

Mr. Almeida asked where that ordinance revision stood.  He thought that two members of the Planning Board were to look into that.  He thought Fred Josey and Ed Dowling were to look into that.

Mr. Josey said that went no further because the Board of Commissioners  did not request that. 

Chairman Saunders responded that this is only an advisory board and they are not to dictate to the Town Board of Commissioners of items to be discussed.

Mr. Dowling said someone still needs to ask for clarification of the 300’ for fire hydrants.  Mr. McLean said that is to be added to the plat going to the town board. It has been previously addressed.

Mr. Rush added that his understanding from the Town Attorney was to adhere to past practice regarding stormwater management.  In order to have the stormwater addressed for the entire subdivision at build-out, we will have to amend the stormwater ordinance.  Commercial stormwater management plans are required at present by the ordinance.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Section 19-74.1 for consideration regarding the definition of façade “face” to     be  Added to Definitions Sec. 19-62.  

 Mr. Dowling wanted to understand that the Inspections Department was asking for this definition to clarify of the interpretation. 

Mr. Dowling made the motion to recommend the change as recommend by the Inspections Department to:

1.      add to: Section 19-62 following “dwelling-two story” to be followed by “Façade/face – means that portion of the building that faces any street, which includes Hwy 58.”

2.      Reconstruct Section 19-74.1(4) to read as follows:

“The placement of towers, spires, other structurally non-functional additions to any commercial structure, must be placed that no portion extends above any existing or proposed roofline.” 

Mr. Almeida commented that when the board was reviewing Reel Outdoors, there was a problem with the offset. Shouldn’t we lump all of those together, rather than do it piecemeal.

Mr. Josey said they got tied up when the side wall was 46’ and tried to work with that.

Mr. Almeida said he understood that this board is not to look at any revisions until they suggest what revisions are to be made.  So we cannot amend it until it is recommended from the Board of Commissioners.  Ms. Saunders said they are not to proceed with anything until they are advised.

Mr. Almeida said to hold off until all the revisions, instead of taking small revisions at a time. The Town Manager can take up with the Board of Commissioners  the need to really revise the façade requirement.

On Reel Outdoors there was a façade about 85’ long without an offset.  The straight face should not  be more than 40’.  The issue brought out, is that the building did not meet that requirement.  This is too strict a requirement to look at a small building and maybe we should change it into what should be a reasonable length.

Mr. Frank Rush, Town Manager said he felt that the revision that Ms. Angus prepared is comprehensive to the area that was difficult to administer in that ordinance. Whether or not we have any spire that will be higher, and the current reading says lower than the roofline.

This clarifies the intent.  Secondly, is the addition of a definition of building face, the town does not have one.  With the Reel Outdoors this ordinance would have clarified it.  We are asking the Planning Board if it is their intent to apply this ordinance to the side streets or just to Hwy 58.

Chairman Saunders felt it should be on all streets. 

Frank Vance made the second to Mr. Josey’s previous motion with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

COMMENTS:

            Mr. Josey had no comments.

            Mr. Dowling thanked the board for the work on the previous project.

            Mr. Daniel brought up about a potential for accidents at the entrance to CVS Drugs.  There is not enough space for two autos to pass, allow incoming vehicles from Mangrove, and movement of vehicles in and out of parking spaces at the entrance of the store.  There is not enough width for two-way traffic and parking and handicap parking. Either the handicap needs to be relocated or some of the parking relocated, or remove some of the island. 

Mr. Josey said he remembered something being said about it being one way. Mr. Taylor said that he had remembered it being that way.  Mayor Harris added that there had been an auto accident there today.  The store needs to direct traffic in a one-way pattern to exit behind and around the store. 

Mr. Daniel advised the board that he had prepared the letter that had been previously requested by this board to be directed to the Board of Commissioners  regarding light signalization in relation to the Reed Dr. Commercial Park area, Islander Drive, Loon Drive, and additional laning on to Lee Street. Mr. Daniel also commented that there was a problem with exiting Emerald Plantation Shopping Center.  This light should be resignaled.  Commissioner Trainham said he had some trouble exiting the shopping center and had made a call to Ms. Overman and it has since been somewhat remedied.  He said there are some things the town can do in relation to such requests.

Mr. Daniel said he doesn’t know why the Town has not requested DOT to assume the responsibility of Coast Guard Road.  It should meet the criteria for being a part of the state system. The Coast Guard Station is down there might even get under the Federal Aid system.  Most communities have all their roads on the state system; and North Carolina has the second largest road system in the country, second only to Texas.  There are over 70,000 miles of roads in North Carolina on the state system.

Mr. Almeida had no further comments.

Chairman Saunders then was given the opportunity to comment.  She read to the oath of office taken by each member.  The members have been approached by people and put in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, so maybe this will help others to understand.

I, Ceil Saunders, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina.  Not inconsistent therewith, and I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as a member of the Planning Board of the Town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina; and I will not allow my actions as a member to be influenced by personal or political friendships or obligations so help me God.

Chairman Saunders then added for the members to keep that in mind, don’t worry about what

anybody says, make your own decisions.

Commissioner Trainham then asked if he might address the board.  He said that one of the particular things that the Board of Commissioners  has been holding on to, was the openness of their meetings.  He misses that with the Planning Board. He would like to have some clarification as to why it is there is no openness.  He noticed on the agenda there is no place to call for comment. He even felt embarrassed to interrupt at this point, because even Board of Commissioners  are not asked to make any comments or do anything to help further the cause.

Chairman Saunders said this board is just and advisory board, appointed by the Board of Commissioners.  There was a confrontation in November at a Planning Board meeting from someone in the audience to another person in the audience that had an agenda item before us. This was uncalled for, and unnecessary. There was also an incident at one of the Board of Commissioners  meetings that was uncalled for.  She does not want to subject this board to that type of situation. This board works very hard, and are trying to do everything we can.  There are seven different heads here with seven different viewpoints.  She felt that the board alone can do it, without anyone being insulted. She hoped that answered his question.

Commissioner Trainham replied it is an answer, and that is why he has misgivings about it. He wanted to thank the Planning Board for the job they had done, and wanted to commend them for their efforts in every sense of the word. He does feel the Board of Commissioners  should be supporting the Planning Board when a project is brought to them. He can only speak for himself, but he knows there are several member of the Board of Commissioners  that are concerned about the lack of openness for these board meetings.

Mr. Almeida made the motion to adjourn  Mr. Daniel made the second to the motion with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 08/21/2001

August 14, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

MINUTES OF REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING 
OF THE EMERALD ISLE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2001 – 7:00 P.M. – TOWN HALL

Mayor Barbara Harris called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.  Answering Roll Call were Commissioners Wootten, McElraft, Trainham and Murphy and Mayor Harris.  Absent was Commissioner Farmer. 

Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted unanimously, with a vote of 4-0 to excuse Commissioner Farmer due to business out of town.

            Others present were Attorney Derek Taylor, Town Manager Frank Rush, Assistant Town Manager Georgia “Mitsy” Overman, Town Clerk Carolyn Custy, Police Chief Mark Wilson, Parks and Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson, Planning Board Chairman Ceil Saunders, Fire Chief William Walker, Public Works Director Robert Conrad and Inspections Department Head Carol Angus. 

MAYOR’S COMMENTS

            Mayor Harris welcomed everyone to the Town Meeting.  She also welcomed Troop 446 Boy Scouts of America from the western Carteret Boy Scout Troop and Mr. Ken Lacy who is the Assistant Scout Master.  The troop is working on their citizenship badge.

            Mayor Harris also informed the audience that the town is in need of applications for an alternate number 2 on the Board of Adjustment.  She asked that if anyone is interested on serving on the Board of Adjustment to please contact her with a resume’ that will be forwarded on to the Board.

            Mayor Harris also announced that Commissioner John Wootten has been appointed to the representative for Emerald Isle on the Carteret County EMS Advisory Council. 

            Mayor Harris stated she is glad to be here.  Last month she was rushed to the hospital and missed the last meeting.  It turned out to be spasmal reflux and everything is fine.  She thanked everyone for the phone calls and get well cards she received.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA.

            Mayor Harris called for a motion to adopt the Agenda and asked if there were any changes or comments.

            Commissioner Trainham moved to adopt the agenda although there are a few spoof-o-graphical errors.  Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously, with a vote of 4-0, for approval.

CONSENT AGENDA.

            Commissioner Trainham said he would have to rephrase the motion for the Agenda.  There are no spoof-o-graphical errors in the agenda but there are a few in the minutes.  Commissioner Trainham moved for approval of the Consent Agenda that contained the Minutes of Budget Workshop of June 22, 2001, Minutes of Budget Public Hearing of June 28, 2001, Minutes of Storm Water Workshop of July 2, 2001, Minutes of Regular Meeting of July 10, 2001 and Minutes of Storm Water Workshop of July 11, 2001. Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously for approval.

AWARD OF CONTRACT TO COASTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FOR SURVEY/GEOTECHNICAL SERVICES AND ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS FOR POINT EROSION.

            Mr. Frank Rush, Town Manager, explained that Coastal Science and Engineering firm of Columbia, South Carolina has submitted a proposal for performing survey/geotechnical services and an analysis of four alternatives to address the erosion problems at the Point.  The total amount of the contract is not to exceed $64,760 and invoices will be paid on actual time and materials.

            Copies of the proposal and the list of tasks to be performed have been incorporated into these minutes and are attached at the end.

            If the Town should choose to proceed with one of these alternatives as a solution to the erosion problems at the Point, the work completed in Tasks 1,2, and 3 in the list of tasks will be a necessary component of an environmental document and environmental permit applications. 

            Coastal Science and Engineering will complete this work by early November and present the findings to the Town Board at the November meeting.  The expense of this

contract will be charged to the Town’s Beach Nourishment Fund that has a current balance of $319,000.

Commissioner McElraft asked if this would answer any of the questions the Corps of Engineers had before they get any further with the permitting?  Mr. Rush answered it would get us started on the road to answering those questions.  Any solution that is going to happen at the Point is going to involve an impact statement.  This survey and geotechnical work will be the first step in developing the environmental assessment, taking an instrumental approach to solving this problem and taking the information and looking at the four different alternatives and have that report come back to the Commissioners to decide if and which one they want to do.  At that time we will go into the environmental assessment and environmental statement to answer the remaining questions of the Corps concerns.

            Mr. John Kilgore, 105 Bogue Court, which is on the Point, stated he has been living there 12 years and is very aware of the situation there.  There has been a continuous ongoing problem there for approximately 5 years now.  The Town has been aware of it and everyone around has been aware of it.  His children were born here, it is his home, not a vacation home, and unfortunately it is not going to be the place where he can live.  He will have to move.  It is a dangerous area.  He related to a drowning last week and emergency services could not get to the man because of the difficulty of getting down to the Point to get to him.  There are no accesses there anymore.  Mr. Kilgore related that the Corps of Engineers have not done the proper job to keep the inlet navigable. It should be 6½ foot but the Corps has just left and he bets it is not 4 feet there now. The citizens have put $50,000 putting sandbags out in front of the houses.  Today CAMA will allow them to put sandbags 20 feet from the houses.  If the bags were not placed, the houses will have been breached and the water would run down the town road.     

            Mr. Kilgore said if these studies are not done, do the steps the Corps is requiring from the town to protect the inlet, then we are taking a step backwards.  If these things are not accomplished, the Corps is not going to do a thing.  Mayor Harris replied that every time their requirements are met, they come up with new ones.  

            Mayor Harris thanked Mr. Kilgore for writing the letters and contacting the people he has taken time to contact.  Mr. Kilgore said it is hard for people who live on the Pointe to understand why we are not doing it. 

            Commissioner Murphy asked Mr. Kilgore if he would say this would be a step in the right direction?  Mr. Kilgore said they are saying there is no other way to relocate

the inlet.    He went on to say that if this is not done, the only way to address the situation is to go to the next step.   

            There were no further comments from the public.

Commissioner Trainham said Mr. Kilgore’s point was well taken.  The Board has been concerned about the situation at the Point and he agrees that it is a dangerous place to be.  He cannot think of anything better to try to do at the present time than to proceed with this proposal.  He does not think there is any problem, at least from his point of view, and he feels this board is going to do everything they can to get some action at the Point.  He related that Mr. Kilgore has indicated the difficulty with the Corps of Engineers and he does not know if they will listen to a town board or not but the board is going to do all it can to try to correct the situation.

            Commissioner McElraft commented about the dredge working down at the Point and said that Donna Moffatt had indicated that the side cast dredge was not supposed to be working there, that it should be a hopper dredge.  She asked Mr. Rush if we checked on this and what were the results? Town Manger Rush said he has a letter out that he is waiting for answers on this question and several others.  He has not received a reply yet.  He is looking into it further. 

            Commissioner McElraft said it makes no sense to her that they are dredging down there, causing more erosion, when they are only dredging where boats can only get a 4 foot depth.  She does not know if there is any action to make them stop dredging.  Mayor Harris said they would not stop.  We have already been through that.  They have to keep it open.  It will not be allowed to close because then the Sound would not flush. 

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the board voted unanimously, 4-0, to approve the contract with Coastal Science and Engineering for Survey/Geotechnical Services and Alternatives Analysis for the Point erosion.

AWARD OF CONTRACT TO MOFFATT & NICHOL ENGINEERS FOR SURVEY/GEOTECHNICAL SERVICES AND COORDINATION WITH PERMITTING AGENCIES FOR COAST GUARD ROAD STORM WATER PROJECT.

            Mayor Harris announced the next item is to authorize the Town Manager to enter into a contract with Moffatt & Nichol Engineers for Survey/Geotechnical Services and Coordination with Permitting Agencies for Coast Guard Road Storm Water Project.

            Mr. Rush, Town Manager, reminded the board that on July 18, Moffatt & Nichol

presented an overview of the proposed storm water project to representatives from the Corps of Engineers and various other state agencies.  The purpose of the meeting was to receive feedback from the agencies regarding the ability to receive the necessary federal and state permits for the Coast Guard storm water project.  The reaction from the agencies was positive, however since the project is an innovative project, the regulations of the agencies do not necessarily provide the appropriate guidance for a project of this type.  They did express a willingness to work with Moffatt & Nichol and the Town to permit the project but could not provide any assurances until an actual permit application has been submitted.

            Several comments expressed by the agencies on July 18 was (1) the degree of disturbance to the existing wetlands on the 40.7 acre tract and (2) the discharge of treated storm water to adjacent ORW waters in Bogue Sound.  This contract with Moffatt & Nichol is being presented to the Board at this time to develop responses to the agencies’ comments and seek additional comment from other federal agencies to determine if there are concerns from these agencies that could prevent the Town from receiving all necessary permits.  This contract will provide a greater understanding of the geotechnical characteristics of the site and how these will affect the magnitude of discharge, if any, of treated storm water to Bogue Sound.  The total amount of this contract is $62,440.00 that will come from the Storm Water Fund Account.  That account has a balance of $467,000.00 at present.

            A copy of the proposal has been incorporated into these Minutes at the end.

            Commissioner Wootten said he attended the July 18th session and said we have to get “Yes from the world” in order to try to pin them down.  This is a logical next step.  He is pleased that the initial work here will allow the board to submit this to the Corps of Engineers so that they can coordinate with the Fish and Wildlife and all U.S. Agencies and that can be done fairly rapidly so that we should know by the end of the year. This will allow the town to get approval at that level for this project and this, in his mind, is probably the hardest level achievement of approval because of the environmental assessments, the environmental impact, etc.  He would encourage the board to be in favor of this step.

            Mr. Rush said the work that is being done here, if the board does move forward with the project and we do prepare for the environmental assessment and impact statement, this work will apply toward that and will help to get a permit at that time.

            Commissioner McElraft asked “When should this work be completed?”  Mr. Rush answered, “We think it will be completed at the end of November of this year.”  Commissioner Wootten mentioned about the part that has to do with the Corps of Engineers and the delineation of wetlands. Mr. Rush said it takes a long time to review with the Corps of Engineers on wetlands delineation. 

            Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted, 4-0, to authorize the Town Manager to enter into a contract with Moffatt & Nichol for survey/geotechnical services and coordination with permitting agencies for the Coast Guard road storm water project.

DISCUSSION – SWIMMING POOLS IN OCEAN SETBACK AREA.

            Mayor Harris reminded the Board that approximately 3 months ago, this item was discussed.  It is now being brought up again by the Inspections Department.  They would like to see the Board take some action on it.

            Commissioner Trainham commented that the Coastal Resources Commission has recently adopted a new rule that will prohibit swimming pools in the ocean setback area beginning in August 2002.  This has been brought before the Board a number of times and as a result of the Board’s action the Town was forced to permit 10 swimming pools that are guaranteed to cause, sometime in the future, headaches.  Commissioner Trainham continued, that is not saying oceanfront property owners cannot have swimming pools, it is saying pools are inappropriate in a hazardous area.  He is in favor of the Board proceeding with some kind of ordinance that will supersede the 2002 date.

            Mayor Harris said, “The Inspections Department needs to be informed as to what the intentions of the Board are.”

            Commissioner McElraft asked Mrs. Angus about a “V” Zone lot and an “X” Zone lot.  She asked if they put a swimming pool in, on a “V” Zone lot, if they could do any work around it?  Mrs. Angus confirmed that they could only do landscaping.  In an “X” Zone you could do work around it.  Mrs. Angus said there was not many “X” Zone lots left on oceanfront except in Oceanview Subdivision where there are several.  Mrs. Angus stated this was not going to disallow swimming pools on oceanfront lots at all, only in the 60-foot setback area in the first line of vegetation.  Commissioner McElraft’s question was that they could actually dig out fill and damage the dunes if this is not stopped now?  Mrs. Angusanswered “Yes”.  Commissioner McElraft said she has been reluctant to do this before because CRC had not made a decision on it but now she is in favor of this since CRC has written regulations, it has been to Public Hearings and everything will not go into effect until August 2002.  Her only question is that now that this is going to come to a Public Hearing by the Town, does Mrs. Angus think there will be more permitting done within the next month than there normally would be?  Mrs.Angus said she does not think there will be a big flurry, maybe one-half dozen and she feels very strongly about this. Commissioner McElraft implied she is certainly for protecting the dunes as much as the town can and now that CRC has made the decision on it and the State is going to stand behind it in August 2002, she feels the board has legal standing here to adopt an ordinance.

            Commissioner Wootten said he voted against this in the past for the same reason.  He did not like the idea of getting out in front of CRC on property rights issues.  They are the governing body of the domain, they are the experts and he did not feel this board, or himself, should try to supersede that.  That situation has changed with the CRC ruling and he too would now be in favor of this.  Commissioner Wootten suggested that the Board direct the staff to draft changes to the ordinance in order to allow sufficient coverage on this from the public, to have this as a discussion item in September and a vote in October.

            Commissioner Murphy moved that the staff be directed to draft an ordinance, present it to the Planning Board in their August meeting, present it to the Town Board in their September meeting and after the Public Hearing the Board can adopt such amendment if so desired.  Commissioner Wootten questioned going back through the Planning Board.  Mrs. Angus said this has been visited in June of last year and there has already been an Amendment drawn up by the Attorney and she does not see that any change be made to anything he has already done.    Town Attorney Taylor commented if the Board is going to take the ordinances that were had before without significant changes, there is no need to go back to the Planning Board.  If there are going to be significant changes for which the Planning Board will need to give consideration to, it should go through the Planning Board again before it comes to the Town Board. 

            Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the Board voted unanimously, 4-0, to direct the staff to call for a public hearing on the Swimming Pool ordinance amendment and to be voted on by the Board at the Regular Scheduled October meeting.   

APPROVAL OF LANGUAGE FOR HORSE REFERENDUM FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT

            Mr. Pete Cochran has previously asked the Board to make a change in the ordinances to allow horses within the town limits.  The Board has been reluctant to make this change.  Mr. Cochran has asked that this issue be placed on the ballot for the November election in order to get the public input.  Mr. Cochran presented petitions to the Town and 335 signatures were verified by the Town Clerk.  This represents an amount exceeding 10 percent of the registered voters that was needed to force a referendum.  Following are two options, for the Board’s consideration and recommendation of one,  to be used for the language on the November Ballot.

TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE

PROPOSED LANGUAGE FOR HORSE REFERENDUM QUESTION

November 6, 2001

Option 1:

Should the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Emerald Isle amend the town's ordinances to permit  the permanent stabling of horses on private property, provided that any owner of such 
horses obtains a permit from the town that is contingent upon the owner meeting the following 
conditions:

I .  No owner shall be allowed to stable more than 2 horses;

2.  The owner must have a minimum area of 5 acres of land;

3.  The area designated for horses must not include wetlands;

4.  The owner must secure and submit to the Town of Emerald Isle written approval from all

     immediately adjacent property owners;

5.  The owner must collect animal waste from the designated area on a daily basis;

6.  The horses must be under the care of a licensed veterinarian; and

7.  The owner acknowledges that horses are not permitted on town property or right-of-ways?

 

      YES                                    NO

Option 2:

Should the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Emerald Isle amend the town's ordinances to permit the permanent stabling of horses on private property, provided that any owner of such horses  obtains a permit from     the town that is contingent upon the owner meeting certain conditions regarding the number of horses, land area, approval from neighbors, veterinary care, and environmental protection?

         YES                               NO

            Commissioner McElraft said she liked Option 1 because it spells out what the public will be voting on.  It is not as general as Option 2 where Board members could go back in after the voters thought they were voting for a certain thing and a Board could come in and lower the acreage or raise it or whatever.  She likes spelling it all out so that the voters will know exactly what is going to be, how many acres of land, etc.  Commissioner McElraft read the Options for the benefit of the public.

            Commissioner Trainham asked to discuss the acreage.  He said the board started out with 10, 8 and now 5.  There is some concern on his part that out of the seven items listed, two things are being left out.  (1) He wants to make sure this Board reserves the right to reset the conditions if it finds it necessary to do so after the referendum is completed.  He asked if any adjustments may be made with the understanding of Board approval?  Attorney Taylor said that what the Board is essentially doing is conducting a survey.  This Board could reject all seven of those things and do something entirely different.  One of the advantages of the general language is to just say “Do you want horses in Emerald Isle or not.”  The advantage of specifics is to give the public who are going to vote a better idea of some of things you are now considering.  Unlike California that works with the proposition concept, whatever the referendum turns back to this Board becomes law, is not how the State of North Carolina works.  The Board is only going to get an answer back from the public “Yes or No”.  It will then be required that an ordinance to be passed through the Planning Board and through the normal process before it comes to this Board for approval.  Commissioner Trainham asked if his understanding is correct that the Board can make any adjustments to those items at that point in time?  Attorney Taylor replied “That is right.”

            Commissioner Murphy said he has one thing that these items do not cover.  He would like to add a number 8 and say that the boarding of horses would be permitted on land with a single-family unit only.  It would narrow it down to who can and cannot have horses on the land.  Attorney Taylor said these are the kind of details that can be worked out when the final ordinance is completed.  There are some issues that probably may want to tie 2 horses to 5 acres of property when there are 20 people living on 5 acres.  There will be some creative and artful working when the initial ordinance is worked on.  One of Attorney Taylor’s recommendations to the Board and his concern about a detailed listing is “Don’t bore the voter or you won’t get a vote.”  If you have a large referendum, the people may or may not read it.  If you get too detailed, you will loose the public.  That is the job for the Board, Planning Board and probably a little help from him to come up with the actual final language of the ordinance.  Don’t be too concerned about things that may not be in this referendum. 

Commissioner Wootten said Attorney Taylor has just about convinced him to go with the other option.  It is going to go through the Planning Board and to the Board of Commissioners anyway.

              Commissioner McElraft said there might be a voter out there who says I absolutely do not want horses next door to me.  Another may say I do not want horses next to me unless there is 5 acres of land.  So Option 1 would help people make a decision if they don’t mind or do mind a horse being there.  She feels that it will be doing a disservice to Mr. Cochran if it is not spelled out.

            Commissioner Trainham clarified it is not just Mr. Cochran the board is talking about, it is anybody.   

            Attorney Taylor said what the Town Manager is looking for tonight is some sort of wording that has to be put on the Ballot for the Elections Board.  They have to prepare the Ballots and get ready for the elections.  Either of the options would work.  He recommended that the Board not get too much more complicated than the two options before them.  He suggested they choose one or the other and move forward. 

            Commissioner McElraft moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded to accept Option 1 to be printed on the Ballot for the November election.

            Commissioner Trainham made note that there is nothing wrong with the motion but felt that some leeway should be left for the Town Attorney and Town Manager to formulate the wording.

            Further discussion took place on this issue.     

            The Board voted unanimous by a vote of  4-0, to accept Option 1.

APPOINTMENT TO EASTERN CAROLINA COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS.

            The Eastern Carolina Council of Governments has requested the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners appoint a member to serve on the General Membership Board.  This Board meets twice a year in Kinston. 

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner Trainham seconded and the Board voted unanimously to make a recommendation to the Eastern Carolina Council of Government that they appoint Commissioner Murphy to the General Membership Board.

Mayor Harris called for Public Comments.  First she made a statement that several of the candidates that will be appearing on the November 6th election ballot are present.  She will introduce them after the Public Comments.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Mr. Wayne Cunningham, 2001 Emerald Drive, commented on his concern regarding recyclables and their scheduled pick-up days.  He lives in an area where there quite a lot of renters and by the time the recyclables are picked up on Thursday, there is a mess.   He asked about the possibility of moving the pick-up day to Monday or even Saturday or Sunday.  Mayor Harris said Saturdays and Sundays are not good days because the collection centers are not open on those days.  She asked Town Manager Rush to contact Waste Industries and talk to them regarding some possible options.  Commissioner McElraft informed Mr. Cunningham that he could contact the Real Estate Offices who manage those rentals so they could get sufficient containers to hold the recyclables.

INTRODUCTION OF CANDIDATES

            Mayor Harris introduced the following candidates for the November election:  Richard Eckhardt, Jerry Huml, Arthur Schools, Greg Searcy, Dorothy Marks, Jerry Stockdale and Sally Waters.  Not present were Floyd Messer, Richard A. Farrington and Reid Harris.

            Department Heads reported the following:  Building Inspections Fees for the month of July $12,161; monthly construction value $1,223,420; Fire calls for July, 81 and Fire Chief Walker cautioned everyone to be careful as the ocean was very rough; Community Center visitors for July numbered 538; Police Chief Wilson commended the Fire Department  EMT’s and Emerald Isle EMS for the hard work and efforts made to save the life of a person who drowned this past week.  There was no report from Public Works.

            Town Clerk Carolyn Custy noted this is the shortest meeting in a long time.  With the approval of the 5 sets of Minutes tonight, it catches her up with this function.  It will be a pleasure to do the Minutes for the present meeting.

            No comments from the Planning Board Chairman, Public Works Director nor Assistant Town Manager/Financial Officer Georgia Overman.

            No comments were forthcoming from Commissioner McElraft, and Town Attorney Derek Taylor.

Commissioner Murphy welcomed the Boy Scouts that were in attendance and told them this is how a Board does their work.  They have good nights and bad ones.  Tonight is one of the good ones.      

Commissioner Trainham congratulated Mr. Rush on becoming a father. Commissioner Trainham is glad to see that he is able to take nourishment and be present tonight.

Commissioner Trainham said at a recent town meeting he had asked Commissioner McElraft what would happen if the beaches were nourished and we had obligated ourselves to one million dollars to put sand on our beach and another hurricane comes along and washes out the sand, how would we pay for it.  Her answer was “That FEMA would replace it.”  He said he has done some investigating and according to Steve Glenn, who is the Infrastructure Branch Chief of the response division of FEMA in Atlanta, the Emerald Isle project would not be eligible.  To be eligible, the project has to be part of an ongoing nourishment program as demonstrated by documented maintenance costs over a period of time; therefore a one-shot nourishment would not qualify.    Mr. Glenn did say we might be eligible for replacement of an emergency berm.  It seems to Commissioner Trainham they did fund the replacement of a berm after one of the previous hurricanes.  He is concerned that the board makes sure that people get the right information and sometimes the board has a hard time doing their homework.  With all due respect to the statement that was made, we want to be cautious.  The concern is what these agencies may or may not do about help with our projects. 

             Commissioner Wootten said he is sure this subject will be aired very thoroughly during the September meeting during the Public Hearing on beach renourishment.      

            In order to make the task of putting together more streamlined Agenda Packages for the Town Board Meetings and to give staff enough time to prepare them, Town Manager Rush presented the Board with a recommended list of general guidelines for the Agenda package for each meeting and asked for any changes to be made or if these were acceptable as stated.  These recommendations are attached at the end of these Minutes.

            There were no objections by Commissioner Trainham, McElraft, and Murphy.  Commissioner Wootten thinks it could be handled through the Chron file and he will give his comments privately.  He feels this is not an appropriate action at this stage of the game.

              Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner Trainham seconded and the Board voted with a vote of 3-1 to accept the recommendations.  Commissioner Wootten voted “No”.

            Town Manager Rush also informed the public of a new feature on the Website, whereby meeting information will be posted under “AGENDA” for access by all and can be accessed by clicking on the Agenda Item.

CLOSED SESSION – ACQUISITION OF REAL PROPERTY AND LITIGATION

           Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the Board voted unanimously, 4-0, to enter into closed session, pursuant to MCGS 143-318.11(a)(5) for the purpose of discussing the acquisition of real property, AND pursuant to NCGS 143-318 (a)(3) for the purpose of discussing litigation – Holz vs. Town of Emerald Isle and Howe vs. Town of Emerald Isle.

            The Board went into Closed Session at 8:10 P.M.

            Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously, 4-0, to return to open session.

            The Board returned to open session at 8:48 P.M.

            Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the Board voted unanimously, 4-0, to adjourn.

            The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 08/14/2001

July 11, 2001 

Special Workshop Meeting - Board of Commissioners - Stormwater
823minwkshp071101-stormwater.pdf
Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 07/11/2001

July 10, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING 
OF THE EMERALD ISLE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 
JULY 10, 2001 – 7:00 P.M. – TOWN HALL

            The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer at 7:00 P.M.  Present were Commissioners Trainham, Murphy, McElraft, Wootten and Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer, Town Attorney Derek Taylor, Town Manager Frank Rush, Town Clerk Carolyn Custy, Parks and Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson, Inspections Department Head Carol Angus, Public Works Director Robert N. Conrad, Fire Chief William Walker, Police Chief Mark Wilson and Planning Board Chairman Ceil Saunders.  Absent was Mayor Harris due to illness

            Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer stated that Mayor Harris was not present due to her not feeling well. 

 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

            Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the board voted unanimously to adopt the Agenda with no changes.

CONSENT AGENDA

            Commissioner Wootten Murphy moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the board voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda that included Minutes of Storm Water Workshop May 18, 2001; Minutes of Budget Workshop May 18, 2001, Minutes of Budget Workshop May 29, 2001, Minutes of Regular Meeting June 12, 2001, Minutes of Sign Ordinance Public Hearing June 13,2001 and Tax Refunds in the amount of $84.05.

DISCUSSION ABOUT BEACH DRIVING

            Mr. Thomas Snee came forward and expressed his concern about the fact that he feels not being able to drive on the beach before October 1st has hurt a lot of businesses.  He said he knows that his has been hurt because people who came to fish in September and who visited his store regularly, do not come anymore because of the time change for driving on the beach.  Mr. Snee made a point that September is a good fishing month and fishermen should be allowed to drive on the beach for this purpose. 

The current Ordinance, Chapter 5, Section 5-22 is as follows:

            Driving on beach and sand dunes prohibited: Exceptions.  It shall be unlawful for any vehicular traffic to travel upon the beach and sand dunes located within the town between sundown on March 31 or sundown on the Thursday before Easter weekend, whichever comes first, through sundown on September 30.  This does not apply to commercial fishermen holding valid state licenses while engaged in commercial fishing activities.

            Mr. Snee asked the board to consider revising the current Ordinance and go back to Memorial Day to Labor Day.  He feels that many of the fishermen would come back especially in September.  He contacted 8 other businesses and he put them on a list and presented it to the board.  These businesses were also negatively impacted by the new policy that was enacted for driving on the beach. He understands that one of the reasons for the change was the joy-riding on the beach.

            Mr. Snee went on to say that he has checked into it and there has only been one official complaint this year according to Police Chief Wilson.  Mr. Snee feels that the charge change from $40.00 per permit to $80.00 per permit has worked and eliminated some of the problems.  Joy-riders are not going to spend $80.00 just to ride up and down the beach.   

            He again asked the board to consider his thoughts and give some consideration as to maybe part of what was done was very good but maybe the board went a little overboard when the month of September was removed.  He asked the board to go back to Memorial Day/Labor Day but he would appreciate it if they would put September back in.

            Mr. Richard Eckhardt said that the decision to limit beach driving from April to October was based on the request of a majority of homeowners by a survey that was done.  From this survey the majority of homeowners thought that beach driving should either be eliminated or restricted and the board acted on the homeowners response.  They had the same issues that had little to do with fishermen.  If you visit the beach in September, you would see that fishermen are few and far between.  Mr. Eckhardt to say that relative to the economics – who knows?  When this issue was originally addressed, Commissioner Wootten felt that if it was really dug down into the economics, we would probably find out that it was actually costing the town money to do this. 

            Mr. Eckhardt said he has lived in Emerald Isle for 8 years and has never heard a renter or visitor that had a positive comment about beach driving.  Normally the response that you get is “We can’t believe they allow it.”  He said that the beach is a family playground.  In May through September it is very difficult to accept that you have to tell you family who lives here that when they run around on the beach playing, they have to look both ways.  He asked that the Ordinance change be left the way it is.

            Mrs. Connie Richardson, 401 Tern Terrace said she is coordinator for the turtle protection program.  She said in the last two years Emerald Isle has had more turtle nests than they have ever had and the thanked Public Works and all who have helped with the program.  Mrs. Richardson also asked that the current restrictions remain to protect the turtles.

            Mr. Harry Wigmore, 105 Purdie Street was on the committee that worked on driving on the beach.  He said he is in favor of absolutely no driving on the beach.  He has a hard time walking but he manages to get on the beach and if he can he feels anyone else can.  Mr. Wigmore said to change now and go back to what the rules and regulations were before will destroy the beach.  Why renourish the beach if we allow driving on it.  He said to remember that the beach is a place to visit, sit, run and play on not to drive on.  People who come from other places are not interested in driving on our beaches.  They want the beach to be an open place.  He asked the board to please think about this and save the beaches.

              Commissioner Wootten said he knows that Mr. Snee is very sincere in his request and he is sure the board does not want to do anything to hurt the business industry.  He asked Mr. Snee to clarify where he was coming from about the $80.00 Vs. $40.00.  Mr. Snee replied said he thinks the $80.00 fee did what it was supposed to do with drivers who are irresponsible.  Commissioner Wootten asked “So you would keep that?”  Mr. Snee’s answer was “Yes”.

            Commissioner Wootten said he does not want to dismiss this without some data and he would like to have the Town Manager get data from the Real Estate Agencies, from vehicle owners and even some financial information if they want to share it and then the board can make a judgment as to what the impact is on businesses with information and not with opinions. 

            Commissioner Murphy said “What you are saying is to table it, study it and then come back to it.”  Commissioner Wootten said “Yes”.

            Commissioner Wootten said the key point is data.  When the decision was made to set the record as it is now, the board had data from the survey.  Better than 50% of the people who responded said they wanted to change the starting time of driving picked October 1st and as point.  If there is now data that the present specific time might not be a good time, we will look at it. 

            Motion was made by Commissioner Wootten, seconded by Commissioner McElraft and the board voted unanimously to direct this to the Town Manager to gather data on the beach driving issue as quickly as he can and the board will assess it and see if a change is needed.

            Commissioner McElraft commented she feels Commissioner Wootten’s suggestion about checking with the Real Estate Companies to see if the houses were rented at that time, what it was like last year as compared to what it is this year. She suggested looking at it and not totally dismissing it but not yet make a decision without some facts. 

            Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer said she thinks the board already has the data.  She thinks that is why there was a committee to look at it.  She does not support going back.  A committee looked at it and did a great job.  A survey was sent out and all types of responses were received. The board based its decision on those responses.  She does not see why there is a need for change.  Mixing children who tend to be on the beach in September visiting families at that time with cars is not a good mix.  She also feels that is what the survey results told the board. 

            Commissioner McElraft feels there is additional information to gather and if is has had an economic effect on people that is important.  She checked the beach in September because her personal rental had not rented as it had in the past. She also checked with a Real Estate Company to see how their business was and both she and the Real Estate Company were not sure if business was not hurricane related versus driving on the beach related.  Commissioner McElraft would not object to going back and taking a look, check with Real Estate Companies to see if there was truly a hurricane impact or driving on the beach impact.  She is certainly not for bringing the spring time back.  She feels that absolutely, we need to keep the driving off the beach during that time.  This is the time when the beach is most crowded.  In September, she went out on the beach every weekend to see how many people were there and there were not many visitors there. Joy-riders have probably been cut down because of the $80.00.  She suggested looking at this and evaluate it again.

            Mr. Trainham said he had no problems with going back and looking at it again.  It seems to him from what he has heard from people who are anxious about what the committee reported, they are in favor of it staying like it is.  He is the first one to say that if some data is secured and if it is affecting business to an extent as the board had been led to believe, it would be worthwhile to take another look at it. 

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded to table this item tonight and direct the Town Manager to solicit data that will substantiate or not substantiate the opinion of at least eight or nine business people in town that driving in September has hurt their business.  The board voted 4 to 1 in favor of the motion.  The dissenting vote was cast by Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer.

AMENDMENT TO EMERALD ISLE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 11 – MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, REGARDING FINES FOR PARKING VIOLATIONS

            Town Manager Frank Rush explained that the purpose of this amendment is to designate parking violations as civil offenses and establishes a uniform penalty of $20.00 for these violations. It also increases the civil penalty to $50.00 if not paid within 8 days. The town’s only recourse for recovery of these fines would be through civil action.

            Under current practice, parking violations are not classified as civil offenses and all parking fine revenues are remitted to the Carteret County Board of Education.  The proposed ordinance will provide a more effective deterrent to parking violations and will increase revenues for the town. 

            The Amendment reads as follows:

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 11, ARTICLE IV

SECTIONS 11-97 ENTITLED “PENALTY”

            WHEREAS, the Town of Emerald Isle proposes to amend the Parking Ordinance contained within Chapter 11, Article IV of the Emerald Isle Municipal Code;

            WHEREAS, the Town Board, to be consistent with other town ordinances, recommends the code be changed to a civil penalty for violation of the Parking Ordinance;

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Town Board of Commissioners of the Town of Emerald Isle that Chapter 11, Article IV, Section 11-97 (a,b) entitled “Penalty” shall be amended to read as follows:

(a)               Any person violating the provisions of this article relating to the parking of motor vehicles, shall be required to pay a twenty ($20.00) dollar civil penalty in accordance with Section 1-6 of the Town Code of Emerald isle, except that no warning citation shall be required or issued for such violations. 

(b)               The charge for any violation is as specified above if paid to the police department within eight (8) days.  In the event such payment is not made within eight (8) days, the civil penalty shall be increased to fifty dollars ($50.00) and may subject the violator to a civil action for collection of same.

This amendment shall become effective upon its adoption.  If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court or competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

            Commissioner Wootten commented that the significance of this change is that the money instead of going to the Board of Education comes to the town.

            Commissioner McElraft asked about parking in the Fire Lane at Food Lion.

            Chief Wilson explained that he would like to see parking in the fire lane at Food Lion remain as it is now.  They are writing them on a parking citation and if it is flagrant they are also writing them on a state citation which is $105.00 fine. 

            Commissioner Murphy asked that the Town Manager get in touch with the owner of the Shopping Center to get their permission for the town to make some signs.  He said the biggest reason people park in the fire lane is laziness.  The second reason is that we are not educating them as to what the penalty is for parking in a fire lane.  We have a limited number of police and they cannot be there all the time.

A half dozen signs along that building saying this is a fire lane. No Parking. Strictly Enforced.

            Commissioner Murphy clarified that to being a civil penalty; the town would have no other recourse but to take it to small claims court.   Attorney Taylor clarified – “small claims or district court, depending on where they are living. “

Jim Brooker, 11105 Inlet Drive asked if the numbers take into consideration the cost of pursuing recovery of civil fines.  Mr. Rush said the figures do not take into account the cost of recovery. 

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commisisoner Trainham seconded and the board voted unanimously to approve Amendment to Chapter 11, Article IV, Sections 11-97 Entitled “Penalty” of the Emerald Isle Codification.

BEACH NOURISHMENT

            Mr. Robert Isenhour, 313 Channel Drive made a presentation.  Mr. Isenhour is a member of the Beach Nourishment Committee that was formed by the town board.  The other members of the Committee were Julia Wax, Chair, Jerry Huml, Vice Chair, Bob McInnis, Charles Stuber, Burnell Vance and Charles Vinson.  Commissioners McElraft and Wootten assisted.

            Mr. Isenhour said prior to the committee being born, the Board of Commissioners had received several indications from property owners, especially in the eastern part of town, they might be willing to bear the expense of a beach nourishment project.  The committee was formed to determine the feasibility.  The first order of business was to determine the cost of the effort to restore the beach in a manner consistent with Pine Knoll Shores and Indian Beach nourishment projects.  While it was realized the property located in the first 30 blocks of Emerald Isle have the greatest need, it was also determined that additional nourishment was needed for the entire ocean front in order to project the beach.  As was stated in the letter of April 29 to all property owners, the cost as presently envisioned is expected to be $15.8 million dollars.  The debt service will bring the total cost to slightly over  $19 million dollars over the projected life of the bond financing. 

            The town is a big player in this because it would ultimately be responsible to the bond holders.  The town will also contribute $152,000.00 per year for the life of the bond for the town owned beach property.  In order to take the pulse of the town for this project, a color coded survey was used.  Green forms were sent to Emerald Isle residents and Yellow forms to non-Emerald Isle residents.  The survey forms were received at town hall and were given a control number.  The results were entered into a spread sheet for eventual tabulation.  A cut-off date of Friday June 2nd was established.  One important thing in the procedure was that each form was only counted once regardless of the number of properties that were owned by an individual or family.  In studying the results the committee was conscious of the many comments of the survey participants, some of which were quite colorful.  The majority of the comments were articulate and expressed a need to preserve the beaches and economics they represent. 

            Mr. Isenhour showed overheads that showed the results of the survey.  Results were:  Number of surveys mailed and returned – 5,795 mailed, 2989 were returned which is 44.68%.  This was an excellent return.  Survey Results – 73% of all participants in the survey voted “yes” to proceed with beach nourishment Vs. 27% “no”.  Breaking the results down – Oceanfront owners by residents and non-residents – 76% said “yes”.  Non-oceanfront owners – residents and non-residents – 73% said “yes”  to proceed with beach nourishment.  Residents and non-residents together – 73% have said “yes” to proceed with beach nourishment. 

            Mr. Isenhour continued there is overwhelming approval of the beach nourishment project.  Whether they are oceanfront, non-oceanfront, resident or non-resident, there is a clear majority that Emerald Isle’s property owners wish Emerald Isle to proceed with the beach nourishment project funded through a bond referendum.  The “Yes” vote outnumbered the “No” vote 3 to 1.  Based on this mandate from the property owners, the committee recommended that a favorable vote be given to the following Resolution of Intent to Create Municipal Service Tax Districts for the purpose of partially funding, along with the anticipated increase in room occupancy tax, the proposed of Emerald Isle beach nourishment.  Mr. Isenhour read the Resolutions (two) one for the Intent To Create A Municipal Service District For Beach Erosion Control – Primary Benefit (PB) District and the second one will be for a Secondary Benefit (SB) District. A copy of the two Resolutions have been incorporated at the end of these Minutes.

            Mr. Isenhour continued that the committee further recommends to the Board of Commissioners that after these Resolutions are passed and the appropriate steps are taken, that a referendum for a bond issue be held in March 2002.  This date is suggested because of the advisement of a bond attorney that a shorter time line would be difficult to achieve.  The results of the pending occupancy room tax which it is hoped to achieve $540,000.00 annual for four years to help pay off the bonds. With a successful bond referendum in March, the beach nourishment project can be scheduled in November 2002 after the turtle season is over.  If the town is fortunate and does not have a severe hurricane or northeastern in 2001-2002, this project will be in place to assure the town’s viability and tax base.       

Comments from the public on the above subject came from the following:

            Mr. George Kuhorn – 7223 Canal Drive – said he does not see a problem with the renourishment of Bogue Banks.  He has been around a long time and done a lot of traveling in his life.  He has seen Hatteras in 1950 and saw what they were trying to do at that time.  After the beach was renourished, Hatteras had stones break loose, they had to move the lighthouse.  The Town of Emerald Isle is going to see itself spending for this year $19 million, 3 years from now if another hurricanes comes another $19 million or more. 

            He lives away from the beach and he came home Saturday after working and wanted to stop at the Emerald Isle parking area.  He could not.  It was completely packed with non-residents.  He paid for that place.  He would like to see the people with passes that will let them back on the island be able to park on Ocean Drive.  He knows a Commissioner’s wife that had a little problem and walked from her house to the beach.  A lot of people have to walk a long way to get to the beach. He does not think that is fair.  He also does not know why people can park on his street for 4 days, in the street but he cannot park on Ocean Drive for 45 minutes.  He was told by the previous Town Manager it was because fire engines could not go down Ocean Drive.   Mr. Kuhorn feels we should think about these things before we jump in and spend this kind of money.

            Mr. Gus Farmakadis, 322 Loblolly Street, said he does not disagree with what Mr. Isenhour said.  He addressed something a little different and that is what is causing beach erosion.  He has heard a lot of excuses lately.  He said when they built up Atlantic Beach they built a wall. He related to Mr. Kuhorn’s statements on the lighthouse.  Mr. Farmakadis commented that in the name of self preservation, we have to do something again because if Indian Beach, Salter Path and Pine Knoll Shores build walls it is going to ruin us.  Unless you cure the problem of dredging Bogue Inlet and putting all the sand at Atlantic Beach, we have no chance.  He asked that people be active in the committee up there.  He said we have to do what we have to do now.

            Mr. Wayne Yelverton, Ocean Drive, spoke about seeing the beach for 18 years since he has been here for 18 year.  He said he has more sand where he is than he had 18 years ago.  The sand bars out there are the feeders and they feed regularly.  Mr. Yelverton said we see our children grow and we see our beach grow.  He even had a place where he had a third dune started, wasn’t very high, only about 4 feet, but it was there.  The grass comes back and starts itself.  It starts moving out the following year, it builds even more.  The grass understands that something is starting.  Nature takes care of its own.   He said he has as much sand as he has ever had if not more. Mr. Yelverton related to Florida where they have renourished their beaches and their beaches are not worth a “tinkers damn” anymore.  It used to be beautiful when he was young.  Today, they have hard sorry beaches.  The government helped them considerably with their renourishment.  He does not see why we don’t get some of their funds.  He suggested we look into that. 

               Gloria Jimenez, 1208 Timber Trail, said she had owned property here since the early 1970’s.  During the Carter administration she was a federal insurance administrator.  She was administering the Federal Insurance Program.  As an Administrator and as an owner of property here, she was very concerned as she thought about how poorly the town was enforcing the flood insurance insurance ordinance.  She does not believe that after the recent hurricanes that have affected our beach that the town has done what it should have done because we saw houses that were repaired that should have never been repaired.  They should have been left to open space. 

            Now for the other side.  As an insurance administration, she went around the country and saw beaches that were renourished.  It was an exercise in futility.  If you want to spend money forever and forever, well that is fine.  If you are the property owners and are concerned that is fine too.  She does not see why the non-ocean front owners should have to pay.  She thinks the businesses who want the beaches renourished and they want people to come back then they can do that too. She said that what we are on is a course of no return.  She lived in Florida for 13 years and they spent money and they spent money and they got government money that they should have not gotten and the State now realizes that this was more of a problem than a fix.  We are about to do the same thing.  She urged that with the injustice of charging all of other people who do not live on the beach is compounded instead of all of the business people who are making the money and renting the houses. 

            This is another issue she has.  We have just adopted an ordinance change on garbage.  She related that we have “rats” on the island.  They are not two legged rats.  She said they are all over.  If you walk down Ocean Drive on Sunday or Monday and look at the rats. 

            She went back to the flood issue and said “You are making a mistake”.

            Mark Brennersholz, 9322 Ocean Drive, asked if this proposal would be for 1st through 30th streets?  Is this correct or is it for all the way down?  It was confirmed that the $1.8 million was for the whole island.  Mr. Brennersholz related that his family for many years had a cottage on the south shore of Long Island which is also an East/West island and a project was done on Fire Island Inlet there in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.  That project was extremely successful and to his knowledge no additional renourishment or dredging activity has taken place since then.  Dredging and pumping up on the beach is not an unmitigated disaster but there are success stories as well.  He was there for one hurricane and it took out the first three rows of dunes.  Those since, which were Carol, Diane and Hazel, have not done significant damage to the work that was implemented at that time.

            Mr. John McEnaney, 106 Tammy Street, who has been coming to the island since 1992 asked to make a couple of remarks.  The first was that he was appalled at the lack of privacy on the letter.  The fundary of the town to send something like this out and to have cases which explain what you are about to do and it was costed out and when one finished reading it, at least in his case, it looked as though

beach nourishment was complete.  Now in fact that may be the case.  He is very interested in maintaining the beach but when he read the survey it looks like the town will pay about $1.2 million per mile, it looks as though the town is going to start cheating itself out of occupancy tax money because it says you are going to provide $540,000. There is an implication, an assumption, that the federal government may want to help out.  He said “Don’t kid yourselves”.  Furthermore, it is known that George Bush and the Republicans

under Clinton, we do know that beach nourishment programs were opposed by the Clinton administration and currently the Bush administration were overthrown.  We know that they are being funded.  Maybe we will have some help on this thing. Mr. McEnaney said he would have been a little happier with the MEMO if it had indicated the pros and cons. 

 He asked about the fact that 45% of the people responded and what happened to the other 56%?  Mr. Isenhour answered, “They did not respond”.  Mr. McEnaney said “right” they did not respond.  He submitted that the real estate interest in this town has taken this thing over and seem to be running it.  The town has not in fact demonstrated that $19.2 million which we are going to pay for this bond will in fact benefit the businesses in this town.  There is no solid economic information for going ahead.  If demonstration can be done, if businesses in this town, rentals, gain $19.2 million, then we will have something to go for.  Mr. McEnaney said from the numbers on the board everyone was for beach nourishment and asked if the 76% who agreed about nourishment did they all agree in reference to the $.48 and $.03?  Commissioner Farmer replied that the people were agreeing to go to a bond referendum.   There were a number of comments about the dollars and how that was divided.  Mr. McEnaney said one of the things he has seen in his years in Emerald Isle is that, yes, the beach is eroding but some houses are in areas that are building sand.  Whatever is done as far as renters are concerned and vacationers, everyone in the Town of Emerald Isle does profit and benefit.  If it is made so costly for the ocean front owners what may happen will defeat the purpose because the initial cost will probably be passed on to renters.  There is a possibility of diminishing the return.

Phil Almedia suggested getting details about all of the problems we have.  A need to look at water, the need, traffic or beach renourishment. 

Mr. Gregory Rudolph  7302 Canal Drive, who is a geologist spoke on the problems of Emerald Isle, traffic and the beach nourishment and offered any assistance needed.

Mr. Robert Gordon, Azure Drive, referred to an article in the Carolina Country magazine on sea oats.  “Most of the ocean front properties here are held by absentee owners.  Here on Emerald Isle, fewer than 1 out of 10 have planted sea oats or invested in sand fences.  Both maintain the dunes but the property owners were quick to refill their dunes using bulldozers at the surf line.  This action lower the beach and brought the surf to their dunes.”  Mr. Gordon said while we can spend the owners money building renourishment plans, he doesn’t believe in winning the lottery, so if the talk is about having a renourishment program and you don’t have a risk follow-up, like when Floyd came and wipped away all the sand, the bond is going to be revoked? - because if they ain’t that is not a very good investment. 

Mr. Phil Gagnon 606 Emerald Drive commented that his understanding is that not all beaches are created equal and some are suitable for renourishment and others are not. It is his understanding that Bogue Banks is suitable for renourishment.  He wonders if someone has been studying if beach nourishment is viable for Bogue Banks?  There have been a lot of questions tonight but no one is coming forward and presenting a study done by the city that says “yes” beach nourishment should work for Emerald Isle.

Mr. Charles Vinson of 3209 Ocean Drive.  He pointed out that a lot of questions have been raised and the last one was about the feasibility of nourishing this beach.  He pointed out that Atlantic Beach has been nourished twice.  The last time in 1986.  The Point or West End of our Island, was nourished back about 10 years ago. We have had 5 hurricanes, one twice, came through and Atlantic Beach is fine.  They had no problems. Down at the west end of the beach, they had no problems.  Nourishment on Bogue Banks have proved to work.  The next question was about the bond.  It is a federal program that if we set up nourishment and we nourish our beaches and something happens like an event causes them to wash away, FEMA will come back and replace the beach as we had previously.  The bonds won’t disappear but the beach will not be here and if anything happens to it the federal government will replace it.

Mr. Vinson said Hatteras had been mentioned.  It is a very unique situation.  Every state on the east coast renourishes their beaches.  They had political influence enough to get federal funds and get help.  Some of them had to sue the government. We might have to but everybody renourishes its beaches.  Only Carteret County says “I don’t think it works”.  It works everywhere else.  Someone mentioned compatibility of the sand.  There have been places where shale and rock was put on the beach.  Compatible sand has been waiting here to be put back on the beach.  In fact the Corps of Engineers is dredging a million cubic yards of sand every year that belongs on these beaches.  They take it out of the hole that they have dug to trap the sand and take it out into the ocean and dump it.  Mr. Vinson said his solution is why not get the Corps of Engineers to do it.  To get the federal government to do something with no more political pull that we have here in Carteret County, we are not going to get it done. Everyone who has done something with their beaches has started with themselves.  We have to get this thing started and then get the Corps of Engineers to do the right thing, get the federal government to correct the errors that they have.  The whole economy of this island is because of the beach.  In past years before the big duplexes were built there was a $.60/100 tax base.  Now it is down to less than $.20 which is about 1/3.  It does affect us to have all those big houses on the beach paying a lot of tax.  Mr. Vinson said “we have to do it.”

 Mr. Tim Brooker of Inlet Drive commented that this whole issue is two major factors, one being environmental factor.  The best study, including the letter that went out with the survey indicated that this fix would last about 8 years.  He questioned “what then?”  It is going to take about 10 years to pay the tab.  If it lasts for 8 years do we start all over again?  The other factor is basically our problem is not necessarily erosion but is hurricanes.  Most of what has been lost has been from hurricanes much more so than erosion.  He said he lives on the ocean and his beach is a whole lot bigger than it has been.  He has about 125 feet more beach now that he had 7 or 8 years.  That is the way sand moves in the ocean.  From a financial standpoint he was concerned that he fails to see the fairness of applying a taxation on his property 16 times greater than his neighbor’s across the street. 

His house is a home, his neighbors duplex, 8,000 square feet of it, is a rental. Who is going to benefit financially more from that?  Mr. Brooker said he does not need any more sand.  He said if someone could find a place to put some sand, they were welcome to some of his.  He said the sand bar is building up so that they do not have waves any more.  He contests that this is a totally unfair basis for paying the tab. The survey indicated this entire community lives and subsists by tourism; he submitted that every property owner should bear the cost equally. He said if everyone paid $.16 it would be the same amount of money.  He believes politically that would be devastation.  He does not feel that would fly and he thinks this is the reason the $.03 is there.  One hurricane can wipe out all that is done as has been pointed out, if this bond issues goes on for whatever length of time it does, we pay forever.  It starts all over again and we keep paying.  He asked “who is going to determine who gets how much sand?”   If he doesn’t need any, why is he paying for it and the person down the street needs twice as much as the average allotment, does he get all of it or what?  He gets a whole lot more for his dollar.”  Mr. Brooker said his concern is that this community relies on tourism as a whole and should be borne equally by all of those who benefit by it including everyone on the island and businesses. 

Mr. Quinton Cook, 1113 Inlet Drive said he wants to second everything Mr. Brooker said.  The fairness is the thing that is most important to him.  If it is done, it needs to be fair.  He also asked “Who owns the sand when it is pumped up?” Oak Island is going through a legal thing right now because they will not allow people to build walkways over the new dunes that have been created because according to them, that sand is owned by the State and does not belong to the people.  This needs to be addressed also.

Mr. Charles Stuber, 1106 Timber Trail said he has heard a lot of comments tonight.  He has been working hard on several committees.  He is a member of the Bogue Banks Preservation Association and was on the Committee that Mr. Isenhour reported on.  He said they have worked hard to try to come up with some plan that they thought was fair and that would take care of the economic situation of the town and etc. What Mr. Isenhour presented is the best they could come up with. He knows it is unfair but by the same token, Pete Allen told him that 53% of the budget for this town comes from income generated by tourism occupancy tax and sales tax.  If two or three houses between 1st Street and 30th Street fall into the ocean, that is going to make national news and Emerald Isle is not going to be the place where people will want to come.  What will happen to the tax base, the occupancy tax, etc., that comes to the city to pay for the town’s activities.  Half of it would be gone.  He agreed there is a risk but as has been pointed out, look at Carolina Beach, Atlantic Beach and Wrightsville Beach.  They survived the hurricanes. Mr. Stuber said he does not feel that they could come up with anything else that everyone would be happy with.  Everyone is going to have to share in the cost. 

Mr. Pete Cochran, Coast Guard Road, commented that the long term investments should be looked at.  That is what everyone has. They have either made investments 20 or 25 years ago.  We have a problem and the only way that we are going to resolve that problem is that we have to look at what we need to do with our beach and do it now. If we need to add beach renourishment and it is going to save everyone’s investments, then we have to think ahead. Most of the investments are for children and grandchildren.  Mr. Cochran pleaded for the board to look at beach renourishment.

Mr. Harry Wigmore, said Mother Nature is going to do what she is going to do no matter what we do with the sand.  The beaches are building because of the hurricanes we have had.  There was a lot of northeasterns before the hurricanes and that is what tore up the beaches, not the hurricanes.  Hurricanes build the sand bars and nature is going to do what she wants.  All the bulldozing that was done only ruined the turtles, the beach, the ghost crabs and all the environmental stuff. He said leave nature alone. Why waste the money?  Put it into educational programs of our county and city.  Give it to the libraries or something like that.  Let the beach go.  It will come and go no matter what we do.

Commissioner McElraft said Charles Vinson answered a few questions she had, especially on the FEMA issue.  It was investigated when Pine Knoll Shores did their bond referendum that if you have a privately funded beach, privately engineered beach, then if you had any of that beach destroyed during a hurricane event, then FEMA would come in and replace that part of the beach that was destroyed and after seeing what happened with nourished beaches and hurricanes in the Wilmington area, she does not think FEMA will have to do much of anything.  She feels that beach will be here to stay. She continued that the State of Florida is now thinking beach nourishment is a good idea.  She attended the Florida Beach and Shore meeting last year.  Not only does Florida think it is a good idea, they now have their own department for beach nourishment.  They are funded by the State now.  They have dedicated funding for beach nourishment.  When you address the sand in Florida, yes, they have a lot of beach to nourish so they are looking for sand.  We have compatible sand that is sitting off shore that came off our beaches that is ready to go back on.  As far as environmental inpact, Pine Knoll Shores is being required, and that affects us, to do an environmental impact statement that goes beyond the State’s 100 page document.  Environmentally, it is going to be a very sound program if we get nourishment here.  Pine Knoll Shores and Indian Beach are already doing the environmental impact work for us.  As far as who is going to be paying for this, talking about the business people paying their fair share, almost $900,000.00 of revenue for this town is created in sales tax from the business people taking the chance that they do.  Some of them are small but they do collect $900,000.00 so they are contributing.  We have heard let the tourist pay for it.  The tourist will be paying with occupancy tax which will be increased by $.03 which will be given to Emerald Isle, $540,000.00.  It was going to be $600,000.00 but now we are willing to share $60,000.00 with Atlantic Beach which is going to use it for beach access.  We have been asked to have beach access for people.  As far as Emerald Isle’s beach accesses are concerned, Commissioner McElraft said she is happy that the accesses are filled.  We are giving free access so that the people know they can come to this beach.  Emerald Isle was criticized in the County Referendum that we did not have access.  Emerald Isle has opened up 600 parking places where people who come across the bridge know that they also own that beach.  We are going to pay for beach nourishment this first time but at the end of the 8 years, if everything goes right, we have already going through the feasibility study, we will have the federal government picking up 65% and the State picking up part of our share and with occupancy tax we should have to pay no more for the continuation of beach nourishment.

    Commissioner McElraft addressed what the Corps of Engineers are doing at the inlet.  There is a Section 111 study that should be out in the next few weeks which has been going on since 1994.  The draft part of that study stated that the inlet influence was creating a 2-foot
erosion on our beach per year.  This is not a natural process.  Thirty-five million cubic of yards are stuck off-shore where the Corps has been dumping it.  If we could take that and put it back into the system, if we can convince them to do that, we will never have to nourish again.  Commissioner McElraftcontinued that the Bogue Banks Preservation Association and Mr. Joe Exum has a group that is working to get the Corps to pay their fair share, to get them to remedy what they are doing to us.  If they will just stop dumping the sand at sea and bring it back to our beaches, then we will not have to ever worry about nourishment again.

            Commissioner Trainham said he thinks everyone knows his position.  He has been trying to be open to see what other source can be used.   He said the board is supposed to make a decision tonight about the referendum.  He wants folks to know that he is in favor of the referendum mainly because he promised his constituency that he would be open to their wishes.  It looks like the wishes have changed since the last referendum.  He does have some very serious reservations about wasting our money. He also commented that depending on FEMA is wasting a lot of money.  You are using tax money.  What he does not understand is if we are concerned about the way tax money is used and expecting the government to pay us out if we get into trouble does not seem to be a very good way to deal with this.  He is also concerned about issues dealing with the inlet and concerns about the Corps of Engineers and the work they should be doing and should have been doing for the last 10 to 15 years.   

            Commissioner Wootten indicated he has looked at just about every survey that came back and he has to congratulate this group because they have covered every comment that was included in that survey.  He does not think he heard anything new on either side of this equations.  He said what he is asked to vote on tonight is whether to take this thing to referendum or not and he agrees with Mr. Trainham, after looking at the surveys that indicate there is enough evidence to take it to a referendum.  Therefore, he will support that.  It seems that all of the issues addressed here have to be addressed in a public forum debating as best we can before getting into the March time frame where the people will decide as to whether they will go for it or not.   

            Commissioner Farmer agreed with Commissioner Wootten.  The board will hear from the public to decide whether to go to referendum on this and the referendum is where the public gets to say “yes” we absolutely need to do this or “no” we should not be even considering it.  She supports going to a referendum.

            Town Attorney Derek Taylor suggested turning the meeting over to the Town Manager to reintroduce what is on the agenda for action. 

            Mr. Rush said there is a Resolution of Intent to Create A Municipal District for Beach Erosion Control – Primary Benefit (PB) District which is ocean front property within the town limits, and a Resolution of Intent To Create A Municipal District for Beach Erosion Control – Secondary Benefit (SB) which is all the other properties in the town.  The Third item is approval of Bond Council to take us through the bond referendum process.  Mr. Rush recommended the firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. in Charlotte who has considerable experience in bond issues and also beach nourishment bond referendums if the board wishes to continue with this process.

            Mr. Rush went on to say that if the two resolutions establishing the special tax districts are passed, a public hearing will be held on September 11, 2001.  Following that public hearing by the board, notices will be sent to all property owners in the town and advertise in the newspaper. Following that public hearing the board will take official action formally creating the districts.  There will be no taxes levied until next fiscal year.  In terms of the bond referendum process, after we get bond counsel on board, we will begin the bone referendum process.  It is a three-step process that will begin sometime this fall.

          Commissioner Farmer asked if there is ample time to get moving if the referendum passes?  Mr. Rush indicated there was.  The referendum will be held in March 2002. 

            Commissioner Farmer said if the referendum fails, the tax districts will be abolished as will the proposed tax assessment.

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the board voted unanimously to approve the Resolution of Intent to Create A Municipal Service District For Beach Erosion Control – Primary Benefit (PB) District and also approve A Resolution of Intent to Create A Municipal Service District For Beach Erosion Control – Secondary Benefit (SB) District and approved engagement of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. as bond counsel.

COMMERCIAL REVIEW – THE REEL OUTDOORS – EMERALD DRIVE/CEDAR STREET

            Mrs. Ceil Saunders, Chairman of the Planning Board asked that the meeting be turned over to Mr. Rush because he wrote a Memo that totally does not agree with the Planning Board.  She said the board has been over everything and has agreed that Section 19-74.1 Specifications for construction of outside wall facings of commercial structures,(5) appears to have a word missing and should read “A building face shall NOT have any wall component which exceeds forty (40) feet -----“  She said number (4) and (5) is questioned.  She commented that the town is trying to get away from the warehouse look.  Mrs. Saunders said the Planning Board also suggested not going with the off-sets on this building. 

            Commissioner Wootten said, for the public benefit, that the plan for this building is 80 some odd feet across the front and 46-feet or 48-feet down the side, the 80 feet being facing hwy 58.  There is also on the books an ordinance that says we don’t want a warehouse look but yet we cannot have an exterior wall that is more than 40 feet long without having a recess in that wall to break up at least 8 feet to try to avoid the warehouse look appearance.  The question is does these plans comply with that ordinance? 

            Mr. Rush said for clarification, in the ordinance that was discussed above, number (5) the omission of the word NOT was an error.

            Commissioner McElraft asked if the face of the building is facing Highway 58, does it comply?  Mrs. Saunders said “Yes it does comply.”

            Commissioner Farmer said she does not think the board wants the warehouse look on highway 58 and neither on the side streets.  She does not want to look at a back of a building as she drives down Reed Drive and see that it is essentially a warehouse. 

            She apologized that the Planning Board got caught. 

Mrs. Saunders said the developer of The Reel Outdoors has said they will do what is in the ordinance but when the Planning Board looked at it, it was more attractive to have it with the vegetation than it was with a short wall with jetties in and out. That is why the Planning Board came to this conclusion and passed it on the town board.

Commissioner Wootten said the problem with that is that the Planning Board is now asking the board to grant some type of waiver or some kind of an exception to an ordinance on a specific case and that is not the role of the town board. There are one or two things in his mind.  One is to go back and take another look at the ordinance and decide what the board really wants to do or if the board is really interested in keeping moving forward, as he feels they are, would be to request that the owner comply with the ordinance as it is written and in fact modify the side wall.  This to him seems to be the two options. 

Mrs. Mindy Dennis, owner of The Reel Outdoors, said “If you don’t want the warehouse look, I understand that completely.  You get a warehouse look a lot of times with a much larger building and this is not a very large building.  We are going to landscape it.  It is going to be one of the prettiest little buildings in that area so if you are looking for something that is appealing to the eye, why not let a building that is going to be that way go up.  You don’t want a building that is not going to be appealing to the eye.  We are going to do everything in our power, and I am because I am that kind of person, to have, in my opinion, the best looking little buildings right there on that street. I don’t want to ride down Cedar Street every day going home and see the side of that building looking bad and I will make sure that it doesn’t but when you are working with something that small and it is not a large building and you start putting in insets, you look like you have a puzzle sitting on the side of the road.  There is no way to do that.  I can see having an ordinance like that, determining the size of the building maybe.  We are not talking about having a long brick wall going down that road.”      

            Mrs. Saunders said in the ordinance it is 40-feet, this is only 46-feet.

            Mrs. Dennis said the way the ordinance is written you have to go by it but read the words – the face of the building is what we have done and we have done what you wanted on the face.  Don’t mean the side, don’t mean the back, it’s the face.

            Commissioner Farmer asked if maybe there could be a compromise whereby the board interprets this side as facing highway 58 as the Planning Board intended and then also go back and look at this wording again.  It would not hold up the project.

            Attorney Derek Taylor said there is another body within the form of government called the Board of Adjustment.  What you have before you is an application which you must apply the ordinance, the way you think it is written, to.  If it was the intention of the board, which you have personally expressed an opinion now to the contrary, that the face of the facility was all the side, all out external walls, if the rest of the board feels, when they were talking about it, that wasn’t it because the Planning Board said it wasn’t yet, then you interpret the ordinance only to the extent of applying the facts of this application to the ordinance as you understand it.  You can’t really interpret the ordinance, you have to change it as a legislative body.

            Commissioner Farmer asked “Then I could be out-voted?”  Attorney Taylor’s answer was “ That’s possible but is not necessarily the case. But this board’s responsibility by law is to apply this ordinance as written to the facts that are presented to you in the plat, otherwise you must change the law or turn it over to the Board of

Adjustment to make a determination as to whether a variance is justifiable to meet the intent of the ordinance and allow these folks to do what they want to.” 

            Mrs. Saunders said the Planning Board assumed and discussed this at length, that the face of the building was on Highway 58, and asked, “Then why can’t we proceed with it?”

              Attorney Taylor said he was not saying you cannot proceed to apply the current ordinance, as written, to the facts of this case.  If this board, in their passing of this ordinance when they said “face”, they meant what is on Highway 58 – Mrs. Saunders interjected, they did not say that – Attorney Taylor continued, but this board will apply what it thinks this ordinance means against that application.”

            Commissioner McElraft asked, “How was that applied on the CVS building?  Mrs. Carol Angus of the Inspections Office said the sides were not looked at.  Commissioner McElraft said the board has already made an interpretation on another building prior to this that the sides do not matter.  The face matters.  This is the way she interpreted the ordinance to begin with.

            Mr. Edmond Dowling, member of the Planning Board, answered that CVS put up one building in one mode and that is their design throughout the United States.  So that might help.  What we are asking for, that Mrs. Saunders pointed out, from everyone on the board, together with the builders, we are asking for a variance because we could not interpret what you passed.

               Mrs. Saunders said we don’t need a variance because the front of the building is on Highway 58.  Commissioner Murphy asked, and he has done with the face of the building what the ordinance says so let’s go ahead and approve it. Mrs. Saunders answered, “Exactly.”

            Attorney Taylor said there are two issues, one is the issue of the face of the building.  The other is the roof line.  None of that has been discussed and probably should be. 

            Commissioner Wootten said there is a problem with the height of the roof line on the front of the building and it is his understanding that that can be adjusted relatively easily and the owner will do that. 

That is a fixable thing.  The owner said that either way it needs to go, it can be fixed.  Mrs. Saunders said the lowest part of the roof would be the eaves and the 3-foot gables would be considered above the eaves.

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the board voted unanimously to approve the commercial review of The Reel Outdoors contingent upon the front of the building being brought into conformance with the ordinance as interpreted by Inspections Department and that approval be given with the side wall as it is right now and then the board take action separately and afterwards as to what the board wants to do about the side wall issue.   

            Commissioner Farmer said “Thank you for the storm water plan and the scenarios that went with it.”  She doesn’t think the board has ever gotten one of these before.  She really appreciates it. 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

            Mr. Pete Cochran, Coast Guard Road, came forward and said earlier today he met with Carolyn (Town Clerk) and handed her additional petitions for the horse issue.  He read a statement as follows:  “Tonight I bring you the remaining list of registered voters who are supporting Suzanne and I on the horse issue.  Now that we have 10 per-cent of the registered voters and many other people who are supporting our issue, I would like to see this issue move forward with the boards approval.”

            Commissioner Wootten asked Mr. Cochran what it was that he wanted the board to do? He asked if Mr. Cochran wanted the board to make a decision of did he want to go referendum?  Mr. Cochran answered that he would like for it to be sent to referendum.   

Commissioner McElraft suggested sending this to referendum if Mr. Cochran has10 percent even though this is not a requirement for sending this to referendum. In one meeting Mr. Cochran was told that it was, legally, we did say that in public.  We also had Commissioners say that if Mr. Cochran went out and got these registered voters on here then it would go to referendum. 

            Commissioner McElraft moved that pending verification of the registered voters, that this be sent to referendum during the November time frame because it will cost taxpayers just a minimal amount of money.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the motion.

Commissioner Wootten said that it has been said that this should not go to referendum because in order to change, it shows weakness on the part of this board not to be able to make a decision.  He said he does not buy into that theory.  He thinks this is a little town and a little government and getting the voice of the people has become an emotional thing, not as a result of any action of the board, but on a part of an individual.  It has become very public and a very emotional issue and he feels the higher ground and the true form of democracy is to referendum and let the people decide what they want and let Mr. Cochran and other people have voices.

Commissioner Trainham asked Attorney Taylor to speak on the question of the legality of a referendum on an ordinance at this point.

Attorney Taylor said, “It would be in an advisory mode.  The Board would accept the referendum results but it would not be compelling for the board to take action in alliance with that vote.  It would be much like your surveys except it would be done through referendum.  The board would then make an independent decision one way or the other on what it wanted to do but you would not be compelled to act.”

Commissioner Murphy said Commissioner McElraft might want to amend her motion.  He feels it should be with conditions.  He has discussed certain conditions that would be beneficial not only to the animals but to their community at large as far it getting passed. 

Attorney Taylor suggested that now would be a good time to discuss what Commissioner Murphy feels those conditions are and then ask the person who made the motion to see if they want to amend it.

  Commissioner McElraft moved to take this issue to referendum in the fall to hear the voice of the people to allow no more than two horses on acreage of at least 5 acres with adjacent neighbor approval, with a veterinarian report yearly, stabling away from wetlands, and asked that the Town Manager put this into referendum form and put on the ballot. 

Mr. Cochran stated that also discussed was the collecting the waste on a day-to-day basis.

Commissioner Farmer said the other thing stated was that the horses could not be ridden on town property.  Mr. Cochran confirmed this was correct but asked if the window of September through May still open?  Commissioner Murphy said that was not on town property, that is State property.  Commissioner McElraft asked how would you get to the beach if you don’t ride them on town property? Commissioner Wootten said he would do it the same way people do the other horses.   

Commissioner McElraft said that was her motion.  Commissioner Murphy seconded.  Attorney Taylor cautioned the board to be sure about the motion they are voting on. 

Commissioner Farmer related she has a lot of problems, and she is not picking on Mr. Cochran, but she does have a lot of problems with ordinance going to referendum.  She does not think it has anything to do with the board being perceived as weak.  She also has concerns over the woman who called her and was very concerned that her porch was in the vicinity and is an adjacent and she was very concerned about the smell.  Commissioner Farmer continued that the ordinance has been on the books since 1992 and she does not think a referendum is warranted. 

Commissioner McElraft commented “ We have been the kind of board that has listened to the public.  It is hard to hear all of the people and when you get this many people, registered voters, speaking for something that was voted down and it makes you take a pause and think maybe we should listen.  I also agreed that maybe this is not a great way to do an ordinance change but this is probably the only way we are going to hear the real voice of the people.

Commissioner Farmer asked Mrs. Custy, Town Clerk, how many registered voters ended up being on the petitions?  Mrs. Custy said 167 on the first batch that have been verified.  The ones brought in today have not been verified. 

Attorney Taylor asked how many other pieces of property would meet the criteria?  Mrs. Angus said there were at least 3 and maybe 4 that would qualify.  Attorney Taylor asked Mr. Cochran, “This ordinance would not be just for you alone?” 

Commissioner Farmer said there was one other thing discussed by the board, about a conservation easement, it had to be a single residence.

Attorney Taylor said for clarification so that the board could move along, they are not trying to draft the ordinance.  Just the basic conditions for what would qualify will be sufficient.  You will have the opportunity to draft the ordinance for the restrictions and again the board is not compelled to whatever this vote is.  You should inform the public generally of what you are asking for, allowing them to vote on it and when it comes back then deal with it. 

Commissioner Murphy asked, ”So all we need to do is to vote on whether to take it to a referendum pending verification of 10 % of registered voters.  Attorney Taylor said it would be good idea, at least for broad terms, to go ahead and include the things she mentioned.  The motion, as it stands now, is fine.  You can do the things you want to do later.

Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer asked for a vote.  Voting in favor of the motion was Commissioner McElraft, Wootten and Murphy.  Voting in opposition was Commissioner Trainham and Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer.  Motion carried.

Mr. Ricky Farrington, 8802 Sound View Court, spoke on beach nourishment.  He asked for confirmation of the number of taxable parcels of land in Emerald Isle.  On the survey that was presented, there were 1350 tax payer residents and 4445 tax payer non-residents. If you compare it with $15 million 800 thousand, we are looking at $2,600 per parcel of land to get that amount of money. He suggests that the town start looking at a voluntary fund that each parcel owner would submit that amount to and forget a bond referendum.  It almost seems too simple to think like this.  The value of the property will probably go up a minimum of 10% on the day that fund was created it would show a huge positive effect on Emerald Isle.  Based on the average lot now, the cheapest is probably $40,000 to $50,000.  That is less than 10% of that.  He wonders how the board would feel about trying that?  If this was put into effect, the people would voluntarily start writing a check for each parcel of land, $2,600 to beach nourishment.

 Again, on the storm water issue, he is tired of all the negative stuff in the newspaper on this issue.  It is a money problem and it is something that we are all going to lose or gain on it if something is not worked out. 

Mr. Farrington said he would like to know just what that number is so they can find out how to divide it and how they can start a fund and work with the town on collecting that money.  You might be surprised on how many people would just write the check.  He for one would be the first.  

Commissioner McElraft commented it is probably going to be hard to get people to pay $60.00.  She feels that we would never get beach nourishment doing it that way because she thinks people are objecting to paying even $60.00 to $120.00. She does not think it is legal.  You cannot force anyone into doing that because it would be a volunteer situation.  She does not think there would ever be enough collected for beach nourishment that way.  She appreciates Mr. Farrington’s contribution to the town if he would like to make it.

Mr. Farrington said the fund would be refundable if it did not work.  There might a slight chance that it would work.

Mr. Pete Cochran commented that a homeowners association assesses its members once a year for funds they will need for each property.  He asked if a one time tax assessment to everyone’s property and that way there would be no long term bond referendum?

Commissioner Wootten said the committee looked up one side and down the other.

Commissioner Murphy suggested that Mr. Cochran and some of the other property owners and business people in the community to put together a committee, a citizens group, and solicit voluntary contributions and put it into an account that would reduce the debt if it was every gotten back.  He clarified what he is saying is to go ahead and solicit the $2,800.00 and if that is put into an escrow account and when we get to the $19 or $20 million and you have collected $5 million we would have $5 million to pay against that and it is all voluntary money.  Commissioner Murphy stated he feels there are not going to be too many volunteers.  In January 2002, the town is going to start funding EMS.  The EMS system has been a voluntary donation system ever since they have been in existence and their contributions keep going down year after year after year and the EMS person spends as much time soliciting money as they do going on EMS calls.  Mr. Murphy thinks voluntary contributions because of the economy are starting to be non-existent. 

COMMENTS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS

Robert Conrad, Director of Public Works asked that everyone coming on the Island bring a bucket of sand and when leaving take a bucket of water.

Carol Angus, Department Head of Inspections, asked if anyone had any questions regarding the monthly report turned in.  Rhonda Ferebee is doing a great job in keeping up with it. 

Mrs. Angus, on a personal note, thanked everyone who had expressed concerns and offers of assistance to her and her husband over the last couple of months.  It has really been appreciated and he is coming along pretty good right now.

Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation Director, commented that construction has started on the bathhouse for the western regional access.  Mr. Kuhorn was correct in that all of the regional accesses and other accesses have been very crowded over the past few days. 

Commissioner Trainham said thanks for the wonderful fireworks.  They were beautifully done this year.  Probably the best he has ever seen. 

There were no comments from Fire Chief Walker.

Police Chief Mark Wilson commented that he could not sit in his chair tonight because someone said the projector was going to shine on his head and blind everybody. He said the Police Department got a check today from the federal government for over $11,000 to be deposited to the drug fund.

COMMENTS FROM THE BOARD

            There were no comments from the Town Clerk, Town Attorney, Commissioner McElraft, Commissioner Wootten and Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer. 

Town Manager Frank Rush brought the board up to date on a couple of things.  There were several injuries at the eastern regional access over the holiday weekend.  The town is working with a contractor trying to get the remaining remnants of the pilings removed from the old Emerald Isle Fishing Pier.  Alesia and he met with a contractor today hoping they will be able to get the pilings out of there and solve that problem.  For the short term, there has been installed a buoys indicating a hazard out there and some additional signs have been ordered. 

            The room occupancy tax over in Carteret County is scheduled to be heard by the council and finance committee on July 17th at 8:30 A.M.  The Mayor and he plan to attend as will Commissioner McElraft.  He invited commissioners who would like to attend.

 Mr. Rush thanked everyone on the board for making his first seven days of work very enjoyable.  Everyone has been very helpful.

Commissioner Farmer commented it is wonderful to have Mr. Rush here. 

Commissioner Murphy welcomed Mr. Rush, our new Town Manager and wished him “Good Luck”.

Commissioner Trainham thanked Mr. Rush for bringing the board up to ”snuff” about what is going on.  There was the one accident on Lee Avenue and the new Manager called him on the phone to inform him. He thinks this is the first time this has happened and he thinks it is wonderful. 

  Commissioner McElraft moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the board voted unanimously to adjourn.

Adjournment took place at 9:50 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 07/11/2001

June 28, 2001 

Special Meeting - Board of Commissioners - Budget
822minspecmtg062801-budget.pdf
Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 06/28/2001
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