Agendas and Minutes

June 13, 2001 

Special Meeting - Board of Commissioners - Sign Ordinance
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Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 06/13/2001

June 12, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

MINUTES OF REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING 
OF THE EMERALD ISLE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 
TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2001 – 7:00 P.M. – TOWN HALL

Mayor Harris called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.  Present were Mayor Harris, Commissioners Murphy, Farmer, Trainham, Wootten, McElraft, Town Clerk Carolyn Custy, Town Attorney Derek Taylor, Interim Town Manager Georgia (Mitsy) Overman, new Town Manager Frank Rush, Department Heads Alesia Sanderson from Parks & Recreation, Public Works Director Robert Conrad, Police Chief Mark Wilson, representing the Planning Board Frank Vance, Captain Jeff Strawser of the Fire Department

            Mayor Harris asked for

Approval of Minutes of Workshop of March 26, 2001,

                        Approval of Minutes of Stormwater Workshop of April 23, 2001,

                        Approval of Minutes of Budget Workshop of April 23, 2001,

                        Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting of May 8, 2001.

            Motion was made by Commissioner Murphy, Seconded by Commissioner Wootten and the Board voted unanimously to approve all minutes listed above.

            Mayor Harris commented that the town is very fortunate to have Mr. Mickey Sugg from the Corps of Engineers and Mr. Rick Shivar from the Water Quality Division to speak to us. A 10 minute break will be entertained at the end of their presentation for the public to meet with them personally if they have any questions they would like to ask Mr. Sugg and Mr. Shivar.

            Mr. Mickey Sugg came forward and said he works with the Wilmington District of the Army Corps of Engineers in the Wilmington Regulatory Field Office.  He has been with the Corps for about 9 ½ years.  He has been wanting to talk with Emerald Isle and they like to set up little presentations with the municipalities within their work area so that the boards will understand the Corps regulatory functions as well as to meet face to face.  This will be a crash course tonight because of limited time.   He understands that most of the town’s concerns are with isolated wetlands so he will focus most of his presentation on that. The Corps has four field offices , one in Wilmington, one in Washington, one in Raleigh and one in Asheville.  Their responsibilities are enforcement of Section 10-1899 Rivers and Harbors Act that include activities that take place in Section 10 navigable waters do require authorization from their office which includes piers, docks and that type of thing and also enforce Section  404 of the Clean Water Act which includes wetlands and waters of the Unites States.  Other laws that are integrated with the Corps program which a lot of people are familiar with, CAMA, Coastal Area Management Act that is enforced by a State agency, Section 401 of the Clean Water Act that is enforced by the State Division of Water Quality.  Other laws that are integrated into the Corps program of which some are The Endangered Species Act, The Essential Fish Habits, The Wildlife Coordination Act, and Coastal Resource Preservation Act. Mr. Sugg went on to say that a lot of other State laws are integrated into their program where they make permit decisions and evaluate permits. 

            The way the Corps of Engineers is set up in determining wetlands, there is a three parameter approach.  When they are requested to go evaluate a piece of property, they are looking at wetland vegetations located within the project site of the property where the property owner wants to do some type of activity.  They determine the dominate species on the property.  More importantly, they are evaluating the soil, i.e., color, black,  gray soils, sandy soils, drainage ability.  An other parameter they look at the time they are looking at vegetation and soil and that is hydrology.  There are indicators in the soil profile.  In the upper 12 inches are indicators that tell the Corps if there is a water table within those 12 inches.  They can go on a piece of property during draught time when there has been no rain for a month or a month and a half and those indicators will always be there.  Examples are the color of the soil, the smell of the soil, the mud layer at the top. 

            Once a determination that there are wetlands on a piece of property, the next step is to make a decision as to whether those areas are adjacent or isolated.  In making that determination and defining adjacency – adjacency is defined as waters or wetlands that are continual or have a hydrological connection with navigable waters or outside waters.  That hydrological connection has to be a service connection whether is it natural connection through a stream or creek or it could be through a high ground ditch that connects that area to Bogue Sound or Newport River, etc.  If any area has been determined to be isolated – and the finding isolated is wetland areas that has no connection to any outside waters – that connection cannot be through a ditch or any natural connection.  In looking at an isolated wetlands, if you are looking at an atypical situation where you may have some disturbance, you may have some historic fill or you may have a road that severs that adjacent – you may have a finger in the road that is cut off at the mouth – natural berms, roads, dykes do not severe that area from being adjacent.  Mr. Sugg said there are areas off Coast Guard Road where wetlands are isolated in its present condition but historically it was all connected to the main system that emptied out into Bogue Sound. In situations like that those areas would not be considered isolated.  In addition, if you have a wetland area that is connected through a high ground ditch, there would be a good possibility that that area would not classified as isolated as well.

            In looking at isolated wetlands and understanding the town’s position in wanting to protect some of these areas because of the stormwater problems the town is facing, he commends that.  The Corps of Engineers regulatory authority in regulating these areas has become diminished in the last couple of years.  The reason it has become diminished is because of a couple of court cases. One of the cases in Maryland, U.S. vs. Wilson, where a gentleman was filling in 20 or 30 acres of wetlands and through the court system, the judge ruled in his favor stating that that isolated wetlands did not have any interstate commerce to it.  The entire law is tied into interstate commerce.  If there is no interstate commerce available or present in an isolated area, the Corps of Engineers has no regulatory authority whatsoever of that isolated area.  Interstate commerce can be defined as, at that time in 1998, hunting, timber operations, migratory birds, bird watching, recreational.  A lot of these are considered state commerce.

            With the courts decision in this case it limited the Corps position in regulating these areas a little but with a Supreme Court’s decision in another case where the Corps claimed jurisdiction on some isolated wetlands based on migratory birds (some 120 species), the Supreme Court ruled that the Corps of Engineers exceeded their regulatory authority in regulating isolated areas based on migratory birds and with the new Supreme Court’s decision that limited the Corps regulatory authority on these areas. 

            With this and a lot of the areas on Coast Guard, it has hampered the Corps position and authority on trying to regulate these areas. 

            One good thing is that in the State of North Carolina, the Division of Water Quality has stepped in with the Environmental Management Commissioner and voted for them to assert authority over these areas.  Even if the Corps may not have the ability to regulate these areas, the State of North Carolina is working on the ability to regulate them.  Mr. Sugg recommend that any ordinances being considered for amendments, to check with these folks so changes would not contradict their regulations.

            Mr. Sugg commented if the town would like for him to do a little workshop, he would be glad to do it. 

            Mark Brennersholz of 9322 Ocean Drive asked if there were areas on Emerald Isle, specifically off Coast Guard Road, that are either specifically under the Corps or not under the Corps?  Mr. Sugg said there are areas that are isolated and no interstate commerce connection can be found.    Mr. Brennersholz asked if these are generally identified?  Mr. Sugg answer was “No”.  Mr. Sugg said there is nothing in writing yet, but the verbal guidance from Headquarters they have gotten is if they are approached by a property owner who wants an isolated call, that property owner has to show that he or she has put financial resources and is trying to get approval from the County to move on to develop the property and they cannot develop the property unless they have that isolated call.  In situations of this nature, the Corps can go out and make this call.  If someone in general wants to know if their wetlands are isolated or not, then the Corps are saying they are putting that off until they get guidance from Headquarters.

            Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Sugg to elaborate on the agreement that the Corps has with the EPA for mitigating inpact of wetlands.  Mr. Sugg said the Corps and the EPA have developed a Memorandum of Agreement based on Section 404 B-1 guidelines.  These guidelines are associated with wetland impacts under the Section 404 Clean Water Act not the Section 10.  When the Corps are approached with a proposed wanting to fill wetlands, they have to go through a frequency process where the applicant has to prove to the Corps that they do not have high ground alternative. Whether that high ground alternative is used up by septic tank, set backs, property boundaries, is off the highway and the only place they can put the house is in a portion of wetlands. Once they have proven they do not have a high ground alternative, then they have to show where they have minimized the wetland impact as much as they can.  The key word when doing minimization is using the word practicable.  It has to be practicable alternatives, practicable minimization and practicable costs.  Practicable is defined in terms of  costs, logistics and  technology which means the Corps would not let you do something that the cost is extremely high.  In the question of looking at this road access  - bridging can be an extreme cost to a property owner.  In a situation where the bridge is going to cost more that the whole entire lot, then that is not practicable. 

            Minimization is looked at where the road is narrowed down, not having a 30 foot wide road, etc.  Once you show that you do not have alternatives, once you have proven that you have minimized as much as you can, then you get into mitigation.  Mitigation can be in forms of restore wetlands, you can create wetlands, preserve wetlands on site.  Conservation easements or restrictive covenants can be required to be placed on additional wetlands that are on property. Mitigation is the last step.

            Commissioner McElraft said she thinks Spinnakers Reach is considered adjacent wetlands and is one that mitigation is going on.  She asked if they are adjacent, why is Lands End not adjacent?   Where does the flow go to and why can Lands End clear out their wetlands and Spinnakers not?  Mr. Sugg replied Lands End was developed in late 1980’s and at that time a lot of that stuff was not regulated and they were allowed to go in there and dig the ponds and deepen them.  As to Spinnakers Reach and Spinnakers Landing, they just happen to develop at the wrong time when the Corps started regulating that excavation activity.  A lot of those areas are considered adjacent. 

            Commissioner McElraft asked about the dead trees and debris in there that is not wetland vegetation.  She asked if it were possible to get in there and get some of these things while it is dry and clear some of that out?  Mr. Sugg answered “Sure”.   Things that are not regulated you are allowed to mow, burn, tractor hoe with grappling hook on it to help pile it up, you can clean up.  Things like dead trees have to be cut off and removed. You cannot remove any sediment.

            Mr. Sugg said he would caution that this be done in the dry season and if the equipment starts to mar down and muck up areas, they need to pull back.  If they have logging mats and put the equipment on the logging mats that is permissible.

            Commissioner Wootten said we also have 404 Wetlands.  Mr. Sugg said they are the same thing.  Section 404 is part of the Stormwater Act that regulates water and wetlands. That could be isolated or adjacent, etc. 

            Mr. Rick Shivar who is with the Division of Water Quality and is based out of Wilmington, N.C.  His principal job with the Water Quality Section is to regulate discharging systems, wastewater treatment systems that discharge in the surface waters and as well regulate wastewater treatment systems that do not discharge in the surface waters but apply their waste onto land.  They also do the animal program, wetlands, and stormwater program.  The importance of protecting wetlands is not to aggravate the land owners.  The purpose is to protect the ecosystem that does several things.  It cleans surface water.  It is natures best wastewater treatment system.  It also stores water.  It is an important habitat for wildlife and migratory birds. What has happened since 1972 when the Clean Water Act was passed and the Corps was authorized to basically take the Corps front on wetland protection and water quality section each was delegated the task of assuring if any wetland filling was done that they would be assured that the activity did not impact water quality. The Section 404 part of the Clean Water Act which basically says to make sure if any work is done in wetlands, it would be done in a manner that would not adversely impact water quality.  The Corps has taken the lead marking certain that wetlands are delineated appropriately and they go through the permitting process and the Water Quality Division would issue the 401 water quality certification to make sure that the activity that is impacting does not adversely impact water quality.  Coastal wetlands (Bogue Sound on the mainland side) has historically has been the regulatory per view of CAMA and also with the Corps of Engineers and historically water quality emphasis has been on reviewing the project and making sure that whatever activity is being conducted in the coastland wetlands does not adversely impact water quality and they would go out and do a water quality certification once they were satisfied that the impact was being done in a way to minimize water quality impact.

            In 1996 the  Environment Management Commission approved rules which classified all wetlands in the State of North Carolina and said that you have to do some things for protection of the wetlands. 

            Mr. Shivar related to the same court case in Maryland that Mr. Sugg did.  He said that after some adaptation, some regulatory authority was diminished on isolated wetlands.  The State looked at the rules and found they did not need to do much in terms of the regulatory program and they realized that they had some regulatory obligations.  He related that in Brunswick Co and New Hanover Co there were incidents of ditching that were very bad and the EPA and the Corps got in there and repaired the damage .  The position Division of Water Quality is in now is that they have to decide how they are going to protect the isolated wetlands. Where they are at with this is they have a process you go through.  Typically what happens is it requires some kind of permit and certification that says that you can do something in these wetlands and that you will do it in a way to minimize the impact on water quality.  They are going through the rule making process on isolated wetlands and while going through that they are going to have to create a regulatory form, some form of authorization for impact, or basically the development in isolated wetlands in such a way the impacts are avoided or minimized.  This is where Water Quality is at this time on this issue.

            Mr. J. B. Cottle who lives down Coast Guard Road said he read an article in the paper that Commissioner Farmer has been working 2 ½ years on the 43 acres of wetlands on Emerald Isle and has got a proposal of a $2,500,000.00 grant provided the citizens get another 2,500,000.00 .  He asked where the town stands in regard to wetland when we have a flooding and pump all of the water to those 43 acres. Question being, do we have a permit to do that?  Commissioner Farmeranswered “No.”   Mr. Cottle asked why we should purchase the land before we get a permit?  Commissioner Farmer answered there have been calls from Division of Water Quality, Shell Fish Sanitation, Division of Coastal Management saying that they support the idea of it.  We do not have definite permitting.  Mr. Cottle asked if we have to have the $5,000,000.00 before we get the permit or can we acquire the permit and then go through the process of donating the money.  He does not want to spend money we cannot use but the money is needed vitally on this island and other locations. 

            Town Attorney Derek Taylor asked Mr. Shivar if he foresees the regulatory scheme being so comprehensive to pre-empt any action at the local level?  Mr. Shivar said at the local level you can always pass laws more restrictive than what the Water Quality has.  If you want to make your rules stricter, we are in favor of it. 

            Commissioner Farmer replied she did talk to one member of the Environmental Management Commission and his feeling at this point is that the rules will probably be mimicking what the Corps already has in existence.  Mr. Shivar says he cannot perceive they would do anything different.  Commissioner Farmer commented that it does not mean you cannot fill wetlands, you have to get a permit for it.  Mr. Shivar said they did not perceive they were going to end up in this.  He thinks the Corps wants to get out of the regulatory business and if the Corps is going to get out of it, the Division of Water Quality will probably inherit it and left to deal with it.  There are some wetland rules that have never been put in writing, particularly the mitigation ratio.

            Commissioner McElraft said the Corps of Engineers was really thrown out of the wetland business by the United States Supreme Court.  She asked Mr. Shivar how does the State of North Carolina feel that they will not be thrown out or a little town like Emerald Isle?  Mr. Shivar answered that this raises a good question and he clarified that the Corps is in front for wetland protection.  There are still thousand and thousands of acreage of jurisdictional wetland of which the Corps has the principal responsibility to protect.  It just so happens that the Supreme Court has basically said they are not going to do business on isolated wetlands and so that falls to the Division of Water Quality.  The question can be answered by telling the Board the fact that the State has basically come to take on some more regulatory responsibility to protect wetlands by preventing ditching.  This protects isolated wetlands. 

            Mayor Harris thanked Mr. Shivar for his presentation.

A 10 minute break was taken from 7:55 P.M. to 8:05 P.M.

REED DRIVE COMMERCIAL PARK 

      Mayor Harris commented the Board, at their regular meeting in May, referred the Reed Drive Commercial Park back to the Planning Board and the Planning Board met on May 21st and rejected the Reed Drive Preliminary Plat. Another Plat has been presented to the Town Board and it shows the 3-lot subdivision and the Reed Drive cul-de-sac.

            Commissioner Farmer asked what the Planning Board’s concerns were? Mr. Frank Vance, a member of the Planning Board, said the Planning Board was concerned about how the traffic was going to be entering and exiting from these three lots.  They felt it being developed like that and although they are not causing the traffic there at the present time, it would add to it and it would be a dangerous situation.  The Minutes show that the Planning Board suggested the entrance of that development be moved down 460 feet from the center of Highway 58.  Mr. Vance said the Planning Board felt that would move it far enough and abandon that part of Reed Drive.  Before it was coming out by the power station and the wetlands stopped that.  This is felt to be the only alternative the Planning Board had, was to move it down and bring it up around some other wetlands and bring it back into the 3-lots and abandon that portion of Reed Drive.    

            Mayor Harris questioned Mr. Vance if he was saying it would be at approximately Pebble Beach.  Mr. Vance said it would not be right at Pebble Beach, it would be back toward Highway 58. 

Mrs. Holz came forward and said she would like to make several points to the Board.  She would like to get input from the Planning Board as well.  Her first point was that the Reed Drive  Extension under discussion, forming the public road for that 3-lot subdivision, has been dedicated as a town street since 1971.  It is dedicated and is recorded in the Court House, signed by the Town of Emerald Isle and it has been dedicated as a public street since it was done.  She requested this be put in the record.  The 3-lot subdivision meets all the subdivision ordinance requirements.  She asked if this was correct?  It meets all of the written subdivision requirements?  The answer to this was “Yes”.  Mrs. Holz continued, the Planning Board turned down her 3-lot subdivision preliminary plan because they wanted the entire tract developed and they want a second entrance off Coast Guard Road.  She asked if this was correct?  She clarified, an entrance other than the Reed Drive Entrance?  Her preliminary subdivision plat was disapproved by the Planning Board even though it meets the town subdivision ordinance because she does not show another entrance there and the entire tract was not included. Mrs. Holz said her sole aim has been to subdivide, not develop at this property.  All she has asked for from the beginning was the 3-lot subdivision.  She explained that she has acceded to the wishes expressed by the town board and planning board showing subdivision of the whole tract in order to get things moving.  She never intended to do that but has done it at the request of the boards.  The new jurisdictional wetlands thing is still sort of gray.  She does not want to fill any wetlands. She has said if the town wants wetlands filled so that she can go to Pebble Beach, she would do that, don’t want to but she will.  She has come before the board once again asking them to please consider only a 3-lot subdivision using an existing, dedicated, accepted town street that has been cleared with permits with both the Corps and North Carolina for paving for a street.   

Commissioner Wootten said this is the 5th time Mrs. Holz has come before the board.  He asked that they once again go back over a little history.  He believes the process started back late last year with a 3-lot subdivision.  That went through a dialogue and traffic studies were done that led the town board to conclude that the traffic considerations would paramount more if there were further development of this piece of property and it was learned the entire piece of property had to be dealt with, the infrastructure of the entire piece of property, not necessarily how it was going to be developed, but infrastructure concerning the road and stormwater.  Then the entrance to the piece of property, if at all possible, as far away from Highway 58 as possibly could and that meant bringing the entrance down by Pebble Beach.  Commissioner Wootten said Mrs. Holz and John McLean has worked with the Planning Board to try to accomplish that and they have tried very diligently to accomplish that and he thought they were there when the entrance was down by Pebble Beach at which point difficulties arose that had to be addressed with wetlands.  This brought the approach of development of the piece of property to a temporary halt.  Mrs. Holz, has now, and Commissioner Wootten understands, gone with this approach of just the first preliminary subdivision of the 3-lots – She is right.  Commissioner Wootten would personally be remiss in not continuing to try to solve the problem of the traffic and the infrastructure of the entire lot so both the town and Mrs. Holz can be satisfied with the results.  Commissioner Wootten said, he personally, very reluctantly somewhat, he would not vote for this because as soon as the road structure is approved and something is paved, the board may find out, how many months down the road, that was not the ultimate solution that could have been made.  He does not know that this will happen but he does not want to get locked in on one piece of ingress, egress, of that piece of property by Reed Drive when in fact it may be smarter not to do that.  Commissioner Wootten stated he thinks the town board and planning board have made it clear that they are willing to trade or whatever, parts of Reed Drive need to be abandoned to make the whole road structure fixed.  He said he would rather keep working the problem and not approve this piece of property.  He does not think anyone on the board is trying to take away the property or limited the use of the property.  They are just trying to find the right answer.

            Mrs. Holz said she appreciates the concern.  She has never been a quitter.  She does not intend to quit now.

            Commissioner Trainham said, “Mrs Holz you have not said anything about the other portion of the property.  All the emphasis has been on the 3 sections there along the road.  He asked if there was a reason for that because whatever the developer does in a sense of setting the stage inadvertently over a long period of time it is going to be developed.  Mrs. Holz said “Yes Sir, but I have no plans.”  She gave an example – “I don’t believe there has ever been a case in history of Emerald Isle that a developer has developed an entire block at once.  In the old days, my father and George Spell would develop an ocean side block and they sometimes even bought ocean side portions of a block and developed those and in some cases, we don’t even develop our own blocks.  In block 33, Surfside Realty, we had preliminary plans approved and we even roughed some roads to develop the sound side and we realized what an enormous amount of money it was going to take to put in the water system which we are required to put in and give to the water company which all developers do, fire hydrants, paving, and then we had this big inventory of lots and were all already a lot of lots on the market so at that time, we just put the road through on the sound side and with that one 1100-foot strip of road we developed two rows, sound front and 2nd row and we have not touched the remainder of the property since then.  We don’t always jump in and do a whole chunk. It is whatever piece or pieces that are desirable to do at the time for whatever we need to do.  I can remember some of my father’s friends telling me that he sold them a 2nd row Emerald Isle lot for $800.00 to send me to college. It is what we need at the time and what we do at the time.     I have no hidden sinister, no desire -----.”

             Commissioner Farmer said it is the location of the parcel that is the problem. She feels that the town board and planning board all have concerns about the traffic that would be generated.  There are also some traffic studies that are concerned.  She thinks it is wonderful that Mrs. Holz does not want to fill the wetlands.  She and Mrs. Holz obviously agree on the importance of wetlands.    Commissioner Farmer agrees with Commissioner Wootten that she would support abandonment of the section of Reed Drive Extension that would not be needed anymore.  The board is not trying to prevent Mrs. Holz from developing, they are trying to see that the development that goes in there, the layout, the infrastructure, is as safe as possible for the rest of the town. 

            Commissioner McElraft asked  “If we abandon Reed Road, that puts more square footage in the property to that side.  With what you are planning to do there and subdividing that, does that infringe upon that, I mean adding that property and taking it away from the other piece.  Can you tell me if that would affect you in anyway?”

            Mrs. Holz answered, “My only intent was to subdivide of an existing town dedicated street.  Since I have no customer ready to buy any of these lots and I have not invisioned a use, I cannot answer that question.  I am not at that point yet.  It may indeed impact the type and best use of the remainder of the property.

            Commissioner McElraft said her only concern about abandoning Reed Road and making it part of that property, closer to Highway 58 means that we can put more square footage of building closer to Highway 58 rather than bringing it on around the corner.  She thinks this might cause more of a traffic problem in the long run.

Commissioner McElraft said, “When you start adding square footage to those three lots and you can then build the shopping center, the Lowes or the bigger whatever there right off of Highway 58, that to me just makes sense that is going to cause  more of a traffic jam up too.  I am very frustrated because if we have no ordinances preventing – you have been back time and time again but I understand about the safety of that area too and I have to be concerned about that.  But I think abandoning Reed Road and giving that property to that parcel of land creates more of a problem in my eye with traffic jam up on that corner.”

            Mrs. Holz said, “I cannot answer that but if you will allow me to stay with this thing, I would believe more in the Towns  concerns about traffic safety if you had done the first thing to improve the traffic conditions on Coast Guard Road.  You have done nothing.”

            Commissioner Farmer asked to comment on that and said, I think we have heard a number of residents who live down Coast Guard Road and I am one of them who feels that traffic on Coast Guard Road while congested in the summer if far from unbearable.  I am well aware that in the summer when Emerald Isle has a lot of tourists all of our roads need relief and I recognize the fact that I have to slow down a little bit and allow for a little more time. That’s summer in a resort community.”  Mrs. Holz asked, “Then you feel there are no traffic problems on Coast Guard Road?”  Commissioner Farmer replied, “I don’t think there is an unbearable traffic problem in Coast Guard Road at this point.”  Commissioner Wootten said. “The traffic study we are referring to has to do with the safety of the citizens and the value of traffic. Everyone one of those studies points out the need to widen and expand Coast Guard Road.  You cannot have it both ways.” Commissioner Murphy did not have any comments. 

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded that the Board not approve the three-lot subdivision as presented at this time.   

Commissioner McElraft asked Town Attorney Derek Taylor if this could be tabled tonight until the Corps of Engineers is contacted to see if they are going to take jurisdiction over those wetlands and not make a decision on this until it is known what their decision is going to be? Mr. Taylor said, “If the Board should decide that is the path it wants to take, yes you could.”

Mayor Harris said she has a motion of denial and a second to the motion at this point.

Commissioner Farmer said her decision has nothing to do with wetlands.  Her decision has to do with the ethics of Reed Drive Extension being too close to Highway 58.  It does not have anything to do with wetlands.  If they could do the road next to Pebble Beach going through the wetlands, which Mrs. Holz says she does not want to fill, or curve the road around the wetlands and not go through them.  Commissioner Farmer said her problem is the entrance to the subdivision, Reed Drive Extension, being so close to Highway 58.

Commissioner Wootten said he thinks Commissioner McElraft’s suggestion is to table this issue and try to find another solution.  He was not sure what Mrs. Holz would think of that.  Instead of the Board saying no at this time, to keep working the problem. He did not think this was a bad idea. 

Attorney Taylor said, “If you were to make determinations on wetlands and continue discussions in other areas, this plat would look different.  What you have before you tonight, you would either accept or reject at some point in time when she would have to do another drawing and bring back to the Planning Board again a different plan for you to approve.  Those things may or may not apply.  If that is the reason you are tabling it, tabling it may not make a bit of sense.  You are saying, wetland issues could move the road down and make this plan look a whole lot different and you might want to approve that but it would not look like this.” 

Commissioner McElraft said her question also is to not totally put this out until it is found out if there is a possible way that the other road can be done without causing Mrs. Holz to lose her property rights there.  Commissioner McElraftdoes not see where tabling it can hurt because they can always go back and untable it.

Commissioner Wootten withdrew the motion he made earlier. 

Commissioner McElraft moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded that this issue be tabled tonight until the Board could work further with Mrs. Holz and the Corps of Engineers to establish if those are adjacent wetlands, if the Corps does have jurisdiction over those, and if  the road can be built a little farther down without totally eliminating this plan if there is a need to come back to it.

Mayor Harris asked if there was any suggestions to guide Mrs. Holz on what to bring back?  Commissioner McElraft said she feels a talk with Mickey Sugg soon and go out and establish what these wetlands are and see if the road can be built across there.  The need to talk some more is evident. 

Commissioner Farmer said “By tabling this, I believe we are taking away from the Planning Board their function as an advisory board for the Commissioners on issues like subdivisions.  I will say frankly, point blank, I cannot support the road that close to Highway 58.  We have been told by those studies that in fact that is not a good idea and I think the guys are foremost concerned.  The process that we should be following is when some things are not approved by the Planning Board and there are questions by the Board of Commissioners part, the process is that it goes back to the Planning Board and it is the Board of Commissioners that decide if there is a different way that this should be worked.  I don’t understand why we would go through a different procedure than the one that we have laid out.”

Commissioner McElraft said she is just trying to protect the interest of the taxpayers from a law suit and she does think this road situation can be worked out.  To turn it down, absolutely, right now, these people have done everything they can, the Planning Board has done their part, the Board of Commissioners cannot keep Mrs. Holz from subdividing that land according to the Ordinances.  Commissioner Farmer interjected, “And we don’t want to.  What we can do is to make sure that the road is placed in a safe place for the town and we are not preventing her from developing her land.”  Commissioner McElraft said all she would like to do is to hold a law suit off while they are doing it.  She is just saying that the town is putting itself in jeopardy. 

Mayor Harris said she has a motion and a second that it will go back to the Board again.  Commissioner Wootten corrected Mayor Harris that it would not go back to the Planning Board but be tabled.

Mayor Harris asked for a vote.  Voting yes for the motion to table this issue were Commissioner Wootten, Commissioner McElraft and Commissioner Murphy.  Voting No were Commissioner Farmer and Commissioner Trainham.

Commissioner Trainham asked to make a comment.  He too feels the Board can go around what the Planning Board no matter what they say but he regrets the Planning Board is now allowed to have a part in coming up with a solution.  He feels that they should be in the picture and they should not be bypassed.    Commissioner Wootten agreed that there is no intention to go against the Planning Board.  If this works out, the developer will start a new package and bring it to the Planning Board for its approval or nonapproval.  Commissioner McElraft said all the Town Board is doing is not saying no to this right now. 

Commissioner Wootten commented that the Planning Board did not like saying no to this either but they did not have a choice.  The Town Board has a choice.

AMENDMENT TO , CHAPTER 4, SECTIONS 4.23 (a) and (b) and Section 4-28 OF THE ANIMAL ORDINANCE.

            Mayor Harris thanked the Committee who worked on this animal ordinance.  They have submitted their final recommendation and report to the Board.  The Committee has talked to the public.  The public has talked to the Board.  The Board has received many letters, e-mails and phone calls.  The Committee contacted all of Carteret County towns.  They went to other counties and got their history and how they operate regarding animals that they have submitted to the Board.  There have been suggestions from just about everyone.  The recommendations now come before the Town Board and it is hoped that the Board will make some type of decision on the changes in the Animal Ordinance. 

 

ORDINANCE 01 - 6 - 12 - 02

 

An Ordinance Amending Chapter 4, Article I,

Entitled “In General”, Section 4-2 and Article II

Entitled “DOGS”, Sections 4-23 and 4-28

Each A Part of the Emerald Isle Town Code

 

          WHEREAS, the Town of Emerald Isle proposes certain amendments to the animal control ordinances contained within Chapter 4, Articles I and II of the Emerald Isle Municipal Code in order have the code better reflect the current needs of the Town and to better promote the health, safety and welfare of the Town’s citizens; and

          WHEREAS, the Town’s Board of Commissioners has considered the recommendations of a specially appointed Animal Control Committee and the comments made by the public on the changes which should be made; and

          WHEREAS, the public was provided an opportunity at several regularly scheduled Town Meetings to express their views as to the Animal Control ordinance changes being considered;

          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Town Board of Commissioners of the Town of Emerald Isle that Chapter 4, Article I and II, Sections 4-2, 4-23, and 4-28 of the Code of Ordinances, Town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, are hereby amended to read as follows:

     Article I, Section 4-2 - shall have the words “except dogs” deleted from its content causing the amended ordinance to read:

     No horse, goat, cattle or other animal or fowl shall be permitted to run at large within the town limits.  All animals caught running at large shall be impounded by the police and unless claimed within four (4) days shall be disposed of as the town shall deem best. 

     Article II, Section 4-23, subsections (a) & (b) – shall be deleted entirely and replaced by the following

     Section 4-23.  Removal of Excrement Required

No owner, keeper, or person in charge of the possession and/or control of any dog shall cause or allow the dog to defecate or otherwise commit any nuisance on any street, sidewalk, park, beach strand, public right-of-way, or other publicly owned area, or upon any private property without permission of the owner or occupant of the property, unless the excrement is immediately removed by said owner, keeper, or person in charge of the dog and deposited in an appropriate waste container. 

     Article II, Section 4-28 entitled “Penalty” shall be amended to read as follows:

     Any owner, keeper, or person in charge of the possession and/or control of any dog who shall violate any provision of this Chapter shall be require to pay a fifty dollar ($50.00) civil fine 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.

     This ordinance shall become effective immediately 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 of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

    

     DULY ADOPTED THIS 12th day of June, 2001, by a vote of

Commissioner(s)___________________­________________________ voting for, Commission­er(s) _______________________________ voting against and Commissioner(s)__________________________

absent.

 

                                   Town of Emerald Isle

 

                                   _____________________

                                   Barbara M. Harris, Mayor

 

ATTEST:

 

_________________________                           

Carolyn K. Custy, Town Clerk

 

            Mayor Harris asked for comments from the public after she read the above Ordinance revision.

Mr. Joseph McCabe of 321 Cape Fear Loop came forward with several questions.  His first question was about the dogs that are not claimed within 4 days.  He asked what does the town mean about who decides who disposes of these dogs?  Is there a certain person who will be responsible?  How is that going to be decided?   He continued that in the next section, his second question is regarding excrement disposal.  He asked if there would be containers provided year round on the beach or near the beach where it could be disposed of.  Mayor Harris replied “There are trash cans on the beach.”  Mr. McCabe asked if they were there all year around?  Mayor Harris answered “No”.

            Commissioner Wootten said the individual would be responsible to take it.    Mr. McCabe said on the animal control report, he has questions about some of the committees information they are presenting that the decision may have been made on.  There is a comment about contamination of dog feces causing serious problems with children.  He asked if any children been sick from any dog feces?  Has there been an epidemic or is there any information that there has there been a big problem.  He noted he is a family physician and he has never seen a case. He also knows that Dr. Hemmerline has had many children come through his office and has not seen any.  Mayor Harris said she does know children step in “IT” a lot and she does know a child can fall into it.    

            Commissioner Wootten said he does not think this is a point.  He asked how it related to the changes being proposed?  Dr. McCabe said the point is to clean up after your dog which he thinks is fine but he thinks it was submitted rather strongly by the committee that it is a major health hazard which he does not necessarily agree with and he wonders where they got their data from tomake it as big a health hazard as they presented here.   

            Commissioner Murphy addressed the question as to who would be responsible for the disposal of the dogs after 4 days. He said he thinks the Hadnot Creek Kennel would hold them for 4 days, that they would transport them to the Carteret County Animal Shelter.  If they were not at Hadnot Creek Kennel they would be at the animal shelter. 

Commissioner Murphy said the only animals the shelter “puts down” are sick or maimed animals.

            Dr Arthur Hemmerline of 205 Burlington Street commented said the information presented on excrement is not true.  There are rare situations but not many.  Obviously he does now want to slip on the sidewalks either.  In 1986  eighty per-cent of cats taken to the pound were killed.  Commissioner Wootten said “You mentioned cats but we are talking about dogs”.

            Mr. Robert Gordon of 112 Azure said the town is getting very restrictive with horses, dogs, etc. and he is afraid that pretty soon they are going to put a leash on children.  He calls himself a codger, his children calls him geezer and he is afraid that this community is getting senile, that is being senior and you are going to drive anyone with youngsters.  He did not get to hear what kind of horses Mr. Cochran has or what intention he has, if he is going to give pony rides or what, but the town is becoming very aged and very restrictive.  He thinks this reflects poorly on the community.

            Commissioner Farmer said one of the things changed in the ordinance was the restriction that is currently in place is that you can only have two dogs.  The likelihood of having to ask a Police Officer to go over to someone’s house and telling the owner which dog they want them to remove.  The ordinance was not readily being enforced.  There is another place that the current ordinance says that leashes are supposed to be 6 feet.  It was agreed that this length was to be taken out. Commissioner Farmer continued she does not think it is unusual to have a “Pooper Scooper Law” in town.  She does not think people really like to walk on the beach and step in something in the sand.  She would like to see dispensers like they have in Ocean City, Maryland.  They have a dispenser at the sign with the leash and Pooper Scooper Law.  She thinks there should be receptacles.

Commissioner McElraft comments there are two or three groups on the island who are trapping, taking the strays in for neutering and spaying.  They are marking the ears and then returning them to the island.  These cats will not be reproducing.  There is an effort to control the population of feral cats.  The people who are in this process could probably use some financial help if anyone wants to help.

Debbie Lilly of 6002 McLean Street related she did have someone knock on her door and told her she did have too many dogs.  She has tried to comply with the town ordinance after she was told that and in her efforts her 18 year old Cocker Spaniel died in a kennel at Hadnot Creek.  She is not saying anything negative about those boys who run that kennel.  They called her immediately when she went down.  She just wanted to let people know that this ordinance has caused personal pain for her, her children and her family and she sincerely hopes counter activity will stop in our town.  The gentleman who said the town is aging, said she was an old mother, she was 40+ years old when her first child was born and she does not intend to get old.  She hopes that there will be support for the people here who are trying not to be old also.

Dr. Arthur Hemmerlien asked a question about feral cats.  He asked Commissioner McElraft if she knows how many cases of human rabies are caused by cats each year?  He said there is one case of human rabies in the United States every two years.  Human rabies is a very very rare disease.  In Carteret County 90 per-cent of the rabies is in Racoons.  About 2 per-cent is in cats.  He is unaware of any cat that has transferred rabies to a human being.  If you have to get rid of the rabies, you don’t try to get the animal who has 2 per-cent, you go for the animal with the 90 per-cent.  He is not advocating to go out and kill raccoons.  He said research is being done on a bait that can be dropped from an airplane for the raccoons to eat thus getting rid of them and the rabies.

Mrs. Tonya Purcell of Archers Creek Drive said she is an animal lover.  She is a dog trainer.  She went to school and received certification in taking care of animals.  There is a problem here with feces and stuff left on the island.  To her, it seems like this is the biggest concern on the island.  As far as people owning animals, it does not matter to her how many animals you have as long as you take care of the animals.  You are responsible for your animal and she believes animals need to be taken care as you would your children.   She agreed something needs to be done about the wild cats on the island.

Mayor Harris said the bottom line is people do not like for your dog to run up on their child and do not like for that dog to use their yard for their bathroom.  This is the number one complaint on Emerald Isle. It has been.  That is why the committee was put out there and that is why this Board will make the decision.  The Board cannot please everyone.  There is no way but the Board has to take control.  You must be in control of your animal and if you feed a cat, the law says you are responsible for that cat, its health and vaccinations.  That is what the law says.

Mr. J.B. Cottle of Wyndtree Drive said there was a lot of rental property on his street.  He suggested that the Board, if this ordinance is adopted and of which he is in favor of, put out a formal letter.  Be sure that every real estate company in this Town, the top sheet when the person picks up their rental keys is informed of that ordinance.  One day a man came by with a great big black Lab.  His wife, he and a neighbor were standing in the yard.  His wife had some flowers planted around her mailbox.  The dog started right for them.  He asked the man “Sir, would you not let your dog urinate on my wife’s flowers?”  The man just laughed and stood there and encouraged the dog. 

Commissioner Farmer said the Board had agreed that on Section 4-21 that there would be no limit on the leash length.  Her concern is that if there is only a 6 foot leash, then dogs would not run and would be taken off their leashes.  On page 248.1 in the Codification in definitions “At Large” means off the premises of the owner and not restrained by leash or lead, such lead not to exceed six (6) feet in length, - she asked the part between the commas be deleted.

Attorney Taylor asked Commissioner Farmer if she was making a motion that the Board adopt this ordinance with that additional change?  Commissioner Farmer answered “Yes.”

Motion was made by Commissioner Farmer that adoption of Ordinance 01-06-12-02 with an amendment to Section 4-21 removing the words “such lead not to exceed six (6) feet length.” Motion was seconded by Commissioner Wootten. The Board voted unanimously to approve the amendment.

Commissioner Farmer said one of the reasons for cutting down a lot of the restrictions that were recommended by the animal committee was that some sort of educational effort to be set up.  She requested that the charge of that proposal be charged back to the animal committee to come up an educational plan for how we are going to encourage people to do things like shorten leashes when they are around other people.  Encourage them to pick-up after so that we don’t have to cite people. How are we going to notify the real estate companies, the residents, etc?  Mayor Harris said a workshop could be held and do it that way.  Commissioner Farmer said she would prefer to have the committee do it.  She understands there is some interest among committee members to do it.   

Mayor Harris said they have given their final report.  That is the end of the committee.  Commissioner Farmer said she would like to reappoint the same people to work on an education program.  She thinks it makes perfect sense.  They are the ones who studies the issues.   They can come back to the Board with what their education process is and if they are the ones typing up the material that is great.

Commissioner Wootten suggested letting the new Town Manager work with the people who were on the committee to achieve what you want achieved.  They can do it in a very informal way without any special committees.  Commissioner Farmersaid her concern is that she does not want this dropped.  Commissioner Wootten said let the new Town Manager and Interim Town Manager sit there and go to it.

AMENDMENT TO SOLID WASTE ORDINANCE, CHAPTER 15, SECTIONS 15-3 AND 15-15.

            Mayor Harris thanked the Solid Waste Committee who did a superb job.  They started months ago.  The bottom line is that there is garbage sitting on the ground, not in containers.  The Board is trying to correct this situation and have people put garbage in containers, therefore, this new ordinance will require putting it in containers and not on the ground.  Mayor Harris asked Commissioner McElraft to read the Ordinance that is as follows: 

                                               

ORDINANCE  2001 –6 –12 –01

An Ordinance Amending Section 15-3 and 15-15 of 
The Emerald Isle Solid Waste Management Ordinances 
Codified in Chapter 15 of the Emerald Isle Town Code 
 

            WHEREAS, the Town has recognized the need for better control of solid waste disposal, particularly on sites of residential rental properties; and

 

             WHEREAS, the report of a specially appointed solid waste committee made recommendations to the Town Board of Commissioners for more specific storage requirements on such properties; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Town Board of Commissioners has considered the recommendations of the solid waste committee and has heard public comment on such matters during its regularly scheduled meeting held on this date;

 

            NOW, Therefore, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Town Commissioners of the Town of Emerald Isle that Chapter 15, Section 15-3 and 15-15 of the Code of Ordinances, Town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

            Section 15-3.            Containers Required

 

(a)               Every business location and owner or occupant of a house or residence in the residential area where garbage or refuse exists shall provide a sufficient number of containers for each business location and residential unit in which shall be deposited all garbage or refuse existing at such buildings or premises.  Each residential rental unit must have a minimum of 30 gallons of solid waste containment per bedroom.  For purposes of this ordinance, a bedroom will be any room which provides a facility for sleeping, including, but not limited to, day beds (or other convertibles), sleeper sofas or couches, hide-a-beds, cots, roll-away beds or cribs.  Each business location shall have a minimum of two (2) plastic containers, and each container shall be made of heavy duty plastic with at least a thirty (30) gallon capacity.  All containers shall have drain holes and shall be provided with handles and with a tight-fitting cover made of the same material as the container.

(b)               Garbage, refuse and recycle containers must be placed at the street curb no earlier than dusk the day before collection is scheduled and must be returned to the residence within 24 hours after collection or be contained within an approved retaining rack which is located at the curb.  Retaining racks approved for thirty (30) or (40) gallon containers and for storage of eighteen (18) gallon recycling containers shall be four sided and of sufficient size to fully secure each container housed therein.  Retaining racks approved for roll-out ninety (90) gallon containers and/or forth (40) gallon roll-out recycling containers shall be three sided and designed such that the open side is facing the street from which collection shall take place.  All three sided racks must have a means of securing the containers housed therein to prevent them from being turned or blown over.  Any forty (40) gallon roll-out recycling containers which are not contained within an approved rack may be placed and kept at the curb if they are secured in such a way as to prevent them from being turned or blown over.  All retaining racks must be anchored to the ground.

(c)               All persons doing business in a business location within the town limits shall provide containers as outlined in this section unless and until the owner or lessor of the business location shall be directed by the town to provide bulk containers.

(d)               No  person shall throw, drop or deposit any leaves, shrubs or other debris on any curb, or into any catch basin or manhole in the town.

(e)               All garbage containers and racks shall be inspected annually by the town for conformance with this chapter.  If any container, rack or other equipment required by this Chapter are found to be deficient at the site, then the town manager shall notify the owner and/or occupant as to the deficiencies.  Failure to correct the deficiencies within a period of thirty (30) days thereafter may result in the town suspending garbage collection services at the site until the deficiencies are corrected.

 

 

Section 15-15.          Fines

            Pursuant to Section 1-6 of the Town Code of Emerald Isle, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil fine of $50.00 per day for each day the violation continues.

            This ordinance shall become effective immediately 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 of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

            DULY ADOPTED THIS 12th day of June, 2001, by a vote of

Commissioner(s) ___________________________________________________

Voting for, Commissioner(s) _______________________________voting against and Commissioner(s) ____________________________________absent.

 

                                                                                    TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE

 

 

                                                                        BY:_________________________

                                                                                                Barbara M. Harris, Mayor

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

_______________________________                                                                                 

 

  Carolyn K. Custy, Town Clerk

 

             Commissioner McElraft, in regard to (d) asked where do you deposit leaves, shrubs, etc., if not on the curb?  Commissioner Wootten said in curbs and manholes it would stop water flow.  The word “manhole” is deleted. 

Mark  Brennersholz of 9322 Ocean Drive said he didn’t hear what the decision on (d) was. He asked if he still calls the town and gets on a list for pickup every month?  Commissioner McElraft said she can see what he is talking about. This is saying that you cannot put it on the curb.  It is confusing.  Commissioner Murphy said he thinks when you are talking about a curb, you are talking about a concrete curb that water flows down.    Attorney Taylor said this is one of those standard clauses that comes in from the urban areas that have problems with stormwater drains getting clogged up with debris. Commissioner Wootten said from the way it is written it is obvious that is the point. 

Mr. Ross, resident of 7018 Ocean Drive called the Board’s attention to page 2 “All three sided racks must have a means of securing the containers housed therein to prevent them from being blown over.”  His comment is that the racks themselves need to be anchored to the ground because the containers in the racks are not going to stay there.  During the storms his neighbors racks blew through his overhead garage doors because they are not anchored.  Racks to be anchored should be included.  Commissioner Murphy suggested to add a sentence “Containment racks must be secured to the ground.”  On page 3  (b) a sentence “All containment racks must be anchored to the ground”  was suggested.

            Motion was made by Commissioner Murphy, Seconded by Commissioner Farmer and the Board voted unanimously for approval of the amendment and to add the sentence “All containment racks must be anchored to the ground.”

            Commissioner McElraft asked that a little leeway be given to getting the racks built to the management companies, not fining them until they have time to get the racks out.  Plenty of trash cans should be put out immediately as that does not take long.

            Mayor Harris indicated that a letter would be mailed to each of the real estate companies.

DEBRIS REMOVAL CONTRACT.

            Ms. Overman, Interim Manager , at the last Board meeting, asked for approval to advertise for bids on debris removal for the upcoming hurricane season.  Advertisement for bids was done and a bid opening was held on Monday, June 4, 2001 at 1:00 P.M.  There were four bids received and the results are attached at the end of these minutes.

DRC, Inc., Mobile, Alabama has been recommended for the awarding of the contract. DRC is a large company and has worked in places as far away as Saudi Arabia They have worked at Topsail Beach and the Raleigh/Durham area.  The Government Website on computer was pulled up for information in areas of default or if a contract has been awarded and had not been fullfilled.  DRC is highly recommended.

            Motion was made by Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner Farmer seconded and the Board voted unanimously to award the removal debris contract for the upcoming hurricane season to DRC, Inc., of Mobile, Alabama.  

 

BUDGET AMENDMENTS FOR FY 2000/2001

            Ms. Overman said, Resolution 01-06-12-01, a General Fund Amendment,  is moving money from Tipping Fees to Contribution to the Regional Access Fund of $8,000.00.  The reason for this is that we have not received any grant money for the regional access because the project at the west end is not complete.  General Fund is going to have to fund that expense until the grant money is received.

            Resolution 01-06-12-02 goes to the Regional Access Fund which is taking the transfer from the General Fund Budget and putting it into the expense line items to cover the expenses of  the regional access.

            Resolution 01-06-12-03 is a Debt Service Budget Amendment.  In going back and looking at the special appropriations of Debt Service, there was one lease – Lease #7 that got budgeted in the current budget for three quarterly payments of $12,985.00 instead of four.  Money has to be moved from the General fund into the Debt Service Fund to take care of that other payment.     

            Resolution 01-06-12-04 is a General Fund Budget Amendment that is actually taking money from the General Fund and contributing it to the Debt Service Fund to cover that quarterly payment. 

            Motion was made by Commissioner Trainham and Seconded by Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted unanimously to approved Budget Amendment Resolutions 01-06-12-01,01-06-12-02, 01-06-12-03, and 01-06-12-04.

 

APPOINTMENT TO BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

            Mr. Kevin Viverette has created a vacancy on the Board of Adjustment and it is recommended that Mr. Joseph Quigley who is currently Alternate #1 be appointed to fill Mr. Viverette’s place as a regular member of the Board of Adjustment.

            Motion was made by Commissioner Wootten, seconded by Commissioner Farmer.

Commissioner Farmer thanked Mr. Viverette for his years of service.  She said he was wonderful on the Board of Adjustment and he will be missed in Emerald Isle.  Mayor Harris said a letter would be going out to him thanking him for his service. 

 The Board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Joseph Quigley to fill the vacancy as a regular board member on the Board of Adjustment.

COMMENTS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS

            Alesia Sanderson, Director of Parks and Recreation invited the public to join the town for the 4th of July fireworks in conjunction with Mike Stanley of Bogue Inlet Pier.  This should be quite a show this year.

            Captain Jeff Strauser from the Fire Department commented that the 2001 Beach Patrol completed their week of training last week and are now on the beach for the summer months.

            Police Chief Mark Wilson said people parking at CVS and Food Lion should be advised that “No Parking” in the Fire Lane is being enforced.  Tickets are being handed out.

            Mr. Frank Vance of the Planning Board had no comment.

            Mr. Robert Conrad, Public Works Director, had no comments.

            Mayor Harris commented that Mr. Frank Rush will be coming on board 1 July and he is present tonight.  She asked if he would like to bring the public up to date on anything that concerns Emerald Isle?

            Mr. Rush said he is happy to be here tonight and is looking forward to getting here on July 2nd and trying to do what he can to learn as much as possible before that date.

            Town Clerk Carolyn Custy had no comments. 

COMMENTS FROM THE BOARD

            Commissioner McElraft said the Occupancy Tax looks like it is going to the House and Senate and she wanted to thank Mayor Harris and all of those 16 people that she wrote.  It did some good.  It looked like it was not going to make it out of sub-committee will make it out of the sub-committee and looks like we may be getting that occupancy tax to help with beach renourishment. 

There were no comments from Commissioner Murphy, Town Attorney Derek Taylor,

            Commissioner Farmer interjected that no public comments have been made. 

            Mayor Harris apologized and back-tracked.  She then took Public Comments.

            Mr. Bill Reist of 8520 WoodCliffe Drive said about a month ago he sat in on a Beach Nourishment meeting and Commissioner McElraft suggested that an effort be made to get non-resident ocean front property owners to change their registration in order for them to vote in the next election in support of beach nourishment.  Although the suggestion appeared to be sincere and supported by some of the committee members he did not take it seriously.  However, he understands now that the idea is now being actively pursued.  If this is true, as a resident, he would like to express his opposition to the effort.  While he personally supports beach nourishment with first and second row sharing the major burden, he believes the decision should be made solely by those people who have invested not only their money but their lives in the town.  Certainly non-ocean front investors should be able to express their opinions and ideas, but to encourage this select group to change their registration in order to off-set the votes of those who do not favor beach nourishment crosses the line of ethical fairness and respect for democracy. 

Any Commissioner, group or person who engages in such to promote their own special interest and position is subverting the democratic process and ignoring the true interest of our residents.  Mr. Reist went on to say that in addition special interest, non-resident voters will be one issue voters having little knowledge or interest in other issues facing the town.  Yet they will also have the opportunity to help select town leadership for the next two years.  He feels that each of the Board has their responsibility to preserve the integrity of the system, or citizens will begin to question their personal integrity.

            Mr. Reist said he would be interested in knowing from each board member whether or not they support or are engaged in this effort and if this effort is being undertaken by the Beach Nourishment Committee or any of its members?

            Commissioner Wootten answered that there is no effort.  The only thing that was done was a letter encouraging people if they were going to be moving down here, they might want to consider doing it sooner but that is the only letter he knows of.

            Mr. Reist said he must be misinformed because he has the impression that an effort to try to get the ocean front people to change was in force. 

            Commissioner Trainham said that Mr. Reist was quite right.  That word has gotten around.

            Mr. Reist said if he is misinformed, he could accept that but this is something that he has heard.  This is kind of street talk – yes.

            Mayor Harris said this board has not taken a position, sent out, or done anything to encourage anyone to vote any certain way.  Mr. Reist asked, “To change their registration?”  Mayor Harris answered “No Sir!!”

            Mr. Reist said he guesses he is addressing this to Commissioner McElraft.  Commissioner McElraft said she has never never asked anyone to change their registration down here.  The comment she made in that meeting, and she would like for whomever said that to come forward, was that in Pine Knoll Shores, they found legal ways to ask people to change their registration. That was the only comment that was made.  She went on to say that she has not encouraged, nor will she encourage someone to do that.  All she said was that it was legal for someone to come down here and change their registration and not vote in two places, but to come here and change their registration if they live here for more than 6 months.  She also said that they needed to check with the Board of Elections to find out what the rules were.  She has never and she never intends to do anything illegal.  Mr. Reist said he could accept that.  It appears that that is something that should be clarified.

            Commissioner Farmer thanked the Town Hall Staff for doing such a wonderful job of painting their offices.  The walls in Town Hall look absolutely wonderful.  She appreciates that.  Ms. Overman replied, “We are not done yet!”

            Commissioner Farmer said the town has been asked by the Department of Transportation to consider adopting the Crystal Coast Thoroughfare Plan.  It’s unfortunate, she said, this wasn’t on the agenda for this board meeting and she is requested now that it be on the July agenda. The Thoroughfare Plan proposes an overpass at NC 24 and NC 58, widening the Emerald Isle Bridge to four lanes, and widening NC 58 to Town Hall to five lanes.  James Upchurch of DOT came and spoke to the town about this last year.

            The Emerald Isle Board already withdrew its support of moving the overpass up the county Transportation Improvement List.  One reason was the impact the traffic would have at the first light the cars would encounter on their trip from Maysville – that just happens to be Coast Guard Road.  And there was an article in the newspaper several days ago that Cape Carteret is now getting cold feet about the overpass. Why?  Because, as Bill Holz said, it isn’t needed. Since the widening of Hwy 24 traffic has been moving smoothly.  And we’ve all seen the impact the road construction is having on Swansboro.  The overpass is the first domino in the line. When it’s built it will force the widening of the bridge, which will in turn force the 5-laning of Emerald Drive through town.  The board needs to consider this carefully – the impact it will have on traffic, on our businesses, on access to the beach for people living North of Emerald Drive, on our quality of life.  The board needs to take a position.

            She went on to say “I would like to clarify a news article that indicated that this overpass was already on the State TIP List and that it was a done deal.  I spoke with Frank Vick of the NC DOT.  There is a feasibility study that is being done on the 24/58 overpass.  He said it is not on the State TIP List at all and that it is not a done deal.  In fact, he said DOT has some concerns that the traffic we have there now will not warrant that kind of overpass.  Ron Hair, who is research manager for Kimley-Horn, and is doing the research for the feasibility study, sent out letters to all the towns asking for input.  The letter said “The purpose of this letter is to get input from NC DOT Staff and local officials concerning issues related to a proposed study. This is the study for the overpass, on social, economical demographics, land use at the NC 24/ NC 58 intersection.” This letter was dated May 17th and this is the first time Commissioner Farmer has seen it.  She said, “We need to respond. We are late.”

Mayor Harris responded she has talked to both of these gentlemen a long time ago.  A Resolution was sent to them on the overpass.  That Resolution said that the Town of Emerald Isle was in a negative position.  Also in it was that the town was not for it.  Before that, when they were talking about 5 lanes coming to town hall, we voted on and we denied that we were not going to 5 lanes.  Commissioner Farmer said “I don’t believe so.  When James Upchurch came to Emerald Isle, it was for making a presentation on a thoroughfare plan with the idea that we would eventually be voting on a Resolution wanting to adopt it.    We need to vote on it.” 

            Ms. Overman said she would pull it and get back to the board.

            Commissioner Wootten said concerning the overpass, the board’s position was that we were against the overpass.  That should have been the answer to the letter.  Commissioner Farmer said that was for moving it up the tip list.  As for the (TIP) Thoroughfare Plan action has not been taken on it.

            Commissioner Murphy said the board could go back and take a look at it but he was inclined to agree with Commissioner Farmer that if the board did not, action probably should be taken next month.  He also agreed that the board’s position should be very clear.

            Commissioner Wootten had no comments but said the next step for the Stormwater Ordinance is to take it to a workshop and bring in the businesses like was done with the signs.  He asked for a date and time to be set for this now.

            Commissioner Farmer asked if this means that the Stormwater is being pushed now back to August? Is that right?  Commissioner Wootten said this is why he is asking for a workshop right away.  Commissioner Farmer said it may make the July board meeting?  Commissioner Wootten replied he does not have any problem with that.

            Mrs. Overman said she has contacted several people regarding the Point and the environmental impact study.  She already has something from Moffitt and Nichol.  The Mayor met with Donna Moffit last week and she encouraged the town to go ahead with getting proposals.  Commissioner McElraft questioned if this was to put sand at the Point or was that to move the channel?  Commissioner Wootten said it is both, it could be either. Mayor Harris said it would be dredged to the east.  Commissioner McElraft replied we have been told that is just throwing money in a hole.  What we need to do is redirect that channel and she hopes that is what the environmental impact statement will do, is to say redirect that channel.  Ms. Overman said the Corps is not going to do anything until the town gets an environmental impact statement.  She doesn’t think they will take any action about moving the channel until the study is received because of the soil study.  That is to see if the soil out there is compatible with what is on the beach already.  Commissioner Farmer said Ms. Moffitt has told her that the consistency permit that the State gave the Corps was for a Hopper Dredge and they are using a side cast dredge and it is possible that she can put some pressure on them because they are violating the permit.  She has promised that she would work on it.

Mayor Harris reminded the public that at 5:00 P.M. tomorrow, 13 June, a Public Hearing would be held on the Amendments to the Sign Ordinance.  On June 22, 2001, there will be a Budget Workshop and on June 28th there will be the Public Hearing for the Budget for Fiscal Year 2001-2002.

            Motion was made by Commissioner Murphy, seconded by Commissioner Wootten and the board voted unanimously to go into closed session to discuss the Town Manager’s Employment Agreement.      

            The board went into closed session at 10:05 P.M.

Commissioner Farmer moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the board voted unanimously to return to open session at 10:08 P.M.

            Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner Farmer seconded and the board voted unanimously to adjourn at 10:10 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 06/12/2001

May 21, 2001 

Planning Board

TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE PLANNING BOARD 
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING 
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2001

Chairman, Ceil Saunders called the meeting to order at 7:00.

Members present: Ceil Saunders, Frank Vance, George McLaughlin, Phil Almeida, Art Daniel, and Fred Josey. Ed Dowling was excused due to being out of town. Secretary, Carol Angus and Interim Town Manager, Mitsy Overman were in attendance.

Minutes of the recessed meeting of April 17, 2001,were approved with typographical errors corrected. George McLaughlin made motion to approve with errors corrected, second by Phil Almeida with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Minutes of the reconvened meeting of May 07, were approved with one typographical error and one sentence removed and one sentence restructured.  Motion to approve made by Phil Almeida, second by George McLaughlin, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager – Ms. Mitsy Overman, interim Town Manager, gave a brief summary of the decisions and items that the Town of Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners dealt with at their meeting on Tuesday, May 08, 2001.

Report from Building Inspections – Ms. Angus advised that April, 2001 had added a value of just over $800,000, which is somewhat below previous months.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

A. Watson Hotel, (Emerald Hotel), Block 41, Commercial Review – Mr. Ronnie Watson and Mr. Ken Burnette, Burnette Architectures, were representing this item.

Mr. Vance began with questions regarding the lighting for the project especially in the parking lot. Mr. Burnette replied that they have not done final engineering, just included what he felt was necessary for this approval process. They intend to use shielded lighting. Mr. Burnette said the lights were originally shown on the first plan, what the board is looking at tonight is the stormwater plan.  The Board of Commissioners has previously approved the project, contingent to bring the attention  to the stormwater plan for approval by the Planning Board. The Board of Commissioners wanted the Planning Board to be comfortable with the stormwater plan.

Mr. Burnette then introduced the engineers from Stroud Engineering that had come with him for any stormwater plan questions that the board may have.  Mr. Pat Snoddy answered the questions that the members may have.  

Mr. Almeida asked Mr. Snoddy to submit, for file only, no need to return to the boards.

1.                  Summary sheet (cover sheet) of stormwater (numbers worked out);

2.                  Mark of  36”  gauge pipe;

3.                  Cross section to show filter fabric;

4.                  Verify that 18” pipe can carry the post development flow.

Mr. Daniel asked Mr. Burnette, for future projects he may submit, that he might add a table of contents page, page numbers, and gray line drawings.

Motion was made by Mr. Almeida to approve the Watson Hotel, (Emerald Hotel), Commercial Review, with the submission to the Planning Board  secretary, of the four items:

            Summary sheet (cover sheet) of stormwater (numbers worked out);

Mark of  36”  gauge pipe;

Cross-section to show filter fabric;

Verify that 18” pipe can carry the post development flow;

            A revised drawing by May 27, 2001.

Second by Frank Vance.  The motion was unanimously approved in favor of the motion.

B. Watson (Emerald) Hotel, Special Use Request – Mr. Watson and Mr. Burnette were available for the project. 

 

Mr. Fred Josey had some concern about the parking spaces available, and the location of the parking spaces on the south side of Reed Drive.  The parking requirements are in conflict with the Special Use Table for Motels. 

Mr. Burnette advised that this area be designated for the employees.

Ms. Angus, secretary, advised the board that the only reason this request was before the members is that she and Mr. Watson did not want to get in the middle on the newly adopted ordinance that requires a B-2, B-3 Special Use Request for buildings over 8,000 square feet.

This request was discussed.  The Planning Board  felt that because this project had been ongoing for more than the past year, and the ordinance requiring a Special Use was not in effect until February, that the request should be withdrawn because some of the items (parking), requiring a special use, may conflict with the previously  approved project. This project should be considered as retroactive.  The Town Board of Commissioners  had previously approved the project, with only the contingency that the stormwater plan be reviewed by the Planning Board.

C.     Reed Drive Commercial Park, 3-lot subdivision, Block 42 – Mr. John McLean and Ms. Paxon Holz were available for any discussion.

There was considerable discussion regarding the former motion to have Reed Drive moved 360’ from the Hwy 58 right-of-way, and a bulb (cul-de-sac) provided for emergency vehicles turning, and the original Reed Drive to be vacated.  The plat before the board did not indicate of these requests, with the exception of the cul-de-sac.  The plat at hand showed a plat that had been previously provided with Reed Drive in its current location.

Chairman Saunders asked for rationale on the member’s findings on how to proceed:

Mr. Josey said he can go along with what was discussed at the May 07, 2001 meeting to require the 360’ from Hwy 58, due to the fact the potential for traffic is too severe to go with the current drawing.

Mr. Daniel said he had been asked by the Planning Board  to write a letter to D.O.T. via the Mayor in regard to a master traffic control system there and in some other areas.  It appears that we have reached the point in time that the Coast Guard Road and Hwy 58 intersection should be resignalized right now.

Mr. Vance said he did not want traffic leaving this parcel, turning left toward Emerald Drive; nor going across to Reed Drive.  There would still be a problem, even at the distance of 360 feet; this map shows 170 feet from Hwy 58.  Coast Guard Road also needs to be four laned, especially for the 5-month peak season and weekends.  He didn’t feel he has any suggestions to help this.  Doesn’t know how long it will take Corps of Engineers to approve the filling of the wetlands on the other portion of the property. He does not want to see traffic turn left from the road as it shows, when it is fully developed.

Mr. Almeida said that at the May 07 meeting, it was agreed that the entrance, as shown on the plat before them, was not a good idea.  He feels the entry to the subdivision should be further down, as requested at that meeting.  His suggestion is to reject the plan and send it on to the Board of Commissioners  and inform the owners accordingly.

Mr. McLaughlin felt the importance of the May 07 meeting was to come to a conclusion to decide what to do by our recommendation.  Obviously, the Corps of Engineers becoming involved did put an end to the plat that we had agreed to.  He agrees that the current placement of Reed Dr. is not acceptable.  He thought the request for moving the road 360’ was a compromise to allow the project to go forward.  That plan is still available to the owners, as far as he is concerned.  He cannot agree to the plan before him.

Mr. Almeida made the motion, that after reviewing the plan, dated May 15, for the Reed Drive Commercial Park the Planning Board finds the entry to the subdivision is not acceptable.  It will cause traffic problems and endanger safety of the citizens. The Planning Board  recommends to the Board of Commissioners  that the Preliminary Plat be rejected. The owners to be advised to provide access to the subdivision from Coast Guard Road to a point 460’ from the center of Hwy. 58. Second to the motion made by George McLaughlin.

There was further discussion. Mr. Daniel asked, without configuration, the new intersection at 460’ on Coast Guard Road, will have an offset intersection at Reed Drive where it exists, also at Pebble Beach to create another offset.  So there would be three legs of the street from the intersection at Coast Guard Rd.  Mr. McLean said the entry to Pebble Beach is approximately 30’ from the most western property line.

Mr. Almeida said he would like to add to his motion that a signal light be added at the new entry point of the subdivision. 

Mr. Almeida asked about the feasibility of paving a road skirting the existing wetlands? Ms. Holz said she had been informed  that it would be unlikely she would be permitted to fill any of the wetlands by North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. (DENR). She advised that it is not possible to pave around the wetlands the way it is configured.

Mr. Daniel asked Mr. McLean what the legal precedent of the state for being able to step into a wetland area abandoned by the Corps?  Mr. McLean said DENR will have authority.  The Corps and North Carolina are both claiming to have authority jointly.

Mr. Daniel asked if the wetland area was not less than an acre?  Mr. McLean said it is.

Chairman Saunders asked Mayor Pro-Tem Emily Farmer if she could comment on this issue.

Ms. Farmer said she knows that Division of Water Quality is working up the guidelines since the state took over jurisdiction of isolated wetlands.  She is surprised that anyone would say that North Carolina would not allow any wetlands to be filled. Ms. Holz injected that she was told it was “unlikely”.  Ms. Farmer went on to say that permits will be required for the filling of wetlands greater than 1/3 of an acre.  The guidelines are being formed now, temporary ruling due in July, 2001.

Mr. Daniel agrees these intersection areas are going to be a problem; however, to move the entrance may be the best solution at this time.

Mr. Almeida said he would be in favor of abandoning the segment of Reed Drive that will not be used.

Mr. McLean asked that something be done tonight, so this project can go on to the Board of Commissioners.  Let them make the decision.

Mr. Vance asked to amend the motion to add the portion to abandon the portion of Reed Drive that would not be used.

Chairman Saunders asked the secretary to read back the motion with amendments for a vote.


Mr. Almeida made the motion, that after reviewing the plan, dated May 15, for the Reed Drive Commercial Park the Planning Board finds the entry to the subdivision is not acceptable. The Planning Board  recommends to the Board of Commissioners  that the Preliminary Plat be rejected.

1. It will cause traffic problems and endanger safety of the citizens.

      2. The owners to be advised to provide access for a point of entry to the subdivision

 

    from Coast Guard Rd. to a point 460’ from the center of Hwy 58.

3. That a signal light be added at the new entry point of the subdivision. 

4.  To abandon the segment of Reed Drive that would not be used.


Mr. Josey seconded the amendment to add the portion to add signalization and to abandon the segment of Reed Drive not being used.

      All members voted unanimously in favor of the motion as stated to allow this project to proceed to the Town Board of Commissioners.

Mr. Almeida asked to make it a motion that the Board of Commissioners  look at the intersection of Coast Guard Road and Emerald Drive (Hwy 58) to be improved.  The traffic pattern will get much worse than it is now.

Mr. Daniel asked if he might put that request in the letter previously mentioned to go to the Mayor and on to D.O.T.

 

Mr. Almeida then brought up and issue that is cited in the Town Charter that any cost associated with improvement of roads be charged as a special assessment to the abutting properties.  It is in Section 9-1.

 

Ms. Holz wanted to reiterate the recommendations that the board made some time ago for the improvement of Coast Guard Road.  If there is no traffic problem at Coast Guard Road, then no improvements are needed.  The truth is, there is a need now for improvements with this  property still vacant.  All the traffic that exists on Coast Guard Rd. has been generated by others, not from her property.  So she asks in fairness, whatever the Charter may say, that an equal burden should be borne by all those who created the traffic; not just the last ones to develop. And, the improvement should be as soon as possible.

 

Mr. Almeida said he agreed. The intent is not that she should bear the whole burden. NEW BUSINESS:

 

Reel Outdoors, Commercial Review, Corner of Emerald Drive and Cedar Street, Block 34 – Mr. Jim Davis and Mr. Gregg Dennis were present to represent this item.

Mr. Davis approached the members with a new map with slight modifications.  He said they had submitted the previous maps to meet the deadline and did not meet with the Health Dept. until after they were submitted.  Mr. John McLean will have the stormwater plan available for Review Committee. He then distributed the new maps to the members.

Members began by requesting that a date be applied to the plats and asking questions regarding the project regarding fire hydrants; drive width, type of plantings, outside lighting, signage, glass and elevation.  Chairman Saunders reminded the members that this project will be reviewed at 3:00 on Wednesday (5/23) for all these type questions. 

Motion was made by George McLaughlin, second by Frank Vance to allow this project to proceed to Review Committee on May 23, 2001.

COMMENTS:

 

            There were no further comments by the members.

 

Motion to adjourn was made by George McLaughlin, second by Art Daniel with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 05/21/2001

May 8, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING 
OF THE EMERALD ISLE TOWN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2001 – 7:00 P.M. – TOWN HALL

Mayor Barbara Harris called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. Present for the meeting were Mayor Harris, Commissioners Wootten, Trainham, Murphy, McElraft, and Farmer, Town Attorney Derek Taylor, Interim Town Manager Mitsy Overman, Town Clerk Carolyn Custy, Planning Board Chairman Ceil Saunders, Public Works Director Robert Conrad, Inspection Department Head Carol Angus, Parks & Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson, Fire Chief William Walker and Police Chief Mark Wilson.

MAYOR’S COMMENTS.

            Mayor Harris announced Agenda changes.  Number 6 – Mr Lew Ewen of the Carteret County Historical Society has notified the Board that he has a conflict with this meeting tonight and would not be able to attend.  This item will be replaced by a Resolution to appoint a new Town Manager.

             Item 8 – Public Hearing/Intent to Close Reed Drive Extension will not be held due to some last minute changes concerning Reed Drive Extension.  Mrs. Holz has been asked to attend to address the Board on some of the changes. 

             Commissioner Trainham  moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted unanimously to accept the Agenda.

            Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the Board voted unanimously to approve the Consent Agenda ( Minutes of Budget Workshop of March 27, 2001, Minutes of Sign Ordinance Workshop of April 9, 2001, Minutes of Regular Meeting April 10, 2001).

Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner Farmer seconded and the Board voted unanimously to approve the Routine Tax Refunds and Releases in the amount of $66.87. 

LES EWEN/HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Mr. Ewen representing the Carteret County Historical Society has requested to appear before the Board to talk about the Society and to request assistance.

NOTE:   Mr. Ewen notified Mayor Harris that he would be unable to attend this  meeting due to a conflict; Therefore his request was withdrawn.

 

RESOLUTION APPOINTING A TOWN MANAGER

            Mayor Harris commented the Board received 97 applications for the position of Town Manager.  Applications were received all the way from Washington State, New Mexico and others.  All were highly trained and some were Town Managers of larger cities.  The Board reviewed all 97 applications and narrowed them down to 20.  Of those 20, it was narrowed down to 5.  Mayor Harris said that Resolution Number R01-5-8-01 A is a Resolution Appointing Town Manager of The Town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  The date of employment will be 1 July 2001.  At this time she introduced Mr. Frank A. Rush, Jr. who is at this time Assistant County Manager for Carteret County.  He and his wife Suzanne live on Indigo Street in Emerald Isle and are expecting their first son in August. 

             Commissioner McElraft moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted unanimously to approve the Resolution appointing a Town Manager of the Town of Emerald Isle.

WASTE INDUSTRIES CONTRACT RENEWAL

            The Waste Industries Contract for garbage pick-up services is up for renewal.  They are, at this time, not requesting an extension of time but they are requesting an increase in their rates.  Due to the high cost of gasoline, etc. the increase requested is 2.9% over last year’s rates.  A copy of the Contract has been incorporated at the end of these Minutes.

             Commissioner Farmer moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously to approve the Waste Industries Contract for a period of 48 months beginning 1 July 2001. 

 

PUBLIC HEARING/INTENT TO CLOSE REED DRIVE EXTENSION

            A Resolution of Intent to close Reed Drive Extension was approved at the regular meeting of the Town Board on April 10, 2001.  The Public Hearing has been advertised for 4 consecutive weeks, the owners and adjoining property owners have been notified by Certified Mail and hand delivering of notices that were signed for.

             This item has been withdrawn due to some changes that have recently occurred.  Attorney Richard Stanley came forward and said “We have found it necessary to withdraw the petition and have you consider withdrawal from the Reed Drive Extension because it was learned last Thursday through Larry Baldwin who was working with the Corps of Engineers that there is some section 404 wetlands on the proposed road.  You will recall that the existing Reed Drive is now dedicated to the public and is the existing public road that Mrs. Holz was going to use but as a result of you granting preliminary subdivision approval last time, we ask that it be withdrawn based upon Reed Drive looping around and coming back out to Pebble Beach.”

Mr. Stanley continued with “In the area where you wanted it to loop around, there are section 404 wetlands that the Corps is claiming jurisdiction over and also the Division of Environmental Management.  With your policy on wetlands we are not in a position to proceed.  I would say to you that what we would like to do is to have you give us revised preliminary approval of the 3-lot subdivision on the north side of Reed Drive and keep it public. We are willing to pave it and put a turn-a-round at the end of it so that the Fire Department could get in and out and then if you decide that you would like to pursue getting a permit to have the road constructed, we would then go ahead and loop it and construct it and make it a private road. I think this is essentially what our position is now because we can’t have you withdraw our own business access into the road knowing that we can’t continue it on out to Coast Guard Road and Pebble Beach.  That is the reason we ask that you withdraw it.  We are not able to do what you asked us to do which was to continue around and bring it out to Coast Guard because we cannot get a permit.  We would like, like I said, for you to – last time you gave us preliminary subdivision approval based upon the withdrawal of that road.  Tonight we simply ask that you give us preliminary approval for a 3-lot subdivision that has already been before the Planning Board on the north side of the existing public road and then we will work with you on how you want us to do the south side of Reed Drive, the undeveloped that she (Mrs. Holz) still has.”

Commissioner Wootten asked Mr. Stanley  “Why the Corps of Engineers determine that they have jurisdiction on that piece of property?”  Mr. Stanley answered “Apparently the wetlands are of such significance there that they didn’t feel like it could be filled or disturbed without a permit having been applied for.”  Commissioner Wootten said, “So the fact that they have jurisdiction does not necessarily mean you still can’t do what you want to do.”  Mr. Stanley answered “Yes sir.  I understand the Town’s policy that you do not want wetlands filled so we are saying to you that if you would like to apply for or be responsible for the application for the filling of it, we will be glad to do the work and pave it but the Town needs to decide how they want to go.”

            Commissioner Wootten said his point is “1) the fact that the Corps has claimed jurisdiction on this thing does not mean that it still cannot be permitted to do exactly what we were talking about doing last month.” Mr. Stanley said, “It is going to require a permit from the Corps and the Division of Environmental.”  Commissioner Wootten said this does not necessarily mean that it cannot be done.  Mrs. Holz interjected “I am not going to apply for a permit to fill wetlands.” Commissioner Wootten said “That was my next question is to why the town and not you?” Mrs. Holz said “Because I do not want to fill them in.  I do not want to fill them.”

       Mayor Harris said, it would now go back to the Planning Board.  Mr. Stanley said “If that is the position of the Board, we are going back to the Planning Board with only the 3-lot subdivision on the north.  I would like to know your position on whether or not you would like the wetlands filled and whether or not you would like to apply for a permit?  That gives us some balance as to where we are going to go.” 

             Commissioner Murphy said he just understood that it is up to her to apply for that permit.  “She does not want to fill the wetlands correct?”  Mr. Stanley replied “She is saying she is not going to apply for the permits herself.  If the Town chooses to do that I think she would be willing to construct the road.

             Commissioner Farmer commented “The Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction over adjacent wetlands.  That is the reason why the Corps is saying you need a permit.  It has nothing to do with the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.  The North Carolina Environmental Management Commission has jurisdiction over isolated wetlands.  The difference is that the Corps feels that the wetlands on your property communicates hydraulidy, not above the ground but below the ground that counts and that is why they are saying “ No”.  As for the Town applying to fill a wetland not on Town property , I cannot image why they would be doing that.”  Mr. Stanley replied “Because it would be a street as part of the subdivision but like I said, that is a decision you all have got to make.” 

            Commissioner McElraft asked “How can we ask them to put a road where we will not let them fill?  We are asking them, it was our opinion that we needed to go out in that position there near the Pebble Beach exit and at the time we decided that did we not know that those were 404 wetlands?”  Commissioner Farmer said “Not unless they got a determination from the Corps.”  Mr. Stanley interjected “I think you knew before we did.”

Commissioner Farmer asked to comment on this.  She said, “I find this whole thing fascinating and I will illuminate the public.  It was suggested at the Planning Board meeting last night, I was not there, that I notified the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners that this wetlands would not be allowed to filled.  What I actually did was I sent a copy of an article to the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners about an entirely different kind of wetlands.  You have an adjacent wetlands. The article I sent to everyone was about isolated wetlands.  They are entirely different wetlands.  They have nothing to do with your property. “

Mrs. Holz said “The Corps has not told us what kind of wetlands they are.”  Commissioner Farmer replied “Yes they have because they said they have jurisdiction.” Mrs. Holz said again, “They have not told us.” Commissioner Farmer said “It they are saying you need a permit they are saying they have jurisdiction over it.  If they have jurisdiction over it then it is not isolated wetlands.”  Mrs. Holz replied, “You know more about it than I do.  I don’t want to fill wetlands. I was forced to agree because that is the only way my subdivision would get approved.  I never wanted to build that road.  There is an existing dedicated Town road that I should be allowed to use.  It has been on record since 1971.  I never wanted to fill wetlands. I never wanted to make a loop road. I was  coerced into agreeing to do it and now that my consultant has told me, and you know much more about this than I do Mrs. Farmer,” - Commissioner Farmer interjected “I didn’t know what kind of wetlands they are.” - -Mrs Holz continued “I still don’t know.” Commissioner Farmer said “Have you asked for a determination?”  Mrs. Holz said “No.  I have not.  I have been instructed to survey.”  Commissioner Farmer replied “It may be an isolated wetland but if it is, in that case it is the North Carolina Environmental - - - .” Mrs. Holz continued “Either way I have to get a permit, more than one permit.  I don’t want to build two roads instead of one road.  I don’t want to fill wetlands.  If the Town wants to force me to fill wetlands to satisfy their road requirement then let the Town get the permit and I will pay for the work.  It is that simple.  Otherwise let me pave the Town road which contains NO WETLANDS!” 

Mayor Harris asked if the Board wished to send this back without any further comments to the Planning Board?

Commissioner Trainham replied in the form of a motion,  “Yes Ma’am.  I think it needs to go back to the Planning Board.  This is a new thing and we have not had a chance to mull it over. I hate to say it but the lady is right.”  

Mr. Stanley said we have been before the Planning Board now for almost a year.  Commissioner Trainham said “I know you have but this is a situation that has come as a surprise to us.  You say it was a surprise to you, it was a surprise to us too because we did not know anything about this until yesterday morning.  In the meantime I have a question I would like to ask.  Is it prohibited financially to think in terms of bridging the wetlands and put the road around it?” 

Mr. Stanley said the only thing they know at this point is there is going to have to be an application and permits secured.  Knowing the Town’s policy on that we are not going to do anything until you all decide what you want done. 

Commissioner Farmer said “ I will also say that I think anyone who has wetlands on their property knows that the Corps is going to have to come out and take a look at them.  It is going to have to be surveyed.  I don’t understand why this would come so late in the process.”

Mr. Stanley said, “We would like to proceed with the subdivision only on the north side.  You are the ones who said go ahead and loop it and do it as a total subdivision.  We did not have any plans for the southern portion of this.  This all came up last month so this was a thing that came up on us very quickly.”

Commissioner Farmer said, “I think the Planning Board has been very clear, and I should not speak for them though, that all along they wanted the whole parcel subdivided.  I remember them saying that when Cary Harrison was on the Planning Board.  Mr. Stanley said “This is the only place in North Carolina that I know of that has told a land owner how to subdivide their property.  This is an existing public road.  All she wanted to do was to create 3 small lots on north side and instead she is told she has to subdivide the whole property.  That is what caused the problem.”

Commissioner Farmer said “ The reason being that we have understandable traffic concerns with development on that parcel.  We have an obligation to the residents of Emerald Isle to make sure that their safety is first.”  Mr. Stanley said, “You have adopted that Amendment.  What we are doing here has nothing to do with the use of the property, only the division of the land and the lots.  You have adopted an Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that specifically asks for the uses.  This does not have anything to do with that.  All we are trying to do is subdivide our land.  We don’t even know what the use is going to be.”

            Mayor Harris said, “We understand that you want to take this back for the 3 lots and extension.  That is what you have proposed.  You will take this back to the Planning Board.  I have a motion from Mr. Trainham. Do I have a second?”

            Commissioner Farmer seconded Mr. Trainham’s motion.

Commissioner McElraft said she would like to hear what Commissioner Wootten has to say. 

Commissioner Wootten said he does not want to let this go without reviewing how we have got to this situation.  “Back in 1999 the previous Board was asked to just abandon the road (Reed Drive Extension) altogether and it was determined by the previous Board that was not the thing to do because that would not allow the Town to have any control over the traffic pattern in and out and around that area at all.  At the same time the State D.O.T. did a general study that said it was a bad idea for a piece of commercial property to be developed in that particular plot of land. This generalized but that is basically what it said.  The Town spent almost $27,000 to get advice as to how to find a middle ground so that the land owner would be able to continue to develop her property that she has owned for a long time in a commercial zone in the same way that we could safeguard the welfare, the health and safety of citizens of Emerald Isle.  These studies told us that there was a point that square footage would break down traffic and the other thing it told us was that we had to have an exit from the property over on the Pebble Beach side.  Two things we were told had to happen if this was going to be a viable developing piece.  In order to do that, this Board and the Planning Board made a statement that we needed a total plat plan, infrastructure, not what was going to go on that side, infrastructure including that road and we will proceed down that path to do that with the Planning Board with this latest development.  I don’t think you turn around and what you seem to be saying is that this latest development is a big stop, let’s forget the progress we have made toward solving the problem, let’s go back to just developing 3 lots, where we were three months ago.  That is not going to work.  We have to together keep working toward solving the problem.  I don’t know what the solution is here.  Maybe it is going to take carrying the Corps of Engineers to court.  Maybe the Town and the developer will go to court.  I don’t know.  Build a bridge.  There has to be a way to develop that property with the entrance down by Pebble Beach.”

Mr. Stanley said “What she is proposing to do is to turn Reed Drive, when they come back out, to turn them South so they go to the Pebble Beach, they cannot turn left, they have to turn right.”  Commissioner Woottenreplied, “Richard, we were there last month and that was looking good.”  Mr. Stanley said, “If anything has been developed on Coast Guard Road south of Reed Drive it would also be moved toward that same intersection.”  Commissioner Wootten replied, “We have to have this thing all worked out.” Mr. Stanley said, “You have the right on your Commercial Review for anything done to require that.”

            Mr. Stanley congratulated the Board on their choice of a new Manager.  He is here tonight and will learn what he is going to go up against here. 

Commissioner Farmer commented “There were a number of irregularities with this Preliminary Plat Approval at the last Board meeting.  We were given a form stating that this was a Preliminary Plat approved by the Planning Board and it was not.  I got a number of calls from Planning Board members who were very upset.  They have issues about where the entrance goes into your property is located.  They felt that Reed Drive Extension was too close to Highway 58.  Not only do I feel that way, which is not very important, but the D.O.T. felt that way as did Kimely Horne.”

Mr. Stanley said, “Do you understand that there is nothing we can do about that.  That was created in 1971?”  Commissioner Farmer replied, “ I disagree with you.  I think there are solutions.  I don’t think the solutions should be worked at the Board of Commissioners meeting.  I think it should go back to the Planning Board.”

Commissioner Trainham called the question at this point as he had made a motion. 

Commissioner Trainham had made a motion previously to send the Reed Drive Extension back to the Planning Board as soon as possible in the near future, Commissioner Farmer had seconded the motion at this point. 

Commissioner McElraft said, “As this goes back to the Planning Board, I would like for you to think of private property rights here also.  We have held these people up for a long time telling them where we wanted the road.  At that time, we should have investigated if it was over wetlands when we required them to do that.  What I would like to see is that it go back to the Planning Board with the hope that we can let them develop those 3 lots and with the future of that road to go around however we get those permits and they not develop the other part until we have the road going around it.  This would eliminate any problem with traffic because that would create the problems with all of the lots developed.  Those 3 lots are not going to create enough traffic that the one road could not handle.” 

Mrs. Ceil Saunders, Chairman of the Planning Board, interjected, “It could take 3 years for those permits she is asking for.  The suggestion at the meeting (Planning Board) last night was to move the entrance down 360 feet from North Carolina 58 right-of-way.  To take a road into the subdivision with a bulb at the end for a turn-a-round for the fire trucks.   This has been going on for a long time.  I feel like we have hashed this thing out at the Planning Board.  There is nothing more we can do with it.  I personally, and I am sure that the rest of the Planning Board does not see anything wrong with subdividing the property.  She is not building on it. There is a difference.  She is not putting anything on it. All she is asking is to subdivide.  With or without a road, all she wants is to subdivide.  I don’t know what more the Planning Board can do with it.”

Town Attorney Derek Taylor said, “Just for purposes of meeting procedural requirement, we are asking that they present you (the Planning Board) with a new plat. It’s probably going to be an old plat.”  Mr. Stanley commented, “Since you have 6 or 7 versions, one of them may be 12 years old.”

Mr. Taylor continued, “Whatever the plat is, some plat with the current plan with how you want to proceed.  The Planning Board should review that plat, make a determination, go for it, recommend any changes, this is perfect for us, we have no problems or give us anything you see problems with. This time we should make sure we cover all the infrastructure issues that apparently the Planning Board has been hashing over, get a consensus and make a recommendation to the Town Board.  We are not asking you to change anything or do anything different than what you normally do in application process.  Once you have made the recommendation, cut it loose because it is then the Town Board’s decision.  We can’t approve a plat that we haven’t had go through you (the Planning Board) before.

Commissioner Trainham asked, “Mr. Attorney, we could then go ahead with a Public Hearing at that time could we not?”  Attorney Taylor’s answer was “That is right.”

Commissioner Farmer said, “It sounds to me like the Corps of Engineers just told her they wanted her to survey it.  They have not said whether you could fill it or not.  They have not said if they even have jurisdiction over it?”  Mrs. Holz answered, “That is correct.  I have commissioned a surveyor.”  Commissioner Farmer said, “OK because certain ways that will be important information for the Planning Board and if you feel strongly about not wanting to fill that wetland, you could fill it and mitigate it too but if

you absolutely do not want to fill the wetland that’s one thing the Planning Board needs to know too.”  Mrs. Saunders said, “No matter who applies for that permit, it will take years to get a permit to do that.” Commissioner Farmer replied, “No, it doesn’t.  If it were an emergency or if it turns out to be an isolated wetland, the kind of wetland the Corps does not have jurisdiction over, that will take a long time because the Environmental Management Commission has just taken jurisdiction over those wetlands. 

They have yet to write guidelines for under what circumstances they can be filled.  I was told by someone on the Environmental Management Commission this morning, when I

heard about the wetland issue, and asked them what size wetland would their regulations cover and they said as small as one-third of an acre.  Anything greater than one-third of an acre would be covered by the new guidelines that don’t exist yet.”

            Commissioner Wootten said he thinks it is important for the Planning Board to recognize that at least the majority of the Town Board has made the determination that that land will be developed commercially. That decision has been made and he suggested that we move on and figure out the best way to do it.

            Mayor Harris called for a vote.  The Board voted unanimously to return this project to the Planning Board.

APPROVAL OF FINAL PLAT SUNSET HARBOR CONDOMINIUMS LOT 1.

             One recommendation on the plat under notes #4, word “minimum” is to be “maximum.”  The Sepia is to be on hand for signatures.

Commissioner Farmer made a comment regarding this item which was directed a little more to the Town Attorney than anyone else. She said, “Those of you who attended the April Board of Commissioners meeting heard me talk about Cherry Point recently designating the flight path over Emerald Isle as an Accident Potential Zone or APZ. The APZ-II designation, according to Department of Navy's guidelines, for safety reasons limits density to 1 to 2 single-family houses per acre and prohibits such uses as condominiums, and gathering places like shopping centers, day cares, hotels, churches and gas stations. Even Town Hall. All of these land uses are already here in Emerald Isle in the Accident Potential Zone.

“Last week I went to a public information meeting in Cape Carteret, held by Cherry Point, where they displayed a revised map. This map shows a strip along Bogue Sound that is now designated an APZ-I. According to Department of Navy guidelines, all residential development should be prohibited. Sunset Harbor falls within this APZ-I zone.

We can't do anything about this final plat, or the marina and other houses and trailers that are already in this accident potential zone. It's too late. But my question for the town attorney is what sort of liability does the town have for approving incompatible development in this hazardous area and other APZ areas in town now that the Marine Corps has notified us? And are there measures the Town should be taking to limit that liability?”

Attorney Taylor replied, “Unless they have some statutory authority for controlling how the Town does its approvals in its own ordinance scheme, I doubt

seriously that they do.  There is no direct jurisdiction over the issue.  Is there any indirect liability, because having been forewarned that this is in a dangerous area and then if in face the danger were to occur would the Town be liable? My first impression without having done any research on the issue is “No”.  That is a wild guess.  That is based on sovereignty, doing the best job you can, the property owner being forewarned that they might be in a dangerous spot and continuing on – these are all general principals that I am applying to a specific situation which I have not researched.”

            Commissioner Farmer said, “There is no requirement for anyone buying property to be forewarned.  I guess my question is, I think this is fairly important and I think we really should have a clear idea of what sort of liability.  If anyone comes back and says we don’t have any, I would be one happy camper.”

            Commissioner McElraft commented, “There are areas, Emerald Landing for one, where people are forewarned.  They have to sign disclosure statements and they move in there anyway.” 

            Commissioner Farmer replied, “Emerald Landing is not in the ATZ Zone at all.”  Commissioner McElraft replied, “It is also in an ATZ Zone.”  Commissioner Farmer disagreed stating, “They say that they fly east of Emerald Landing.”

            Commissioner Trainham asked to go on record supporting what has already been said.  He feels town citizens should know that this is not propaganda that we have been hearing about.  This is no joke.  It is a very real problem. A crash zone is real.  It has already been delineated that way and he asked to go on record as supporting any kind of question that the attorney might be able to come up with some solutions in regard to our liability.

             Mayor Harris requested that the Board go back to Sunset Harbor Final Plat Approval for Lot 1.

             Commissioner Wootten moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the Board voted unanimously to approve the Final Plat of Sunset Harbor Condominiums, Lot 1.

A 10 minute break was taken at 8:00 P.M and the Board returned to session at 8:10 P.M.

AMENDMENT TO SECTION 15-3 OF THE SOLID WASTE ORDINANCE.

            The Town Board at the regular meeting on April 10, 2001 instructed the Town Attorney to draw up an Amendment to Section 15-3 of the Solid Waste Ordinance to require containment to include 30 gallon per bedroom.

             The Mayor read the Ordinance Amendment that follows and made the corrections where it says “Administrator” should be “Manager:

ORDINANCE 
2001 - 5 - 8 - 01 
An Ordinance Amending Section 15-3 of 
the Emerald Isle Solid Waste Management Ordinances 
Codified in Chapter 15 of the Emerald Isle Town Code

WHEREAS, the Town has recognized the need for better control of solid waste disposal, particularly on sites of residential rental properties; and

WHEREAS, the report of a specially appointed solid waste committee made recommendations to the Town Board of Commissioners for more specific storage requirements on such properties; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board of Commissioners has considered the recommendations of the solid waste committee and has heard public comment on such matters during its regularly scheduled meeting held on this date;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Town Commissioners of the

Town of Emerald Isle that Chapter 15, Section 15-3 of the Code of Ordinances,

Town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, is hereby amended to read as follows:

(a)                Every business location and owner or occupant of a house or residence in the residential area where garbage or refuse exists shall provide a sufficient number of containers for each business location and residential unit in which shall be deposited all garbage or refuse existing at such buildings or premises.  Each business location shall have a minimum of two (2) plastic containers, and each container shall be made of heavy duty plastic with at least a thirty(30) gallon capacity.  Each house or residential unit shall have a minimum of 30 gallons of solid waste containment capacity per bedroom and each container shall be made of heavy duty plastic with at least a thirty (30) gallon capacity.  For purposes of this ordinance, a bedroom will be any room which provides a facility for sleeping, including, but not limited to, day beds (or any other convertibles), couches, sofas (sleeper or otherwise), sectionals, hide-a-beds (including drop- downs), cots, and cribs. All containers shall have drain holes and shall be provided with handles and with a tight-fitting cover made of the same material as the container.  All

containers shall be placed in a rack or some other suitable receptacle designed to prevent dogs or other animals from overturning the trash containers.

(b)     Every house, residence or business shall place all plastic containers used for refuse containment in racks designed to hold the refuse until collected from each house, residence or business building.  If the town administrator determines from garbage and refuse practices existing at the location over a reasonable length of time that more than the minimum requirement for container capacity is necessary in order to   handle accumulation of garbage, refuse and trash at the location, then the town administrator shall notify the owner and/or occupant by letter as to the minimum number of containers and/or containment capacitynecessary at the site in order to handle the amount of garbage and refuse being collected, and failure of the owner or occupant to acquire and place at the site the number of containers and/or capacity specified by the town administrator shall constitute a violation of this chapter and will authorize the town to cease garbage collection practices at the site until the deficiencies are corrected.  Provided however, as to any new houses orresidential units completed and being granted a final inspection by the town building inspection department from and after the November 1, 1993, such houses or residential units shall provide a sufficient number of ninety-gallon roll-out cart containers which shall meet the minimum containment requirements of this Chapter.  All such roll-out cart containers shall meet the specification of the town with regard to color, size, material, construction and style for refuse collection.

(c)        (Same as currently written.

(d)       If the minimum requirement for containers and/or container capacity is not sufficient to accommodate the amount of garbage or refuse at the site, then all excess garbage or refuse shall be placed in a heavy dutyplastic bag, one point seven (1.7) mil minimum weight, tied, secured and placed on or in the garbage rack at the site.  If the owner or occupant of the house, residence or business uses any containers for garbage and refuse collection other than the approved containers and/or the heavy duty plastic bags specified herein, then the town is authorized to confiscate the unauthorized containers or not remove the garbage and refuse placed in the unauthorized containers.  Other than the containers or heavy duty plastic bags (minimum of one point seven (1.7) mil) approved by this chapter, any other type of container to be used must be first approved by the town administrator prior to such use. 

I.                                                            (Same as currently written.)

II.                                                     (Same as currently written.)         

            This ordinance shall become effective on May 9, 2001.  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 of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

            DULY ADOPTED THIS 8th day of May, 2001, by a vote of

 

Commissioner(s)____________________________­__________­__________

 

_______________________________________ voting for, Commissioner(s)

 

___________________________________________________ voting against

 

and Commissioner(s) ____________________________ absent.

                                                            

                                                                                    Town of Emerald Isle

 

 

ATTEST:                                                          By: ______________________________

                                                                             Mayor Barbara M. Harris

 

____________________________

Carolyn K. Custy, Town Clerk

 

             Town Attorney Taylor commented that the only thing changed in Item (d) was the first line “If the minimum requirement for containers and/or container capacity - - - “ It’s moving toward capacity as well as the number of containers.

             Commissioner Farmer commented she thinks the public needs to understand that most of this Ordinance is the current one.  The changes recommended by the Solid Waste are capacity per bedroom. The thing about stopping collection if you don’t do what you are told to do is already on the books.

             Mayor Harris asked for Public Comments on the Solid Waste Amendment issue.

             Mr. Dick Eckhardt who resides at 4304 Ocean Drive commented on the ordinance changes beginning with paragraph (b) on page 3, second or third line “containment in racks designed to hold the refuse” does not mention the recycle as well as garbage

and wonders if somehow that could be clarified because the same problem is caused if they are left at curbside?  He is not sure where it would be added but if there is someway it could be clarified so it can be said if anything is left at the curbside, whether it be garbage or recycle, be contained in a rack.

             Commissioner Murphy suggested inserting recycling materials between the words refuse, and trash in the 9th line down.  It would then read refuse, recyclables and trash. 

             Commissioner Farmer said she does not recall if it was the Board’s intent to make everyone use racks.  Some people do roll out and roll back in.  She does not think it was the Boards intent.  Attorney Taylorsaid it is in the ordinance now. All he did was to put container volume versus bedrooms.  The rest of this ordinance is exactly the same. 

             Commissioner McElraft said she thinks this ordinance amendment needs to be reworked.

Commissioner Farmer said there are a lot of folks who do roll out and back in.  The other thing, at the time of the break, sounded like they were to throw tomatoes at her about the container capacity.  The container capacity that the Board came up with was really addressing the need of Ocean Drive rental houses.  There are people who are residents here who do not have that kind of capacity and do not need it.    

             Mayor Harris said this is where it was started from day 1.  This is what the Board required and asked the Committee to do and it is before the Board now.  She asked if they wanted to accept it with the mentioned changes or not.  Commissioner Trainham felt there are some more changes that need to be made.  Commissioner McElraft agreed. 

Commissioner Farmer said it has been a difficult job to try to come up with something that will handle the trash problems on Ocean Drive in the summer because so many tourists pack into houses and at the same time residents not be required to have all the extra containment.

             Mr. Eckhardt went on to line 6 of paragraph (b), the term “over a reasonable length of time” which again would give me no importance.  He suggested a time guideline of over a two week period, some guideline not only for the citizens but also for the Town Administration who have to back this up. 

             Mr. Eckhardt continues that toward the bottom of the page 3, 4th line from the bottom where it states “authorize the town to cease garbage collection practices at the site

until the deficiencies are corrected.”  That is in the current ordinance and Mr. Eckhardt believes it does not work.  In the committee recommendation, it was recommended that rather than ceasing service which is not only tough on Waste Industries but is also tough on citizens because of a bigger mess, that a citation be given rather than ceasing service.

On Page 4, paragraph (d) – the committee struggled with this one.  It says, starting at the end of line 3, “all excess garbage or refuse shall be placed in a heavy duty plastic bag, one point seven (1.7) mil minimum weight” – this has not worked in the past and Mr. Eckhardt is not sure it will work now because he can see someone using it as some type of loop hole.  He suggested is that if there is access, if it is a rental property, call the rental manager and the excess can be taken to a transfer station.  If it is a resident or homeowner or whatever, they can also take that excess to a transfer station rather than having to increase containers.

Mr. Eckhardt went on to say that trying to set some guideline as far as the capacity using bedrooms is a difficult one.  It would be much simpler to go with the number of people that a residence sleeps. That way it is felt we could get around someone who has a 5 bedroom house and two people live in it.  The designation could be simplified.  All the rental managers advertise in their books how many people a unit sleeps. Commissioner Wootten said, “You mean have the town staff do a bed count?”  Mr. Eckhardt suggested letting the property managers do this.  Property managers are operating as homeowners.  If the owner does not have private ownership then it is up to the property manager.  If they can’t look at their brochures and see that it sleeps so many people, then so many gallons of container will be needed, there is something wrong.

             Commissioner Murphy agreed.   Commissioner Farmer said that would also get around the problem with what she was hearing during the break, that I have a 3 bedroom house and only two living there and we don’t need ever how many gallons it would take.

            Gus Farmakidis who resides at 322 Lobolly referred to page 3, very last sentence, commented that contained within this paragraph are two or three different meanings.  This one says “Provided however, as to any new houses or residential units completed and being granted a final inspection by the town building inspection department from and after the November 1, 1993” – his house was built April 1984.  He asked if he had to get a 90-gallon container?  One way to look at it is that if the Town Manager finds him wrong, then if his house was built after 1993 he has to get a new container, but if the town wants him to get a big one, 90-gallon, then make a separate paragraph.

  Commissioner McElraft commented this should be deleted and make it for everybody.

            Mayor Harris said the Board would take his suggestion into consideration.  Mr. Farmakidis was told at this time he would have to get one.   Mr. Farmakidis said, “We are to start getting these 90-gallons and you are going to give the library $50,000 and develop all of this stormwater, you should reimburse some of the cost of these 90-gallon cans.  If you really want us to buy, do it for everyone.  Lets just don’t pick out.”

            Commissioner McElraft commented she totally agrees with Mr. Farmakidis. She thinks 1993 verbage in there and everyone should be able to use the 90-gallon or contain plenty of the 30-gallon.

             Mr. Hal O’Neal 109 Jackson Avenue thinks he might be confused.  He has a big green garbage can, 90-gallon.  He tore his rack down because he bought the green container.  He does not want to go back to building more rack.  Those things are too big to put into a container.  When it is emptied he rolls it back.  Why would you need a rack?

             Mayor Harris replied the idea of a 3-sided rack came up because when the garbage people come and empty them, they blow around. 

             Mr. O’Neal said he now has to go out and buy lumber to build another rack because he torn the other one down.

Commissioner McElraft said that was never the Boards intention.  When they talked about racks for the 90-gallon, it was more for the rental units.  Commissioner Farmer said the language in this amendment is all wrong.  Commissioner McElraft agreed and thinks it should be reworked.

Mr. Charles Vinson asked if there was a difference between rentals and residents?  He said there should be.  Commissioner Farmer said she agrees and she wishes there was some way it could be done that way but she does not see Carol Angus or whoever going from house to house saying, do you rent here or are you a resident.  You cannot enforce that.  The problem is Ocean Drive.  It is not so much a problem on the interior lots.   

             Mayor Harris asked that this item be tabled since there are so many comments on it.

Mark Brennesholz, resident of 9322 Ocean Drive, asked about the number of bedrooms.  He assumes that everyone’s living room is a bedroom also? The answer given was that if you have a couch, yes. Another question was on excess garbage and now he understands that.  Sometimes if you are discarding a chair, scrap wood, or something like that, it does not dimensionally fit in the garbage can, it will not fit into a plastic bag either, is there a way that you can say Waste Management does not pick that up at all and you have to hand carry that stuff up to the dump.  There needs to be some provisions made for this.  Commissioner Murphy asked Mr. Conrad, Public Works Director, if there was a number that could be called to get this stuff picked up?  Mr. Conrad answered “Yes”.

Mr. Brennesholz said there is for the third Wednesday every month pick-up but that is yard debris. 

Commissioner McElraft said if (b) is eliminated as suggested, that would take care of the plastic bag thing.  The Board wants them to have enough containers that they don’t have to use plastic bags outside. She questioned if rental units could be considered business?  Her rationale was if they could be considered a business, then the Board can require businesses to have all these cans and leave the residents alone. Attorney Taylor said you are saying a rental unit has to have them.  A business is only required to have 60 gallons of containment.  Commissioner McElraft said “But if we could classify these houses as businesses and require them to have one 30 gallon trash can per bedroom, but we would not have to require the residents to have them.  It would be only on rental units.

Mrs. Ceil Saunders added that the rental agencies have check sheets to check off things like dishes, linens, etc., so why could they not just add trash containers on it?  Commissioner McElraft said they would work with the Board but it is just getting it in the ordinance where everyone else is not punished.

Mr. Brennesholz said currently his rental unit has two 30-gallon containers for a small 4 bedroom house.  This is now saying that needs to go to four 30-gallon containers for a small 4 bedroom house and then that is going to improve the appearance of Ocean Drive or go to two roll-a-ways.  Going from two 30-gallon to one 90-gallons is a 50% increase and it is twice per week pick-up during the rental season.  It seems like we are going way overboard.  He was here all last summer.  The house next door, once in a while, had an extra bag and that was it. 

Commissioner Wootten interjected these definitions came from the committee that reviewed this.  Mr. Brennesholz said he understands that and he is asking them to re-review them.  His observation as a resident of Ocean Drive is that the problems with doubling or tripling the capacity are probably going to be worse.

Commissioner McElraft noted that she went out and for two days painted her trash containers white and somebody said they came and looked at mine to make sure that they were pretty and she found out they were not really as pretty as she thought they were.  She then went out and bought all new trash cans.  This project has cost her a whole lot of money and a lot of paint in her hair.  If she has to go back to 90-gallon containers, she will really be upset.

             Mayor Harris clarified the Board has received 4 or 5 good suggestions. The Board would meet with Mr. Eckhardt if this is tabled.  She asked for a motion at this point.

             Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion

            Commissioner Wooten asked who was going to fix the problem with the words?  The committee should have done that in his mind right from the beginning.  Mr. Eckhardt replied it was not a part of their charge. Commissioner Wootten said, “Then if not you, the Town Attorney.  He asked again, who is going to work the problems?

Mayor Harris said that is the reason she said the Board would meet with Mr. Eckhardt again.  She asked Mr. Wootten if he would like to meet with Mr. Eckhardt?  She then asked the new Town Manager if he would like to meet with him? There was a lot of laughter after this question. A comment was made the new Town Manager does not start until July 1.  

Commissioner McElraft said she would meet with him and try to get this straightened out and then get it to the Town Attorney and let him write it legally.

Mayor Harris called for a vote.  The Board voted unanimously to send this back to the committee for further study.

DOG WARDEN CONTRACT

            During a Budget Workshop it was suggested that the fine for impoundment of d0gs be changed from $20.00 to $50.00 for the first day. It was also suggested that the daily fee be changed from $6.00 to $10.00 for each additional day and to make a change in the period time of the contract from 1 year to 6 months.  These changes have been made and the Contract is presented to the Town Board for approval or denial.

             Attorney Taylor asked Mrs. Custy, Town Clerk, if the changes he suggested to the contract had been made and she verified they had.  Commissioner Farmer asked if Hadnot Creek Kennels had agreed to the changes.  Mayor Harris said we are going to propose it to them.

             Ms. Laura Pittman of 118 Stuart Avenue said the recommendations about the Leash Law, she has a dog, she believes a dog should be on a leash on the beach and she believes in the Pooper Scooper Law. She questioned the recommendation about walking dogs on the beach between the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. during the summer months and also about the two dogs per household.  She does not understand the logic on those two recommendations. 

             Mayor Harris answered one of the questions saying the two dogs has always been on the ordinance.  That was not changed.

             Commissioner Farmer said as for not being able to walk the dogs on the beach only at certain times during the summer, she thinks the Board has decided not to go that route, that in fact they were going to try educating.  

Ms. Pittman asked, “If they are on a leash, what is the purpose of not being to take the dogs on the beach?” Mayor Harris said that the animal report would probably be on for next month to go through. 

             Ms. Pittman asked if there was anyone with dogs on the committee?  Mayor Harris told her that there were 3 with dogs, 3 without dogs and a dog trainer.  Those meetings are open to the public.

             Ms. Pittman was also informed that the meetings are posted on the Bulletin Board in the entrance area of Town Hall.

            Mr. Charles Vinson asked why is it against dogs and not cats?  Why can you own 100 cats and only 2 dogs?  Mayor Harris said, “You cannot own a cat by the State of North Carolina Law.  This has been talked about, I have gotten calls complaining about the cats.  The Police Department gets all the complaints about the dogs.  We are not picking on dogs but there is nothing we can do about cats.

             The fees were also asked about and Mayor Harris said this was coming up in June. 

             Commissioner Murphy said,  “to keep in mind that this is an ordinance that has been in place for years and years by our predecessors.  I don’t have any dogs but I have more than 2 cats and they don’t belong to me according to North Carolina.  As your Commissioner I do not feel like it is fair for me to have 3 cats and you to be limited to two dogs.”

            The question was asked as to how this would be challenged if they did have more than 2 dogs?  If you come to someone’s house, they would not be happy.  Commissioner Murphy said we are talking about the same thing, an ordinance that is not enforceable. These recommendations were put together by a very good committee and we take their recommendations very seriously.  We realize that we have to live here.  There are some parts of that which will definitely be adopted and be strictly enforced. 

             Mayor Harris encouraged the public to prepare themselves for June.  There are copies of the report at the front desk for review.

             Mr. Charles Vinson asked if that meant that cats who go out at night are feral? Commissioner Farmer said there are either feral or Commissioner McElraft!  

             Commissioner McElraft replied that hers come in at night, watch TV until 10 and then go to bed.

             Mrs. Brownie Trainham who resides on Archer’s Creek Drive said she has two indoor cats that never go outside and she is feeding 7 feral cats and is in the process of neutering and spading them.  She has caught 3 of them so far.  There is a difference between cats.  They use litter and they also bury their waste.  There is a big difference in walking down the street and seeing dog waste that has not been removed.  

             Mr. Dick Eckhardt, 4304 Ocean Drive, when the committee report was made, some comment was made about the horses.  Both he and his wife have been bicycling about the island.  The problem was reported and it was taken care of immediately.  It does work well. 

Mrs. McCabe, 321 Cape Fear Loop said the other day her neighbor found a dog in the neighborhood that did not have a tag on.  This dog is not really causing a problem but it is missing from home and has not been able to find it for whatever reason.  She asked if this was a complaint?  She said that it is not chasing after children nor causing any problems. She is concerned that the number of complaints are not a true number. 

             Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded and the Board voted unanimously to accept the Contract as Written.   

             Attorney Taylor reminded the Board that since some of the terms of the contract have been changed, they have essentially made a counter proposal which will now have to be accepted by Hadnot Creek Kennels.

DEBRIS REMOVAL CONTRACT

             A Debris Removal Contract is being presented for the Board’s consideration before the storm season is upon us.  It is requested by Ms. Overman, Interim Manager, that she be allowed to go out for bids for the debris removal hurricane season arrives. In the event one would strike this area getting bids now would eliminate waiting to the last minute to secure bids from contractors.

             Commissioner Murphy asked Mrs. Overman if the debris removal would be done by the yard or by the ton?  Mrs. Overman replied it would be done by the cubic yard.  Commissioner Murphy asked if this was the way it has been handled in the past?  The answer was yes from Mrs. Overman. Mrs. Overman said the bids would be good until June 2, 2002.  

              Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Farmer seconded and the Board voted unanimously to authorize Mrs. Overman, Interim Town Manager, to proceed with obtaining bids for debris removal for the storm season 2001 until June 2002.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

             Mrs. Dojy Marks, 134 Sandcastle Drive, addressed the Board on the issue of Reed Drive property since the Planning Board, for the last two meetings, has not allowed public comment.  She wanted to make everyone aware of the fact that this is a one-way road.  It should have a No Outlet sign or something to that effect.  There is no other entrance or egress from the western end of Emerald Isle.  She did a study and there are 346 condominiums, 32 townhouse units, 1450 lots on Coast Guard Road, with a potential for 1800 families living on a two-lane road and that is the only access to those properties and from those properties.  If more congestion is added at the Reed Drive/Coast Guard Road intersection she just doesn’t see how this property can be addressed until the traffic concern and the safety and health of the people who live on Coast Guard Road is addressed.  She has read the D.O.T. study. 

             Mr. Charles Stuber, 1106 Timber Trail said he has an unusual request concerning the tax rate.  With an increase in the reevaluation of approximately 25%, he feels there will be a temptation to reduce the tax rate.  Although he knows it sounds strange, he does not want his taxes reduced.  With all the problems with beach nourishment and storm water, etc., he feels the town would be prudent in building up some sort of storm chest and building up a surplus and leave the tax rate as it is unless the budget goes up 25%.  He suggested leaving the tax rate where it is to build up money for some of these problems.  He is on the beach nourishment committee.  A survey is going out soon to residents and if the task is done that has been suggested, it will take some money.

             Commissioner Farmer said it is not often the Board has someone coming before them asking not to lower the tax rate.    

             Mr. Dick Eckhardt, 4304 Ocean Drive, said the term “lowering the taxes” is somewhat a misnomer and he thinks everyone knows that. He does not understand the term “lowering taxes”.  The rate may be lowered but the taxes are not being lowered.  He asked that the Board consider the “things that the taxes are raised for should be something we believe in.” With the things facing us he does not feel we can cover everything. It is not lowering the taxes, the taxes remain the same.

            Mr. Charles Vinson, 7209 Ocean Drive, said “he has been informed that Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer attended the Coastal Resources Commission yesterday and today, on beach nourishment.  Mayor Pro-Tem Farmer was introduced either by list or by word as Mayor Pro-Tem of Emerald Isle and therefore she may not have intended it, but being introduced or being listed as Mayor Pro-Tem gives the impression that she represents the board and represents the boards feelings, attitudes and ideas about things.  The main thing that was discussed there was beach renourishment and I personally feel that the single most important thing that is facing our community is the protection of our economy and our tax base.  If we don’t protect the beach, we lose it.  I think at this time, I would like to say that perhaps some of the attendees might have felt or gotten the impression that all of us down here were not as enthusiastic about beach renourishment as we might have been and he would like to ask each member of the board, in a nutshell, in a word, to give their position and their feeling toward the dire need to attend to our beach problems.”

            Mayor Harris replied, “The board, as a whole, except for Commissioner Trainham has sponsored and gone out publicly for beach renourishment.  We all have.  We all believe in it very strongly.”

  Mayor Harris asked Commissioner Farmer if she spoke for the Board? Commissioner Farmer replied, “No, I did not.  I introduced myself as Emily Farmer, Commissioner of the Town of Emerald Isle which is what I am.  They did have me on the program as Mayor Pro-Tem.”  Mayor Harris said “Therefore she did not represent the majority of this board.”  Mr. Vinson said, “The impression.”  Commissioner Farmer said she would like to say “that at no time did she indicate that she is opposed to beach renourishment at all.  I am not opposed to beach renourishment.  However, I think there are concerns in addition to the tax payers concerns which we need to pay attention to and certainly those concerns are environmental.”  Mayor Harris said “We do support it and I don’t want anyone in town to think this board does not.  We  have worked very hard on it. Spread the word around that we do.”

COMMENTS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS

Alesia Sanderson from Parks and Recreation has submitted the preliminary application for CAMA funding for reconstruction of the Wyndtree walkway and for Phase III of the Western Regional Access.  Phase I was acquisition, Phase II is construction of the bathhouse and Phase III grading and rocking of the remainder.

             Chief William Walker, Fire Department, reported a trailer fire on Reed Drive.  The trailer was made back in the 1960’s so it went up rapidly. It didn’t take but 4 minutes from the fire department to respond after receiving the dispatcher’s call.

             Chief Walker also commented that hurricane season is only 4 weeks away.  He and Emergency Management of Carteret County have agreed that we are not going to have any storms this year.

             Police Chief Mark Wilson reported that a lot more crimes are being seen this time of year.  As a matter of fact, a call was received this afternoon to go to the 3600 block.  When police arrived, there were 3 or 4 black males and white males that broke into a house.  The police confiscated two cars, marijuana was in the house already packaged to be sold.  The drug officers from Havelock Police Department and they found some Cocaine.  Also found was a 410 sawed-off shotgun, plus another shotgun.  He feels that the reason no police were hurt in this afternoon’s event was because the suspects were surprised. 

Mayor Harris reminded everyone to be on the watch in their community.  Some meetings with Community Watch will be held. 

             Planning Board Chairman Mrs. Ceil Saunders – No Comment.

             Mr. Conrad, Public Works Director – No Comment.

             Inspections Department Carol Angus – Inspections took in $18,843.30. She is working on a new building inspections report on the computer and since her right arm is not here to tell her exactly how to read it she is going to have to study it. 

TOWN CLERK - Welcomed Mr. Rush and “look forward to working with him and want him to come on and get settled in.”

COMMENTS :

TOWN BOARD:

             Commissioner McElraft said even though the committee is working on beach nourishment right now they have not forgotten the Point.  The situation there is different from beach nourishment and she understands that maybe some hydrology work is being done out there by Moffatt and Nichol by Swansboro and people from Hammocks Beach.  She said “We are going to try to set up something with the Corps of Engineers, the people at the Point, the people in Swansboro, the commercial fishermen who cannot get through there and have to go all the way to Beaufort to get out, to try to solve this problem with several communities rather than just Emerald Isle.  We have to relocate that channel. 

There is no way that the Band-Aid we wanted to do is going to work.  I want the people at the Point that we have not forgotten you and we know how serious the situation is there.” 

Commissioner Murphy  welcomed Mr. Rush and said he has a good group of people to work with and he thinks Mr. Rush will enjoy it.  Commissioner Murphy commented he has also spoken with Emergency Management and like Chief Walker said, we are three weeks away from hurricane season.  Even though we have been assured by Chief Walker we are not going to have any hurricanes this year, the threat is still there. 

Commissioner Murphy said he has talked with some of the employees and at this time there is a Hurricane Committee in place.  The people he has talked to would rather those that are together and involved together have expressed their concerns that they would like for those people to be the ones that deal with the public before the hurricane arrives, while it is here and when it leaves, rather than a citizens committee. Commissioner Murphy asked Chief Walker “ Billy if you did not have a citizens committee, could you still do your job effectively or could you do your job better?”  Fire Chief Walker said, “We have made it through the last six without them so I think we can get along.”
Commissioner Murphy moved to disband the Emerald Isle Hurricane Committee and Commissioner McElraft seconded the motion. 

Commissioner McElraft said if Chief Walker doesn’t think he needs it and he would prefer the town people be involved, it is fine with her.

            Chief Walker said there is a policy in place and as it is written now it would be up to Mr. Rush and Chief Walker to make the decisions.

             Commissioner Wootten said he didn’t think it still existed.  His intention was that it was for that season and we got through that.  As far as he is concerned it does not exist now. 

             Commissioner Farmer commented, “This is called an ambush but I will comment anyway.  The Hurricane Advisory Committee was formed last Spring at the request of Emerald Isle Realty and a couple of other property managers who felt that they were not getting the information that they needed from Town Hall and they also felt that there was no system set up for them to notify Town Hall of such critical things as how many tourists were here at a time.  They felt there was a great need for this and the Board agreed to appoint a committee.  Happily we really didn’t need them last summer.  We don’t know if we are going to need them again or not.  We don’t know whether the problems the property managers felt they had have been fixed.  I think this is too bad.”

            Commissioner McElraft said she thinks what the committee did was admirably, they worked well and she thinks they came up to some completions there needs to be communication but when the Chief of our Fire Department and some other employees of this town tell us it is time to let them do their jobs now, that is fine with her.

             Commissioner Farmer replied “This was not an issue of not doing their jobs.”

            Mayor Harris called for a vote. 

The Board voted, with a vote of 3 in favor of (Commissioner Wootten, Murphy and McElraft) and 2 opposed (Commissioner Farmer and Trainham) to disband the Emerald Isle Hurricane Committee.  

TOWN ATTORNEY  - Commented that at the last meeting there was a request from the Board, at least most of the Board, that he look into.  Having investigated the issue of whether or not the town could exercise any jurisdiction over wetlands in a more restrictive sense than the federal or state government has.  The answer is, “Yes, I think so.

You would be one of the first in the state to have done so.  Dare County has made summary rules and have backed away from some of their stronger positions so there is no model ordinance for us to use.  The ordinance would have to be drafted in such a manner that recognizes federal jurisdiction as being supreme so if they were to give some major permits to someone the town could not take that away.  But anything the federal or state government doesn’t do or act would allow you some regulation capability here within the town.  It is going to be a relatively sophisticated ordinance and probably if you are going to draft one, you should get some professional assistance or go ahead and put me on the payroll or contract basis.  It is going to take some time to put that one together properly.  Also in that vein, because I ended calling around to several people to discuss their opinions on it, Mr. Mickey Suggs with the federal government Corps of Engineers suggested he has got a road show.  If you would like an education about the federal wetlands jurisdiction and the Division of Water Quality wants to do a pony show with them, they would be enjoy the opportunity to do so.  I said I would bring it up and leave it at your discretion.”

            Commissioner Wootten said he thinks that is great!

             Commissioner Farmer said New Hanover County in its comprehensive plan has a wetlands ordinance now. 

             Attorney Taylor said it must be new enough the Institute of Government doesn’t know about it.

             Commissioner Farmer said “Could be and what most of these ordinances do is they don’t say you can’t fill wetlands, they say if you fill, I wish I could remember three words, one is first of all you try to avoid, second of all you minimize the filling you have to do and third you mitigate.  So if you fill in one spot you create a new one two times the capacity of the old one or you extend the old one.”  

             Attorney Taylor said his suggestion is for the presentation where they would give you an idea of how they do it. One of the mechanisms is to educate the Corps of the mechanisms by which you would want to create or draft your own ordinances to follow is apparently what you are saying is the same sort of mythology they use for permitting.

             Commissioner McElraft said the only problem with that is the United States Supreme Court just ruled against the Corps of Engineers that they could not prevent people from filling isolated wetlands.  She feels we are going to be doing a stormwater public hearing and maybe that’s when the Board should go into all of this.  She thinks the town needs to be careful in making an ordinance.

      Attorney Taylor said there is a Supreme Court Decision that shot that down.  A lot of it was based on jurisdictional issues, and what the Corps did and did not have authority for.  Whether or not a municipality could do what the federal government cannot creates a different issue.  The Supreme Court has not acted on it.  If the town wants to jump on this thing, he would be more than happy to end up in Supreme Court with it. 

               Commissioner Farmer commented that the Supreme Court ruled that the Corps of Engineers was exceeding their authority by having jurisdiction over isolated wetlands.  That  led to immediate ditching in New Hanover County of thousands of acres of wetlands.  The state stepped in.  An e-mail article she sent to the Board was about the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission ruling to take over jurisdiction of isolated wetlands.  The jurisdiction of the Corps dropped.  She talked to someone with the Environmental Management Commission who said they are meeting tomorrow.  Some of the work they will be doing is setting up guidelines for Division of Water Quality to come up with a permitting system for these isolated wetlands.  Until that ruling goes through, as things stand now, you can’t fill until isolated wetlands.  When the rule making is finished, it will probably apply to the wetlands that are one-third to one-half acre or more.

             Commissioner Farmer suggested inviting the Corps and the Division of Water Quality to put on a pony show for the Board maybe at the next meeting. 

             Mayor Harris said the town would certainly invite them to the June meeting if this is what the Board would like to do.  All agreed to do this.

             Commissioner Farmer was going to tell the Board about the meeting Mr.Vinson had spoken about earlier which was a beach renourishment workshop of which the Coastal Resource Commission, Duke Marine Lab, North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina Environmental Defense, North Carolina Sea Grant, Marine Fisheries Commission and UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science were sponsors.  It was a two day workshop.  The concern that the people who brought this workshop together had was that there were conversations taking place about beach renourishment over here that were mostly economic questions, there were conversations taking place over there that were mostly environmental and the question was how to get all of these people in one room and try to come up with some direction.  This will end up being a white paper that will be published.  There were four groups.  The first was a round table on public policy of which she took part in.  The second was a round table on physical design and durability of beach renourishment projects.  The third was a round table on biological impacts.  The fourth was a round table on economic consequences.  This was a wonderful opportunity to be in a room full of public policy people.  The Town should get that report when it comes out.  

            Commissioner Farmer made the following statement: “As a board we have made ordinance enforcement a priority. And we recognized early on that many of the current ordinances on the books are either outdated or don't address the growing pains we're experiencing. Consequently we have been extremely busy this past 1-1/2 years redoing a number of the more pressing ones.

“The group that has born the brunt of all this activity has been the planning board. These volunteers have had more work and pressure heaped on them than should be asked of anyone. The workload has led to the resignation of three of the members. And we as a board discussed several times the need to get them some relief.

“We had an opportunity to get that relief when Benchmark offered to work up a planning grant proposal at no cost or obligation to the town. We happily took them up on their offer. Benchmark took the time to work on the proposal  and then submitted it to Division of Coastal Management for CAMA funding.

“I am extremely disappointed that the board has now reversed its decision by our usual 3-to-2 split and instead of seeking funds for the planning help we so desperately need, has decided instead to go for funding to reorganize our code book. We had an opportunity to lighten the planning board's load and the majority decided not to take it. How too bad. I would like to publicly thank Michael Harvey at Benchmark for his efforts on behalf of Emerald Isle.”

            Commissioner Trainham said, “Since Mr. Vinson has asked the question he did, it would be belittle me not to make some response regarding the beach nourishment program.  I think most everyone here knows the position that I have taken over the past year and one-half.  I am still looking for a better answer than placing sand paid for by tax payers on the beach.  I am in the minority but I don’t mind being in the minority.  I am concerned about the problems down at the Point.  I would like to see that taken care of.  I am also concerned about the fact that the discussions about what is happening to the sand on the beach has got to be resolved. The resolving of this is going to have to be in the hands of the Corps of Engineers and others who must take pains to make sure that we are not wasting tax payers money.  The room tax is probably a very good band aid to use and I am certainly in favor of this because I don’t think this is taking money from the tax payers but I am still concerned that putting sand on the beach is going to be a losing matter.  I think I need to make that statement clarifying I am standing alone in this but I don’t mind standing alone.  I feel that I do represent a certain group of our constituency for the position I am taking.”

            Commissioner Wootten referenced to Commissioner Farmer’s comments regarding Benchmark.  He said “She would have you believe that members of the Board don’t care about planning, don’t care about the workload on the planning board by not supporting this allocation or request for funds from a grant for planning assistance.  It is not so.  The judgment call, at least on my part, was that we stood a much better chance of getting funding under the headlines of rewriting the code and making it much easier to deal with.  We would have a better chance of getting the money, therefore get on that horse and get that money.  Planning is a problem.  Planning is going to take some funding and this Board I think is committed to deal with planning consultants in order to help the planning.  Please don’t tell me that I am not interested in the planning board or planning because of that decision.

INTERIM MANAGER – No Comments

Commissioner McElraft moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session to discuss litigation at 9:00 P.M.

CLOSED SESSION TO DISCUSS LITIGATION.

Commissioner Farmer moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the board voted unanimously to return to open session at 9:15 P.M.

ADJOURN.

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

             The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 05/08/2001

May 7, 2001  

Planning Board

TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE 
RECONVENED MEETING OF THE PLANNING BOARD 
MONDAY, MAY 07, 2001

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Chairman Ceil Saunders.

Members in attendance:  Ceil Saunders, Frank Vance, George McLaughlin, Ed Dowling, Phil Almeida, and Fred Josey.  Art Daniel was excused due to being out of town.  Also, attending was Secretary, Carol Angus.

Reed Drive Commercial Park – Commercial lot subdivision and abandonment of town road to W.B. McLean Residuary Trust, for construction and maintenance.  Also, to address some concerns of this project from the Planning Board.  Ms. Paxon Holz and Mr. John P. McLean represented the W.B. McLean Residuary Trust  proposal.

Chairman Saunders asked that all members refer to the notes they had from the previous meeting of April 17.  She also advised the members that Ms. Holz had submitted a letter prior to the meeting regarding an unexpected situation with the Corps of Engineers and 404-wetland jurisdiction. Ms. Holz is asking to bring back the original plan for review with the 3-lot subdivis-ion. 

Ms. Holz asked if the board would follow through with the review of the stormwater plan as it is proposed for the road.  Then the letter she had submitted would be discussed.  Chairman Saunders agreed to the request of Ms. Holz. 

Mr. Almeida said that he had met with Mr. McLean earlier and they have a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the ordinance.  Stormwater computations that he has are good for the road surface area; they do not cover the remaining area.  Mr. McLean’s contention is that, according to the ordinance, it is required to do only the road.  Mr. Almeida asked Ms. Saunders her opinion, due to her experience on the board.  Ms. Saunders said she felt it is only the streets, that are being developed.

Mr. Almeida quoted from the ordinance Sec. 18-21 (b)(10) A preliminary plat shall also indicate and show surface water drainage plans and methods.  It is his interpretation that it should include the area that is being developed not only the road.

Mr. McLean responded that for every lot that is developed on commercial property every single parcel must come before the planning board and show the stormwater plan.  At this point there is nothing to develop, only build a road.  That is the difference, no buildings, just a road.

Mr. Almeida went on to add that the site is landlocked, there is no place for the water to go away, like a giant basin, which consists of three ponds.  The ponds are almost dry now because of the drought. The current ordinance requires that 1 ½” of rainwater be contained.  It will not trap all the water. 

Mr. McLean reminded the board of the stormwater system that was installed at the current CVS Drug Store location.   When the Beachmart (now CVS) was built, a system of huge pipes were put underground that are embedded in rock and the 1 ½” of water goes in that pipe.  If 4” fell it certainly would not hold because of the water table, but then the water would go to the right-of-way swells.  That is all that one has to do is overflow them.  He would be putting water from the roadway (on Reed Drive project) to a natural pond that is there.  The 1 ½” will generate three inches in depth of the pond.  A 4 ½” rainfall will generate 9” of water in the pond. Whenever the properties that develop there and they have wetwater detention or infiltration basins they are allowed to have an overflow.  There is only one place to go, and that  is the hole in the ½ acre on lot #5. 

Mr. Almeida said 1 ½” water will be trapped within the property by french drain or seepage mechanism.  The remaining overflow question is whose responsibility is it to design it to make sure there is enough capacity for the overflow to go somewhere and pond.  At one time one or two ponds were filled, the neighbors are complaining that the area gets flooded because the ponds have become landlocked.  A ditch toward another pond has been blocked because Reed Drive has been filled.  It is, in his opinion, the responsibility of the developer of the subdivision to make sure there are stormwater provisions or drain design for the whole subdivision.  It is the responsibility of the individual lot owner, when he starts building he has more impervious area with all the paved area.  There is much more runoff than there would be in a virgin situation.

Mr. McLean replied that the new owner can have 85% impervious area, and Mr. Almeida agreed.  However, from the impervious area he gets additional water.  Mr. McLean agreed, but the point is that this project has met the ordinance.  He has done what is required by ordinance.

Mr. Almeida said he did not believe so.

Mr. McLean went on to add that lot 5, the largest one, is probably greater than an acre.  It would have to be approved by DEHNR Water Quality, the regional engineers in Wilmington.  It would then have to meet N.C. state regulations, not just Emerald Isle’s regulations.

Mr. Almeida asked if the large lot would remain as one single lot and might not be subdivided. Mr. McLean replied that if it were developed as more than one acre, it has to have state approval.

Mr. Almeida said, the minute it is subdivided it does not need state approval.  We are back to the town basis and require the town approval.

Chairman Saunders said that the meeting tonight is to subdivide the property.  Until such time it is developed, that is when we get into stormwater, because here we are not developing anything.

Mr. Almeida disagreed with this view. 

 Mr. Dowling reminded the members that there was a letter from the commissioners that advised this board to review all the acreage. 

Chairman Saunders said the board had done that (May 07, 2001); however, with this latest development (wetlands) it cannot be done with the entire property.

Mr. Dowling said he felt it is the goal of the Planning Board to keep all water on site and that a statement should be read to the Commissioners so they can make the decision whether to require the entire acreage to be reviewed.  Mr. McLean has done a super job, exceeding the requirements, to contain as much as 3 inches stormwater. 

Mr. McLaughlin said he has mixed feelings about the project.  He agreed that Mr. McLean has done a great job on retaining the amount of water that he has.  However, if all there is to be developed is a road, therein lies the problem.  If you put a road in and bail out on it, then the town is stuck.

Mr. McLean disagreed, that is not the case.  You still have continued commercial review.

Mr. McLaughlin said he felt that when the road is in, then all bets are off on what happens.

Ms. Holz asked if she could inquire about the JTW, Inc. commercial subdivision in Block 15.  She wanted to know what happened there when all they wanted to do was subdivide.  That was quickly approved right after the moratorium had expired.  Where did their storm water go?  They don’t have a development plan, per lot.

Mr. Almeida said it wasn’t like this.  Ms. Holz replied that it was exactly like her plan and the planning board had approved their plan.

Chairman Saunders that there is a ditch with infiltration piping along the southern property line.

Ms. Holz wanted to know the difference between her project and what was approved in February for JTW, Inc.?  They are not proposing a building, or a parking lot, or anything but building a road that has to be built in order to record the map.  That is all there is.  Is there one rule for her and another rule for another family?  Where were these objections for them?

Chairman Saunders said she has no problem with subdividing this problem.  When someone comes in, in the future, to do something with the lots, is when the planning board takes a hard look at it.  Just to subdivide is no need for this comprehensive plan.

Mr. Dowling said they are here tonight to look at the abandonment of Reed Drive.

Mr. Almeida asked if they were not looking at stormwater today?

Ms. Holz said that she had hoped the stormwater plan could be reviewed and be approved.

Mr. Almeida said that because there is a question of interpretation that there should be a legal opinion from the Commissioners.

Mr. Almeida made the motion to send the project to the Town Board for their advice, Mr. Dowling seconded that motion.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion

Ms. Holz asked if she could give a brief history of what has taken place to date. Last week she heard from Larry Baldwin, her agent, who she had hired at the request of the planning board. She is to reflag the existing wetlands.  After they were reflagged them he contacted Mr. Mickey Sugg, with the Corps of Engineers, to come out and agree with his flagging. Mr. Baldwin called and said the visit had been made and Mr. Sugg wanted the property resurveyed.  The survey is to delineate wetlands.  At that time, Mr. Baldwin, said that the Corps of Engineers, in spite of the recent Supreme Court decision that these wetlands are not jurisdictional, is claiming that the wetlands are jurisdictional.  Even though parts of the area don’t hold water, Mr. Sugg is claiming that they are connected in a subterranium manner. She asked for an explanation of this claim.

Mr. Baldwin said the only way the Corps can claim jurisdiction over the wetlands is that migratory birds flying from one state to another can land on the water.  Ms. Holz then said to Mr. Baldwin that these birds even though there is no water they dig underground and come up some-where else.  Mr. Baldwin replied “That would have to be.”  This is an example of how silly this is.  However, Mr. Baldwin told her, after the Corps lost the Supreme Court matter, the state of North Carolina Division of Environmental Management enacted a rule that they have jurisdiction over the previous Corps wetlands.  She replied that she was not aware of that; therefore, since either the Corps and N.C. or just N.C. depending on how well those ducks dig, have juris-diction over these dry and wet ponds.  Where the road would go that the Town wants her to build looping around, she respectfully declines to build that loop.  She does not have the permits to do so.  However, if the town desires to go for the permits, she will pay the cost and build the road as the boards have requested.  In the meantime, she withdraws the request to abandon Reed Drive, and return to the original 3-lot subdivision.  Also, to use the existing, dedicated,  and accepted by the town for dedication of Reed Drive.  She will pave in such a way that if the town desires to later abandon  part of it, and stay with a 40’ private road and loop, and get the permits, she will pave the road.  She feels she has no other choice, because she knew nothing of this decision.  She felt that other town officials knew about this but did not share it with her.  If Mr. Baldwin had not called her last week, she still wouldn’t know. 

Mr. Almeida asked which wetland is being discussed.  Ms. Holz said it is the area where the road loops around and runs along the electric company.  The part that was filled in the past was done with permits and permission, from the Corps and DENR. 

Mr. Almeida said he did not understand how the Corps could say in the past it was O.K. and come back now and say otherwise.  He went on to ask about the internal circulation pattern of travel.  Ms. Holz replied that this is not being addressed at this time, just Reed Dr. in and out.

Mr. Almeida said you are not addressing stormwater not addressing traffic circulation.

Ms. Holz said she had addressed stormwater.  Mr. Almeida said that is not true in his opinion. 

Ms. Holz asked how can they address this when there is no plan of a building of any kind.  The square footage of a building will determine parking, etc. so how can anything be calculated?

Mr. McLean returned to the question some time ago about the JTW, Inc. property and said this property will address this property the same way.  Please don’t treat this project differently.

Mr. Almeida said the Reed Drive property is sitting in a fishbowl.  Mr. McLean replied that the JTW, Inc. property also did.

Mr. Almeida said they were not in a fishbowl so they can overflow.  The runoff can go out in the street.  In the Reed Dr. case it cannot it is trapped within the property like a basin.

Mr. McLean asked for some criteria of how many inches per hour, something to go on.  How big is the reservoir going to be on the lot.  Either a wet pond or dry pond or  piping, what?  Normally, he would follow the 1 ½” of stormwater but we followed the 3” guidelines.

Mr. Almeida asked what happens if the rainfall is more than 3”?  Mr. McLean replied that DOT designed roads to flood every 10 years.  Even they know there ARE going to be floods.  Even he cannot design for three hurricanes coming back to back. There will be a flood.

Mr. Dowling read a very lengthy rationale of how the board had arrived to this point with dates, agencies and parties involved, including attorneys.  (Attached to these minutes). 

Mr. Almeida said he is not against the subdivision or abandoning the road, if the traffic problem can be addressed.  He asked Ms. Holz if she was amenable to moving the road further down and finding some layout of allowing circulation of traffic?

Ms. Holz said she is amenable and has said so to putting the main entrance opposite Pebble Beach entrance, but only when and if the town obtains the necessary permits for her to do so.  In the meantime, she requests the use of the existing, dedicated, accepted street that is on the Town of Emerald Isle street system.

Mr. Almeida said he wants a road developed that does not go through the wetland to avoid the problem that has been identified by the Corps of Engineers.  It will be a longer road and use some of the owners property, but would be doable.  Mr. McLean is an engineer and could do this.

Ms. Holz said she has paid him his last dollar.  She advised she has paid thousands of dollars to  answer the boards every request.

Mr. Almeida asked Mr. McLean how long the bulkhead is that goes over the wetland?  Mr. McLean replied it is approximately 42 feet.

Mr. Almeida returned to discuss a way  of developing a traffic pattern to get away from the Reed Dr. extension.  That would be easier to sell to the commissioners as well as to the public.

Ms. Holz said her problem here is that she has been down this road.  If the board was unaware of the other constraints that she has faced, that’s a shame, but if they were aware that’s an even bigger shame. 

Mr. Almeida said he understood that the wetlands were non jurisdictional.  Ms. Holz agreed but said that somebody knew it, not on this board but somebody knew it.

Commissioner Trainham responded from the audience that he was not aware of the ruling.

Mayor Harris asked, from the audience, who called in the Corps of Engineers.  Ms. Holz responded that she did, at the request of the Planning Board to mark the wetlands.  She said Dr. Almeida said the wetlands had changed and he wanted to see them as they exist now.  She then hired Mr. Baldwin, Land Management, and asked him to flag the existing wetlands.  All parties concerned were operating on the assumption that the wetlands were non jurisdictional. The area was flagged and Mr. Baldwin called the Corps to verify the flagging.  The next step is for the surveyors to survey.  Then the Corps signs the map to indicate it is correct.  In this process, Mr. Sugg told Mr. Baldwin these are not non-jurisdictional wetlands.  When the survey comes back they are going to be classified ‘jurisdictional’ wetlands.

Ms. Holz, as soon as she was notified, contacted Mr. Sugg.  He returned her call today (5/07/01) and she wrote the letter that is before each member to withdraw the request for abandonment of the road and to return to her original 3-lot subdivision request.

Mr. Fred Josey asked where the state of North Carolina is in this process?  Ms. Holz replied that she has been told that to, protect and preserve the wetlands, the state has enacted an emergency law that they have state jurisdiction over the former 404 wetlands.

Mr. Almeida said the issue needs to be one that will be easy to sell.  That would be moving the access to the subdivision as far as you can from Hwy 58.  He realizes that Ms. Holz must be very frustrated to be at this for so many months.  She said she is willing to look at an alternative or additional entrance, but she does not believe for a second that this hopeful idea will ever come to pass.  There is a town road and now she wants to use it. She does not know what else she should have to do.  This issue is beyond the town regulations now.

Mr. Almeida asked how trucks would be accommodated to be routed in the subdivision.  She said she will pave a 60' bulb (cul-de-sac).  Mr. Almeida said he still wants the entry moved down.  Ms. Holz said she is willing to put in an additional road later if the town will get the permits.  In the meantime, she wants to build the road that is shown on all the maps.  She will pave a bulb at the end that the Hindenburg can turn around in. 

The members then studied the map at the board table and made several observations.  Mr. McLean said he is willing to pave a 100 foot radius.

Chairman Saunders again said she can see no other choice but to agree to the subdivision.  We do have the Special Use requirement now that will control the use of each of these properties.

That will control what goes on, on the property, impervious surface if it is a large building.

Continued discussion went on regarding the traffic problem. 

Mr. Dowling asked Mr. McLean where he would suggest putting the road.  Mr. McLean responded that he had just told Ms. Holz that he is in favor of suing the town and putting the road right where it is.  He doesn’t know what else to do.

Mr. Vance said this project has been kicked around for months, then this glitch comes up with the wetlands.  Mr. McLean said he had about had it this morning when this came up.  Mr. Vance went on to say that he had looked at this plan dozens of times at home, trying to see another way of traffic.  Continued study then went on with the maps and the developers before some of the members at the board table.  Other members of the board continued with separate conversations.  (Hard to discern).  Mr. Vance noted that it is 170’ from Hwy 58 to Reed Drive.

There was some additional discussion about moving the entrance further south away from Hwy 58.  Discussion was to move the entrance further away and 360’ to be the necessary adjustment.

The Motion was made by Mr. Almeida that the entrance should be located approximately 360 feet from N.C. 58 right-of-way. The road into the subdivision avoid the wetland and a bulb be provided at the end to allow fire trucks to navigate. Also, to vacate the unused portion of Reed Drive Extension.  Motion was seconded by George McLaughlin.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Mr. Vance reminded the members that Mr. Art Daniel had agreed to write a letter to the Mayor too ask that lights be timed and other issues looked into by D.O.T. under the Mayor’s signature.

There was continued discussion concerning the width of public streets and private streets.

Ms. Angus asked to have it clarified which of these two categories is to be used. This road will be done as a 50’ right-of-way.

Mr. Almeida asked that the commissioners might look at the plat prior to their meeting.  As a preliminary review of the Preliminary plat. Not to waste too much time……

Ms. Holz injected, that she has been here before, what if the commissioners don’t agree with this recommendation?  Then would you approve the original request for the original road and bulb?

Mr. Almeida said he wanted to see it go to the commissioners first and put them in the “hot seat”.

The motion to adjourn was made by George McLaughlin, second by Ed Dowling with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

6:36 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 05/07/2001
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