Agendas and Minutes

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

April 17, 2001 

Planning Board

MINUTES OF TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE 
REGULAR PLANNING BOARD MEETING 
TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2001

The regular meeting of the Town of Emerald Isle Planning Board was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Chairman, Ceil Saunders.  Those in attendance:  Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, George McLaughlin, Ed Dowling, Art Daniel and Fred Josey and Carol Angus as Secretary.

Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, March 19, 2001

The minutes of the regular meeting were approved with a typographical error changed on page 2 to change ‘with’ to ‘will’ under #7.  Motion to approve the minutes with this correction was made by George McLaughin, second by Fred Josey with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager – Ms. Overman was excused from this meeting and Ms. Angus was available to answer any questions.  There were no questions from the board.

Report from Building Inspector – Ms. Angus represented Mr. Taylor who was not able to attend.  There were no questions regarding the submitted report for the month of March. 

               8 Single family dwellings permits             $1,274,200.00

             76  Miscellaneous permits                                267,389.00

                                                                                     $1,541,589.00

Chairman Saunders advised the members that the Watson Hotel project is to be tabled and be placed on the May 21, 2001 agenda.  Ms. Angus added that the engineers said the verification necessary was more complex than they had anticipated (that it will comply to Section 16-7), and could not have it ready for tonight’s meeting.

Chairman Saunders asked that the New Business item for Sunset Harbor, Lot 1, be considered first this evening. 

Sunset Harbor, Lot 1, Final Plat – Mr. Billy Farrington, developer; and Lori Morris, Parker & Assoc. were present to represent this agenda item.

Mr. Frank Vance asked if there is to be a walkway to Bogue Sound as shown on the plan.

Mr. Farrington replied that there is.  Mr. Vance was also concerned about the graveled area designated for the emergency vehicles.  Mr. Farrington said it would be done next week, after the installation of the septic tanks.  The stormwater retention area will be placed at that same time.

The members then referred to the checklist to review the project for possible recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at their next meeting.

Mr. Almeida asked when the Preliminary Plat had been approved.  After looking through some of the maps that were on hand, it was discovered that the Preliminary Plat had been approved in 1998.  Because this is an ongoing project the one-year submission requirement is in force.

Mr. Almeida was concerned about the stormwater plan as indicated on the Preliminary Plans.

The original stormwater plan for the entire subdivision is on file in the main office, but was not accessible to the members for the meeting, because Ms. Angus did not have a key to the vault, where the old files are kept.

Mr. Farrington had a copy of the CAMA permit plan that was submitted and it had the storm-water plan drawn on it for each lot.  Mr. Almeida reviewed the map that Mr. Farrington had and he was advised that another stormwater map is on file that he could reference.

The members then continued with the checklist and determined that all items had been addressed. The only correction to be made on the sepia is to change the word “minimum” to “maximum” on note number 4 regarding  impervious area.

There was a concern regarding the distance to fire hydrants; however, that was clarified by Ms. Morris showing the members the map that this had been addressed on the Preliminary Plat.  Two new hydrants were installed per instructions of the Fire Chief so  this project would be within 350’ of a hydrant from all directions.

Mr. Daniel asked who is the party responsible for the checklist.  Ms. Morris replied that she does these lists and turns them in with her plats.  Mr. Daniel commented that he is spoiled.

He’s used to staff checking such lists and saying it (project) is in order; instead of sitting here going through this item by item, he doesn’t have that kind of patience. 

Chairman Saunders replied that is the only way the members felt that the issues had all been done.

Motion was made by Ed Dowling to recommend approval of Sunset Harbor, Lot 1, to the Town Board with the submission of the sepia to reflect the change of the word “minimum” to “Maximum” on Note #4.  Mr. Almeida seconded the motion with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Reed Drive Commercial Park – Block 41

Secretary Angus informed the board that this item is before them as a result of the Town Board approval of the road to be turned from public to private including a 5-lot subdivision that the Planning Board had looked at in review committee on March 21.  The former road had entered across from the present Reed Drive, westward for approximately 150 feet at 60 feet in width.  The private road would be at 40 width from the same entry, westward and turning south to exit opposite the entrance to Pebble Beach.  The Town Board of Commissioners motion at the March 13, 2001 read that “needed to have Planning Board approval”.  The previous review of this project was Wed., March 28, 2001 at a review committee that had been recessed from March 21, 2001.  No vote or recommendation was able to be submitted from this review because it was not a called meeting.

Mr. Josey asked for the reason for six health department permits being available.  He was not able to correlate these to the map.  Ms. Holz said that prior to receiving direction from the Town Board, they had planned to add three lots in the future, in addition to the three lots on Hwy 58.  The septic tank approval calls for staking the lots in a preliminary fashion, staking the buildings, then the soils will be evaluated. When asked to evaluate the soils, there were three lots staked out (1,2,3 on Hwy 58), when the Town asked to show all the lots for the entire property on one plat they took two of the lots and made one big lot.  This was brought about by the request to see the entire parcel on the plat to best determine road access.  So the additional health department evaluations were for lot 4, and two buildings on lot 5 to possibly be subdivided later. 

Ms. Holz advised the members that rules for evaluation call for evaluation of soils, not boundaries. Those soils in those areas are approved no matter the configuration of the lot.  Mr. Josey thanked Ms. Holz for her explanation.

Chairman Saunders gave a verbal description of the map as now submitted to indicate that Lot 4 is West of Lot 3, and the large lot #5 is South of Reed Drive.

Mr. Almeida said that John McLean was the first to give a layout of the road.  He disputed that the plat submitted is what was requested.  He was to improve on the map and make it more complete. To give the longitudinal sections through the road, etc.  Ms. Holz said she assumed that everything had been done.  There was some discussion about the dates of the different plats that have been submitted and the revision dates as noted.  Mr. Almeida had a map that reflected March 21, 2001 revision, but it does not cover the entire layout of the road on the entire property. 

Mr. Daniel said he felt that the entire roadway plan should be revised, because the plan has been changed from a 60’ right of way to a 40’ right of way.  Also, to be sure that the turn at the west end be sufficient to allow a fire truck to make a turn.  Ms. Angus had copies of the maps that had been presented to the Town Board that reflected some of the information that had been previously discussed, i.e. the “no left turn from the parcel  to Coast Guard Rd. or, from Coast Guard Rd. into the parcel at the East side of the property”.  The only left that can be made is from the exit across from Pebble Beach Condos.    These maps were submitted to the Town Board only, in order for this project to proceed to the Town Board on April 10, at the advice of the Town Attorney.  It has now come back to the Planning Board to be sure all conditions are met, after the Town Board has made their approval of the entire site, to illustrate the road being narrowed from 60’ to 40’. 

Mr. Almeida asked the secretary for the motion that was made at the Town Board meeting and was advised that she did not have those minutes on hand.  Mr. Almeida said if the Town Board has already approved it, it seems ridiculous to look at something that has already been approved.  Ms. Angus said the condition for approval was for Mr. Almeida and Mr. Daniel look at the stormwater plan.  Mr. Almeida said those were not the only issues pending.  There were a number of issues.  He did not know how it was forwarded to the Board of Commissioners.  The first issue he saw was that it is to be a private road.  This issue will be addressed at the May 08, 2001 Board meeting at a public hearing.  The second issue there would be no left turn, that there would be a small barricade or barrier on Coast Guard Rd. to prevent a left turn and access to Reed Drive.  That is noted on the map as presented to the Town Board on April 10, 2001.  

Mr. Almeida said what is needed is longitudinal section along the road, part of the road goes through a wetland.  What is the proposal to navigate that wetland or pond? 

Ms. Holz said she did not know the answer to that, but she would be glad to revert to the original plan of three lots on HWY 58, and pave the original 60’ width. 

Ms. Angus said she remembered from previous discussion last Fall that the wetland that was displaced could be moved to another area of the same square footage.  It could adjoin the existing wetland that exists.  Mr. Almeida said he had no problem with that, but it needs to be noted on the drawing of what will be accomplished.  Also, there is a mound and when a road is put there, will there be a swale and drain the area?  On the original plat is a longitudinal section of the 60’ width but not with the remaining portion of the road.  It needs to be spelled out so there is no misunderstanding.

Ms. Holz took some notes to give to John McLean to add to this map for revision.  To reduce the road from 60’ to 40’ right-of-way; the angle at which you enter the road has to be conformity that a fire truck can get in and out.

Mr. Daniel asked that he and Mr. Almeida be able to meet separately with Mr. McLean and go over all the issues.  At first there was some concern about such a small group being considered until it was decided to recess this meeting and allow the meeting with Mr. McLean then bring those changes back to a recessed meeting at a future date.  This would allow the consideration of all the members prior to the recommendation to the board in its formal fashion.

Mr. Daniel said he would like to make a comment regarding traffic engineering in general.  There is talk of prohibiting left turns, and discussed the probability that conditions are going get to a point that the traffic signals will need to be resignalize at Coast Guard Road.  This would incorporate new geometrics into the signalization plan.  His thought is to go ahead and recommend to Board of Commissioners that the Mayor get in touch with the Dept. of Transportation.  Let them start planning the resignalization of this intersection. At the same time that start that planning that they plan for a Spread Spectrum closed loop signal system along Hwy 58 for all four lights.  To tie it all into one master plan.  He went on to describe in detail how these controlling systems are done in regard to a closed loop system.  Then when this problem is addressed in several years it will already be place. The letter from the Mayor needs to be to someone who you would expect to get some closure. 

This request was widely accepted and Mr. Daniel was asked to develop a letter to the Mayor to have this matter addressed.  He agreed to write such letter.  Mr. Dowling made the motion to make this recommendation for Mr. Daniel to compose the letter to Mayor Harris, Mr. Almeida seconded, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

The Planning Board then returned to the Reed Dr. Commercial issue original issue.

Ms. Holz reminded the board that the Town Board has already placed Public Hearing ads in the newspaper for May 08 to consider the withdrawal of the road.  She does not know the timeline of notification of adjacent property owners.  Ms. Angus said she knows that notification has been made of the adjoining property owners by Carolyn Custy, Town Clerk.

Ms. Holz went on to advise that some specifics cannot be put on a subdivision plat.  Such as “No Left Turn”.  Why have it put on a map, who is going to enforce it?  That is a town traffic issue.  She “doesn’t mind having it on the map, but what effect will it have? None.” 

Mr. Almeida said he did not know to what extent the Town Board had looked at that issue.  If the traffic is not controlled out of the subdivision, there will be a problem.  The Planning Board wants, only, to bring it before the Town Board.  This board does not really need to approve the layout, the Town has already approved the plan on April 10.  It is superfluous at this point.  He would like to have seen a letter going from the Planning Board to the Town Board stating the concerns they have and have them considered. Mr. Almeida agreed that the barrier to prevent a left turn would not be on the subdivision property and therefore, cannot be on that map.  Ms. Holz said she will not agree to put a town public road on her map, that is not within her purview.  Mr. Almeida agreed with her perception.

Mr. Daniel asked that the developer acknowledge that the turn is going to be prohibited.  Ms. Holz replied that they did at the Town Board meeting. 

Mr. Almeida asked if Ms. Holz would be receptive to putting a sign on the property to not make a left turn.  She said she would not.  Only the Town can do it within the Town’s right-of-way.  There was a lot of disagreement to this statement to the effect that traffic signs do appear on private property.

Mr. Almeida said the Town is giving the right-of-way to the property owner, at the same time, the Town wants you to provide the sign.  Ms. Holz again stated she will keep the road as it is recorded and she will pave the 60’ in and out at Reed Drive.  She is being pushed and pushed and pushed, and not worry about filling a pond, not worry about anything but putting in a town street that presently exists.  She did not want to come out at Pebble Beach, but the Town is making her come out at Pebble Beach.  She did not want to do a “No Left Turn”, but she has agreed; now you want a sign. She will agree to a sign.  What else?

Mr. Almeida commented that the Planning Board is not dictating, they are only an advisory body.  It is the Board of Commissioners to make the decision.

Mr. Vance asked to suggest, at the Board of Commissioners meeting, just as it was proposed at their meeting, that this is what the Planning Board all agrees with.  They didn’t vote on it at the review committee (Mar 21). “If we want to have it like this, and everybody agrees then what we’ll do is submit it to the board that it be this way.  We are just the planning board.”

Mr. Almeida said, “That we recommend that it be that way.”

Mr. Dowling asked that one of the members be tasked before the public hearing to get up at that time and represent all the Planning Board.  There state what has been recommended, firmly, and clearly.

Mr. Vance went on to add that it should be passed on, as it should normally be recommended to the Board of Commissioners.  “If we agree with it, if we don’t agree with it, we’ve come a long way. If everybody wants to go back to the original Reed Drive, then we should”.  He felt that everyone (at Review Comm) felt that if there was no left turn ‘out’, or left turn ‘in’ there on Coast Guard to cross across Reed Dr. then they were in agreement that that is the way it should be.  He did not want to keep prolonging this project either, it needs to be over with.  He is ready to “stick with what we’ve got here”.  There may be more details to be put on the map to satisfy the Town Board, and we can get back in touch with John McLean to put it on there.  If the Board of Commissioners wants to go in another direction that is their prerogative.

Mr. Dowling asked Mr. Vance, “In other words you are prepared to vote right now?”  Mr. Vance nodded that he was.

Mr. McLaughlin asked the Secretary if the Public Hearing is only to close Reed Drive.  She corrected him to say that it would be abandoned by the town as a public street and allow it to become private.

Mr. McLaughlin said the McLean Trust gets it free of charge?  Ms. Holz interjected “Who gave it in the first place!” Ms. Angus said the owners will have to do all installation and all future maintenance as a private road.

Mr. Almeida said his only drawback is the setbacks.  There is more dense development.  Losing a part of the property on the Western end, but gaining more because setbacks are the same.  The road right of way is reduced now by 10’ on either side.  There is 10’ more building area.  He wants the Board of Commissioners to realize that. 

Ms. Saunders then asked if what is wanted is that Mr. Almeida and Mr. Daniel meet with John McLean to obtain a revised drawing to show the drainage on the entire road.  They are here today only to subdivide the property, not to build anything.  The next phase would be to come for a building permit (after a Final Plat has been submitted and approved of the subdivision).

Mr. Almeida said this subdivision has been approved by the BOC at their April 10 meeting. The Planning Board is to review the stormwater plan, the planning board wants that review brought back to them.  He wanted to have the stormwater plan review at the next regular Planning Board meeting.

Ms. Saunders asked the secretary if there was any way to get this plan back in time for the Public Hearing on May 08 at the Board of Commissioners meeting?  Ms. Angus said it would depend on how prompt the meeting with Mr. McLean could be held.  

Mr. Daniel said that if this meeting is recessed, then you could spontaneously get back together when you are ready.  Mr. Almeida said he would agree to that.

Ms. Angus said it would be in order to state that the stormwater plan has been reviewed and that the changes are in order, then it would be finished at the Board of Commissioners level and agree with the motion that had been made at the Board of Commissioners meeting on 4/10.

Mr. Daniel said there may be a sight distance problem on the property. Do we wait until a problem occurs?  Ms. Angus said she thought in previous discussions that that had been decided that it must be cut down for safety. 

Mr. Almeida clarified “When you are going East from Pebble Beach towards 58, there is a blind spot because of high ground.  That has got to be lowered, so that the sight line can be improved.”  Ms. Holz asked if he was speaking about Town Property?  She thought that is a joint effort with the Town for the sight line, that the Town should take care of the right-of-way. 

Mr. Daniel said the Town cannot go in and eliminate the Town property sight line and leave a bluff up there. 

Ms. Holz asked if she was being asked to do the Town’s work?  Mr. Almeida said he did not believe so.  The solution should be a joint effort with the Trust and the Town.  She said ‘fine’, but for the town to do theirs first and she will match to that.

Mr. Daniel said that is one of the issues to be discussed with John McLean.  To determine the distance that a sight triangle will take.  This will have it defined.  That note should be added to the map.  Therefore, he and Mr. Almeida will be discussing matters other than storm drainage when they meet with Mr. McLean. 

Mr. Dowling interjected that they will be looking at the 7 acres, which is what the BOC asked for.

Mr. Almeida said he understood that they only approve the stormwater.

Ms. Holz said she will ‘go the extra mile’ if she can just understand what is proposed, especially the sight triangle. 

Mr. Almeida asked Ms. Holz if he could bring up this issue (sight triangle) with Mr. McLean when they have their review with Mr. Daniel?  Ms. Holz agreed.  Mr. Almeida said perhaps Ms. Holz would realize some extra dirt there that she could use on the lot to raise it up.  Ms. Holz replied, “Heaven forbid if I filled anything!”.   Mr. Almeida said he meant that she might use the dirt for leveling the general area.  Ms. Holz thanked him for that observation.

Mr. Daniel said he felt they wanted to look at the total issue, and not have to bring it back.

A recess was called at this point.

Motion was made by Ed Dowling to recess, second by Fred Josey, to be reconvened at the pleasure of the Chairman. 

Mr. Almeida commented that he was confused about a Special Meeting that was passed on to the Board of Commissioners.  He thought it was a review meeting, and it was.  His suggested that we cannot change anything that has happened, but for the future the communication process should be clear.

Mr. Daniel asked if it had been premature to submit the map?

Secretary Angus said she had been advised by the Town Attorney to put it before the Board.  She does not second guess the decisions of the Town Attorney.

Ms. Saunders added that “We have beat this to death, and it’s time we do something”.

Mr. Almeida said, “If the Attorney and the Board of Commissioners had decided on a certain plan of action, then the Planning Board should not come in then and work with only the part that is undecided.”

Unanimous approval in favor of the motion to recess and reconvene at a date to be determined.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 04/17/2001

April l0, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETING 
OF THE EMERALD ISLE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 
TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 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 Barbara Harris; Commissioner Emily Farmer; Commissioner Patricia McElraft; Commissioner Jay Murphy; Commissioner Emory Trainham; Commissioner John Wootten; Interim Town Manager Mitsy Overman; Town Attorney Derek Taylor; Town Clerk Carolyn Custy; Planning Board Chairman Ceil Saunders; Police Chief Mark Wilson; Fire Chief William Walker; Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation; Building Inspections Department Head Carol Angus; and Public Works Director Robert Conrad.

4.      ADOPTION OF AGENDA.

Mayor Harris said she had been asked to add three things to the agenda. Number 19 will be the Eastern Carolina Joint Land Use Study; Number 20 will be the bids for the bathhouse for the Western Park; and after comments, they will go into closed session.

Commissioner Farmer moved and Commissioner Murphy seconded the adoption of the agenda and the Board vote was unanimous for adoption.  Motion carried.

5.      CONSENT AGENDA.

Commissioner Murphy moved and Commissioner Farmer seconded the approval of the Consent Agenda, which included Minutes of the Regular Meeting of March 13, 2001.  The Board voted unanimously to approve.  Motion carried.

6.      MR. SAM STELL, FRIENDS OF WESTERN CARTERET PUBLIC LIBRARY

Mr. Sam Stell said the Board had information they had been sent concerning the library and did not want to go into a lot of discussion.  He said he had been involved with it for a long time; and back in 1991, they had discussed a reading room in the Recreation building.  They managed to build a small library with the Board’s cooperation, and he knows the Board wants them out.  He said the County Board of Commissioners requested that the Friends of the Library go to the municipalities in the area to ask for contributions, and he is here tonight as a friend of the library and not as a commissioner.  He thinks they are on their way, but they are at the point that they are ready to proceed with this.  They have in the County Commission budget $52,000 to spend now for planning purposes to get with an architect to begin to draw plans.  It has changed in that they are working with Carteret Community College.  They are asking each of the towns in the area to make a contribution, and it is very important that this take place.  He asked the Board to commit $50,000—$25,000 this year, $25,000 next year.  They are asking Cape Carteret to contribute $25,000, Cedar Point $15,000, Pelletier $5,000, Bogue $5,000.  This could be committed over a 2-year period.  The total operation will cost about $1.2 million, so the County will put in the rest.  The Friends of the Library have at this point $200,000 and are committed to raise $50,000 more.  The community college has offered to give a 50-year lease on the property.  It is an opportunity that cannot be turned down.

Mayor Harris said the Town had given $1,000 four years ago, $5,000 last year, and in the budget this year is $5,000.  She asked if he was asking for $15,000 more to this $5,000 for total of $25,000.  Mr. Stellreplied that he is asking $25,000 for this year.  They are asking for a total of $50,000 over a two-year period.

Commissioner McElraft said she would like to vote this evening.  Commissioner Trainham agreed and said to put this off would be a mistake and they should go ahead and approve it tonight.  Mr. Derek Taylor, Town Attorney, recommended that the Board get the budget straightened out, go to the planning sessions for the amount of money they will be going to get, pass the budget with this as a line item and take care of it in the budget sessions.  They do not have to vote on it tonight.  They could give a Resolution of Support.  Mayor Harris said they had already done that.  She told Mr. Spell they would put it under consid­era­tion in the budget.

7.      MS. ANNE ERIKSON, ANIMAL COMMITTEE REPORT

Ms. Erikson gave the report for the Animal Committee.  A copy of the report is attached at the end of these minutes.  She thanked the Board for allowing the committee to be formed.  She also thanked the committee, who worked very hard and provided invaluable personal and professional advice. They contacted a lot of veterinarians and did a lot of research from coastal towns from Virginia Beach to Daytona Beach.

The committee found that there is an ordinance in existence in Emerald Isle but said it is not being enforced.  They recommended some changes be made to the existing ordinance and that the ordinance be enforced.  They recommended a fine rather than a warning for first offenses.  The committee also recommended licensing all dogs and cats, limiting animals on the beach between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM from Friday before Easter until October 1, hiring an animal control officer to enforce the existing and proposed ordinances, and that the Town not renew the contract with Hadnot Kennels and apply the savings to the salary of an animal control person.

On the initial survey sent to town residents, many said they do not walk the beach as often as they would like to because of dogs running without a leash.  We should not be subject to diseased animal waste.

Ms. Erikson said that between June 2000 and January 2001, the police had 125 calls.  From January until the end of March this year, there were 26 more.  Last week, an article appeared in the Raleigh and Pittsburgh papers stating that 4.7 million Americans yearly (with children accounting for more than 60% of those) will be seriously bitten by a dog.  More children are seriously injured by a dog bite than are taken ill by measles, mumps and whooping cough combined. 

A group on the island, Friends of Feral Felines, is doing marvelous things but cannot continue to do it alone.  They feed and trap feral cats and take them to be inoculated, spayed and neutered, but they cannot keep up with the numbers of cats.

There was some discussion with Police Chief Wilson about an animal control officer.  They would have to train someone, buy a truck, buy a cage, and he thought that would take a lot of money.  Mayor Harrisasked if anyone on the police force had the training, and Chief Wilson replied there was no one.  He said there are no civil citations in Emerald Isle, that when they write a citation, it goes to District Court and costs $115.  He argued with Ms. Erikson about enforcement of the ordinance and the lack of police response to complaints.

Commissioner McElraft asked about the license for tourists if they bring their dog and said that would be hard to enforce.  Ms. Erikson replied that is why they need an animal warden.  Commissioner McElraftasked if the committee had talked with any of the communities that had the pooper scooper bags at the end of each of the public walkways that encourages people to take a bag.  She said they need to do a lot more public information on that.  Ms. Erikson responded that they need public information, but people will not take the bag for pooper scooping.  The bag would be taken but not for the right purpose.  Commis­sioner McElraftsaid she had seen other communities that have that, and they use it but it is an education process.  Ms. Erikson replied that if it were enforced, maybe it would work.

Commissioner Wootten said there would be too many people lining up at the police station to get a license for a dog after they get the key from Emerald Isle Realty.  Ms. Erikson said it could be done through the realtors.  She does not think there are that many tourists who bring dogs.  Commissioner Wootten said he did not think tourists are the problem.  Mayor Harris said there are very few rental homes that allow pets.

Commissioner Trainham commented about a dog that had been roaming around in his neighborhood.  He said that one of the police officers had discussed the situation with the family, and Commissioner Trainham had not seen the dog since.  He supported the police department’s efforts.  People have the tendency of letting the dogs out at 11 at night, and they go wherever they want to without anyone to check them out.

Mayor Harris said it depends on the owner.  You can speak to some owners and they will abide by the rules; the problem is those who will not.  She thanked Ms. Erikson for the report and said they would hear from the public in the public comments later on.  Commis­sioner Farmer said they had been having public comments with each agenda item.  Mayor Harris said she thought they would save it tonight under all public comments at the end.  Commissioner Trainham said he preferred that they do it with each of the items.  Mayor Harris asked if anyone wished to speak on dog problems.

8.      MR. DICK ECKHARDT, SOLID WASTE COMMITTEE REPORT.

Mayor Harris said the committee gave a report last month, and the Board sent it back to the committee on the 90-gallon containers.

Commissioner McElraft said Mr. Eckhardt had mentioned to her on the phone that he had found someone who could make a container/holder that is 3-sided for the 90-gallon cans and asked if he had pictures. Mr. Eckhardt passed out pictures of that and said it is just one of the solutions and he did not have the price on it.

Mayor Harris said the picture showed two 90-gallon containers in a three-sided enclosure with the fourth side open.  Anyone could pull the can out and put it back.

Commissioner Wootten said they had met with Mr. Eckhardt in a workshop recently and had a long discussion about how to proceed.  What Mr. Eckhardt is presenting is a summary of the discussion.  Mr. Eckhardt explained that before he reconvened the committee, he wanted to make sure he understood the reservations and actions the Board is interested in.  It was not clear what they wanted to do.  He polled 6 of the major property managers, and they all shook their heads and said the Town had to give them something to lean on.  One of the property managers is interested in rolling out and back the containers on their own.  Mr. Eckhardt asked what is the direction of the Board because it seems to him that they can take some actions now regarding capacity and containment of containers if they are left at the curb.

Commissioner Wootten said they had discussed concentrating the efforts on Ocean Drive or the Ocean Drive equivalent.  Mr. Eckhardt said the two previous items are aimed at Ocean Drive property—one 90-gallon can for every 6 people a residence sleeps and keeping the cans in tow if they are left at the curb.  There are basic things that can be done this year that would give the property managers the direction to get started on the contain­ment problem.

Commissioner Wootten said the question in his mind is if they have a roll-in, roll-out service provided either through the real estate agencies or a town employee, there may not be a need for the racks on the street.  If the decision is that the roll-in, roll-out assistance is not a viable way to go, then they concentrate on the racks.  Mr. Eckhardt said one property manager said they would try to do it, another one said they did not have the time or money to do that because they had too many.  

Mayor Harris said the committee had twice gone back.  She said it sounded like Commissioner Wootten was asking him almost to write an ordinance.  The Board needs to decide if they want 90-gallon containers, if they want it in a wooden container.  They need to decide.

Commissioner McElraft suggested that they give a choice of the 90-gallon or regular trash cans.  At curbside, they have to be contained in a three-sided container rack (for the 90-gallon).  That will keep them from rolling or flying over.  That will prevent people who have nice racks already from having to replace those with 90-gallon cans.  In that requirement also they need to require of the real estate companies and the owners of the properties that they make sure that for 6 people there are at least 3 of the other kind of trash cans so that if you have a duplex that sleeps 10 to 12, you would have 6 for each side of the duplex.  There have to be nice racks for those and make sure they are in good shape.  That way they can try to get that going this season and see how it works.  If they still have a problem, they could start fining the people.

Commissioner Murphy agreed with that.  He does not see the roll-in, roll-out deal working.

Mr. Eckhardt said he thought they were compromising by saying that people could keep their 30-gallon cans in racks.  They do not have to roll-in and roll-out unless they want to do that.  When it is left at the curb, it has to be contained, whether it be recycle or garbage.  They are looking mainly at containment on Ocean Drive, not only of the garbage but of the racks.  The rack systems will take some time because they have to come up with a stan­dard­ized design and give people some time to do that.  He suggested this summer to give everybody an idea of what they are looking at as far as trying to come up with enough containment, and then this winter put the rack system in as far as an ordinance is concerned.

Commissioner Trainham thanked Mr. Eckhardt.  He appreciated that they are allowing people who do not need a 90-gallon container to use what they have.  The only time they ever need more space is when they have kids come in, and that does not happen that often.  The racks for the 90-gallon containers will be very helpful even off of the waterfront.  His neighbors have 3 of the 90-gallons, and sometimes when the wind comes up after they have been emptied, they are all over the place.  

Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Taylor if this is a simple change they can make in the language of the ordinance so that they are requiring one can per 6.  Mr. Taylor said he had no idea but he said he could look into it.

Commissioner Wootten mentioned the 1 can per 6 people and said it might be difficult to manage how many people are inside a house.  He suggested a number of cans per bedroom.  Mr. Eckhardt said one recommendation was 30 gallons for every bedroom.  He said the committee recommended no changes to the recycling.

Mayor Harris asked if they needed the attorney to go ahead and draw up something concerning overflowing trash and violations.

Commissioner Farmer moved that the town attorney draw up an ordinance for trash containment to include 30 gallons of containment per bedroom.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the motion.

Mayor Harris asked if they wanted a violation fee if it is all over the ground.  Commissioner Farmer replied that they do this summer as a trial period.  Commissioner McElraft asked Mrs. Angus, since people are getting ready for summer and will start looking at their racks, if they could leave a picture for her to show them how something could be built to contain the 90-gallons so they could go ahead.  Mrs. Angus said if they are going to do it, they will have to start it now because now when the inspectors go up to do it, all they are doing is making sure there is a can there.  It does not matter where it is.  She mentioned one other issue:  when she gives a building permit, it might be for 4 bedrooms and a TV room, a library, a study, a den, and you know there are sleeping facilities in every one of them because they cannot get septic tank approval for 7 and 8 bedrooms.

Mayor Harris said they have all the information, they will turn it over to the attorney, and thanked Mr. Eckhardt.  Mr. Eckhardt said the committee would be glad to help with the ordinances or give feedback on the ordinances.

Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Eckhardt if they had discussed fines.  Mr. Eckhardt said they had talked about using a litter law as far as fines are concerned.  Commissioner McElraft commented that if they get the containers contained they would probably solve the problem without having to fine anyone.

Mr. Taylor asked if the Board wanted fines to be criminal or civil.  Commissioner McElraft replied that they had decided not to do fines right now.  Mayor Harris said if he is going to do this, they need to put some teeth in it.

Mrs. Liz Dowling, resident of 404 Cape Emerald Court, said the committee had spent a lot of time and a lot of thought had gone into it, but asked if the Waste Management truck could have a notebook and if some place on Ocean Drive has everything overflowing and totally over capacity, they could make a note of it and turn it in to the management company.  That is how it could be limited.  They have to target the people who are doing this.  Ms. Overman said they already do that; they send a letter to those people telling them they need more cans.  Mayor Harris said it has not worked.  Mrs. Dowling said it should be addressed immediately that week.

Mr. Ken Lynch who resides at 207 Red Snapper said to think very carefully about the 30-gallons per bedroom.  He has a 3-bedroom house and he has two 30-gallon containers.  They hardly ever use more than one a week for two of them.  He knows some people who have, under the threat of having to use the 90-gallon container, discarded their old trash containers on the street that hold two 30-gallon containers and have gotten the 90-gallon roll-out and destroyed the others.  Will a person with a 4-bedroom house have to get two 90-gallon containers with two people living in the house?

Mayor Harris said she thought he had misunderstood.  If they want to choose 30-gallon, that is fine as long as the garbage is in a container.  If they want a roll-out, they may have the roll-out.  Commissioner Wootten said they were targeting Ocean Drive or Ocean Drive equivalent where there are mostly rental units, not residents.

 Mr. Lynch asked how they would distinguish between the two unless the ordinance is written that way.  Commissioner McElraft said if the trash is not overflowing, nobody would report them.   Mr. Lynch also said somebody next door to him has three or four or whatever they are supposed to have, and he does not have them, they will not be feeling right about his not having them.  Commissioner Wootten said if they did not live on Ocean Drive or Ocean Drive equivalent, they are not involved.

Commissioner Murphy said they were trying to target the rental properties that have the containment problem.  Commissioner McElraft said if they have an ordinance, he does not want to break the ordinance.  If they went back to a 30-gallon for every two people who sleep there, would that work?  

Mr. Lynch replied that would not work either.  Commissioner McElraft said if he breaks the ordinance, they would not come after him.

Mr. Bernie Whalley, resident of 5306 Ocean Drive, commended the committee for addressing the issue because it has certainly been due for a long time.  At the duplexes in front of him, he has counted as many as 16 automobiles at one time that stayed all week long, and that dumped a lot of folks out there and a lot of trash on Ocean Drive.  One of the things he has not heard addressed is on Mondays, Waste Industries comes by and empties all the trash cans, but it is Thursday before recycle gets picked up.  The people who come in on Sunday put recycling stuff in and have it picked up Thursday.  They put more in and then they leave.  Those recycle cans are packed full.  The next people coming in on Sunday cannot use them because there is no room left.  All their debris from Monday to Wednesday creates one of the overflow problems.

Mrs. Ceil Saunders, resident of 5136 Bogue Sound Drive, said the condos always turn on Sunday, and the houses turn on Saturday.  A lot of the debris is coming from the cleaning crews.  When they clean up, they throw it into the trash bins.  It should go back to the rental firms.

Mrs. Anita Fedderson, resident of 6819 Ocean Drive, said she had owned rental properties in Emerald Isle since 1988, and they have had the same problem since 1988.  She does not have the answers but does have a lot of questions.  The first question is, why do they think the wooden trash can racks that they are attempting to put the cans in look good?  Mayor Harris replied that the purpose is to keep it from falling over and rolling down the street.  Mrs. Fedderson said most of them do not look that good.  The men come and empty the trash, they throw the 90-gallon container face down wherever it lands.  Will they put it back in the rack?  Commissioner McElraft replied that they put the 30-gallons back in, and they will put the 90-gallons back in.  That is why they are trying to make it 3-sided so that is easy for them to roll it back in there.  Mrs. Fedderson said she had driven up and down the island trying to find Commissioner McElraft’s containers because she had said they looked nice.  Commissioner McElraft replied that she had looked at them over the weekend, and they are not as nice as she thought they were.

Commissioner Trainham said they need to insist that people who do have trash containers fix them so that they look good.  He invited her to see his.  Mrs. Fedderson said she had not seen any attractive ones on Ocean Drive.  Why can’t the people who are picking up the trash come up to the house, get the container, roll it down, empty it, bring it back up to the house?  The response was “Money.”  Mrs. Fedderson said she is willing to pay double rather than have those cans sit out at the street.  Mayor Harris said it has been looked into, and it was declined.  Years back they tried to do it, and this Board has tackled it, and it is just too expensive.

Mrs. Fedderson said the biggest problem with the renters is that they clean up on Saturday morning when they are leaving, and if that trash can is filled, it sits there until Monday or Tuesday.  You’ll still have full trash cans sitting out on the street.  Commissioner McElraft said hopefully they will have more trash cans so they will have lids on them.

Mayor Harris said it has been looked at.  Different angles have been talked about, and she wished Mrs. Fedderson could have come to some of the meetings that have transpired.  Mrs. Fedderson said as an oceanfront owner, she would like to offer to pay to have someone come up to her houses and pick up the trash and put the cans back so no one has to look at it.  Commissioner McElraft said she could probably make that arrangement with the real estate company.

9.      PROPOSAL FROM NC COAST, ISLAND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Mayor Harris said it had been discussed, and the Board has had workshops concerning dropping the Emerald Tidings and combining our news with the Island Review.  Jennifer Starr is the editor of the Island Review magazine and has brought a proposal.

Commissioner McElraft asked how much it was costing to do the newsletter?  Ms. Overman replied $15,000.

Commissioner Farmer said she had two concerns.  One was that the price seems pretty steep per page per month.  Her other concern is that they might not have enough to say to come out monthly.

Mayor Harris said the one extra page is what will be there.  They can go ahead with more pages, but they start off with one inserted page.  The rest of the magazine will be just like it has been.

Commissioner Farmer said theoretically the logo would be on the top.  She is concerned whether they want to be filling one page a month.

Commissioner McElraft asked if the estimate is for one page.  Mayor Harris replied it was a one-page insert.  Ms. Starr replied that as requested, it would be a page in the magazine.  They did do a proposal for a separate insert, but . . . .  It is a per-page rate, so they could have as many pages as they want.  Commissioner McElraft verified that the total $8,000 includes only one page per month.

Commissioner Murphy asked if this would be a yearly, 12-month contract.  Ms. Starr replied that it is based on their annual page rate.

Commissioner Wootten said the Island Review does not get mailed to local people currently.  Most of the cost is identified with mailing the magazine and the insert to local residents.

Commissioner McElraft said she did not disagree with the prices.  She wondered whether they needed to do it every month, could they not do it every other month.

Commissioner Wootten recommended they try it, and if they do not like it, they could go back and pick up Emerald Tidings.

Commissioner Murphy asked if they would be held to the contract if they are not happy with it.  He does not want to have to do it for 12 months if that is not what the people of Emerald Isle want.  Commissioner Wootten said he did not see a 12-month contract.  Mayor Harris said it was a whole lot cheaper than Emerald Tidings.  Commissioner McElraft said it would be a change, and asked if they could do it for 12 months with a 30-day out on either side.  Ms. Starr said they could have a cancellation policy.  She advised them that they would be getting the information out on a monthly basis for $7,000 less per year than they are now only doing it on a quarterly basis, plus they will be getting it mailed to all the out-of-towners not at their expense.

Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board accept the proposal as outlined with a caveat of a 30-day kick-out if either side becomes disenchanted with the product or each other. Commissioner McElraft seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried

10. PAXON HOLZ/REED DRIVE COMMERCIAL PARK

            Mayor Harris commented that the Planning Board has sent this project to the Town Board and they have recommended that the Town Board determine whether a waiver is to be granted to allow a 40 foot right-of-way be used for Reed Drive Extension.  Also, the original 3-lot subdivision as originally requested was expanded to the entire parcel at the request of the Town Board, which includes the 7.94 acres (including Reed Drive).

 

            Attorney Richard Stanley came forward and said, “We are here for a favorable review of the preliminary plat for the McLean Trust property at the intersection of Coast Guard Road and Highway 58.  I believe it was approved by the Planning Board on March 28th.  It started out this time again as a 3-lot subdivision using the existing Reed Drive Extension that has never been opened but through discussions of the Planning Board, they did not want to see a 5-block subdivision so they approved it on March 28th. I want to remind you again, that this a recorded registered plat in the Register of Deeds, Map Book 8, Page 32. The map shows Coast Guard Road and that Reed Drive extends out to the end of the block.  This is the road that has not been opened and it in the middle of this property.  Right now it is a dedicated public road that has never been opened.  That was the reason why the 3-lot subdivision would have used that road (60’ right-of-way) when talking about lots on the North side of the dedicated unopened road. 

 

Mr. Stanley continued that the Planning Board has been provided septic tank suitability letters for the first 3-lots and he had the letters for the remaining ones.  He stated the reason they were asking for reasonable favorability tonight but not what he would call final preliminary approval is because there is an additional step that must take place in order to reduce the road from a 60-foot right-of-way to a 40-foot private road.  He pointed out that a lot of thought had been put into this by the Planning Board.  He also pointed out that Reed Drive with 40-feet would be a two-lane private road, but when you come out to Coast Guard Road from the 3-lots it would be a right turn only.  You could not turn back left.  What has happened with this road is that it is coming down and turning and coming along the Southern perimeter of the property to Coast Guard Road at Pebble Beach Condominiums.  There is a right turn only on Reed Drive as you go East.  You would have to go down Coast Guard Road.  You cannot go across that intersection nor turn left.  The extension of the Road comes out near Pebble Beach and you could turn either left or right. 

In order to get to that step, substituting a 40-foot right-of-way for a 60-foot right-of-way, it will be necessary for the Town Board to withdraw that road as a public right-of-way.  There is a procedure in the General Statutes that Mr. Taylor, Town Attorney, will cover with the Board.  It is necessary to adopt a Resolution of Intent to abandon and call for a Public Hearing.  The Public Hearing must be advertised in the paper and is posted on the property.  The Public Hearing will be held and at the conclusion of that you will allow withdrawal of the road as a public right-of-way and at that point by granting preliminary subdivision approval it will then become a private road subject to the maintenance and responsibility of the W.B. McLean Trust with the appropriate safeguards on the terms.

One other thing would need to be done. John McLean has met with Dr. Phil Almeida and Art Daniel (who is an engineer) who have discussed storm water management and Mr. Stanley had a letter from Mr. McLean.  He continued that since this went from a 3-lot to a 5-lot subdivision on March 28th and since it is contingent upon the Boards’ approval of a street withdrawal which cannot take place until the next Board meeting, Mr. McLean has not come forward yet with the storm water management plan but the letter will explain that he has talked with Dr. Almeida and Mr. Daniel about running it into non-jurisdictional wetlands that would not swale out.  

Mr. Stanley again reiterated that they were asking for a favorable review but not final preliminary plat review because if the street is not withdrawn, they will have to go back to the drawing board and use the 60-foot right-of-way.

Commissioner Wootten commented that the configuration of the roadway as presented now, for favorable consideration, is a loop road as the turning point out but it is in accordance or very close accordance with what was learned with the traffic studies that the Town paid for.  That was to get the exit traffic from this property down as far away from Route 58 as possible and across from the Pebble Beach entryway.  To that degree, this road configuration is designed to satisfy the traffic pattern configuration, not the volume configuration. 

Commissioner McElraft asked Mrs. Holz if from the Pebble Beach entry coming out would you be able to turn left or right?  Mrs. Holz answered “Yes at Pebble Beach”.  Mrs. Holz said there would be a 2-lane road in on Reed Drive and out onto Coast Guard Road turning left or right.  Commissioner Murphy clarified that where the extension starts that is a right turn only and that this is also a 2-way.  Mrs. Holz confirmed this for Commissioner Murphy. 

Mrs. Holz said, “These changes to the configuration were mandated by the Planning Board requesting the advice of the traffic study and the original subdivision has been changed since it was first presented in June, about seven times.”  They have been very patient and they appreciate all of the well-meaning guidance that they have received.

Mayor Harris said, “You are asking for the abandonment of Reed Drive 60-feet in width?”  Mrs. Holz confirmed this with “That is correct and that has been brought about by the Planning Board’s request that we reduce it, to reduce the amount of encroachment as the street is presently plated and dedicated. We could go in and build a 60-foot blind street, dead in, in and out and that is that.  But because the Planning Board after their discussion and study of the traffic study asked us to reduce the road, we have done so.  They also asked us to bring it out and loop it around to come out at Pebble Beach.  We have done that.  In order to reduce it to 40-feet, it must be changed from public to private because we are not allowed to have a public 40-foot wide street so we have to ask for this.  If you had rather it to be “anything goes” in and out of Reed Drive, I will be glad to do that.  That is what I asked for 6 months ago.  You do not want that, I am told.  The Planning Board does not want that.  The traffic studies do not want it.  We have acceded to your every request and your every bit of guidance and we will continue to do so but in order to proceed, we must ask that the street be abandoned so it can be reopened as a private street for that subdivision.”  

Commissioner Farmer questioned, “On this plat it shows that some of the road runs along Quail Ridge Townhomes.  My understanding, and I may be wrong is that there is a 15 foot buffer between residential and commercial?”  She gave Ordinance page 1186 for the Town Attorney to glance at, Section 19-107 (3) and (7).  She continued that the plat shows a vegetation line, 94 feet deep along highway 58.  She asked if that was State property?  Mrs. Holz answered “Yes it is”.  Commissioner Farmer asked if this subdivision would be sitting 5 feet back from Highway 58 right-of-way.  There will be no buffer on this property between Highway 58 right-of-way and this property?  Mrs. Holz said there exists presently 98 feet of vegetation - - Commissioner Farmer interjected “which the State can pave whenever it chooses”. 

Commissioner Farmer said there has been a lot of discussion, for everyone sitting in the audience, about the State wanting to widen Highway 58 and in fact the Emerald Isle Land Use Plan supports that.

Mrs. Holz addressed this issue. She said, “Highway 24 is undergoing an expansion and Cape Carteret has become very familiar with that.  Through the Town of Cape Carteret, through most of the Town, there is 100-feet of State right-of-way and there is presently 5 lanes of traffic within that 100 feet.  In front of the little shopping area where the former Town Hall was located, there is 120 feet of right-of-way.  At the stoplight there are presently 8 lanes. From the Bridge to Fran’s Gift Shop there is a 200 foot wide right-of-way.  The pavement is located in the eastern most section of that 200 feet so that you presently have 98 feet vegetated of State right-of-way between the trust property line and the pavement.  It might interest you to know, and this may be a little premature, but the Gateway Committee walked that right-of-way today and although the surveyors flagged that entire property line, in some cases it was with great difficulty even though the flags were sometimes sticking up 10 feet in the air, that we could even see the property line. The consensus of the Gateway Committee from their report was that there is sufficient right-of-way, that there need not be additional buffer other than in the right-of-way in this Gateway area.”

Commissioner Murphy said, “If the State is not kind to us and they take 40 feet to put two more lanes in we still have an additional 54 feet for buffer.  Fifty-four feet of vegetative buffer on the State right-of-way is in my opinion a sufficient amount.

Commissioner Wootten, Trainham and Commissioner McElraft had no comments.

Commissioner Farmer said the only other comment she has is several of the studies were concerned about doing that from traffic turning lane at Coast Guard Road, getting tied up at the Reed Drive, the entrance to this parcel.  She understands what Mrs. Holz is saying, that the Planning Board has said this is what they prefer, but she is not happy to see the entrance to this property so close to the intersection of Highway 58 and Coast Guard Road.  She thought this was what the traffic studies were trying to get away from. 

Mrs. Holz replied that the public will go wherever it is easiest to get in and out but this what the Planning Board asked for.  I have proposed several different things.  That is why we are here to receive a favorable response.”

Attorney Taylor said the issue related to the vegetative buffer is under the Zoning aspects of the Ordinances that would certainly come into play when the building on the lots are started.  How to review the vegetative buffer issue at that time would come into play when a permit is to be issued in Inspections Department.

Commissioner Farmer wanted to know that in terms of putting in a road, there is no buffer?  Attorney Taylor said the buffer between the residential and commercial property provides just that.  Whether it be along the roadway, inside the roadway, etc., he does not know how that would be interpreted.  Mrs. Carol Angus of the Inspections Department said she has never had a road go down a property line before.

Attorney Taylor said, “It also contains an opaque screen fence, 6 feet in height, constructed in a manner that is compatible with the design of the project shall be provided.”  This is a possibility that the property could go right long the line. There are a lot of options so when it comes time to apply for a Building Permit within the Zoning Ordinance. He does not know exactly how constructive it would end up being when it comes to actually putting something on those lots, how you would deal with those buffer things at that point in time. 

Commissioner Farmer said she wants to go on record as being opposed to having the entrance of the parcel at Reed Drive Extension.  Mrs. Holz replied that they could have just an In and Out 60 feet.  They have jumped through every single hoop in the world.  Now that we have put the road where we were told to, when we make it private we will have to keep it up instead of the Town.  She stated she did not know what more they could do.  She asked that clarification on the buffers be provided to her before she comes in for an application to build that road. 

Mr. Jerry Huml, resident at Pebble Beach, wondered after hearing about the loop road facing the entrance to Pebble Beach, how that will impact on a complex that has 228 units, approximately 500–600 parking spaces, and in the summer is jam packed full of cars.  Have they considered safety in that region, is there thinking of a light at that area?  He sees a huge problem there and asks the town to consider that in their planning.

Commissioner McElraft asked if they needed to take the road abandonment to public hearing or make this contingent upon that.  Mr. Taylor replied that they had a couple of choices:  they could approve the plat conditional upon the Board’s making a determination to withdraw that road after public hearing at the next meeting; they could preliminarily approve it but hold final approval of the preliminary plat until after such time that the road has been withdrawn.  It does not make a difference to the developer because unless that road is withdrawn after public hearing, they cannot do what they have submitted anyway because it would have to be a private road at 40 feet.

Attorney Taylor explained that the Board has a couple of choices. 1) The plat can be approved conditioned upon the Board making a determination to withdraw that road after Public Hearing at the next meeting. 2) The Board could preliminary approve this thing but hold final approval of the preliminary plat, essentially hold off on making a final decision on the preliminary plat until after such time that the road has been withdrawn. Mr. Taylor does not think is makes probably a “hill of beans” one way or the other to the developer because unless that road is withdrawn after Public Hearing, they cannot do what they have submitted to the Board anyway.  

Commissioner Wootten made a motion for approval of the preliminary plat submission contingent upon the successful withdrawal of Reed Drive Extension as a public road at a future meeting. Commissioner McElraft seconded the motion.  The vote was 3 in favor (McElraft, Murphy, Wootten), 2 opposed  (Farmer, Trainham).  Motion carried.

Mr. Taylor said he would put forth to the Board at this point for their consideration to go ahead and pass the resolution of intent to withdraw the road and to schedule a public hearing at the next town regular meeting on May 8, 2001.  If they would like to put that resolution into play, he suggested that someone make a motion to that effect, read the resolution, and vote on it tonight.

            Commissioner McElraft moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted with a vote of 3 in favor (Wootten, McElraft and Murphy) and 2 opposed (Trainham and Farmer) to pass the Resolution 04-10-01-01 Resolution of Intent.  Commissioner McElraft read the Resolution at this point and a copy has been attached to the end of these minutes. Motion carried.

 

11. RECOMMENDATION FROM PLANNING BOARD REFERENCE 90-DAY MORATORIUM.

Mayor Harris said this is to be placed on any filling of a pond or a wetland.

Commissioner Wootten said this is being requested because there are changes to the Stormwater Ordinance being developed by the Planning Board now.  He had not followed that process as closely as he could have, but he thought it started out as a attempt to strengthen the residential stormwater aspects of the ordinance.  At the last Planning Board meeting he attended, there was some conversation about filling wetlands and other square footage considerations put in there.  And they have a workshop coming up on the subject.  He suggested they defer the moratorium until he has a chance to sit down at the workshop and see what the Planning Board is proposing.  It is prudent judgment to get the whole package and understand it before he buys the moratorium.  He suggested shelving this until they have the workshop.

Mr. Taylor said this is a moratorium dealing with use of property which would probably fall under chapter 19.  They need to call for a public hearing and make a determination of the moratorium after the public hearing.  The best they could do tonight is call for a public hearing at the next Town meeting with proper advertising for such purposes.

Commissioner McElraft said they had discussed the possibility of stopping the filling of wetlands several months ago and decided not to do that because it was going above CAMA’s regulations, and the fear was that they were doing things that were taking private property things away from people.  Until CAMA got stronger, they as a town did not need to put the town in legal jeopardy.  She asked to hear input from the Planning Board at the Stormwater workshop, but she did not think they should do a moratorium on it until they had further information as to why the Planning Board wanted to do this.  She suggested tabling it until after the workshop.

Commissioner Murphy agreed to table it.

Commissioner Farmer said CAMA did not have much to do with wetlands; it is the Army Corps of Engineers and DWQ.  The Army Corps of Engineers plays a very limited role as essentially a permitting agency for filling wetlands, and one of the reasons we have so much flooding in the Town of Emerald Isle is because they are permitting agencies.  They permit the destruction and filling of wetlands.  The Town is facing a $4.6 million flooding solution and is divided on using the beach as a stormwater dumping ground complete with “No swimming” signs.  This should be a no-brainer.  Many of our remaining lots are in fact wetland lots, and we will absolutely feel the impact of the poor development of them.  She does not want to hold up anybody’s plans any longer than necessary, but this was a unani­mous decision on the part of the Planning Board, and the Board does have a responsibility to consider the best interests of the Town.  She suggested setting a date for a public hearing to consider this.  She thinks if the Planning Board feels this is important, it is important.  They are concerned about people going in and filling wetlands while they know they are still under the old stormwater ordinance, and they want to make sure that does not happen through a moratorium.  She wanted to call a special session for a public hearing.

Commissioner Farmer made a motion to send this to the May 8, 2001, Board Meeting for a public hearing for purposes of determining whether or not there should be a moratorium on the filling of all wetlands.  Commissioner Trainham seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Commissioner Wootten said they needed to get the draft changes that the Planning Board is proposing.  He asked Mr. Taylor to take a hard look at the legal question being posed by the subject of jurisdiction, filling wetlands, property use, etc.

12. RECOMMENDATION FROM PLANNING BOARD REFERENCE WAIVER/JERRY COOK

Mayor Harris said the Planning Board had requested the Town Board consider a waiver to Jerry Cook because the Policy and Procedures of the Planning Board require that the final plat be submitted within one year of the preliminary plat, and that year passed.

Mrs. Angus said in the Policy and Procedures for the Planning Board, it is required that you submit a final plan within one year after the preliminary plan has been approved.  In this particular case, the first year expired in July.  When Mr. Cook brought the final plat forward, she had to tell him that he did not have it in sufficient time.  She was under the impression at that period of time that this piece of property was being looked at as part of the stormwater drainage solution, and since she was not privy to that, she did not know that it may have been pulled out of that contention.  Since that had been the case at the time, she thought the Board might give him the waiver to bring it forward, and that is why she produced the preliminary plat to the Planning Board members so that they would see what had been presented before.

Commissioner Wootten asked Mr. Cook why he had not submitted the final plat within the year’s time.  Mr. Cook showed the property being talked about.  Part of the property is on the south side of Coast Guard Road and the majority is on the north side of Coast Guard Road.  It has some wetlands, and when he started working on developing the property and came before the Board for preliminary site approval, the Town was also trying to solve some stormwater problems it had.  Pete Allen called him one day and asked him if he would work with the town in helping solve the problem, and he said he would be happy to provide a win-win situation if it were possible.  He had talked with Mr. Allen several times, and the indication was that they could probably work something out.  About that time, the Moffatt & Nichol study was started and grants to the state. He was told if possible not to do anything—go away, do not sell any property, do not develop anything, until they got farther down the road.  So he went away and was away until about a month ago when he came back and made the comment that he had preliminary site plan approval.  He was told that it only lasted for a year.  He replied that he was told to leave, to go away and not do anymore until they could solve the problems.  He had no idea that there was a one-year limitation.  The issue came up about a month ago that perhaps by sending the drawings back through the Planning Board and having them come to the Board, that the Board could grant him an extension since he was asked to stay away from it.

Commissioner Farmer said on June 1, 1999, the Town of Emerald Isle applied to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to purchase three properties for stormwater disposal—one of those properties was Mr. Cook’s, for West End Subdivision, Block 51.  That application to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund was turned down.  On July 13, 1999, the Board of Commissioners granted preliminary plat approval for West End.  On December 1, 1999, the Town re-submitted a scaled-down application to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.  With that application, Mr. Cook’s property was no longer under consideration.  On July 13, 2000, the preliminary plat approval for West End expired, a full seven months after the property had been dropped from consideration for purchase by the Town.  There has been some discussion since December 1999 and now between Mr. Cook and the town about increasing the amount of storm water from the Island Circle area which was all part of the development.  West End’s wetlands have been receiving storm water from Island Circle since a 1992 agreement, and she appreciates Mr. Cook’s willingness to work with the town, but the additional storm water would not have been impacting Mr. Cook’s development plans.

Mr. Cook said Commissioner Farmer was wrong.  It would impact what he was doing, and what he was doing was trying to work out a win/win situation with the town.

Commissioner Farmer said when the preliminary plat went to public hearing in 1999, she and a number of other residents spoke up.  They were concerned about the impacts to the wetlands his subdivision would have.  Seven of the 23 lots proposed required filling for access.  Add to that filling the impervious areas associated with 23 houses, and there is a real potential that they will be creating yet another area of town with flooding problems.  When the flooding starts, it will not be the developer who is responsible.  It will fall to the taxpayers to pay to clean it up.  Mr. Cook had 7 months in which to submit his final plat for approval.  The ordinance says that since he did not, the approval is no longer valid.  He needs to re-submit his plans for Planning Board and Town approval.  She cannot support the waiver.

Commissioner Trainham said he would look for Mr. Cook to re-submit his plans.

Commissioner Wootten asked if there have been any changes in stormwater ordi­nances since the preliminary approval that would change the approval process.  Mrs. Angus replied “no.”  Commissioner Wootten said they were talking about a situation where the previous Board did approve the preliminary plat following the rules that are still in existence now, and there is some strong evidence that he was working with the town to solve the stormwater problem and did in fact allow his property to be a major holding pond during some of the major floods and hurricanes.  He would support the granting of the waiver since there is no change.

Commissioner Farmer said there has been a significant change in the stormwater ordinance.  It is actually being enforced.  She does not know what sort of stormwater plans were turned over to the town for Mr. Cook, but there have been sections of that stormwater ordinance that had not been enforced at all by previous boards of commissioners.

Commissioner Wootten asked if she meant that the previous board made a mistake in approving the plan.  Commissioner Farmer replied that she felt at the time that they had, and the other people who commented at the time felt that way, too.  Commissioner Wootten said they were a governing body going through a normal process of government.  Commis­sioner Farmer turned the question on Commissioner Wootten by suggesting that if there have not been that many changes, it is not that big a deal to go back through the preliminary process.  Commissioner Wootten said it is a major expense.

Commissioner McElraft asked the Planning Board if it had received final platting.  Stormwater would be addressed in final platting.  She agreed that they have dumped storm water on Mr. Cook, they have used his property free of charge to take care of stormwater problems, and the least they could do is grant him the extension.  She is in favor of doing that; and when they get to the final plat, he has to comply with all the stormwater ordinances.

Commissioner Farmer said most of the storm water being dumped on his property came from his subdivision on Island Circle.  That was part of the agreement.

Commissioner McElraft moved that the Board grant Mr. Jerry Cook an extension of one year from the time they stopped for the preliminary plat of the West End Sub­division, Block 51, as the Planning Board requested.  Commissioner Wootten seconded the motion.  Vote was 3 in favor (McElraft, Murphy, Wootten), 2 opposed (Farmer, Trainham).  Motion carried.

13. GOVERNOR’S HIGHWAY SAFETY GRANT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001/2002.

Mayor Harris said she had received this a couple of weeks ago in the mail and had called the commissioners about it.  She had asked Pete Allen about it, and he said they did not have to be involved with any money matching.  She took it up later with Ms. Overman, who came back and said she had checked on it and they do have to match funds.

Commissioner Farmer asked about the purpose of the money.  What would they be using it for?  Police Chief Wilson replied for speed limit flashers and signs.  They put the flasher on Crew Drive that day. Commissioner Farmer said she had slowed down.  Her concern is that the budget is going to be very tight this year.  She does not like to turn away half free money, but she is concerned about the expenses they have facing them.

Commissioner McElraft asked if there were expenses they were going to spend anyway that would have amounted to the $27,000 of their share.  Chief Wilson replied that there are some items he had put in that they would be able to take out.  Commissioner McElraft asked if he had any estimate of how much that would be.  Ms. Overman replied, “About $5,000.”  Commissioner McElraft asked if they could go back and pay for things they have already purchased.

Commissioner Murphy asked if the speed limit flasher was paid for.  Ms. Overman said it had been.  It was $8,000, and that is from the grant they are under right now, that will expire June 1.  They got a grant to pay for that already.  This is new money as of July 1, which goes for video cameras, equipment, cars, traffic safety officers, stuff like that.

Commissioner McElraft asked if they could get less than the $50,000.  Mayor Harris said they need to match $28,750.

Commissioner Murphy asked if they could get from Chief Wilson a list of items that they could use this money to purchase and see if those items are necessary items for the town, and if they are going to spend the money anyway, go ahead.  Chief Wilson said he had been considering taking some blue lights out of the budget and let the money from the Highway Safety Program pay for them, if they will.  They’re pretty lenient on what they buy for the police department but they want them to designate it for traffic officers and whatever they need for the car or radar, video cameras, blue lights.

Mayor Harris said there is a date this has to be turned in.  Chief Wilson said it is something that has to be done soon.

Commissioner Wootten suggested that if this does not have to be done before the end of the month, the chief come up with a list as Commissioner Murphy requested of how he is going to spend the $58,000. They would then address it in the budget workshop and then do a consensus on whether to sign the resolution or not.  He does not think this has to come into a town meeting.  Mayor Harris said it had to be voted on.  Mr. Taylor said it is an appropriation of cash, which requires them to do it in a public meeting.  If they do it in a workshop and publish that this is going to be an item they will cover during a special meeting, they want to be able to publish that they are going to spend the money.  They would have to do a publication notice on what the meeting is about specifically naming that this item would be a part of it.  They cannot just do it in a workshop.

Mayor Harris said the state will tell Chief  Wilson what he can and cannot spend it on in the first place.  Chief Wilson said the money that the state will spend on radar is money the town will not have to pay in the budget.  They have to have radars because the ones they have after four or five years run out.  The state will pay 50% of the radars they will buy next year.

Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board approve the Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant in the amount of $28,750.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote was 4 in favor (Wootten, McElraft, Murphy, Trainham) and 1 opposed9 Farmer).  Motion carried.

14. DOG WARDEN CONTRACT RENEWAL/HADNOT CREEK KENNELS.  

Mayor Harris said this costs the town $175 per month.  The Animal Committee suggested not funding it.

Commissioner Farmer said their contract runs from July 1 to June 30 and asked if they could talk about it in the budget workshop.  She is uncomfortable just rubber stamping it as it has been done before because of the comments of the Animal Committee.  Commis­sioner Murphy and Commissioner Wootten agreed.

Commissioner Wootten moved to table the topic until after the budget workshop.  Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

15. PROCLAMATION/MUNICIPAL CLERK’S WEEK.

Mayor Harris said this would be April 29 through May 5.

Commissioner Wootten moved that they approve the proclamation of Municipal Clerks Week.  Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Mayor Harris said Mrs. Custy is fantastic, she is the Town Clerk, they all love her.  She does a lot of hard work behind the scenes and very few people know how important she is.

16. ORDER AUTHORIZING ADVERTISING OF TAX LIENS.

Mayor Harris said North Carolina Statutes 105-369 requires the Board to authorize the Tax Collector to advertise all unpaid taxes.

Commissioner Murphy moved that the Board approve the attached order as written.  Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

17. COMMISSIONER McELRAFT/BEACH RENOURISHMENT UPDATE. 

Mayor Harris said there had been quite a few meetings on this.  They had asked Mr. Huml to give them an update and then Commissioner McElraft would follow with her report.

Mr. Jerry Huml said the committee had met twice, on February 20 and March 26.  The next scheduled meeting is April 12 at 10:00 AM in Town Hall.  The topic of beach renourishment encompasses a great deal of information.  Many of the members of the committee are concurrently serving on the Bogue Banks Beach Preservation Association as well as the Carteret County Beach Preservation Task Force.  Additionally, with Emerald Isle Realty being one of the larger occupancy tax collectors in the county, Julia Wax has recently been a member of the county focus group to help draft the occupancy tax resolution.  He thanked the Board for their support in passing a favorable resolution for an increase in the occupancy tax for Carteret County.

Occupancy tax will play a very key role in helping Emerald Isle to fund both short-term emergency beach renourishment as well as long-term Army Corps of Engineers shore protection projects.  A great deal of information has been shared, and they have had interested citizens in each of their meetings.

At the committee’s request, Commissioner Wootten contacted the coastal engineering firm (CSE) and CAMA to do a cost proposal for approximately the first 3 miles of eastern Emerald Isle, which is the most endangered area due to severe erosion on the oceanfront.  The cost estimate that came back was considerably higher than expected—$10 million.  They are seeking a second cost estimate from another coastal engineer, Erica Olsen, but they do not have the report back yet on this proposal.  He thanked Commissioner Wootten and Mitsy Overman for their diligence and help in putting together numbers and tax valuations in the affected areas.

Commissioner McElraft has been instrumental in pursuing Section 11-35, which is a turtle habitat restoration project.  This would not be as extensive a project and would require less yards of sand.  The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates a 2- to 3-year time line to apply for and receive funding for a project of this nature.  This would be a cost-share pro­gram with federal, state, and local governments.  Occupancy tax could be a part of the funding of this project as well.  Recently newspaper articles have indicated that President Bush would look more favorably on this type of environmentally related beach renourish­ment.

An extremely important factor for Emerald Isle and all of Bogue Banks is the results of the Section 111 Army Corps of Engineers study.  They are optimistic that, just as in the Wilmington harbor dredging, the Army Corps of Engineers study of February 2000 may show similar findings for Beaufort Harbor.  The bottom line of that study found that dredging of the inlet and the harbor in Wilmington caused the erosion of the beach, and the Corps of Engineers will fix the problem.  The release date for the Section 111 study may come as early as the end of this month.  The Army Corps of Engineers and the County will call for a meeting once the information is ready for public comment.  It is in our best interest to pay close attention to the findings of the study.  If the Corps admits their culpability in starving Bogue Banks by preventing us from receiving the millions plus cubic yards of sand that they artificially removed over the last several decades, they will become part of the solution for Emerald Isle.  If the results are delayed past the end of April, they would request that the Emerald Isle Board try to ascertain the reason for the delay and to do all in their power to expedite the public disclosure of the findings of the Section 111 for Bogue Banks.  We must not allow them to say that the inlet area of influence stops at Pine Knoll Shores.  Studies have proven an inlet area of influence of over 26 miles, which is the case of Cape Canaveral.

As part of the scope of the committee’s actions, the Board requested that they determine and explain the necessary role of the town in any beach renourishment project, to include, but not be limited to, approval of debt, cost for town-owned beach property, the need for property easements, and an additional objective was to assist the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners in determining the feasibility of a property-owner funded beach renourish­ment effort at the east end of Emerald Isle.  In both meetings, the discussions quickly brought out the fact that the beach renourishment for Emerald Isle is a town-wide project similar to the stormwater management project, which is also a town-wide problem.  The third major need of the town is to correct the rapidly severely eroding point.  The committee requests that the Board of Commissioners not try to separate these three major infrastructure needs but consider them as problems that are all Emerald Isle needs to shoulder them together.

It is the committee’s understanding that the Board of Commissioners will shortly begin the difficult and arduous process of budget review for the town.  With the new property revaluation, we are blessed with a sizable $1.3 billion ad valorem tax base to be part of this funding mechanism for these three important needs. First is beach nourishment for all of Emerald Isle, although the east will ultimately need more cubic yards of sand than the central and west strand.  After the hurricanes in 1996, 1998, and 1999, steps and boardwalks were lost from the 9000 block east.  Second is to solve the Emerald Isle stormwater problems in the most economically and environmentally sensitive way possible.  Third is to relocate Bogue Inlet Channel at the point so it no longer contributes to rapid erosion at that end of the island.  The committee knows the Board of Commissioners has the unique opportunity to protect this same wonderful tax base that has been the strength and beauty of our coastal town.  Taxes used to be triple what they are today as recently as the 1980s.  As the tax base grew, our taxes dropped from over 60 cents to less than 20 cents per $100.  If we allow properties to disappear at the point or on the oceanfront, or property is lost because of the stormwater problems, then the tax rate is going to go up.  The committee respectfully submits that once the Board has a true understanding of the cost of these projects that a modest tax increase combined with the millions of dollars we will be receiving ????? [tape change].  A referendum in November could be our earliest opportunity to decide on that issue.

Most important of all, Emerald Isle is a town we love because it has always been about neighbors helping neighbors.  We will work hard to keep Emerald Isle a family beach.  As part of the committee’s work, they plan to survey their neighbors in the near future.  We all need to protect our resources.

Commissioner McElraft thanked Mr. Huml for giving the committee report.  On the long-term situation, they are about 6 to 7 years away from possible funding through a federal 50-year plan.  They are looking for $700,000 at the federal level to continue the feasibility study, so that has not been written into the budget yet, so there will be a lot of lobbying to try to get that part to continue on the same path they are going with the timeline with the federal plan.  The county share will be paid with occupancy tax.  They are now in the process of trying to increase the occupancy tax and get an agreement on a 3% increase, which would make it 6%. They pretty much heard everybody loud and clear in the county bond refer­endum that they wanted tourists to pay for a lot of the beach nourishment, and this is a great way to get the tourists to do that.  Two percent of that occupancy tax will go to fund the long-term plan, and then 3% of the 6% will go into advertising, so we will get more advertising than we had before with the TDB.  One percent will be given to 3 towns—Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, and Emerald Isle—for short-term nourishment projects, so if the 6% occupancy tax does pass, we will be getting part of that in 2002.  If they decide on a 5% only increase, and there is contention right now between the collectors, Emerald Isle will ask Rep. Smith to tack on 1% for Emerald Isle and earmark it for us.  We do hopefully have some short-term nourishment money coming through occupancy tax either way.

Section 11-35 Turtle Sanctuary Restoration is actually called Environmental Restora­tion project.  They really have not gotten that involved in it.  Commissioner McElraft took it upon herself to ask Mr. Allen to write to the Corps of Engineers asking if it was feasible for Emerald Isle to get a Turtle Sanctuary Restoration project going.  All they are doing now is information seeking.  This would be a 75% federal, 25% local share with a cap of $5 million, all the federal government will spend on restoring turtle sanctuary.  It is a great way to get 1st to 30th Streets and some of the other areas where the turtle nests have been washed away restored.  Oak Island did this.  It is not a complete nourishment project.  It will not have the millions of cubic yards of sand that a nourishment project would, but it would hold us over in certain areas and would be a cost-effective way to hit some of the areas that are really endangering the turtle population.

Commissioner McElraft continued that the 111 study should be out any day.  It has been completed, it has gone to Vicksburg, Mississippi for review and is back now.  The Corps of Engineers is trying to figure out what they are going to do.  She thinks they will be culpable but to say they are culpable all the way to Emerald Isle may be a stretch for them even though the inlet area of influence has been proven to be 26 miles.  It is going to take Emerald Isle pushing the upper limit with litigation to prove that we are also being affected.  Whichever way it goes, there will be sand put back into the system, which will help us.  It is not a natural process that our beaches are eroding.  She has heard so many people say that they will continue to erode.  It is a process that sand is being taken out of our system at Beaufort Inlet and the port needs to get rid of the sand, and we need it.  She is hoping that the 111 will give us some sand, at least put it back into the system.  We are eroding much quicker than what a natural process would be.

The committee had been limited to 1st to 30th Street.  They realize that the $10 million was going to be way too much for them to handle because there are a lot of elderly people who own property in that area and it was way too much money for them to fund by themselves.  The committee would like to take all taxpayers and see what they would be willing to pay, and then it would have to go to bond referendum as it did with the county.  That is what the committee is asking for.  She asked that the survey include all of Emerald Isle.  

Mayor Harris asked if Commissioner McElraft was asking if the Board would be willing to mail out another survey to see the interest.  Commissioner McElraft said, “Correct, like they did in Pine Knoll Shores and Indian Beach.”

Commissioner Trainham moved that the committee be asked to do a survey to determine the wishes of the citizens.  Commissioner Wootten seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Mr. Charles Stuber, resident of 1106 Timber Trail and member of the committee, said he lives in Raleigh but is here about one third of the time.  Because of the beach nourishment problems, he is here about every Saturday for meetings.  They have been talking about the whole town problem which includes not only all of the beach but the stormwater problem and the point, and he asked that when they do the survey, they include all of it in the bond referendum.  Some of the residents are not immediately affected, but you never know whether a year or two from now they will have a problem, too.  In Raleigh, if someone has a problem on the other side of town, he helps pay for it, and the same thing should be true here.  If some of us have a major problem now, the whole town should be involved.  None of us like to pay taxes, but his feeling is we had better take care of the problems now because if they deteriorate more, we will be paying more taxes and have a messy looking beach, too, to try to get back in shape.  He hopes the survey will be positive.  He and his wife did a survey a couple of years ago and got a very positive response from about 95% of the oceanfront owners.  If they put the survey together properly with the right figures and facts, he thinks they will get a positive response. He hopes the Board will support it.

Mrs. Paxon Holz, 6715 Ocean Drive, is another one of the absentee, non-voting property owners, and she is so proud of Pine Knoll Shores.  She wants the Board to take a more positive attitude, wants to see some dynamic leadership, and wants to see the Board get behind renourishment and make it possible for Emerald Isle.  We cannot wait for the rest of the world to take care of us.  She will pay whatever she has to pay. She cannot vote.  She is telling the Board now to do it and charge the oceanfront property owners more than anybody else because they will be benefiting more than anybody else.  They already pay more taxes than anybody else, but that is America.  We have to have sand.  The last time we had a big storm, the ocean was within 20 feet of her septic tank.  To her, this is a business.  It is not a luxury place where she comes over and romps on the beach.  She rents it every single day she can get warm bodies in there, and every year since she has owned it, she has taken money out of her pocket to pay the expenses.  The rental income does not cover the expenses—the mortgage, the taxes, the insurance, the commissions on the rentals, the maintenance.  That is life, it is a business.  She hopes to have it paid off someday, hopefully before the septic tank falls in the ocean and is condemned.  Once the septic tank is condemned, the mortgage continues but you get no federal flood insurance because the house is still standing.  She implored the Board to take hold and do something for us.  We will pay whatever we have to pay.  What is the alternative?  She still owes $180,000.  You need to take hold and be leaders and get us some sand. Mayor Harris said she thought they had.  Mrs. Holz said with their Internet skills, they have more ability than she had to secure a copy of the US Army Corps of Engineers study that was performed that shows that the 13 miles east of Bogue Inlet has a history of accurancy and should be considered among the first areas of the state for development.  Guess who was Assistant Secretary of the Army when that was produced?  Kenneth C. Royal, father of the late Senator Kenneth C. Royal Jr, grandfather of the present Kenneth Royal III.

Mr. Charles Vincent, resident of 7209 Ocean Drive, said there had been a lot of talk about taxes and spending and budgets.  We live in a wonderful place and enjoy the services, but if we are going to do that, we have to pay taxes.  That is part of it.  Our taxes are lower than almost everyone else’s anywhere, and certainly much lower than many.  The reason is because we have a high ad valorem base.  We are in danger of losing much of that base, that base that is on the ocean front.  To keep our taxes low, we need to protect our ad valorem base.  From New York to Texas, virtually every community with oceanfront has seen the virtue of protecting their tax base, their industry, their income.  Are they more far-sighted than we?  If so, we can find out what they did, use their plan, and find out how they got federal help.  He implored the Board to leave no stone unturned in their effort to find a solution to the eroding tax base.  He is convinced the problem is caused by the deep dredging in Beaufort Inlet, but to get the Corps of Engineers or whoever is responsible to make the repairs is not going to be an easy task.  It will take a lot of effort and it will involve spending some money to protect our tax base.  It will involve an effort on the Board’s part, also, to educate the electorate to the need to protect this tax base.  He has heard people before the last bond issue say, “But what if we renourish the beach and it washes away?”  First of all, that will not happen.  If you look at either end of our island, it has been renourished and they suffered through 5 hurricanes with no damage.  In fact, the west end is in better shape than it was when it was renourished 10 years ago.  If we properly engineered it and something happened to it, FEMA would come in and repair it for us.  Another thing nobody had mentioned that is realistic is most of the oceanfront owners, who pay a large share of our taxes, do not live here.  There is an investment.  But still they pay a large portion of our taxes.  If their investment washes away, they will probably collect their insurance, write off the loss on the income tax, and move to a community that has foresight enough to protect the beaches, leaving us to make up the difference in the lost taxes.  In short, it takes short-term spending occasionally to save many times that amount in the long run.  We must do it—it is only common sense.  Let our visitors pay for beach nourishment and maintenance.  Rep Ronnie Smith is trying to put in a bill, but he has not yet.  He has been foot dragging, and we need as individuals, as citizens, and as commissioners, to give him a call to say we need this in so that the visitors and people who use our beach can help us restore it and keep our tax base where it is so we can get a dog warden.

18. BENCHMARK GRANT APPLICATION.

Mayor Harris said Michael Harvey of Benchmark prepared a grant application for revision to the existing zoning and subdivision ordinances.  The total grant is for $27,000.  The Town’s portion is $9,000.  She asked if the Board wished for Benchmark to submit the application on behalf of the Town.

Commissioner Wootten asked Commissioner Farmer if she was satisfied with this because she had been paying a lot more attention to it.  Commissioner Farmer said she is very satisfied with it, in part because it is so fluid.  She thinks they need Mrs. Angus’s input to narrow it down more, but she does not think it is necessary for getting the proposal.  It is very loosely worded.

Commissioner McElraft asked if the other person (Dale Holland) was still putting in an application.  Mrs. Angus said she was going to ask about that because she did not know where she fell in the scheme of things for discussion.  If this is approved tonight, does that mean that Dale Holland need not go any further with his application?  Mayor Harris asked what Dale Holland was doing that Mike was not doing.  Mrs. Angusreplied that he was only asked to do the unified codification, she did not know about the other stuff.  Benchmark has incorporated his into theirs, and Dale has not.  Commissioner Farmer said they would be competing with each other.  Based on what Mrs. Angus said, Dale Holland doing the unified codification makes a lot more sense.  She is not convinced that that is as big a priority right now.  She would cry if that gets the grant and this one does not.

Commissioner Farmer said this in no way binds the Board to Benchmark.  They are providing for free, the service of writing this proposal, but we are not obligated to then go with them or anyone.

Commissioner McElraft asked if the deadline was April 20, when would they have time to look at Dale’s.  Mrs. Angus thought his would be here today or tomorrow.  Commissioner McElraft asked if they need to look at it or can they submit both of them.

Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board approve the Benchmark grant application.  Commissioner Trainham seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

19. EASTERN CAROLINA JOINT LAND USE STUDY.

Mayor Harris said back in October, Mr. Lee came to the Board and went over everything very thoroughly and said the resolution would be forthcoming.  The Town agreed to pledge the maximum of $543 in cash and $526 in-kind service to fulfill the local match required by the Eastern Carolina Land Use Study.

Commissioner Farmer passed out maps from the draft AICUZ.  She is not a member of the JLUS committee, but she has gone to most of their meetings and has some concerns.  The purpose of the JLUS (Joint Land Use Study between the Marine Corps and Carteret County and some other counties) is to prevent inappropriate land uses around military installations, in this case Bogue Field.  It is too late.  Emerald Isle’s land uses are set.  The Harrier circuit training flight path takes it over Emerald Isle.  This flight path has recently been designated by the military an accident potential zone.  The Department of Navy’s guidelines state that for safety reasons, an accident potential zone density should be limited 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.  It is too late.  She appreciates that this is a very controversial subject.  She appreciates that anyone who questions the military is automatically branded unpatriotic.  She is not.  But we are no longer talking about a substantial number of people being inconvenienced by noise.  We are talking about an accident potential zone in our town.  This was news to her because the current Air Installation’s Compatible Use Zone document, which is the military’s planning document, omitted the accident potential zone map for Bogue Field.  The new map now shows these zones as well as an expanded flight path.  It is too late.  Our residents are living and shopping in a crash zone, and this Board has a responsibility, legal and ethical, that while it supports the Marine Corps, it asks the tough questions as to whether the risks to Emerald Isle have been assessed.  The JLUS will take 24 months.  Safety is now.  These questions have to be asked and answered.

Commissioner Trainham added to what Commissioner Farmer said.  As many know, he has been in continuing education and is an educator.  The mayor and he have a responsibility as members of the JLUS Policy Committee to be participants in the Land Use Study that is going on.  They go to the meetings.  At the first meeting they had, he raised the question of the consultant how come they are supposed to be involved in this when they are already developed out.  How are they going to be able to participate?  They were talking about putting some money up, and at the same time, what will the value be.  Since that time, he had learned that some of the value is in the cooperation they might give to other locations.  He still says there is a basic problem on the island that must be addressed, and he is hopeful that they can address this through the JLUS Policy Committee.  If they do not do it, they are wasting not only our time but our money, and we are taking all kinds of chances in the meantime.  He knows the answer comes back that we have never had a civilian be lost in an accident—yet.  And he hopes we do not ever have that.  We are still living on borrowed time and are living on the edge, and it frightens him every time the airplane goes over his house.  At the same time, he is concerned about the fact that they continue to serve in this policy committee, and so it will be his responsibility to bring back to the citizens any kind of information that is necessary.  His hope right now is that the Board can be a little more educated for what the real crux are, and to be open-minded and try to learn from those who have made some complete studies in this area.  He is hopeful that his colleagues will share with him in the responsibility for learning all they can about this problem of safety.

Commissioner McElraft moved that the Board adopt the resolution with our pledge of $543 in cash and $526 in like kind of services to fulfill the obligation to JLUS.  Commis­sioner Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

20. BIDS FOR BATH HOUSE.

Mayor Harris said they received the bids for the original access for the bath house.  The Board had before them all the names.

Commissioner Farmer said she was sorry there was not a low bidder from Emerald Isle.  It would have been nice to have hired one of our own.

Commissioner Farmer moved that the Board accept the low bid of Thomas Simpson Construction Company in the amount of $61,400 for the Western Regional Access Bath House construction contingent upon a performance bond equal to 5 percent of the total and providing proof of liability and workmen’s compensation insurance.  The department head will be allowed to move to the second lowest bidder if those conditions cannot be met and the second bidder can meet those conditions.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Ms. Alesia Sanderson commented that along with the application that will be submitted for the state through CAMA, construction and improvements require pre-application and then if they approve the pre-application, they will be asked for a final application.  She would like to proceed with phase 3, interim improvements to the Western Regional Access beyond what they are doing right now.  CAMA, for the first time this year, is making funds available for rebuilding excessively damaged walkways that they funded in the past.  Windjammer Walkway is in extreme need of that.  She would like to submit those two preliminary applications. The Town’s part of the Western Access will probably be between $6,000 and $6,500 because that is a 75-25% match.  The full application will come before the Board if we are invited to submit a final application.  She wanted their blessing with the pre-application.

21. COMMENTS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS.

Parks and Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson had no comment.

Fire Chief Walker said there were calls on Saturday evening.  There were two calls back to back, a structure fire in Emerald Plantation and a cardiac arrest in the 5200 block, so they had emergency vehicles going everywhere.

Police Chief Wilson had no comment.

Planning Board Chairman Ceil Saunders had no comment.

Public Works Bob Conrad had no comment.

Inspections Department Carol Angus said they added another $1.5 million to the tax records for this past month.

22. COMMENTS FROM TOWN CLERK, TOWN ATTORNEY, INTERMIM MANAGER, BOARD MEMBERS.

Town Clerk Carolyn Custy had no comment.

Commissioner Murphy asked Chief Wilson and Chief Walker about the four-wheeler guys that patrol the beach in the summer.  Would they be able to give citations to people who do not have dogs on a leash? Chief Wilson said if they want a civil penalty, they can.  Chief Walker said a lot of problems they have on the beach is that they do not know who owns the dogs.  Several beach patrol people have been bitten by dogs.

Town Attorney Derek Taylor had no comment.

Commissioner Farmer mentioned the civil citations and hoped that the Board would consider at a workshop how they could implement an education program.  She thinks they should be pursuing a pooper scooper law.  She thinks they need that, and if they need more traps at Town Hall, maybe they can get some more.

Commissioner Trainham had no comment.

Commissioner Wootten commented about the selection of the next Town Manager.  They have a lot of applications (76) in.  The date for closure of the ad is April 13.  He suggested they start action on the resumes as early as April 16.  He asked if they could pick a time to have a meeting to narrow down the applications to whatever the appropriate number for final review and interview.  They can decide that in the meeting. 

The meeting to discuss selection of the Town Manager will be held on April 23 after the budget workshop. 

Interim Town Manager Mitsy Overman said it would be nice if they did a spreadsheet with the applicants alphabetized and the priorities across the top.  Then they can tally at the bottom.  Commissioner Farmer said she would be back in town on April 20 and would get it then.

Mayor Harris wished everyone a safe and happy Easter, good fishing, good weather.  Both churches will have a sunrise service at 6:30 A.M

Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously to go into Closed Session to discuss litigation at 10:35 P.M.

Commissioner Murphy moved, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously to return to regular session 11:00 P.M.

Commissioner Murphy moved for adjournment.  Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of adjournment.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:15 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 04/10/2001
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