Agendas and Minutes

September 18, 2000 

Planning Board

Town of Emerald Isle Planning Board

Minutes of Regular Meeting

Monday, September 18, 2000

The Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Cary Harrison at 7:00 P.M. Members present were: Chairman Harrison, Ceil Saunders, Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, David Schock, George McLaughlin and Ed Dowling. Others attending: Carol Angus, Secretary; James W. Taylor, Building Inspector; Pete Allen, Town Manager.

Minutes of Regular Meeting of August 21, 2000 – were approved with correction to page 2 to delete "he" in first sentence of second paragraph; and, to change the word "source" to "obstacle" (1) one page 2, paragraph 5. Also, to delete "then to the Town Board for discussion at a monthly meeting" in last paragraph on page 3. Motion to approve the minutes, as corrected, was made by Phil Almeida, second by Frank Vance, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager – Mr. Pete Allen gave the members a brief summary of the items before the Town Board of Commissioners for their regular meeting of September 12, 2000.

Report from Building Inspector – Mr. James Taylor advised the board that the dollar value assessed for August permits to be in excess of $900,000.00. There were 4 new construction starts for single-family dwellings for the month.

Chairman Harrison asked that Item D under Old Business, Discussion of letter to be presented to Board of Commissioners regarding the rezoning of some areas of RMH zoning to R2 zoning, be tabled until the October 17th meeting. The reason for the request is that "it is not quite a finished topic". Motion to table this agenda item until October was made by Phil Almeida, second by Ed Dowling with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Before proceeding with Old Business, Chairman Harrison advised the representatives that at the Board of Commissioners meeting on September 12, that a moratorium placed on any issuance of permits in B-3 zones until the results of the recently contracted engineering studies can be examined. There will be a special meeting held on Monday, September 25, 2000 at 7:00 for the purpose of Public Comment on this issue.



  1. Commercial Review of Watson Hotel corner of Emerald, Islander, and Reed Drives, Block 41 – Mr. Ken Burnette, Will Riedel of Burnette Architects & Planning and Mr. Ronnie O. Watson were representing this project. Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Almeida for any comments he had regarding the stormwater plan.

    Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Almeida for any comments he had regarding the stormwater plan. Mr. Almeida said he would like additional information of the elevations, both original and finished, of the site to determine that there will be no accumulation of water in the area. He felt there were not enough elevations along the property line to show that the water will be retained on the property.

    Mr. Harrison advised that, if there were to be an off premise sign for the project, and if there were, where it will be located, size of the sign and in what zone. Mr. Almeida felt that something should be done about the water problems at Reed Dr and Islander Dr.

    Town Manager, Pete Allen, advised that the Town will probably approach this problem in the new future with 1 to 4 catch basins in the intersection. They would be piped to the ditches to be lowered to contain the water. Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Taylor, Building Inspector, if the patios, as indicated, can encroach into the setbacks. Mr. Taylor advised this is allowed, as long as the encroachment is not covered by a roof.

    Motion to proceed with this project to Review Committee on Sept. 20 was made by Ceil Saunders, second by Phil Almeida with unanimous approval in favor of the Motion.

    Because Mr. Ronnie Watson will be out of town for the Review Committee meeting On Wednesday, he was asked if he had any comments. Mr. Watson said he wanted to do a project that will be a credit to the town and was looking forward to begining. There was a drawing of the proposed hotel and surroundings that will be available at the review committee meeting.

    Mr. Gus Farmakidis asked to be heard regarding this project and was recognized by Chairman Harrison. Mr. Farmakidis said he did not know this item was going to be on the agenda, but he had something to say. He said somewhere he read that in a hotel, one room used ten times or one hundred times the water that a normal house uses. It generates ten times to one hundred times the amount of garbage that one single family house uses. The aquifer is being reduced and your going to put these things in there, 58 rooms. Don’t even consider all this water it’s going to use? The aquifer is being reduced, there’s all kinds of stuff in the paper. Is this all BULL.

    Your telling me the dumps are being filled up and this will generate so much more trash. This should be stopped, no one says a word about this. Is the aquifer just a renewable source? He doesn’t understand this and he doesn’t think we should allow stuff like this. That’s his water, and when it goes what happens to it? These guys take all the money, at his expense. That’s great that they pay more taxes, but how about the water? The water is significant, not their taxes.

    Mr. Harrison advised that this is a renewable aquifer.

    Mr. Faramakidis asked about the articles in the paper that say eastern Carolina is having tremendous with all that. That aquifer goes way down. He is sorry, but he really disagrees with this thing. For what good, not for his good, always for someone else’s good. How about the aquifer and that trash. You just doubled the trash and filled the dumps.

  2. Reed Drive Commercial Park S/D, Preliminary Plat, Block 42 Southwest corner of Emerald Drive and Coast Guard Road - Mr. Alan Bell and Mr. John McLean, in attendance to represent this project. Mr. McLean advised that they and appeared before the Review Committee and some changes were requested and radius’ were to be redrawn. He thought this would result in an informal return to Review committee. He didn’t realize he must return to Planning Board every time to return to Review Committee. The items that were addressed have been changed. There is 12’ wide pavement as opposed to 10’ wide for the one-way street among other things.

    Mr. Harrison said he hoped Mr. McLean and Mr. Watson (property owner) understood the driving force behind the traffic studies being done for that area. The Town wants to provide the infrastructure for a major intersection. The Town is not trying to impede your project or what you plan to do.

    Mr. McLean said he understands the Town’s concern, but hoped they did not drag their feet and will be done in a timely manner.

    Mr. Harrison said that the Town had opted to hire two firms to look at this area rather than wait for a free resource from DOT and not have any idea of when it might be returned. He went on to advise of a Special Meeting being held on September 25, 2000 to issue a moratorium on new commercial projects until this study can be reviewed in depth.

    Mr. Almeida asked Mr. McLean why a 1991 survey was being used for this project.

    Mr. McLean said that the topography does not change that much and to do it over again it would cost thousands of dollars when topos don’t change that much.

    Mr. Almeida said that wetlands might change.

    McLean responded that he may be correct.

    Mr. Almeida has concerns about the one-way traffic exiting on to Coast Guard Rd. The one-way traffic street width and pavement width is not defined anywhere in the ordinances.

    Mr. Taylor said that with the proposal as it is shown there would be 12’ of pavement, which is two feet more than half of a two-way street for one lane. (Two way Street has minimum 20’ pavement).

    Mr. McLean had no real response to Mr. Almeida’s question other than that maybe the trucks take the exit road to enter to avoid the blind curve. He said he and Mr. Bell will "revisit" if that is necessary. Mr. McLean advised that if this is a paved city street the town will receive Powell Bill funding whether it is one-way or two-way.

    Mr. McLaughlin said he would like to see, on the map, where the entrance to Pebble Beach is located and where the access to Reed Drive is located.

    Mr. Allen told the board that the traffic studies should be available by the end of the month. He is personally going to pick up one of the studies on Thursday, September 28, 2000.

    Mr. Taylor, building inspector, asked that the portion of the wetland that will be filled must be redesignated to create the new wetland for the tradeoff. Mr. McLean said it will be immediately adjacent to the existing wetland.


  3. Sea Turtle and Sandfence Awareness – Mr. Frank Vance gave a detailed breakdown on the proposed sea turtle/sandfence/lighting awareness program. He submitted a very well written proposal broken down into a number of different aspects. First and foremost is to let the public be aware through rental brochures, newsletters, website, signage, stickers on light switches, cost factors, etc. Mass mailings would also be a way to let just the oceanfront owners be aware of the project. This proposal will be forwarded to the Town Board of Commissioners for their review at their October meeting. Motion to recommended this proposal to the Town Board for their October meeting was made by David Schock, second by George McLaughlin with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

    (Previously tabled)

  4. Discussion of letter to be presented to Board of Commissioners regarding the rezoning of some areas of RMH to R-2 zoning. Mr. Harrison asked that this issue be held until the October meeting because the letter had not yet been done as a final draft.
  5. Recommendation of Wireless Communications Ordinance – Mr. Harrison was commended by the board for all the time he has spent on this ordinance and the second draft. Mr. Harrison said he had spent nine months on this ordinance. He advised that Carteret Craven EMC had sent him a plat of Emerald Isle that shows every pole that could be used for communications antennas. His map being presented to the Town Board will indicate the air accesses, the water towers, power/utility poles, etc. Motion to recommend the Wireless Communications draft to the Town Board for their October meeting was made by George McLaughlin second by Ceil Saunders, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.


There being no further business before the board, motion was made to adjourn by David Schock, second by Phil Almeida with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

8:15 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 09/18/2000

September 12, 2000 

Board of Commissioners
Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 09/12/2000

August 21, 2000 

Planning Board

Town of Emerald Isle
Regular Planning Board Meeting

Monday August 21, 2000

The meeting was called to order by Co-chairman, Cary Harrison at 7:00 P.M. Members present were: Cary Harrison, Ceil Saunders, George McLaughlin, David Schock, Phil Almeida, Frank Vance and newly appointed member Ed Dowling. Also attending, Pete Allen, Town Manager and Secretary, Carol Angus.

Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting July 17, 2000 - Mr. Harrison pointed out on page 1 to clarify the request to hold the Chairman and Co-chairman election at the August meeting; also, two errors on page 3 that needed changing from “commercial” to “commissioner” and to clarify, page 4, a comment regarding lighting made by Frank Vance. Minutes were then approved as corrected by Ed Dowling, second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager - Mr. Allen gave a brief summary of the Town Board meeting on Tuesday, August 8, 2000. One item relevant to the Planning Board was the decision to allow certified engineers, other than David Criser, to do the review on projects being presented to the Planning Board. Mr. Criser’s office has become so busy that some of the town’s recent projects have been held up for weeks awaiting their approval.

Report from Building Inspector - Ms. Angus, in Mr. Jim Taylor’s absence, gave the report from the Inspections Dept. She advised that new-start permits are declining, as has been expected.

Election of Officers - Nomination was made by Ceil Saunders for Cary Harrison as Chairman and Phil Almeida as Vice-chairman. Vote was requested for Chairman; and Mr. Harrison was elected unanimously; however, the nomination for Mr. Almeida was defeated when he stated that he will be out of town for a number of meetings and would rather see someone else in the position. George McLaughlin then made nomination, for Ceil Saunders for vice-chairman. The vote was six in favor and one opposition, for Ms. Saunders as Vice-chairman.


  • Update on Sandfence Committee - Mr. Frank Vance advised the board of the meeting held on August 17, which included Ms. Ruth Boettcher from N.C. Wildlife Commissioner and Gus Wilgus, official of the Turtle Trotters at Emerald Isle. The board felt that public awareness is the key to sandfencing and lighting in regard to the turtle egg laying and hatching. Perhaps to have realtors include pamphlets in their brochures, stickers on switch plates to remind occupants to turn off the lights, items in the newsletter and an article in Island Review. All members feel that most people want to cooperate in the turtle hatching and will be glad to do their part. Mr. Vance said he would like to see if an simple ordinance might be written for sandfencing to help the Inspections Dept. to enforce the recommendations made by N.C. Wildlife. He felt the lighting situation would be more difficult to enforce than the sandfencing. Perhaps the ordinance to be written to afford the Dunes and Vegetation Protection Officer (DVPO) the opportunity to advise persons not following the recommendations of N.C. Wildlife. Mr. Harrison said he that 90% of this project is public awareness. The question arose regarding an ordinance for sandfencing and lighting if there was not a description of the prerequisites for such. That is why it might be best to speak with the Town Attorney. Mr. Vance also would like to pursue the possibility of installing signs on the ocean accesses to advise people of the sandfence and lighting regulations. Also, the realtors should be notified and have agreed to supplying brochures or information about the sea turtles and sandfencing by the end of October to be sure it is included in the 2001 mailings. 
  • Update on Zoning Reclassification - Mr. David Schock, chairman of this committee, advised that he has studied the issue and finds there are elements that make a voluntary rezoning not feasible.
    1. The primary legal source is that 100% of the entire section of land (subdivision) must sign for the rezoning. If one person were to hold out, it could not be done.
    2. He does not feel that one corporation could come in and buy enough land in a particular area, build a hotel, including area of a size for a septic system, and parking with any kind of affordability.
    3. This is more difficult with the limitation of three stories as was recently adopted. A big enough hotel could not be built to offset the cost of buying that land.

    It is Mr. Schock’s recommendation that a letter be drafted to the Town Board that, at this particular time, the Planning Board should not move forward on the issue of rezoning RMH to R-2.

    Mr. Harrison asked if Mr. Schock had asked if there were any covenants for any subdivisions that might address this possibility (of being bought up and hotels built). If the subdivision homeowners associations were to have a clause in their own covenants, this would be legally binding in preventing such a use. Mr. Almeida said he lives in Lands End and the covenant states that it is for residential use, not for commercial use.

    Mr. Schock asked for a list of the names of active homeowners associations to see if they might be interested in implementing such a clause. Ms. Angus replied that she would try to collect a list of such associations.

    Commissioner Wootten advised that he, not speaking for the entire Board of Commissioners, is more concerned with the eastern part of the town, for instance, where Craig goes across the road over Emerald Drive and on Northward to Archers Creek. These lots are small lots and he could envision these being cheaper and more attainable.

    Mr. Schock said the buyer would still have to buy the same amount of land for a motel or hotel. Commissioner Wootten agreed, but it would be easier to do in that area.

    Mr. Harrison said there are five areas that are not developed, zoned RMH, that could possibly be used for motel or hotel use.

    Chairman Harrison said, speaking collectively, this board sees this as “Pandora’s Box” and recommends that rezoning not be further pursued. A letter is to be drafted and sent to the Mayor and Commissioners to let them know that the consensus is that nothing be done about the rezoning from RMH to R2 at this time.

  • Update on Cell Tower Ordinance - Mr. Harrison said he should have the last draft done on August 22, 2000 with copies out by the end of the week. The Planning board will possibly approve it September 18 meeting, and forward it to the Board of Commissioners on October 10 meeting for discussion and Public Hearing set, possibly, for the November meeting. It will take the attorney some time to formulate this ordinance.
  • Update on Commercial Structure Ordinance - Mr. Harrison said there needs to be some more thought put into the actual percentage to be plugged into the ordinance. As it reads now it is 35%, and he wants to be sure it is equitable. Ms. Angus advised that she has received a video of the entire commercial district from Mr. Bernie Whalley that was done for our sign ordinance committee. This video would also be used for this review and can be available at any time.

    Commissioner Wootten asked that some of the descriptive portions of the draft be changed to be more understandable language. He would also like to know where the numbers came from and what was researched.

    Mr. Harrison said this amendment is to go to the Planning Board for recommendation, then to the Town Board for discussion at a monthly meeting; then the next Board meeting for the Public Hearing on this amendment.


Mr. McLaughlin said he had received a copy of the Heinz Center’s Evaluation of an Erosion Hazards Study, Pittsburgh, Pa. This study advises that FEMA should have erosion maps for the entire country. It should depict what shoreline is there today and what is predicted for 60 years from now. Also, the government ought to change the way premiums are calculated for flood insurance policies. Those who are at most risk should be paying considerably more per year than those who are not at the high risk.

This evaluation will be on file in the Inspections Dept.

Motion was made by George McLaughlin to adjourn, second by David Schock with unanimous approval in favor of the motion

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 08/21/2000

August 8, 2000 

Board of Commissioners
Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 08/08/2000

July 17, 2000 

Planning Board

Town of Emerald Isle
Regular Planning Board Meeting

Monday July 17, 2000


Vice-chairman, Cary Harrison, called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.. The resignation of Chairman, Roy Brownlow, had been submitted several days prior to the meeting.

Vice-chairman Harrison asked that the vote be held for Chairman be held at the August 21, 2000 meeting to coincide with the appointment of the new member of the board. This met with affirmative response.

Approval of Minutes of May 15, 2000 Regular Meeting - Motion was made by Ceil Saunders to approve the minutes as written, second by David Schock with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager - Pete Allen gave the members a brief summary of the decisions and issues before the Town Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on May 11, 2000.

Report from Building Inspector - Jim Taylor, Inspections Director, advised the members that there was an estimated value $1,372,707 in building permits for the month of June. This total includes seven single-family dwellings.

Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Taylor if the drainage issue had been looked at in relation to the CITGO station; also, what was the status of the landscaping planting.

Mr. Taylor said the drainage should not be a problem because of the curbing and retention area provided. The landscaping has been done, but if more is going to be required, he can contact the developers. However, there is a 3-yr period that the shrubbery and vegetation has to reach some maturity. Mr. Taylor said he would contact the developers to see if they will add more plantings.

Mr. Harrison also asked that Mr. Taylor ask Carteret-Craven EMC substation to revegetate their area on Coast Guard Road that was destroyed during the past few hurricanes. There is an ordinance that specifies that all utilities must maintain a buffer and he would like to see this area buffered from the road.

Mr. Harrison asked that item A. Commercial Structures Aesthetic Proposals under Proposed Amendments and Committee Reports Update be brought forward to Old Business for discussion. This request was unanimously approved.


  1. Willis’ Fish Market - 7803 Emerald Drive, southeast corner of Loblolly and Emerald Drive. Mr. Ken Burnette, Burnette Architecture and Planning, represented Mr. and Mrs. Willis.

    Mr. Almeida asked what the height of the plantings are to be on the proposed landscaping plan. It was discussed for a while that they will be approximately 2 feet tall. Mr. Schock asked the height of the fence behind the market, which it was responded to be six feet.

    Mr. Harrison had a simple rendering of the elevation of the building and the color scheme used. It will be white walls with a red roof, which are the colors that the Willis’ now use.

    Vice-chairman asked whether the stormwater plan had been submitted. There was a plan, done by John McLean who is a civil engineer.

    Mr. Almeida was concerned about the washing of fish offal from the dumpster into the street. Ms. Willis said the offal would be put in plastic containers, held in the coolers until such time the dumpsters are to be emptied twice a week. At that time, the containers will be put in the dumpster. Fish will not be poured into the dumpster.

    Vice-chairman Harrison asked if there would be any problem with asking Mr. Almeida look over the stormwater plan submitted by Mr. McLean allowing a recommendation from this board to the Town Board provisional on the stormwater plan approval. Ms. Angus replied that has been done in the past, since we do not, as a board, review the plan, Mr. Almeida could look at it and make his recommendation.

    Mr. Schock asked about the shielding of the lighting for the project. Since this is adjacent to a residential neighborhood, they need to be sure there is adequate shielding. Carteret-Craven EMC will take care of shielding glare when the area lights are installed. Mr. Taylor said there was a note on the plat stating “lighting shall be shielded from adjacent property and roadway”.

    Motion was made by David Schock to recommend Willis’ Fish Market to the Town Board for approval with the condition that Mr. Almeida and Mr. Harrison review and approve the stormwater plan submitted, Mr. Almeida seconded the motion with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

  2. Watson Hotel - Tabled until August, 2000 - at the request of the owner and planner. 
  3. Commercial Structures Aesthetic Proposals - Vice-chairman Harrison read the amendment Proposal to be sent to the Town Board. This amendment will be placed in the file in the Commissioners office for review prior to proceeding to the Town Attorney. There were no additions or corrections to the proposal, as read. Mr. Harrison asked for any questions from the audience.

    (Mr. Gus Farmekeides made some references to requiring more square footage on lots. His concern that there is too much overbuilding and the Planning Board should work on that issue. Mr. Harrison said he agreed with Mr. Farmekeides; however, this proposal is for commercial structures, which is a different topic.)

    Commissioner Wootten asked if there is a minimal size building that this proposal would apply to and Mr. Harrison replied there is not. It will apply to any commercial structure.

    Commissioner Wootten then asked it would grandfather the existing shopping center; to which Mr. Harrison replied, it would grandfather the shopping center. This proposal is for commercial structures henceforth and all conditions will apply to all commercial projects, no matter the size of the building(s).

    Commissioner Wootten asked about the allowed amount of window signage. Mr. Harrison said they would be limited to 12 square feet in the windows.

    Motion was made by Frank Vance, second by Ceil Saunders, with unanimous approval to recommend this proposal to make recommendations to add Commercial Structures Aesthetic Proposals, to the Town Board of Commissioners for their approval. (The Town Attorney will receive this item after each of the commissioners has reviewed for their comments via the reading file.)


  1. Reed Drive Commercial Park - 3 lot subdivision - Block 42 at corner of Coast Guard Road and Reed Drive extension Mr. Alan Bell, surveyor, was in attendance to represent this project.

    Mr. Harrison had a question about the wetlands delineation on lot 3; Mr. Bell responded there is wetlands noted on that lot.

    Ms. Saunders reminded the developers and members that there is a DOT report done after a study of this area to advise of a highly congested area at this site. Mr. Pete Allen, Town Administrator agreed to Ms. Saunders recollection. Ms. Saunders asked that this study be available for the Review Committee.

    Each lot is in excess of 25,000 square feet.

    Mr. Harrison asked about an alternative exit route for the proposal further down Coast Guard Road. This will be a main topic for review at the Review Committee on July 19, 2000.

    Motion was made by Phil Almeida, second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval to have this proposal proceed to Review Committee, July 19, 2000 at 3:30 P.M.

Proposed Amendments and Committee Reports Update:


Mr. Taylor, Building Inspector, asked to clarify the Stormwater Ordinance which is to collect the first 1-1/2” of stormwater is protect water quality, (ORW), protect wetlands, estaurine shoreline, and not to protect individual property owners. He did not want the board to think that we must get involved with drainage issues between property owners. The inspectors do try to oversee that drainage or runoff is not going to be a problem before a residence is given a Certificate of Compliance, but after that time, it becomes an issue between homeowners.

It was then announced that there will be a meeting regarding Stormwater July 18, 2000 at 7:00 P.M. at town hall.

Mr. Harrison then adjourned the meeting.

  1. Commercial Structures Aesthetic Proposals - Moved to Old Business on agenda. 
  2. Sand fence and Outdoor Lighting Regulations - Frank Vance gave an update on his study for this topic. He had contacted Wildlife representative, Ruth Boettcher, people from southern New Jersey to Hilton Head Island on sandfencing. None of them have an ordinance in place, but some were working on them. Some of the towns had helpful hints. Mr. Vance asked that some tolerance be given on the recommendation for 7’ width and 10’ length of the sandfencing. He also took into consideration how a future beach renourishment plan might work into the recommendations.

    Mr. Harrison advised that the sand fencing should be perpendicular to the prevailing southwesterly breeze, not the ocean. With the fencing placed in the correct position it still allows trapping the sand, as well as access to the turtles for nesting. He went on to say that the review committee feels that enforcing a sand fence and lighting ordinance on the oceanfront for as many tourists as we have would be nigh impossible. A better tactic would be working with local newspapers, creating an awareness program with the residents especially to minimize the lighting on the oceanfront. This study is to be finished this Fall so that people will fully understand the manner of installing sandfencing. The permit for the fencing would be at no cost, and he realizes that enforcement will be difficult.

    Mr. Vance said many studies had been done on lighting, as related to sea turtle nesting. There is a book from Florida Marine Research Institute on the lighting colors, types, heights, and other considerations. He read a few notes from his study, among them being that an arti-ficial light source is likely cause problems for sea turtles if an observer standing anywhere on the beach can see light, from the source. A blue light effects the hatchlings, the yellow lights had different opinions. A dim yellow light is the best if a light is necessary. The man at the electric company said their yellow light is actually brighter than the standard white lights. If the yellow lights were determined to be best, the electric company would not charge the town to have them changed. But Mr. Vance is not sure the town would want to do that. A lighting ordinance had been received from Nags Head, Hilton Head, Oak Island and one from California.

    Mr. Vance said that Kim Allen, formerly of Pine Knoll Shores, now at Nags Head said that an ordinance had to be written there, because nobody would cooperate with keeping the lighting down. The hatchlings have an instinct to go toward the moon over the water, if they see a light, they mistake that for the moon over water and head in the wrong direction..

    Ms. Saunders said the realtors could put brochures in their rental packets to make visitors aware of helping the turtles. She believes that most visitors would want to participate.

    Mr. Harrison said he thinks awareness is more effective than ordinances, for lighting, and probably for the sandfencing, as well.

    Mr. Allen, Town Manager, commended Mr. Vance on his exhaustive research but he has reservations about infringing on the privacy of oceanfront property owners. They have been infringed on enough over the past several years. The current board wants us to enforce the ordinances on the books; however, we can’t enforce the current ordinances with what personnel we’ve got. This is an ordinance that is unenforceable even with funding and additional personnel. It would require personnel working nights and weekends. He also feels that the sandfencing at places like the Travel Park would encourage the kids to run through them and ruin the dune face.

    Mr. Taylor, Inspector, said one thing he noticed that needs to be changed is that the study says the fencing should be placed behind the escarpment or the first line of natural vegeta-tion. This will be on the sand dune, that is not where you want to trap sand.

    Mr. Taylor went on to say that if the sandfencing were to be made an ordinance, that it not be considered a priority. If his personnel has other inspections that need done, that these be done before sandfencing inspections are done.

    Mr. Allen addressed the board to advise that realistically when a storm comes through, the department has to go through this whole sandfencing process again. Other permits being written are much more important than for sandfencing and when the department is tied up with reconstruction, sandfencing could be a nightmare. The state, or CAMA are not requiring that this be done, it is superceding CAMA regulations.

    Mr. Harrison said Mr. Vance had written in a clause to be able to issue a blanket permit in the case of storms.

    Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Taylor if it would be a nightmare for the department. Mr. Taylor responded that it will be quite time consuming, especially during a critical period of time. Mr. Taylor did all the oceanfront evaluations and inspections alone to be assured of uniformity and it tied up almost all of his time over several months each time after Bertha, Fran, Dennis and Floyd. It would require double evaluation and inspection for each fence as well as for each beach access being repaired.

    Mr. Schock said he was not aware that lighting affected the turtles, but he feels that this should go to the property owners and real estate agents that they put a brochure in the packets on turtle nesting, sandfencing, and lighting. Then list angles and distances for the fencing, and turning off lights in turtle hatching periods. If the party does not respond, perhaps some-one could go to that residence and explain the rationale behind the request. He sees this a gigantic nightmare for the inspectors and cost a lot of money to enforce it as an ordinance.

    Mr. Harrison said he would like to continue this discussion at Review Committee on Wednesday and commended Mr. Vance on his work on the study.

    Commissioner McElraft said that perhaps strings could be placed between the fencing at the top of the fence. This might keep people from walking through and allow the turtles access along the fence below the string. Mr. Harrison agreed this might be a good idea.

  3. Cell Tower Ordinance (Communication Towers) - Chairman Harrison said he sent the cell tower ordinance to Ms. Raybold, at Metrosite Management which is a private firm that works with the League of Municipalities. It was sent in late May and she was kind enough to charge a very modest charge of three hours at $75.00 an hour. She actually spent fifteen hours on the plan. She responded very favorably to the plan, and made some comments. Mr. Harrison heard from Rich Ducker and David Owens from the Institute of Government. They have agreed to review the plan as well. Mr. Harrison will contact them soon to get their input so he can close it out on August 01, 2000. He then will compile a semi-final draft to be available to the commissioners in August, then possibly be on their September agenda. Mr. Harrison plans to do a presentation at the Town Board meeting in lay terms for the public so they will better understand the plan. Mr. Harrison then asked that the Board of Commissioner extend the moratorium that is now placed on cell towers for another 90 days. He does not think it will take that long, but better than extending 30, then possibly 30 again. 
  4. Stormwater Regulations - Mr. James Taylor, Inspections director, said applicability is where we need to start (Sec. 16-4) to require all development, including one and two family dwellings to capture the first 1-1/2” or less of runoff from an impervious surface. The impervious surface will be the roof and driveway. The two options in the ordinance are a little vague, but can get the job done. One method is to require gutters and downspouts to terminate into rock envelope with porous drainage pipe, or into a french-drain application. The second method is to build a retention bed under the overhangs of the buildings. However there is no instruction on how big to make these beds (drywells) to be sure they capture the first inch and a half of runoff. How do you size an infiltration bed to X amount of roof and driveway? The department is enforcing this right now, but is it catching 1-1/2”?

    It was decided that this item will be discussed at the Review Committee on July 19, 2000.

  5. Zoning Reclassification - Mr. Harrison felt that the best way to handle this issue to rezone Residential Motel/Hotel (RMH) zoning to Residential-2 (R-2) would be to handle a specific number at a time rather than to find hundreds of people show up for rezoning.

    Ms. Angus advised that a Public Hearing would have to be held on each lot. Mr. Harrison asked if it could be done on a blanket basis? Ms. Angus stated she did not think it could be done as a blanket, because a similar situation came up some years ago and Mr. Ducker with the Institute of Government advised that each lot has to be handled on it’s own. Mr. Allen agreed with Ms. Angus. However, Ms. Angus will contact Mr. Ducker about the feasibility of such a request.

    Commissioner Farmer stated that perhaps it could be done as an overlay as one individual request.

    Chairman Harrison stated that the concern is that the threat is real that the manner this is dealt with could be outrageous if it is improperly handled.

    Ms. Saunders asked about the wetlands in the Block 43 area, which is behind Osprey Ridge Subdivision. No immediate answer was available because plats have not been submitted for any development of this property.

    Mr. Harrison advised there are five areas that the owners might be approached to request a rezoning on their own. All of the areas, except possibly block 33 (behind Town hall complex), are on the sound and would require CAMA Major Permits as they are within the 575’ Outstanding Resource Waters (ORW). Commissioner Farmer replied that Major CAMA Permits are a dime a dozen, you pay your money, wait 6 months and it’s issued.

    Commissioner McElraft brought up the issue of the 3-story height limit regarding developing a hotel or motel. What would be the feasibility of such a project? She thinks this ordinance really limits the issue of hotels or motels. Mr. Harrison did agree, as to whether anyone would want to invest the dollar value of the land with only 3 stories.

    Commissioner Farmer stated that hotels and motels are not the board’s only concern. They are also worried about condominiums and multi-family buildings.

    Ms. Dorothy Marks said that her subdivision had been originally RMH and it was able to be changed to R-2 with owners cooperation.

    Mr. Allen said he is afraid that if only one person were to oppose the rezoning in a specific area that you would not be able to carry it through without a lot by lot basis. A petition by 100% to agree would not be a problem to rezoning from RMH to R-2.

    Mr. Harrison said this topic will take a lot more discussion and input from the Institute of Government.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 07/14/2000
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