Agendas and Minutes

March 19, 2001 

Planning Board

Town of Emerald Isle Planning Board 
Regular Meeting Minutes 
Monday, March 19, 2001

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

Members in attendance: Ceil Saunders, Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, Ed Dowling, Art Daniel and new member, Fred Josey. George McLaughlin was excused being out of town. Also attending: Secretary, Carol Angus; Interim Town Manager, Mitsy Overman.

Approval of the Minutes of the February 19, 2001 Regular Meeting. Phil Almeida advised that “highway load” be added to the last sentence in paragraph eight on page three. (A blank previously appeared because this term was not audible for transcription.)

Frank Vance made motion, second by Phil Almeida with the addition of the word “highway”. Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager – Ms. Overman advised the board that the CVS Drug Store relocation plat had been approved; as well, as the Emerald Hotel with a contingency.

Report from the Building Inspector– Secretary Angus advised the Board that Mr. Taylor had not yet returned from Mocksville, NC where he was taking some of his level 3 certifications for the Inspections Department. She asked if there were any questions regarding the report submitted. The board members said they had no questions, but they do like the new format of the report.


  1. Reed Drive Commercial Park Subdivision of 3-lots at the corner of Hwy 58 and Coast Guard Road.

    Mr. Bill Fanning, represented the W. B. McLean Residuary Trust for this 3-lot subdivision.

    Mr. Dowling asked if there was not a Mayoral committee named to look at this project and that this board is looking at it without the review of that committee. Commissioner Wootten advised that the Gateway Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, but that is for the Gateway, not specifically for this piece of property.

    Mr. Dowling is also concerned about swales or buffers being installed to protect the property owners at Quail Ridge Townhomes. He is concerned about the water flow from this property.

    Mr. Almeida wanted to advise there are other items he is interested in to be sure there are not stormwater problems. 

    1. He asked who is going to actually build the road? Response from Mr. Fanning is that the owner will build the road.
    2. Why is the temporary sedimentary basin in the right-of-way and not in the lot? Mr. Fanning replied that he cannot answer that, but it can be moved. There was then some quick review with Mr. Fanning on the map.
    3. He wants to see specific datum elevation of the ground water table, baseline elevation.
    4. Highest seasonable water table elevation.
    5. On south of Reed Dr. the ground is higher. Runoff is going to come off the road to the lots. There is no design for a swale.
    6. There is one area that has water that is land locked within the acreage and does not flow out. They may have been a series of ponds, three or four and three years ago two ponds were filled. The capacity of the ponds to retain water has, therefore, diminished. He wants design to verify that the existing pond(s) will indeed handle the flow of stormwater. Look at the total area.
    7. The 18” pipe with have to handle a lot of silt. How do you intend to trap the silt? There is more detail needed.
    8. There is a diagram of the rock check dam, but he wants to see details. One is 18” the other 3 ½ ‘. Will enough sediment be trapped to keep it from going into the pond?

    Mr. Fanning said he has noted these concerns and will give them to Mr. McLean for addition and explanation for Review Committee.

    The motion was made by Phil Almeida to proceed to the Review Committee for Wednesday, March 21 at 3:00 P.M .; second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

    A party from the audience asked to be able to speak. Chairman Saunders denied this request because of an outrageous attack on the Town Board at their February meeting from a citizen in the audience. She is not going to subject the Planning Board to this type of behavior. The Planning Board is an advisory board and are not required to have public comment. Only those parties with an agenda item will be able to address the board. If there are any questions on an issue, put them in writing and send them to the Mayor for their consideration at the Town Board.


  2. Stormwater Ordinance Revision, Chapter 16 – Mr. Almeida went over each change as it was presented in the revision. (The proposed ordinance, in its entirety, is attached to these minutes with the proposed changes typed in BOLD type). (There is a link available through the website for viewing.)


Motion was made by Ed Dowling, second by Frank Vance to recommend the revised Stormwater Ordinance, Chapter 16 to the Town Board at their next regular meeting Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 7:00 P.M.

At the conclusion of this motion Mr. Daniel asked that a consideration be given to have a workshop for the Planning Board with representatives available from CAMA, Health Department, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Corps of Engineers, etc. for a session that is related only to the topics that involve Emerald Isle. This will be done as a Special Meeting at sometime in the future. The other members agreed with the suggestion and it will be given consideration.

Also, Mr. Daniel said he felt that no project should come before the board that does not have copies of the State or Federal Agencies Plan or Reports in the original submission. The members felt this was a favorable recommendation. (This policy would delay submission of a project being presented to the Planning Board because they are usually in process during the Town’s review period.)


  1. Recommendations to Town Council from Dr. Phil Almeida
    1. That the Town Council address the NPDES II, at the appropriate time. Motion was made by Mr. Almeida to recommend this issue, second by Ed Dowling, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
    2. Mr. Almeida also made the motion that the Town Council put a 90-day moratorium on the filling of any pond or wet land at their April meeting. Frank Vance seconded this with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
    3. Because a recent survey indicating that the North end of Coast Guard Rd. pavement has encroachments, Mr. Almeida made the motion that the Town Council obtains an easement(s) or obtain a deed to the property for these encroachments. Second by Ed Dowling, with unanimous approval.
    4. Mr. Almeida made the motion that the Town Council explore ways of educating the public the need to maintain ponds to reduce the impact of stormwater. Mr. Josey seconded the motion with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

      Mr. Ted Williamson, a resident of Lands End, was in attendance and was asked if he would be willing to serve in advising those parties that may have some questions about keeping the ponds clean. He replied “Certainly” with Mr. Almeida’s help.

      Mr. Almeida commented on the plat that had been included with the members packet for the month for West End S/D, Preliminary Plat, in Block 51 North.

      This had been distributed because the Final Plat is being submitted in the near future. However, the majority of the members were not on the Planning Board when this was reviewed and Ms. Angus felt that the members needed this plat in order to make an informed recommendation.

      Mr. Almeida said he felt the Town Council should advise the Planning Board as to whether they would allow a waiver for this plat to be reviewed. Policy and Procedure requires that the Final Plat must be submitted within one year of the Preliminary Plat and a year had past. Ms. Angus advised that she had been informed that this project had been on “hold” because of the Might and Nichols study being done by the town. This property was being considered for stormwater runoff area. Because such consideration does not go through her department, she was not aware that this consideration is no longer the case. Ms. Angus spoke to Mayor Harris about the issue and Mayor Harris said the property is still under consideration for such use and may still be on hold.

      Mr. Almeida said he understood but still wants the Town Council to waive the one-year submission policy. Mr. Dowling said he would like to see the Preliminary Plat to be reviewed again. However, there is no precedent that would force the developer to resubmit when he has already received preliminary approval. Ms. Angus advised that there is a Final Plat Checklist that must be submitted and adhered to. If this board feels that more work is needed in an area that was not properly reviewed previously, simply require that the developer address those issues before he will be able to get a Final Plat recommendation from the Planning Board to the Town Board.

      Art Daniel made motion, second by Frank Vance to adjourn. The motion met with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 03/19/2001

March 13, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 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 Emory Trainham; Commissioner John Wootten; Town Manager Pete Allen; Interim Town Manager Mitsy Overman; Town Attorney Derek Taylor; Town Clerk Carolyn Custy; Planning Board Chairman Ceil Saunders; Police Chief Mark Wilson; Kent Hood, Fire Department; Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation; Building Inspections Department Head Carol Angus; and Public Works Director Robert Conrad.

Mayor Harris asked for a motion to excuse Commissioner Murphy due to illness.

Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner McElraft seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to excuse Commissioner Murphy due to illness. Motion carried


    Mayor Harris introduced the new Town Accounting Clerk, Vicki Dudley.



    Mayor Harris said she had been asked to eliminate Item 13 from the Agenda.



    Commissioner Trainham moved and Commissioner McElraft seconded the approval of the Consent Agenda, which included Minutes of the Workshop Meeting of January 12, 2001, and Regular Meeting of January 13, 2001, and the Tax Refunds and Releases and Line Item Budget Transfers.  The Board voted unanimously to approve.  Motion carried.



    Mr. Howard Kohn apologized for not having sufficient numbers of his handouts but said he would leave some for copies to be made. He said he is a temporary resident of Emerald Isle.

    One of the things that has been lost track of in the county is that what happens in one part of the county does have something to do with what happens in another part and there are many common interests and bonds.  They have been involved in a very significant public involvement process that included telephone surveys of full- and part-time residents and visitors to the area; forums for public input in different locations; a survey of over 500 businesses in the county; open task force meetings held once a month; personal interviews with “stakeholders”; other meetings (tonight is an example).  They are disseminating information on a regular basis through the newspapers, progress reports on a monthly basis, and articles in other publications for other organizations.

    The Task Force members, appointed by the County, play a key role in getting back to their group.  It involves “environmentalists,” “developers,” people from all ends of the county, including elected officials and regular citizens.  It has been a very good group, and they have some great inputs.

    In most comprehensive plans, there is one part to it where policies are established.  This is a three-part process.  Establishing goals and objectives was the first phase, and they have completed it.  From there, they will develop programs on how to implement those goals and objectives.  After that, they will be looking at land use on a countywide basis, not to circumvent anything done in Emerald Isle or any other individual community.

    Eight or nine goals have been established.  They can be modified at any time as the Task Force continues to take input.  The goals are not in order of priority, but are just in the order in which they were placed in the particular document.

    1) Provide a balanced transportation system that includes quality roads, public transit, and bicycle trails throughout the county to ensure access to jobs, services, resources, to all residents and visitors to the area.  Promote quality roads and road conditions, encourage quality and efficient evacuation from Bogue Banks, encourage mass transit systems, and expand and improve bicycle paths and trails.

    2) Promote and protect the quality of the environment and quality of life for all residents of the county.  Protect and improve surface water, water quality, expand greenways, promote industry compatible with environmental quality and quality of life, establish carrying capacities based on land use and water quality baselines, and provide adequate infrastructure and public facilities for sustainable growth.

    3) Preserve and respect cultural diversity.   

    4) Preserve and enhance the county’s natural and historic resources. 

    5) Preserve and enhance the county’s recreational opportunities for all its residents.  Provide adequate water access for economic and recreational purposes.  Water access is not just for someone to go to the beach—there are areas in the county that need access to the water for their livelihood; the seafood and fishing industry.  Expand recreational opportunities for, including but not limited to, hiking, biking, swimming, walking, and other special-use facilities. Expand cultural enrichment opportunities.

    6) Develop a diversified economic base, capitalize upon the county’s natural and human resources and assets by providing a range of employment and economic opportunity.  There are many people concerned that their children, after they get an education, will not be able to live and work here because the job base is not here.  There are also concerns about environmental issues about jobs.  Reduce unemployment and under-employment.  Increase well-paying full-time employment for county residents.  Raise the educational levels and skills of the current and future workforce based on technology and technical skills.  Retain and expand the county’s businesses and industries.  Retain a greater share of retail spending power inside the county.  Enhance the county’s hospitality industry, our number one industry.  Support implementation programs and services that foster economic development and provide services necessary to expand the retiree base population.

    7) Provide a quality education for the county’s current and future residents, ensuring the ability to achieve economic and personal opportunities. 

    8) Ensure quality health care and access to health care throughout the county. Keep health care here.  Promote and encourage the use of the medical facilities within Carteret County.  Encourage development of small business employee health insurance.

    9) Promote the county’s goals, objectives, policies, and positions through coordination, communications, and participation with and through involving federal, state, regional, and multi-county government interests and related activities.  Much of what happens in this county is impacted in one way or another by forces, sources that are outside of the county, and we need to beef up our involvement from that activity.  Expand the level, involvement, and accountability of Carteret County representation on state and regional boards, commissions, and others that create, monitor, and control policies and regulations that impact the county.  Improve communications between businesses and industry and government regulators.  Enhance the county’s attractiveness to business and industry.

    This part is complete.  Most comprehensive plans stop here.  From here, the Task Force will take these areas and look in more detail to create policies and programs to put things into place.  They want consensus on how they will accomplish the goals and objectives.

    Commissioner Farmer mentioned the forum at the western end of the county to be held on April 4, 2001, at the Western Community Center.  Mr. Kohn thought it was scheduled for 6:00 P.M.


    Mr. Joe McKinney explained that the name change is part of the reorganization that was taking place before he came on board 3 years ago. They are designated by state government as one of the 17 regional planning agencies in the state.  They serve 9 counties, starting with Wayne County and coming toward the beach.  There are 58 municipalities.  Primarily they are responsible for coordinating regional efforts on a variety of issues.  The focus within the last 2 to 3 years has been on economic development.  They have been successful helping communities apply for federal funds, most recently Carteret Community College’s $1 million for a training facility for the boating industry.

    He explained the packet of information he had given the commissioners.  The ECC serves as an audit level for the federal government to make sure federal monies are spent properly.  Probably one program that a lot of people utilize is the ombudsman program.  They have employees who are advocates for residents in long-term care facilities, and there is an 800 number for use by anyone who has somebody in a facility who is not receiving proper treatment. There are employees who go to the facility as advocates of the residents; and if they find treatment problems, it goes on to Department of Social Services, and they do a complete investigation.

    Other services provided are grant writing for funding for waste water projects, and a non-profit small business lending program that covers the 9 counties plus Johnson County with 5 different loan programs for small businesses just getting started or expanding that do not qualify for traditional bank financing.  They do workshops for local governments on budgeting, capital improvement planning, special event festival planning.  They also do basic planning work for local governments for subdivision regulations, developing zoning ordinances, doing annexation studies, etc.

    Mr. McKinney said when he came on board 3 years ago, they had 5 staff members.  They are now up to 14.  The fund balance when he arrived was $60,000 and now is $108,000.  Membership when he arrived was low, and now all 9 counties are involved.  The real benefit is being able to share problems regionally.

    The ECC has been selected to be the project sponsor of the Joint Land Use Study going on with Craven, Carteret, Havelock, Bogue, and Emerald Isle in conjunction with the base, to look at land uses around those facilities to see how they can be more compatible with the communities.

    Last year, they were successful in obtaining a federal grant to start a regional Geo­graphic Information System program, which is primarily mapping of various types of data.  That program has been very successful.  They computerize zoning maps that are done in pencil to give communities the ability to change and alter data without having to re-draw a zoning map every time it changes.

    Commissioner Wootten said this is an organization that spends in the neighbor­hood of $4.4 million this year for the local development.  What he was impressed with was that $4.2 million is coming out of the federal government or the state, so the agency is drawing in outside money to the betterment of the communities they serve.  That is a good conduit to get outside money.

    Mayor Harris asked if the Town is already a member.  Mr. McKinneyreplied that they are not.  Mayor Harris asked if the Board is interested in joining.  Com­mis­sioner McElraft said the membership fee is only $880. 


    Mayor Harris said they would discuss joining the EEC.



    Dr. David Lenker said his handout included a breakdown of projects.  First is a new elementary school for children of Beaufort because renovations on the existing school would cost as much as to build a brand new school.  The total cost to the citizens will be $7.3 million, which is cheaper than it would normally be because they received $2 million from the state in Critical Needs Funds.  This money has to be committed within the next 18 months and has to be used for new construction.  The School Board and County com­mis­sioners voted to put that $2 million toward a new Beaufort elementary school.

    Renovations will extend the life of the school another 35 years.  A new roof, heating and air conditioning system with dehumidification system, and other things could be done for $9 million.  If they had to build a new high school of that size, it would be closer to $18 million.

    Morehead City Elementary School renovation is the same thing as East Carteret.  Costs are less because it is one third the size.  They are talking about putting in a standing seamed metal roof on top each of the buildings, four-pipe heating and air conditioning system to provide dehumidification that they have to have in the buildings now.  Before Bertha in 1996, the state was not as concerned about the kind of heating and air conditioning system.  In the last six years, the state is not recommending building any building without a four-pipe system that will have dehumidification as part of the process.  They are a little more expensive and are more expensive to operate, but in the long run around here, you cannot have big buildings without being able to dehumidify the air.

    The fourth project is a 750-seat auditorium at Croatan High School, at a cost of $3.5 million.  That would complete programming for Croatan.  They have auditoriums at East and West, and they need one at Croatan.

    The final project is a new elementary school in Newport on land they already own.  The school needs to be built because of the overcrowding at White Oak, Newport, and Bogue Sound.  They can control the populations in each of those schools by changing the attendance lines.  The attendance line runs out NC 24. The White Oak attendance line goes within a mile of Bogue Sound Elementary. They would move that line out toward White Oak.  On the Morehead side of Bogue Sound, they would move those children into Newport.  One building would take care of crowding in three schools.  Cost of that building would be about $10.5 million.

    For the elementary schools, they are using the prototype of Bogue Sound Elementary.  It is a good school, a little smaller than they would like so they have enlarged it a little for Beaufort Elementary, and Newport Elementary would be exactly like Beaufort.  That saves $300,000 in architectural fees.

    If you own a $100,000 house in 2002, taxes would go up $.02, which would amount to $20.00.  In 2003, taxes would go up $.03, which would be another $30.00.  For that $100,000 property, taxes would go up $50.00 to pay for the $33 million bond.

    Mayor Harris said that the only question the public has come to her with is where  the money has gone so far.  Dr. Lenker said that at Croatan, they designed for 12 outlets for every classroom for computers.  At East Carteret, they have 2.  There have been some leaks at Croatan through the wall (not the roof), and 90 to 95% of those leaks have been stopped at the expense of the architect and general contractor, at close to $190,000.  They are still looking at a final step or two to finish the project.  The school has been built two other times, and another county has been in looking at the design.

    Commissioner Wootten said the polls will be open on Tuesday, March 20, and he encouraged everybody to get out and voice their opinion.



    Mayor Harris said it was decided at the very beginning of the Sign Committee meetings to repeal the entire sign ordinance and replace it with the new ordinance,  Section 19-131 through Section 19-150.

    Commissioner McElraft moved to open the public hearing. Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor.  Motion carried.

    Mr. Tom Sneed, resident of Emerald Isle and owner of Emerald Video, said everything that is in the ordinance that pertains to his store is trying to put him out of business.  1) He can only use 25% of his space on windows, and when he puts posters in his windows, one poster takes up 25% of the space.  If this goes through, he will have to pull 3 of them.  2) He said in section 19-135, 14, it says signs “are devices that are designed to attract the public.”  3) His last complaint was about the neon.  He has a sign that says “Movies.”  Everybody who goes by his store and sees Movies, they know what business he is in.  It is a small sign, not obnoxious.  The mantra of the elite people around here do not want it to turn into Myrtle Beach.  That sign will not turn it into Myrtle Beach. According to what is written in the ordinance, there are so many signs that will have to be taken down—Emerald Plantation sign, Michelangelo’s Pizza.  The sign ordinance committee is coming into people’s stores and is trying to tell them how to run their business, and that is not right.  He urged the commissioners to think twice before passing the ordinance.

    Mr. Rick Smith, owner of Emerald Isle Mini-Mart, said his family and he have been in business in Emerald Isle for over 25 years.  They have seen a lot of changes, some good, some bad.  Never in his life has he witnessed an unwarranted attack on the business community of this town.  What have they done to deserve this?  They support 56% of the entire town’s tax base.  He is bothered by doing away with the grandfather clause and asked if the town is willing to reimburse him for his past investments and the costs of his complying with the new ordinance.  Why should he have to buy a permit for a sign he has had for 20 years?  Signs are designed to attract attention.  His little business is four businesses in one store.  He has an Open sign, which is the only thing that will be allowed to be placed in the window, but it has to be no more than 2 feet square.  The average Open sign is 3.5 sq ft.  He has a Gift Shop sign that lets people know he is more than just a convenience store.  He begged the Board to think of what they are doing.  Bear with the business people who try to generate business, who bring in the tax dollars that support the town.  Please give it a lot of thought before adopting it.

    Mr. George Kuhorn, resident of 7223 Canal Drive, said the most shocking thing about the ordinance is the attitude toward political signs.  It seems to be glossed over.  He likes what he sees in Pine Knoll Shores, where those signs are allowed.  Our town is proliferated with signs for 90 days, and each guy has 5 signs on one corner.  It is stupid.  He thinks they should look into that.

    Mr. Ronnie Watson, owner of Holiday Trav-L-Park resort, said he has questions.  What bothers him is that every sign that is there now has to have a permit.  Also mentioned is that all signs have to comply.  If a tenant leases a spot in a building and the other signs are non-conforming according to the way this is written, do all other signs have to comply before that tenant can get a permit?  It also says no grandfathering will apply, and that is totally wrong.  He does not think anybody in the room wants to see a Myrtle Beach, and it will never happen.  The thing the commissioners have to understand is that they are in business in Emerald Isle, they do supply jobs, and there is a lot of struggling just to make it.  They make their money in 5 months out of the year; the other 7 months they struggle.  He thinks that instead of working against the businesses, the commissioners ought to work with them.  The sign ordinance as proposed is not good at all.  He asked about banners or flags that have been flying for 10 years and now will be prohibited, so will the little checkered flags at the Emerald Isle Speedway be prohibited?  What about vending machines?  Is that a sign? About fluorescent signs and neon signs, some are done in good taste, yet they are saying now that the only neon sign that will be allowed is an Open sign. Emerald Isle Wine Market is done very tastefully.  If someone has a 16-foot sign that has to be replaced in 6 years by a 15-foot one, who will pay for that?  The ordinance needs a lot of work, and he thinks they need to get more people in the business community involved because they are the ones affected.  They should have more input from the business people.

    Mr. Craig Connelly, owner of Box Office Bagels, expressed some dismay that it appears that the town is out to get the businesses based on this new ordinance.  The town has the point of view that the owners of businesses do not need to let people know that they run a business.  If they cannot let people know they run a business, how are they supposed to get people into their businesses? If they cannot get people to come into the businesses, how are they supposed to pay the rent on the facilities that pay the taxes for the town?  If they are not allowed to bring people into the facility by advertising, how do they support the town?  How do they provide the tax revenue, which is around 56%, that the town presently lives on?  When is the confrontation going to cease and a joint effort ensue to have something which is reasonable in the commercial districts which the Board has zoned?  This is not residential, this is not a place where people have to see it every day, this is a place where it is specifically for the use of the businesses as B zoning.  He is very disappointed that the town took the position that they did versus the business people that are here.

    Mr. Mike Hodges, who runs the movie theaters at Emerald Plantation, said they came to town in 1988 and he likes to tell people that the movie theater has grown as the town has.  Emerald Isle has always had controlled growth, which is understandable and appreciated, but this ordinance is stifling to businesses.  He urged the Board not to approve it tonight, to table it, and take another look at it before they make any motions to move forward.

    Dr. Bogus said he recently opened a store in Emerald Isle.  He is trying to set up a small business that involves fishing and arts and crafts and things.  When they built their house in 1992, they liked the atmosphere and set up the business.  It is very difficult to get a small business going in a community like this, and some of the things over the last year or so—the sign ordinance and new restrictions on beach access—have really put a crimp in that.  He would like the Board to reconsider the ordinance, as it is very unfriendly to the businesses, especially to new ones that do not have any recognition whatsoever.

    Mr. Allen Watson, owner of Emerald Isle Speedway, referred to Section 19-135 number 4 concerning pennants.  He puts flags up for about 5 months every year at the speedway to attract families.  He is running a legitimate business, and his understanding last year was that the “Sign Ordinance Committee” was griping about the fact that he had some pennants that were flying over state right-of-way space.  They were on his property, but if the wind blew a certain direction, they were flying over state right-of-way property, and they thought that it was illegal. His concern is that his employees keep a lot of the state right-of-way clean when trash is blowing around.  They keep from Coast Guard Road to Islander Drive picked up, they mow it, they clean it, and fly a few flags to attract business. What they do for the town—and then they get this thrown at them.

    Commissioner Wootten made a motion to close the public hearing. Com­mis­sioner McElraft seconded the motion. Vote was unanimous in favor.  Motion carried.

    Commissioner Farmer said the committee was made up of 2 commissioners, 2 Planning Board members, 2 representatives from the business community, and Carol Angus as chairman.  It started in September.  They did not rewrite the whole sign ordinance.  They felt it was easier to follow it if they put it all in a new format.  A number of the issues were actually already in the sign ordinance.  The neon part has been in the ordinance for about 2 years.  That was not passed by this Board.  The thing on banners and pennants has always been in the sign ordinance.  It was brought up tonight that there is a grandfather clause in this. The signs that are there now have 6 years after this ordinance passes before they have to come into compliance.  Six years was the feeling of the committee to be pretty much the life of the sign.  Political signs are supposed to be limited to private property, and she believes that is the way the ordinance reads now except that the town makes an exception for state right-of-way.  It was never enforced, so this is more of an enforcement issue.  She agreed that she would be happy to get rid of all political signs.

    Commissioner Farmer said there have been a lot of residents who have been concerned about the way the town has been looking.  There are a number of signs that are in place now that are illegal.  The committee did not want to get into the situation where they were going to people to say take the sign down even though you have had it up for 3 months or a year because it does not conform.  What this ordinance is allowing is for any signs that have not gotten permits to be permitted as non-conforming under the new ordinance so that they will not have to go out and get permits if they already have permits for the signs. That part applies to people who have put up signs not understanding that they needed to get a permit first, and this allows them to come into compliance so they are following the rules that everyone else in town has to follow.

    Commissioner McElraft said the Sign Committee worked very hard on this, and they did have 2 business people.  It sounds like all the business interests have not been made known.  Even if banners or flags were restricted before, what she sees on the Speedway is not offensive to her 5 months of the year. The business people have a right to make a living here, and something that might be unsightly to one person needs to be judged also with the person’s income in perspective.  She would like to table this tonight, have a public workshop where they could hear input.  Maybe some of the business owners that made comments tonight could write down areas they do not agree with, and they can work on a solution.  They have 6 years grandfathering now, so they do not have to get this done immediately.  She suggested working with the business people and trying to get their input.

    Commissioner Trainham said he is very concerned about the attitude the business community has towards this Board.  They are all for the business people, they are not against them, and they want to do everything they can to help them succeed.  He is a business person himself, and he can understand where they are coming from and he appreciates their comments.  He agrees with Commissioner McElraft that the Board needs to hear from them.

    Commissioner McElraft made a motion to table Section 19-131 through 19-150.  Commissioner Trainham seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor.  Motion carried.

    Mayor Harris said this would be tabled.  They will set up a new workshop just for signs, and notification will be in the newspaper.

    Commissioner Wootten said he hoped that everyone who spoke would attend the workshop and have the conversation in more detail with some more examples.  The worst thing they could do is have a workshop and not have them show up.  If they have to have it in the evening to make it workable, that is what they will have to do.

    Mayor Harris said the ones who spoke tonight will be contacted to attend. Mrs. Carol Angus said she will personally contact each one of them to let them know the time and date of the meeting.




    Mayor Harris ascertained that Mr. Ronnie Watson and Mr. Ken Burnette were present.  Everything is in order except for a few things on storm water. Mr. Burnette said the engineer had answered all of the questions that had arisen. Since the last Planning Board meeting, he answered some specific requests, and he met last week with some members of the Planning Board and addressed additional information.  There was one request that came in this morning to show calculations that they comply with the city ordinance.  There was not enough time between this morning and this meeting to generate those.  Other than that, they have met them all.  They are in compliance, and their engineer sent a letter to Carol Angus indicating that they would be in strict and absolute compliance with it.  The request came at such a late hour that there was no time to provide what was asked for.

    Mayor Harris asked who had made the request.  Mrs. Angus replied it was Dr. Almeida.

    Dr. Almeida said this project came to the Planning Board about 8 months ago, and at that time, they were asked for a storm water plan.  It came back to the Planning Board at the February meeting, and there was not enough time during the meeting to review the drawings, so what the Planning Board did was approve the project contingent on his reviewing the storm water plan and approving it.  They went through some revisions of the original plan, but it came down to storage of 1½ inches of runoff onsite.  What they did not realize was there was no compliance with Article 16-7 of the ordinance the “requirement to ensure that after development the runoff from the site approximates the rate of flow, volume, and timing of runoff that would have occurred following the same rainfall and existing conditions and, to the extent practicable, pre-development conditions.”  There is a problem at the junction of Reed Drive and Islander Drive.  There is flooding, and you can see that water has accumulated on the roadside.  What is happening is that the area that will be developed for the motel is enclosed by a perimeter brick wall and the whole area inside is baked.  What will happen is, it is true that they comply with the requirement of collecting the 1½ inch runoff onsite, but if there is a heavy downpour, anything beyond that, there is nothing to absorb the rainwater.  It will flow onto Reed Drive.  That is the concern they started with.  The ordinance requires that they comply with that requirement.  If they are unable to comply with that requirement, they might need some radical revisions.  He has two suggestions for the Board of Commissioners: one is that they do something to improve the drainage at the Reed Drive/Islander Drive junction, and the second is his recommendation that they refer this back to the Planning Board because the Planning Board as a group has not had a detailed discussion on this issue.

    Mr. Allen said he believes the town has solved the problem very simply.  They have gone in and resurfaced and re-tilted the low area at the intersection.  They are trying to wait to get some on-site data with rainfall to see if what they have done has solved the problem, which he thinks they have.  If that does not work, what the town agreed to do since there is already a problem there, is put some catch basins in the intersection to feed the water through those over to the ditch that feeds out to the canal at Loon Drive.  The little rainfall we have had so far, it has totally eliminated the water standing at that intersection.

    Commissioner Wootten asked if that had been done last month.  Mr. Allenreplied it was part of the road improvements, and you can see the difference in the color of the asphalt.  What was happening, Islander Drive going through the intersection was lower than the other side of the road, which is where the discharge point is.  He thinks the problem is solved.

    Mayor Harris said the excess would be piped to the Loon discharge pipe.

    Dr. Almeida said there is another concern.  They might have solved the problem as far as the present condition is concerned.  If they look at the drawing, along Reed Drive the plan is to fill up to a level of 3 to1½ feet above the Reed Drive edge.  The ground will be sloping straight down.  There is no swale there; in fact, that is something lacking in the standards of the town.  We do not have good standards as far as putting swales around the side of the road so they can drain the water away from the road, through the swale, onto an outlet.  If somebody drives there, they will find that the elevation along the boundary of the motel is going to be from 3 to 1½ feet above the edge of the road, and with the present road sloping straight down, whenever there is a heavy rainfall within the built-up area, there will be no choice but that the water will run straight down on Reed Drive.

    Commissioner Wootten said it sounds like this is a problem that is newly uncovered.  Mr. Burnette is saying he just got the request this morning for some information.  Dr. Almeida has been tasked individually to look at it, not the entire Planning Board.  Is this an issue that if the Planning Board had another look at it next Monday night, is solvable to everybody’s satisfaction to be sure the ordinance is being followed and the drainage is taken care of in such a way that does not use time delay?

    Dr. Almeida said there are two options available to the Board of Commissioners.  One is to approve it conditionally.  The other is to send it to the Planning Board.  The concern he has is that if they have to make a major modification, they run into a problem.  Suppose they cannot comply within the scope of the work that they have done.  What do they do?  They are approving something on a contingency basis that might require a lot of changes.  What he suggested is that the Planning Board is meeting on Monday.  He would be glad to sit with the engineer.  He had given the paperwork to Mrs. Angus on Monday, but she was not in then so it sat in the Inspections Department.  It is true that the request came late from the Planning Board, but that is part of the ordinance.

    Commissioner Wootten asked Mr. Burnette if it would be conceivable that the Planning Board look at this on Monday.  The Board of Commissioners has a workshop scheduled, so they know they will be together on March 25, 2001, and it would be easy to convert it to a special meeting in order to deal with this subject and give it approval then.  Does that make sense for both sides?

    Mr. Burnette replied that it is doable, but he would like for them to consider approving the project tonight contingent on this one point being satisfied when they meet with the Planning Board on Monday.  If they meet with the Planning Board on Monday and are unable to satisfy it, then they are not approved.  This would keep them from having to readdress this administratively and would allow them to move on once they have met the criteria.  They have a letter from their engineer assuring them with his seal on the letter that these can and will be met. They presented the storm water plan in September, and they met with the Map Committee in September and then there was a moratorium.  Because of the moratorium, they could not come back and get on the agenda until after the moratorium was over.  They took the comments from the Map Committee and applied them to the site plan, and to his knowledge they are in compliance with all the things that were requested.  If it will work, they would request consideration of approval tonight contingent on them meeting that requirement.

    Commissioner Trainham said he hated to see it put off.  They have waited long enough.  He would like to see it done on a contingency basis and hopefully they can get this squared away Monday night.

    Commissioner Farmer said this section of the storm water management plan has never been enforced, and she thinks a lot of the flooding problems they are having in the commercial area are due to the fact that this part has never been enforced.  She thanked the Planning Board for discovering it, and said it would make a significant difference in how they handle storm water in town in the future.  The part of the ordinance that has always gotten the focus was the 1½ inches in the design standard; but the performance standard, which requires that the storm water that is on the lot now and how it is handled fairly naturally now be met after construction is something that has been ignored.  She personally does not like conditional approvals.  She thinks that is a bad way to do business.  She thinks it is very sloppy.  The Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners need all the pieces at one time in a project because they all impact on each other.  However, she will this once go along with it so that Mr. Watson does not feel that she is picking on him.  She does think in the future that conditional approval of projects is not the way to go.  They do not want to be holding up developers, but on the other hand, she thinks it is important for them to get all the documentation needed into the Planning Board and to have it all turned over to the Board of Commissioners.

    Commissioner McElraft said Mr. Watson has redrawn the plans many times. The Board of Commissioners changed building heights on him, then put a moratorium out there.  She is in favor of letting him go ahead with the project with the storm water condition on there.  She is happy that they are going to have a nice hotel in Emerald Isle.

    Commissioner Farmer said she agreed with Commissioner McElraft.  She is thrilled, that she will have a place for her relatives to stay.  She has concerns, and they are minor.  One is vegetation, and they have quite an effort underway in town to re-vegetate, and they are trying to get all the residents involved. Commissioner McElraft is involved in that.  They have a town survey, and one of the questions was whether the town should encourage vegetation of all residential and commercial setbacks.  855 people said “yes”, 45 were neutral, and 14 disagreed.  There is a lot of interest in the town that we vegetate as much as we possibly can.  She would encourage, because they cannot require, them to vegetate, and by vegetation she does not mean grass, she does not mean specimen plantings, she means real trees and shrubs.  The community would appreciate that.

    Commissioner Farmer continued that she had one other thing—also picky. On the natural area, would it be too difficult to split the natural area for the two parcels so that they show separately?  It shows a natural area of 44%, and if it could be broken down into two separate parcels, parcel A is more like 17%, and the ordinance is 15%.  They are complying with it, but it would be nice to have it shown that way.  Mr. Burnette said they could do that.

    Mr. Watson said his track record speaks for itself in terms of vegetation and landscaping.  She does not have to tell him that, he will do it.  Commissioner Farmer said she was not telling, she was asking.

    Mr. Burnette said Mr. Watson had gone to considerable expense at this point with the storm water plan, trying to make sure that it does comply.  His marching orders to Mr. Burnette and the engineers are to comply.

    Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board approve the plans for the Emerald Motel as presented contingent on the Planning Board review and approval of the storm water management plan and its compliance with Section 16-7 of the Code.  Commissioner Trainham seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

    The Board took a 10-minute break.



    Mayor Harris asked if there were any questions of Mr. John Odum or Mr. Larry Watson.

    Commissioner Farmer asked about the drive-through.  The road in back coming off Old Ferry Road is two-way.  She is concerned that that is not safe with the drive-through there and asked if it would be difficult to make that one-way exiting.  Mr. Watson replied they had discussed that, and they really wanted to keep it two-way.  They do quite a bit of pavement marking and directional arrows, and in the past, they felt that they had taken care of that.

    Commissioner Farmer commented on vegetation and said they would appreciate any nice vegetation they can get.

    Commissioner Farmer said the other problem she had is the storm water problem.  She said that Mr. Watson is in the same situation his brother is in, that this was not something he was told he needed to comply with.  Mr. Watsonreplied that they have complied with that, and the system that exists now is big enough to handle what is there.  They are not doing any real impervious area. After all the hurricanes, there has been no water in the parking lot, it has discharged out, so they feel like they are in good shape with that requirement. Commissioner Farmer said there were no additional impervious surfaces to be added.  Mr. Watson responded that there would be redistributing of it, but none over what is already there.  Commissioner Farmer said that theoretically the ordinance is quite clear, that the storm water management plan is not to be accepted until both pieces, the design standards and the performance standards, are met.  It has not been calculated out.  She said if Dr. Almeida is satisfied, she would be satisfied.

    Dr. Almeida said he is satisfied as far as the 1½ inches is concerned.  There have been no computations turned in, and they had not requested them, in terms of compliance with 16-7.  At the most it might be marginal, but he suggested that they submit them for the record so they can be looked at.

    Commissioner Wootten said there is a different situation because the property was developed and impervious surfaces are not changing, as opposed to the situation earlier with the motel and the empty lot and the water flow.  He agreed that they should get it documented for the record.

    Dr. Almeida said if the impervious surfaces have not changed, it should not be a major problem.

    Commissioner Trainham asked if the catch basins that are there affect the carrying of the water as far as the current situation is concerned.  Mr. Odumsaid there was never any standing water at any time, on the right-of-way or on the property.  Dr. Almeida said there is a swale on the side of the road that would take care of some of it.

    Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board approve the plans for the CVS at the intersection of Emerald Drive, Mangrove and Old Ferry Road.  Commissioner McElraft seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.



    Commissioner Trainham read the resolution of support which has been incorporated into these minutes at the end.

    Commissioner Trainham moved for support of the resolution. Commissioner McElraft seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

    Commissioner Trainham commented that his background has always been in education.  One of the thrills he sees for the county library opportunity is the bringing together of the Community College into Western Carteret County, which is much needed.  Many of our students go to Onslow to get their education, and they slip out of our county because it is more convenient.  He thinks the time has come when Western Carteret County ought to have some benefits.  He would look forward to the opportunity this has presented.  He suggested that they need all the help they can get to get the County Board of Commissioners to agree to the procedure set forth in this resolution.  He asked that the public put down March 19, 2001, 6:00 P.M., and get to Beaufort before 6:00 P.M. because they are expecting a big crowd in favor of this resolution and the movement of the library to Western Carteret County.  It is greatly needed.

    Commissioner McElraft said that is the first thing on the agenda on March 19.  They need everybody there, and she said if they cannot come, please call the County com­mis­sioners in support of this.  The funding is very important, many volunteer hours have gone in over the past 5 years to raise $250,000 that we will match with County money that the Western Carteret County library fund will be donating.  She urged that the public call the County Commissioners if they cannot be there on Monday night.



    Mayor Harris said the resolution is long, the Board has read it, and it is available on the back table.

    Commissioner McElraft said that Julia Wax from Emerald Isle has been instrumental in working with the Tourism Development Board to try to get this occupancy tax.  They heard the citizens loud and clear that they did not want to pay for beach nourishment, that they would like for the tourists to pay their fair share, and raising the occupancy tax this 3% will help that and will help us get our beach nourishment for the federal plan, and hopefully with the 3% we will have a split between the Bogue Banks towns to help with some short-term solutions, too.  She is in favor of this, and there is still some discussion on how it will completely turn out, but she trusts Julia Wax 100% to look out for town interests.

    Commissioner McElraft made a motion to accept the resolution, Commissioner Wootten seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.,



    Mayor Harris said when they looked through the ordinances, they caught this. The ordinance codification book says meetings will be held at 7:30 P.M.  She does not remember any meeting at 7:30.  There was discussion on having the meetings at an earlier time, but that did not go over well.  They have to change it in the ordinance book.

    Commissioner Wootten moved that they approve the change to the Chapter 2 ordinance to change the time of the meeting to 7:00 P.M. Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.



    Commissioner Farmer said that Joy Bell has always done a wonderful job for the Town of Emerald Isle.

    Commissioner Wootten said it is a reasonable price.  The cost for the annual audit of the town this year is $6,750, which is up $500 over last year.  The offset to this is because of Joy Bell’s competency and Mitsy Overman is that the town has only expended about $2,500 of accounting service dollars.  This is a win-win situation.

    Commissioner Wootten moved that they approve the contract with Joy Bell’s CPA firm for the annual audit for the town.  Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.



    Mayor Harris said that Mr. Allen had been appointed by the JLUS as Town Manager.  Interim Manager Overman has attended the other meetings, and the Technical Committee has requested that she be appointed.

    Commissioner Trainham said this is the Scope Committee, not the Policy Committee.

    Mr. Allen said there are two committees, the Technical Committee who did the scope of work, and a Policy Committee.  He had served on the Technical Committee, and this is what she will serve on.

    Commissioner Trainham moved that Mitsy Overman be appointed to the Technical Committee, Commissioner McElraft seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.



    Mayor Harris said they appointed Mr. Harry Thompson at the last Board meeting.  He has moved to Cape Carteret, and a person must be a full-time resident of Emerald Isle to serve on this Board.

    Commissioner Wootten nominated Mr. Fred Josey for appointment to the Planning Board effective immediately through March 2002. Commissioner McElraft seconded the nomination.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the nomination.



    Commissioner Wootten said that at the last meeting, they had a discussion that they needed to add a couple of things that they were unsure of.

    Mr. Derek Taylor, Town Attorney, said that based on the information provided to him at the last meeting, he had made some suggested changes to the contract.  He does not believe any of the changes will give indigestion to the folks from Benchmark since it was fairly loosely written anyway.  They are primarily interested in capping expenditures by the department heads without approvals by the Board at some level.  That level was set at $3,000.  The departments should be interfacing with the town manager for expenditures of this type, and that was made explicit.  They had a right as the town to cancel this agreement for cause, and Mr. Taylor added a reason to cancel without cause, primarily for issues that might relate to governmental restrictions.  He made it explicit that particular situations where they might restrict governmental activities that would not be bound by this contract.

    Commissioner Wootten explained that what they are trying to do is establish a contract with Benchmark so that if the Planning Board and Inspections Department feel that they need help on a specific subject, this contract allows the town manager to go out and get specific help from an expert if Benchmark happens to be the one to do that.  This is laying out the ability to do that.  He thinks the Board feels this is something that was overdue because of the work load they are putting on the Planning Board, that there are certain things that they could and should have some outside help on.

    Commissioner Farmer added that she had been in touch with Mike Harvey of Benchmark.  He will be sending a proposal to the town for a grant for CAMA for planning funding.  Mr. Allen said they had an application in.

    Commissioner Trainham moved that they agree to the $3,000 figure indicated in the “Unit Cost” contract and the changes indicated by Mr. Taylor.  Commissioner Farmer seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.



    Mr. Dick Eckhardt said that he and Mr. Jim Ramsey would be giving the results of the Solid Waste Management Committee.  In September, the Board appointed the committee to study solid waste problems and recommend how to solve them.  The committee met half a dozen times during December and January.

    They eliminated things from the scope that they did not feel were problems, such as high-rise and/or association waste, yard trash, commercial waste, cost of the service provided, existing contractor performance.  They keyed in on residential waste for residential units and the transfer station.  The committee members were Scarlet Williamson, Joanne Sutherland, James Ramsey, Floyd Messer, Nancy Eckhardt and himself.

    A copy of the report is attached, although Mr. Eckhardt did add some comments.  Concerning the 90-gallon roll-out system that was started in 1993, he said it was started for a reason, and it seems that it was abandoned along the way.

    The committee recommends one 90-gallon roll-out Zarn container for every 6 people a residential unit sleeps.  Waste Industries mentioned that number, and the largest property manager in town came up with that number also.  They recommend that all roll-out garbage containers be placed at the curb from dusk the evening before collection day and returned to the dwelling after collection on collection day, and this would start as soon as possible.  By January 1, 2002, all residential units would be required to have the 90-gallon roll-out containers.

    Mr. Eckhardt said what they are looking at is a higher standard for everyone, for homeowners, for residents, for property managers, for visitors.  One of the terms used was “pride of ownership.”

    Commissioner McElraft asked about the 90-gallon roll-out.  She has had experience with both with renters.  She has a duplex that has 6 trash cans on each side inside nice racks.  That is plenty for a duplex.  She had the 90-gallon roll-out at another duplex.  They always ended up in the street, were not taken out by the renters because they were too lazy to take them all the way to the street.  Sometimes the trash would not be picked up during the week.  She found that at the duplex that had the 12 trash cans, it looked better.  She wondered if the roll-away containers could be encased and left at the curb also. She does not see renters taking them out, and enforcement from the real estate companies will be a nightmare.

    Mr. Eckhardt responded that the committee addressed that.  They had a hard time with double standards.  They felt that the type of thing that they would get into with renters is the same type of thing that they feared when recycling went in, that renters would not recycle.  But they did recycle.  Most of the people who come to the island also roll their garbage out.  It is a concern, but through education, they think it can be done.

    Commissioner McElraft asked if the committee recommends the prior-to-1993 rules stay in effect, or do those houses have to comply with the 90-gallon Zarn containers.  Mr. Eckhardt replied that by 2002, everyone should go to the 90-gallon containers, and effective immediately, anything will wheels on it goes in and out.

    Commissioner Trainham observed that he wished there were some way the committee could allow for decent-looking and nice-looking racks.  He had just finished fixing his up, and it really looks nice.  He hates the idea of having to roll his 90-gallon job up the driveway, and he has no place to put it up at the house. One of the problems they have is that the renter will go home Sunday evening and leave his garbage out there with no way to pick it up the next day when the garbage man comes.  How do they get the container back up where it belongs? He has neighbors that has happened to.  If they are gone a day or two, the cans sit out on the street.  After the wind the previous night, the cans were across the street in someone else’s yard.  There are some racks around that look terrible and ought to be fixed.

    Mr. Eckhardt said some racks look better than his house, as far as being painted.  The committee had a hard time addressing the double standard, and the way other communities have addressed people who are not in town when the garbage is supposed to be put out is through options.  Options are to have a neighbor do it, pay someone to do it, or use the transfer station on 24 or 58.

    Mayor Harris asked if the committee had asked Waste Industries if they are willing to pick up the old cans and racks and deliver the 90-gallon containers. Mr. Eckhardt replied that they will work with the town on that.  Mr. Keith Stroud , of Waste Industries, said that many times when the town makes a large move like this, they assist with the delivery, set up, and removal of old racks. They are willing to work any way they can to help the town.

    Commissioner Wootten said that early on in the committee, there was a conversa­tion to look hard at the possibility of a Saturday or Sunday pickup.  In a lot of ways, a Saturday or Sunday pickup, especially along Ocean Drive, would solve a lot of problems in town.  He asked if the committee looked hard at the ability to do that.

    Mr. Eckhardt said they had brought that up.  It was not agreed that it was going to solve the problem. They felt that it could be a secondary, and more costly thing, if they could not solve the problem by more containers.

    Mayor Harris said Waste Industries had agreed to do that, but the landfill would not open.  Mr. Stroud said they have a capacity problem, and they have to dump out in order to cover the whole town in a day.  The disposal site closes at noon on Saturday, and it takes all day to go through the town, and on Sunday it is not open.  Waste Industries does not have enough equipment presently; and to accomplish that, they would have to get other equipment in, which is a tremendous cost just to use the extra services.  They have explored with the Authority about opening it up, but they are not conducive to it because with the other transfer station, they would have to open the landfill and create an understructure of private support.

    Commissioner McElraft asked if they could give homeowners a choice of having sufficient amounts of trash cans in a nice contained area.  It will be an enforcement nightmare.  She can see them ticketing the rental companies.  After the people take the trash out, they will not roll the containers back.  The ones in the racks do not get blown around.  People mix them up, they do not know which one belongs to which unit, they lie in the middle of the street.  As long as there are enough cans to contain the trash for a whole week, they should be given an option of doing that.

    Mr. Eckhardt said again that they did not know how to address a double standard.  There are a lot of homes in the area they looked at that will be using six 90-gallon cans plus the recycling cans.  How do you attach them, how do you get them into a nice something to contain them.  They thought maybe posts would work.  Anything they looked at would be a double standard.  They could not address it.

    Mayor Harris said the bottom line is a 90-gallon pull-out.  Mr. Eckhardtadded they would be rolled in and rolled out.  He thinks it has to be up to the property managers to have something to tell people when and how to do it.  He cannot agree that people will not do it.

    Commissioner Trainham echoed what Commissioner McElraft said.  He does not agree with Mr. Eckhardt in that it is a double standard.  If there are private homes that have nice looking racks, that is not a double standard.  The problem will not go away by asking them to roll back their 90-gallon containers.  They will still be in the street.  In the racks, they are contained, and that is a very important factor.

    Mr. Eckhardt said they tried to look at that, and said that is the Board’s business.  He does not know how they will address it.

    Commissioner McElraft agreed that the 90-gallon cans are great.  She has them at her personal home.  But she keeps going back to the situation where they will be flying all over the street, and she knows the renters.  They may have to address that at a workshop.

    Mr. George Kuhorn said he has a driveway that is hard to maneuver, and he cannot see himself or his wife taking the can down the driveway because he will get run over.  He drives around town, and even though they are put out in the morning, by the time the garbage men get there, they are lying down on their side.  He suggests that they look at people who have nice racks and let them stay.  Those who do not, give the ticket to the guy and clean it up and give him 30 days to get a new rack.

    Mr. Frank Vance said he had been looking at this problem since before 1993. There can be a rack made to handle the 90-gallon cans.  Leave one side open, put a latch on it, and leave them at the street.  If there is a good enough rack and enough garbage cans to meet the needs of the renters, the problem is the number of people they cram into the houses.

    Mr. John Grady said there are a lot of old folks who have the old cans and good racks.  He has shrubbery around his, and you cannot see it in the summer. He puts it out and takes it in himself.  He is for keeping the racks they have as long as they are in good shape.  If they are not, give a ticket, but leave the rest of the folks alone.  They do not need a shotgun approach.

    Mr. Ron Brooks said Commissioner McElraft had made several references about renters.  Commissioner Trainham made a reference to his personal rack. Every real estate company around has maintenance crews.  They can police the tenant problem.  What has not been mentioned is absentee property owners. They come down and spend a week or week-end.  On this end of the island, trash pickup is Tuesday.  These people leave on Sunday afternoon, put their trash cans in the rack, trash is picked up on Tuesday.  If the racks and cans are taken away, the roll-away can would have to be put down there sundown the day before collection.  Are permanent residents supposed to run around on Monday and put out all the containers for the neighbors who were down for the weekend?

    Mrs. Doje Marks said she thinks the biggest problem is the rental units on the oceanfront.  She does not need 90 gallons, and a lot of her neighbors do not. They need to address the issue, not everybody in town.  Deal with the rental properties, which are the true problem.


    Commissioner Wootten said the number one problem is Ocean Drive.  They looked at the possibility of a weekend pickup on Ocean Drive. Mr. Allen commented that money would get them anything.  If they want to look at the cost of that or back door pickup in the summer time, it is money. Commissioner Wootten said they are already spending 19.1% of their total budget on trash collection.  Commissioner Wootten said he is thinking of passing the cost to the rental units if that is the source of the problem.

    Commissioner McElraft said the owners of the property should be spending the money.  They need to be buying as many trash cans as she bought for her duplex, and she thinks the town needs to work with the rental management companies to make sure to locate the areas in each of the communities and find out where the problems are and demand of them that they go to the property owners and do what some of the owners have done.  Her renters have put their garbage in the trash cans because she has plenty of them.  They cannot expect a duplex to have two trash cans on each side and that be sufficient.  If they would do what she did and make a nice rack on each side and put six cans with lids on them and keep them nice, they will not be blowing all over.  Her garbage is in the cans.

    Mr. Eckhardt says she is the exception.  Commissioner Wootten said she is also interested in her home and does not live too far away from it and will probably pass there Sunday afternoon to check.  Commissioner McElraftsuggested they start an education process with the rental companies and really push it and make them buy them or they will have to go with the 90-gallon containers or a containment for the 90-gallon cans.  They should not penalize other people who have already solved their problems.

    Mayor Harris suggested they take the committee’s report to the workshop and asked Mr. Eckhardt to come back for that.  She said the committee had put a tremendous amount of work into it.  Mr. Eckhardt thanked the committee, and he reiterated that the major problem is containment.

    Commissioner Wootten asked that when Mr. Eckhardt comes to the workshop he bring details on what other towns do.  It cannot be a problem unique to Emerald Isle.

    Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Eckhardt if, when he comes to the workshop, he could give some thought to an education campaign they can work on for the property managers and give suggestions on that.  She likes Commissioner McElraft’s idea that they start with an education process with the stick being that if the education process does not work, it will become more formal.

    Commissioner McElraft suggested that someone representing each of the manage­ment companies come to the workshop, too, and let them give their input and what they see as a solution.



    Mayor Harris explained that the town has been requested to complete and sign a co-applicant letter on possible beach nourishment activities for future beach nourishment projects with Carteret County and Bogue Banks municipalities. Being a co-applicant would allow the town to participate and be a part of a banks-wide nourishment permitting process without having to apply individually for Corps of Engineers or CAMA permits.  If they do this, they will be ahead of the game.

    Mayor Harris read one of the draft letters that is attached at the end of these Minutes.

    Commissioner Farmer asked Mr. Taylor about this.  When she first read this, it was her understanding that this was for a federal project, and now it is looking like it is not.  She wanted to make sure they have no liability for any other renourishment projects that the Town of Emerald Isle specifically is not involved in.  Mr. Taylor replied that to the best of his knowledge, it appears that they are asking the town to pitch in with a resolution, which is not a dedication of any funds from this.  It is like a support resolution.  Until such time they are asked to make a commitment of funds in some sort of ordinance fashion or project area fashion, he thinks they are safe with what they are doing.  That is a cursory look.

    Commissioner Farmer said her concern is that as a co-applicant, should for some reason some liability issues arise through the Pine Knoll Shores project, would they be a party to that liability.  If they are, that makes her nervous.

    Commissioner McElraft asked if Commissioner Farmer meant a financial liability.  This is for permitting only.  They have to do this to continue the permitting process for the federal plan, and they need us to be co-applicants with the county so that it shows that the town will participate in the permitting stage of the federal plan.

    Commissioner Farmer said what threw her was that the Mayor said something about 2001–2002.

    Mr. Allen said there should be a revision typed on Town of Emerald Isle letterhead.  Commissioner Farmer said that is the one she was originally looking at and had no problem with.  If this is for the federal beach renourishment project the Corps is currently doing the feasibility study on, she had no problem with it.

    Commissioner McElraft moved that the Board approve the co-applicant letter signed by the Mayor to submit to the County, Corps of Engineers, and CAMA to participate as a permittee in the permitting process for the long-term plan.  Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor.  Motion carried.



    Mr. John Grady, resident of 113 Fawn Drive, discussed the school bond referendum and said he would vote against it.  He showed a chart that showed what the people have given to the county to fund the school system and a miniscule amount to other things.  Sea Level is about to lose their rescue service and will have 141 square miles to cover.  He thinks there is a real problem.  We are paying 84.1% of our ad valorem taxes to schools.  We pay 39.3% of our general tax funds on sales, tax, etc., to the same school systems.  If you add that up, it is 123.4%.  We are next to Wake County in what we are giving to our county school system.  The only problem is Wake County has 41 which is 500 kids more than we have.  They need to take a look at it.  Starting in 1996, $8,373,728 was the budget for the schools.  Today it is $22,403,179.  That comes out to a 167.5% increase since 1996.  He has problems with what they are doing.  He is from Lenoir County, and he counted 6 schools in his county that have been remodeled.  In Nash County, 12 schools have been remodeled. Croatan High School and Bogue Sound could have been built at a savings of $12 million if they had used the same folks that built in Onslow County.

    Mr. Pete Cochran, resident of Coast Guard Road, said he had been before the Board the previous month asking for their support in allowing them to take their property and allow a couple of horses on it.  He gave the Board a proposal that his wife and he had put together that has 10 proposals that would be in the best interests of Emerald Isle and for his wife and him.  He said he and his wife would be available to answer questions at the workshop.  Mayor Harris said he would be notified of the workshop.


  20. COMMENTS – Department Heads

    Ms. Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation, reminded everyone that the Garden Club would be giving away free trees for the town at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Saturday.  She said irrigation on 58 was moving along.

    Mr. Kent Hood, Fire Department, said Chief Walker left him no information. There were four fires, but he was not working for any of them.

    Police Chief Mark Wilson reported that summer is coming, so get ready. Three months ago, he read that there were a lot of break-ins in Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Morehead City.  Pine Knoll Shores arrested the guy and asked him why he did not come to Emerald Isle.  He responded that it was because of the police department here.

    Mrs. Ceil Saunders, Planning Board, commented that Commissioner Farmer had said she would like everything in the package to come before the Board. This is the only time they had done this with a contingency.  Lots of times they get the package but there are still a few things they would like to research, and that is what the motel/hotel thing involved.  She thinks they do a pretty good job at working for nothing.

    Mr. Bob Conrad, Public Works, had no comment.  Most roads have been finished.

    Mrs. Carol Angus, Inspections Department, reported that for the month of February, they did permits for 5 new homes and 2 mobile homes, and with all the additions put an estimated value of $5,316,000.


  21. COMMENTS – Town Clerk, Town Attorney, Interim Town Manager, Board Members, Mayor

    Mrs. Carolyn Custy, Town Clerk, had no comment.

    Mayor Harris introduced Ms. Mitsy Overman as the new Interim Town Manager.  She is doing a fantastic job and they are depending on her to keep on doing it.  Ms. Overman asked that the Board be patient with her.

    Commissioner Wootten had no comment.

    Commissioner Trainham addressed the enforcement of ordinances.  One of the concerns he had when he ran for office was the fact that he would try to do the best he could to enforce ordinances.  The merchants are a little upset because they think that this Board is really crowding them on the ordinances when really they are saying the ordinances they have on the books ought to be enforced.  There have been a few changes to the ordinances, but he wanted to get on record that they are not against the business community at all.  They are all for their success.  With his background as a professor of business administration, he could be expected to say this.  He believes it very strongly. He asked the remaining public to pass the word to people in business that they are all for their success.

    Commissioner Trainham said that there have been people who have come in and messed up the island without getting permits.  He announced that they have been working with Chief Wilson policing permit signs, working to help the Inspections Department, so that the Inspections Department can do their job.  What happens is that people come in on Saturday and Sunday when the Inspections Department is on break, and do what they please cutting down trees, filling in wetlands, doing all kinds of things with no permit.  He and Ms. Overman had a conference with the Chief and are delighted that he is going to give the orders to his patrolmen to look for signs.

    Commissioner Farmer had no comment.

    Commissioner McElraft said there are a lot of trees still back there.  Some people personally had purchased 900 trees, and the town had purchased 3,000—loblolly, red cedar, bald cypress—and they desperately need the public to plant them.

    Mr. Derek Taylor, Town Attorney, said there was nothing to report.

    Mayor Harris said the Workshop is March 26, 2001, at 9:00 A.M.  The Budget Workshop is March 27, 2001.

    Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Farmer seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to adjourn.

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 03/13/2001

February 19, 2001 

Planning Board

Town of Emerald Isle
Regular Planning Board Minutes
Monday, February 19, 2001

The February meeting of the Town of Emerald Isle Planning Board was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Co-chairman, Ceil Saunders. Members in attendance were: Ceil Saunders, George McLaughlin, Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, David Schock, Ed Dowling and Art Daniel.

Also in attendance, Secretary, Carol Angus; and Building Inspector, Jim Taylor.

Minutes of Regular Minutes of Meeting January 15, 2001 were approved. Motion to approve was made by Frank Vance, second by Ed Dowling with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

The Report from Town Manager was not available in absence of Mr. Pete Allen who was in attendance at another meeting.

The Report from Building Inspector, Jim Taylor advised the board that there were 8 single family dwellings, 1 6-unit condo at Sunset Harbor. Total value of all permitting for the month of January is $2,146,120.

Election of 2001-2002- Mr. Frank Vance nominated Ceil Saunders as Chairperson, second by Mr. Dowling. Nomination was unanimously approved. Mr. Almeida nominated Frank Vance as co-chairman, second by Ms. Saunders with unanimous approval in favor of the nomination. Ms. Angus was again appointed as Secretary for a 16th  year.


  1. CVS Drugstore Relocation, Commercial Review Recommendation, at present location of the BeachMart/Coconut Grove at Emerald Dr and Mangrove Dr. Mr. John Odom and Mr. Larry T. Watson, represented this agenda item.

    Ms. Saunders advised that the items that had been discussed at Review Committee had been included. The sidewalk and lighting plan are shown.

    The offset for the elevation on the south wall was determined that the drive-thru window and canopy for prescription pick-up, also walls along the rear to shield the compactor area and the dumpster location. Mr. Odom said he had spoken with Mr. Cary Harrison prior to his leaving, and he had agreed that these changes should meet the requirements of the new ordinance that requires an offset every 8’. The old portion of the building would not have to follow the new ruling, and the new portion of the building offset should be sufficient with what is proposed. There is a color elevation sheet on file with Ms. Angus. The only change that will not be reflected on the actual building is the size of the signage on the building. It must conform with the sign regulations. The owners have been advised of this regulation and intend to conform.

    Mr. Odom went on to say that the calculated window allowance is well below the 35% that is permitted.

    Mr. Vance is concerned about some of the lights being situated to shine toward the highway. Mr. Odom said they will work with the owners to see that these lights are adjusted, if it is necessary.

    Mr. McLaughlin asked about the change in the widening of the rear driveway area. Mr. Odom said that was because of the size of the compactor, a few parking spaces were deleted; however, there were more spaces available than the ordinance requires. There will be signage to encourage one-way traffic because of the drive-thru. The only access will be Mangrove Dr. and Old Ferry Rd. There will be no Hwy 58 access.

    Mr. Almeida asked Mr. Odom about the landscaping along the highway. Mr. Odom said he does not have anything specific, but it will be landscaped. Mr. Watson said CVS is not opposed to landscaping, but they were planning on grass. Mr. Odom said there had been previous discussion about possible sidewalks, and that would be the location for a sidewalk, so not to do anything extravagant until that is decided.

    Mr. Dowling asked if the stormwater control plan has been seen? Are all the calculations done for stormwater runoff? There is a lot of impervious area on this site. Mr. Odom said all that area is impervious already. Mr. Dowling said there is another building going in. Mr. Odom said there is actually another building going out, the old arcade building at Coconut Grove. Mr. Almeida said he had seen the stormwater plan and was satisfied with it.

    Mr. McLaughlin asked Ms. Angus to hold up the colored version of the green or vegetated plan to show the audience.

    Motion was made by David Schock to recommend approval of CVS Drugstore relocation Commercial Review to the Town Board for their approval; second by Mr. Almeida and unanimous approval in favor of the motion.


  2. The Emerald Hotel, Commercial Review recommendation, at Reed Dr., Islander Dr. and Emerald Dr. Mr. Ken Burnette and Mr. Ronnie O. Watson were in attendance to represent this project.

    Ms. Saunders advised that this project had been reviewed in May 2000, with a number of items to be addressed. Those items being, sign, lighting, stormwater plan, owner name and address. She found these items to be included on the plat.

    Mr. Art Daniel said he saw a note on the plat to direct the stormwater collection system but no place for where it will be directed. Mr. Burnette replied that it will tie into the collections system by downspouts. Mr. Ron Cullipher, an engineer, was present.

    Mr. Daniel went on to inquire, of Mr. Cullipher, that in the calculations there were two systems with drop systems on one side and catch basins on the other and a certain length pipe. Where does it go, north or south? Mr. Cullipher replied that it will tie in hydraulically together into the infiltration system, until it ultimately discharges to the south.

    Mr. Daniel said he interprets that to mean that there is adequate design capacity no matter where it goes. Mr. Cullipher said that is correct. He went on to say that the roof design is a pitched roof, but the actual storm drain design is for half of the building going north and half going south.

    Mr. Almeida asked if there is going to be a gutter on the eaves? Mr. Burnette said it will be guttered or picked up in some fashion, possibly at ground level. Mr. Cullipher said it would not matter how it was picked up because the terraces are impervious, so as long as there are terraces they can be picked up as drop areas. Mr. Burnette said guttering would probably be the simplest way to gather 1 ½” of stormwater.

    Mr. Almeida said the plan (1) does not show the inward elevations in the catch basins. Also (2) it doesn’t show the inward elevation of the pipes where it enters the underground infiltration area; (3) to see a section of the infiltration area to see how deep you are going and water is the elevation of the water table, high and low, to the bottom of the pipe.

    Mr. Cullipher replied the bottom water table is 2’ below the 36” piping, during the wet season. Mr. Almeida asked that that be confirmed; and Mr. Cullipher said he could provide that. Mr. Almeida asked how long the aluminum pipe would stay without corroding in the salty atmosphere? Mr. Cullipher said the life cycle expectancy is 50 years. Mr. Almeida asked about the gauge and Mr. Cullipher replied he believed it to be 20 gauge. Mr. Almeida asked for manufacturers data on that? Mr. Cullipher replied he has it and will submit it. Mr. Almeida asked about the gross capacity of the pipe itself. Mr. Cullipher said _________ load and it could be furnished.

    Mr. Almeida went on to ask the purpose of the southeast swale on Reed Dr.? Mr. Cullipher said this project is required to have a 50’ vegetated swale prior to the stormwater leaving the property. The water in excess of 1 ½” rainfall will collect there.

    Mr. Dowling asked what definition of “swale” is being used in this instance. Is it a ditch, grass, and pan, etc. what definition is used here. Mr. Cullipher said it is vegetated swale and it is grass and the bottom is level with a longitudinal slope toward Reed Drive, the side slopes will be at a maximum of 3:1. There is no sediment or pollution trap in this location. Mr. Dowling asked if there is any trap for sediment or pollution, he didn’t see any.

    Mr. Cullipher said the Erosion & Control Plan that is required by the state is not part of what was submitted. During construction there most definitely will be sediment control devices.

    Mr. Daniel asked about some numbering on catch basins and junction boxes. Some do not show a number. Mr. Cullipher said he will add that numbering and labeling.

    Mr. Almeida asked how the water is going to get to the swale from inside the wall if it is more than 1 ½” rain. Mr. Cullipher said the control box will have a gear in it, and it will overflow the wier to that one.

    Mr. Daniel asked if the brick wall is continuous on the highway side? Mr. Cullipher said it is his understanding that it is continuous. This should contain the water and not allow it to go toward the highway right-of-way.

    Mr. Dowling asked if a french drain should be incorporated to aid in drainage? Mr. Burnette said they have already provided for more than the required capacity and a french drain should not be necessary.

    Mr. Daniel asked that correct typo error of flood zone be noted for a 100 year. Flood zone not 10 year and show as an X zone to agree with 1998 revised mapping.

    Mr. Almeida asked that another swale be included at Reed and Islander Drives next to the septic tank area at the southeast corner. That would help get rid of some of the water from the pavement.

    Mr. Dowling asked if there had been a perk test done to see if the reciprocal pump tank and fields will accommodate that much flow? Mr. Burnette said they had soils engineer do that work. Mr. Cullipher advised that the site has been approved by the State.

    Mr. Schock asked if the brick wall was going to be the same brick color of the building? It will be and toward the highway will be grassed. He commended the developers on the aesthetic design of the project and said it should be a great asset to the Town.

    Mr. Vance asked the type of material to be used on the balcony handrails. Mr. Burnette said they will non-corrosive; however, the material has not be determined. They have not gone into those fine details until they know that the project is approved.

    Chairman Saunders asked Mr. Almeida to read, again, the items that he wanted addressed prior to this project going to the Town Board. Mr. Burnette said Mr. Cullipher had gotten the notes and they would be taken care of. (The list was not specifically reiterated).

    Chairman Saunders then asked the items be submitted as soon as possible so that they could be reviewed prior to the Town Board meeting. Mr. Cullipher said he could have it all by the end of the week. Mr. Almeida agreed to review the items for compliance.

    Mr. David Schock made the motion to recommend approval to the Town Board for the Commercial Review of Emerald Hotel, contingent on the submission of the items requested by Mr. Almeida; second by Ed Dowling, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.


    Mr. Schock commended the board for the past work, especially for the hours submitted. He commented that the town is going forward not backward, and to always keep the best interest of the town in mind.

    Chairman Saunders thanked Mr. Schock for his service.

    Mr. Daniel brought up an issue on the submitted plans that he wondered whether it should be addressed. The parking shown allows maneuvering in the right of way and not entirely within the property. Perhaps that should be something to be considered, to keep parking and maneuvering within the property.

    Motion to adjourn was made by David Schock, second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval.

    7:40 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 02/19/2001

February 13, 2001 

Board of Commissioners

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2001 – 7:00 P.M. – TOWN HALL


Mayor Barbara Harris called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 13, 2001.

Present for the meeting were Mayor Harris, Commissioners Emily Farmer, Emory Trainham, Patricia McElraft, Jay Murphy and John Wootten. Also present were Town Manager Pete Allen, Town Attorney Derek Taylor, Town Clerk Carolyn Custy, Public Works Director Robert Conrad, Parks and Recreations Director Alesia Sanderson, Inspections Department Head Carol Angus, Fire Chief William Walker and Police Chief Mark Wilson.

Item 8d., Solid Waste/Recycling Committee draft report of findings and recommdations was deleted from this Agenda and will appear on the March Agenda due to the fact that Chairman Eckhardt was out of town.

Ms. Gayle Smy, scheduled under 8a., is from out of Town and requested to speak after Routine Tax Refunds, Releases and Line Item Budget Transfers ( 5. Consent Agenda). The Board agreed to honor this request.

Commissioner Trainham commented the Bogue Field Committee is ready to give a report that was required by the Town Board at its December meeting. He also said, a summary without the backup research was available on the table at the back of the Council Room for public inspection.

Commissioner Trainham moved that the Bogue Field Committee be added to the Agenda to summarize their recommendations. Commissioner Farmer seconded motion.

Mayor Harris reminded the Board that there is no Bogue Field Committee. It has been terminated. 

Commissioner Murphy asked how long it would take to give this report? Chairman Mark Brennersholz indicated it would take approximately 5 minutes. Commissioner Murphy asked that the report be limited to 5 minutes.

Commissioners Trainham, Murphy and Farmer voted to approve the addition of the Bogue Field Report under Old Business 7d. Commissioners Wootten and McElraft voted not to approve the addition of this item. Motion carried to allow 5 minutes under 7d. for the Bogue Field Report.



The Board voted unanimously to approve the Agenda with deletions and additions that have been previously noted.


The Board voted unanimously to approve the Consent Agenda that consisted of Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting of January 9, 2001, Approval of Minutes of Special Meeting of January 19, 2001, Approval of Minutes of Workshop Meeting of January 19, 2001 and Routine tax refunds, releases and line item budget transfers.

Ms. Gayle Smy came forward with a presentation on the Outerbanks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS). She revealed that the shelter started 12 years ago and for 10 years functioned entirely on donations and fund-raisers. They had no public money like grants, etc. Within the last few years the County had given the shelter $3,000 a year. This is nice but they are struggling. They have a new building with 5 acres of land. When moving into the building a loan had to be taken out to upgrade the facilities. It takes $73.00 an average to treat each animal. It is difficult to round up that much money in donations to care for the animals. The shelter is asking that municipalities consider including the shelter in their budgets this year for a donation and suggested $1,000 or any amount. Last year 123 animals came in from Emerald Isle alone. She encouraged the Town to consider some type of donation in the budget for next fiscal year.

Commissioner McElraft interjected she has taken a couple of birds to the shelter and she appreciates what they did. She had no idea what to do with them.

Mayor Harris reassured Ms. Smy the request would be considered at budget time.


             Mayor Harris said there is an amendment that should be added to Section 19-83 (24) (4) which should read with the addition as follows: “The Board of Commissioners shall impose additional requirements or require additional information such as a detailed internal and external traffic circulation plan, to assure the development’s compliance with Section 19-84.”

Attorney Taylor said in his opinion the Board had probably the authority as written without the modification to require those things if the Board needs them. But to spell them out specifically, the Board could be creating a greater burden than the original ordinance.  He gave the following recommendation to the Board. If the Board would like to add that language, he suggested that the Ordinance be passed as written after discussion tonight and make a determination. This would allow the Board the opportunity to pass the Ordinance tonight and then modify it at the next meeting after a new Public Hearing has been called and advertised.This would be the safest guess. The Board would probably survive a challenge but he could not guarantee it. It is much safer to deal with it as it is written now and do a modification to be more specific at a later date.

Mayor Harris entertained a motion to accept the Special Use Codification Amendment as it is written this evening and carry it to a Public Hearing and modification in March.  Commissioner Murphy so moved.  The Motion was seconded by Commissioner Farmer.

Commissioner McElraft commented she has a problem with (3) which reads “The developer shall install a pedestrian sidewalk along the full length of each public right-of-way to which the development abuts.

Commissioner Farmer stated they are going to go through all of this.

Attorney Taylor clarified that the motion that is on the table now is to go ahead and set a Public Hearing on the new language to be added to this ordinance as specified in the Memorandum from Mike Harvey and Attorney Taylor recommends that for the record it be read into the record as to what you are setting the Public Hearing for.  The main thing is to get the gist on the record of what you are going to be considering at the Public Hearing.  He explained that the Board can go ahead tonight and hold the Public

        Hearing as it was originally published and discussed, thereby going through the process of a Public Hearing tonight on what we had and discussing that matter as to how you would like to modify as long as you don’t extend beyond the confines of what will be controlling it. 

Attorney Taylor said he believes the Motion was to set the Public Hearing for the next time to consider the language associated with this particular addition of information related to traffic studies as well as storm water studies.

Commissioner Farmer commented she talked with Commissioner Wootten before the meeting and he reminded her that the Storm water Ordinance is being reworked now by the Planning Board and it should take care of the storm water portion.

Attorney Taylor clarified that basically what Commissioner Farmer is saying the only thing to worry about is the detailed internal/external traffic circulation plan. Commissioner Farmer confirmed this was correct.

Attorney Taylor said that wording would be added to Section 19-83 at the end of (4).

  Commissioner McElraft asked Mr. Taylor to explain to her why he feels it is not necessary to add to (4). Attorney Taylor said he feels that under the current wording that the Board is considering tonight in the Public Hearing “The Board shall also request and obtain from the applicant any and all additional plats, maps surveys, evaluations, reports, studies or other information which it deems necessary to assure permit compliance with Section 19-84.” If the Board felt that a traffic study was one such report that the Board needed to make a determination to meet the criteria under the Ordinance, it could request that in its current written form. The difference is what the Board is looking at doing in March is to make it clear exactly what the Board might be looking for rather than any kind of report, this would be a very specific report that would be required for the Board to request in the B2-B3 zoning.”

Commissioner McElraft said she guesses when the Board starts requiring this, there may be areas of  8,000 square foot building that the Board does not need to require a traffic study on.  If it is left in the language that it is in now, the Board has the flexibility of doing that but yet not imposing that upon the Commissioners to ask for something they do not need. 

   Attorney Taylor suggested that the Motion be withdrawn for the time being, see what is obtained from what is there tonight and decide what you want to do next.  Until this is drawn, there is no cause for a Public Hearing

Commissioner Farmer said she feels this goes back to a discussion at the special meeting where the Board was concerned that the directions to whoever was proposing the development were so loose that there was no real guide.  She stated at that time she felt that the two biggest problems that would be facing Emerald Isle in the future would be traffic and storm water and that is how that got in there. If she understands how it reads,  it is not requiring a traffic study.  It is suggesting that may be one of the studies that may need to be done. You could have an 8,000 square foot building come in that has little to no traffic impact at all and you would not be forced to require a traffic study to be done

Commissioner Farmer further clarified that it is “information such as”. Attorney Taylor agreed. He commented the way it is written in the Memorandum, you could record. It is just giving an example of what could be required.

Commissioner Wootten commented, going back to discussions at the Special Meeting, that was the intent of this thing, not a requirement per se because the requirement was already covered.  He feels it is not important if it is in there or not and he does not feel it is worth talking about any more right now. The need is to get into the “meat” of the Ordinance.  Attorney Taylor agreed with this.

Commissioner Murphy withdrew his Motion.

Mayor Harris opened the Public Hearing for public comments. 

Attorney Richard Stanley representing the McLean Trust came forward to comment.  He said he knows what the Board is trying to do but in his opinion “this is both poorly conceived and poorly drafted.”  In his professional opinion and he has also consulted with the League of Municipalities on this, “there is no legal basis for doing what you are doing.”  Mr. Stanley handed the Board a copy of a page from the Board of Adjustment book that is published by the Institute of Government that tells what a Special Use Permit is for a Special Use.  He also gave them a copy of 160A-382 that talks about districts and the last two or three sentences on this had been highlighted. 

Mr. Stanley said, “a Special Use refers to a situation in which a particular kind of land use such as commercial, business, grocery store, drug store or whatever.  It is not talking about the building but it is talking about a particular kind of land use that is

permitted in a district, not as a matter of right but only under Ordinance provisions that authorize the Board, whether it be the Board of Adjustment or Board of Commissioners, to issue such a permit and it makes specific findings.  You have Special Uses in the Ordinance now.  There is a table where you have permitted uses and special uses and then you set out specific requirements for those.  You have nothing in your Ordinance right now on a Special Use for a building and that is what you are doing here.  As far as I can determine, you will be the first town or city in the State of North Carolina that has a Special Use for a building.  The reason I point this out is because I gave you 160A-382.  You are in effect, let me tell you how this works and Attorney Taylor may disagree with me, but if you have a Drug Store that has 7,999 square feet, it can go in as a matter of right.  It comes down to the Building Inspectors Office with its plan and gets a permit.  If it has 8,000 square feet, it is not entitled for a permit.  It has to come through the Board of Commissioners and the Planning Board for approval of a Special Use Permit.  You are essentially rezoning somebody’s property that is going to build an 8,000 square foot building but you are rezoning the property that is going to be the Drug Store with its 7,999 square feet.  There is a provision in your Ordinances that says if a certain  number of property owners affected by this were to protest, then it would require 75% vote as opposed to 3/5ths.  But we don’t know, and the reason we are not here with that, is it is impossible for us to know how many properties are going to be affected by this 8,000 square feet.” 

Mr. Stanley continued, “The last part of 382 “Property may be placed in a Special Use District or Conditional Use District only in the in response to a petition by the owners of all the property to be included. I am going to tell you right now that the McLean Trust does not want to be included and they are against this.  I am assuming there is probably going to be some others.  The way I interpret that and the way others interpret that is you have to have our permission to put up, to rezone up, the second part. Except as authorized by the foregoing, all regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of building throughout each district but the regulations in one district may differ from those in other districts. The way I interpret that and the way the League interprets that is that you cannot put regulations on an 8,000 square foot building that you do not put on one that contains 7,999 square feet.  It has to be consistent for your buildings or what you are doing is basically saying is we are going to create a Special Use Permit for buildings, not for use.  This is not allowed in my opinion and in the opinion of others that I have consulted with and researched it with, it is not permitted by North Carolina Law.

 “ Having questioned your authority to do that, let me say that we find a lot of problems with your proposed Ordinance.  For an 8,000 square foot building, you are putting in a requirement for a sidewalk on there.  You are leaving it up to this Board to

determine the number of access by vehicles.  For the most part, for a lot owner, it is totally out of his control.  I know this Ordinance is coming up because of the problem at Coast Guard Road and Highway 58.  But if that is subdivided and a lot owner comes in there and wants to build a building, that lot owner doesn’t have the right, basically does not control the access, they are on a public street.  The Subdivision Ordinance says they have to be on a public street.  This is so vague; I don’t really know where you are coming on that because most of the property owners when they come in are not going to be able to do anything about the points of access.  Paragraph 3 - The developer shall install a pedestrian sidewalk along the full length of each public right-of-way.  In my clients’ case, you are talking about a Gateway and leaving natural areas, they have to clear Highway 58 and have to clear Coast Guard Road and put in concrete sidewalks.  That doesn’t make much sense if you are trying to preserve the natural state.  As far as the bottom part where the Special Use Permits for this is going to be issued for 24 months?  Can you imagine a lender or an owner going in and building an 8,000 square building, borrowing the money, can you imagine a lender lending the money to do that when they know they have only got a Permit for 24 months. That just doesn’t happen in today’s economy and today’s business world.  If they are going to put that amount of money in there, they obviously are going to want more than 24 months.  This is not, in our opinion, a wise move.  There are probably better ways to go about achieving what you want to do than this.  I ask you, I beg you not to adopt this particular Ordinance.”

Mr. Ronnie Watson came forward.  He reiterated what Mr. Stanley had said.  He said, you have to put yourself into the position of people.  Everyone knows what he has proposed to do on Reid Drive and Coast Guard Road.  The bank would laugh at him.  He is trying to build a Motel.  He would go in there and tell them he has to have a Special Use Permit every two years.  He does not know where the Board came up with this idea.  It doesn’t make sense to him.  He is a businessman, he had commercial property. 

Commissioner Wootten interjected at this point that he doesn’t think this Ordinance has a 24 months limitation on Special Use.

Mr. Watson asked the question “Suppose you have a business build, 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, and it is destroyed partially by fire, hurricane or whatever.  You have a different Board here and maybe they don’t like that particular business, maybe they don’t like Motels, maybe they don’t like commercial businesses, where does that leave you if it is destroyed more than 50%.  You have to come get another Special Use Permit to rebuild it?  A Special Use Permit, if you read the way it is interpreted, it is a Special Use.  What Mr. Stanley has said it true and I question whether you can legally do it.  I don’t want my property rezoned.  I question whether you can legally do it or not.  You can probably do it but whether it is legal is questionable.  I very very much oppose it.”

Mayor Harris read “Section 19-84 (7).  Except as herein provided, all special use permits shall be issued for a period not exceeding twenty-four (24) months.  They may be  renewed for such additional periods of time as may be found appropriate by the Town Council if the Council finds that all of the provisions of the permit have been met.  The Council may issue special use permits which have no expiration date and which will expire only if the conditions of the permit or some other provisions of law or regulations pertaining to the use are found by the Council to have been violated.  Upon information which leads the Council to believe that such a violation has occurred, the Council will cause the holder of the permit to be notified in writing of the suspected violation, and the permit holder shall have the right to a hearing before the Council concerning the matter if he or she or it makes application in writing delivered to the Town Clerk within ten (10) days of the date that the permit holder receives the notice herein required.  The date of personal delivery or of mailing shall be considered the date of notification of the suspected violation.

Mr. Watson asked if you could image taking that to a Bank or lender.  They would laugh you out of the bank.  What Mr. Stanley says is true.  Something like this is not going to work especially in the Commercial field.  “All of you know what I am trying to do.  I want to build a Hotel.  This is not going to fly and I question whether you can legally do it or not.”

Mr. Ricky Farrington of 8802 Sound Court came forward.  He stated “My opinion is that we are being regulated more and more, more and more.  You just came in with a new height restriction that regulated building heights from 100 feet down to 50 feet.  This has taken a big piece of the value that could be put on the property.  You keep nibbling, nibbling and nibbling, it is kind of like getting killed by a duck.  You get nibbled at so much.  It not like we are not regulated right now, we have all the different agencies of the State, Federal, and County.  When we present a project to this Town Board there has to be at least an area where we can hire an attorney who can advise us who we need to hire and what we need to get done.  With this area there is no predictability from management as to what can and cannot be done which will make the property less valuable and less attractive for anyone trying to develop it.  If you want to build a Motel, you have to be able to look at the regulations without any greys, in black and white.  As a taxpayer, we spent $15,000 of our tax money in this town to do, on that corner, a traffic study.  We did two separate traffic studies.  What have we done with traffic studies?  Nothing. Nobody has done anything with the traffic studies.  It has been going on now – there was a moratorium, when five of these six people were trying to get elected, they had things in the newspapers about developers filling wetlands, developers disobeying rules, developers and contractors doing this and that and the other.  Now the Board is changing all of the rules that we supposedly were not following.  I don’t think

what you are doing – Special Use has nothing to do with what you are trying to do.  Special Use is like putting in a Shrimp Stand.  You need to sit back, get some legal advice and not put any more restraints on the private property owners in this Town.  We are being regulated to death.  If you cannot understand what the regulations are as written now and want to make it more and more – it doesn’t make any practical sense to me at all.  You cannot subdivide a corner, you spent $15,000 and cannot tell Mrs. Holz or anybody what they can do on that corner now that you have that study.  You have a map showing what to do on that corner from three different consultants.  What more do you need on that corner? It opens it up for delay and delay and delay.  I don’t think it is good for the business people and the private property owners of Emerald Isle.”   

Mrs. Paxon Holz, Trustee for the W.B. McLean Residuary Trust came forward and stated, “It really distresses me, but I am prepared to defend my family values on the properties that they own and it is a shame that I have to do this.  My family has never done shabby development.  My father, Bless his heart, did everything in his power to make this a wonderful place to live or vacation.  We continue to be proud of that tradition and we expect the fruits of all of our labor and we must fight to defend our right to use our property.  What you are proposing to do is wrong.  It is not fair to impose a Special Use, I don’t believe it is legal and not only will I fight it but I will gather up every property owner of commercial property I can and employ them to join me in not allowing this injustice to be perpetrated upon us.  I have bent over backwards, I have sent you surveys, I have sent you engineering, I have hired a traffic planner, I have done everything I could to answer questions and comply with all rules and regulations on one little piece of property that was first said to be 17 acres.  The property that we own is not even 7 acres and I can only reiterate what Mr. Stanley has said. With the one hand, you want to establish a Gateway, to have an impenetrable vegetative buffer and on the other hand you want the clearance and come in and concrete sidewalks.  I can’t do both.  Or is it that you want the concrete sidewalks inaccessible behind the vegetative buffer?  I can’t figure it out.  It is not fair or reasonable to create gray areas.  We should have definitions.  You have a spelling book in Elementary School.  You know if a word is right or wrong because you had a spelling book.  You need a set of Ordinances that people can look at, understand and know what they can do.  You should not politicize development.

Mr. Gus Farmakadis who resides at 322 Loblolly Street commented about looking at the intent of doing what the Board is doing.  He referred to Atlantic Beach and the fact that it looks like trash over there.  The Board is saying they do not want to see that.  The developer has done everything right.  A report by DOT says that the traffic is going to be abominable down there.  It’s wrong.  It is going to jam that whole place up.  Do they say anything about it?  No!  The intent here is that all of the stormwater down

there on the Western part of the island, who do you think put that down there? What they are trying to do is to make sure that this island stays pristine and looks beautiful when you come on it, not like a strip mall.

            Mrs. Georgia Murray who resides at 8738 Plantation Drive came forward and commented she would like to know the intent of it.  She does not know how the owners can comply.  She talked with Mr. Howard at First Citizens Bank today and Mr. Howard laughed.  She has talked to an attorney.  She doesn’t want to waste the Board’s time but she just does not understand it.

            Mr. Bill Holz who resides in Cape Carteret but owns property on Emerald Isle commented on the 24 months.  Some of the Commissioners, when this subject was brought up, said that is not the case but when the Mayor read the first sentence, it is there.  Further down it says that the Board may ----- that’s the whole problem.  It is what the Board may do if they feel like it.  If I look at Commissioner Farmer and said I want to build a 3,000 square foot building, she would say I don’t know.  We will have to think about it and see how we feel about it and you are going to have to come up with a traffic study.  If the traffic study says one car, you can’t have 50,000, etc.  Nobody knows. It’s a vague thing. The Board shall impose additional requirements.  The Board shall request maps, surveys, evaluations, reports and what else.  The Planning Board Chairman says don’t worry about this Ordinance.  It will not take any more time to get a commercial project approved.  Holy Cow!  They are going to have to come to the Town Board and find out what additional reports, plats and information they want.  Any guidelines what is too much traffic, what are you looking for.  This thing just lends itself to what I have called “Contract Zoning.”  You will have to know what business is going in to allow decisions to be made based on that.  Mr. Holz felt that B-3, this is what we allow, this is the size of building, this is the setback, these are the parking spots, this is the height, this is what you have to do, not we might require some reports and then we will let you know whether or not your property or project applies to them. 

The commercial property owners of this island have reached a position where we have a couple of Town Commissioners who are adamantly opposed to infrastructure improvement for this island. When DOT comes and says, maybe we ought to improve the traffic, improve the roads some more, it is said to “get off this island, we don’t want to improve the roads.” DOT has said improve the intersection at Coast Guard Road and Highway 58. Put in a turn lane. The Commissioners said, “No, we don’t want to improve that road.” So we have Commissioners saying we do not want to make improvements to the road and we are not going to approve your project if the roads are not improved. It is a “Catch 22” situation.


Commissioner Trainham moved, Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing.

            Commissioner Wootten commented he is trying to listen to the folks who have the interest in the property the Board is talking about.  He thinks the best way to address this subject and review what has happened, where the Board is now and what they are trying to do is to come at it from a chronological standpoint.

            The McLean Trust submitted a plan to subdivide three small plots within the 7 some odd acres down on Coast Guard Road.  It did not address the entire area to be developed but did address these three small plots.  This is the way business has been done in this town for years.  It has been an accepted practice that developers can develop and subdivide a piece of the property and not necessarily address the impact of the entire property.  This Board, and himself particularly, got very concerned about the impact of traffic in that area.  Not just on that side of Highway 58 but also on the other side of the road because you have a somewhat similar situation.  The town did spend $15,000 on traffic studies to determine what the nature of the problem was and how to go about it.  The results, partially the results of those studies are this amendment and change in the Ordinance as you see it right now.  The Town did spend some money and did spend it wisely.  What the Board was told in the study is that you cannot address the impact on traffic and health and safety of the entire Town unless the developer is willing to address the entire piece of property to be developed.  Fine line is what is being talked about.  This Ordinance will require a developer to address the entirety of the property being developed when there is a question of the health and safety of the Town.  What this Board is trying to do is to provide the present and future Boards the capability of making those judgments.  As it stands now, there are a whole series of Ordinances that have to be followed in the development of commercial property. They are laid out in great detail.  Right now, a developer or property owner can come in, follow every one of those Ordinances and still be building in a location or doing something to the contrary to the health and safety of residents of Emerald Isle as viewed by the Board of Commissioners who are powerless to do anything about it. 

Commissioner Wootten continued with, “This Ordinance change is introducing the concept of a Special Use Permit.  I disagree. It is not on a building. It is on land.  It is how land is to be used.  At one stage of the game, this started for every building in the developed area, any size but because we didn’t want this to be too restrictive and too excessive, this Board went back up to 8,000 square feet for a building.  As a piece of property is developed, 7 plus some odd acres is developed building by building by building, the Town will be able to access and make judgments as to what the primary

concern is to traffic considerations for that piece of property.  This is not a rezoning. I have legal opinions that will counter your legal system out of the League of Municipalities that says this is not a rezoning.  We don’t need anyone else’s permission      

under rezoning laws to do this.  There seems to be a wording problem on the 24-month issue.  The intent of this Board is to not have a Limited Use Permit of months because we recognize the restrictions and difficulties of the financial community.  Maybe we have to straighten that out I am not sure.  But that was not the intent.  The intent was to not get in the way of financing a piece of property.

            Attorney Taylor replied “Commissioner Wootten, just so you have the reason why that is in there – as a matter of fact the current Ordinance, as written and passed in 1983, says it is only for a 24-month period of time.  It ended up being in this Ordinance because it was in the previous Ordinance. It is up to the Board to decide if this makes any sense but according to the Ordinance as currently written, it has always been 24 months. 

            Commissioner Wootten replied “ And we are trying to do away with that for this type of action.  The only other thing this Board did in drafting this thing is reach out to get what we felt was important items that were not addressed in Ordinances in other places and did put them into this Special Use Permit so that it would require a developer to address these issues and this included sidewalks. We want developers to be responsible for putting sidewalks on their property if they are in fact on public roads.  On points of access, the Board wanted some say into how many points of access would be allowed into a developer’s piece of property.  This is trying to do that.  A separation between a parking lot and sidewalk is being required.  These are the only things being added but what this modification is doing is providing this Board of Commissioners and future Board of Commissioners to get into a negotiation process with a developer saying you are not acting in the best interest of the public safety of the citizens of Emerald Isle. 

Commissioner McElraft commented “I hate taking taxpayers money and using it on court.  Commissioner McElraft motioned that this be tabled for now and looking into it a little deeper to see if there is another way we can make ordinances where we can have an 8,000 square foot building that we require a traffic study and spell out the storm water and other things that we have mentioned here without making it Special Use. 

Commissioner McElraft commented the Board has taken time to do this.  She would like to take a little more time and get it right.  On the sidewalk issue she totally disagrees also.  As she brought up at the last meeting, she feels the Town has a big lawsuit for liability.  You have a 7,900 square foot building in one place and you don’t require them to have a sidewalk, 8,000 square foot you require them to have a sidewalk. 

You have someone walking without a sidewalk walking on the road.  You have someone else walking on a sidewalk where a sidewalk is installed.  The Town has a lot of liability when you start requiring that only on certain ones.  She would like to see requirements for all to do sidewalks and then we start getting into impervious surfaces again.   She has a problem with number 3 on the list to begin with.  She is also very concerned and she knows Mr. Stanley has done a lot of research, and she is not saying Mr. Taylor has not, and she feels that the Board needs to look into this a little closer before taxpayer money is used for court.  She wants to make sure there are legal grounds to do that.  She would like to see it tabled tonight and do a little more research on it.

            Commissioner McElraft withdrew her motion so Commissioner Wootten could  discuss this more.   

            Commissioner Wootten said he would like to get into a little more detail of what was proposed.  No matter what the Board does, the same people will be back complaining about this type of an action because it is changing the way this has been done in town for years.  It will be expressed as taking away freedom, expressed as taking away property but what it is fact doing is providing a mechanism for the Town to have a greater share into how property is developed in Town.  With that said, what else does the Town need to do to research this to make people comfortable that this is a legal process because we do know that this Ordinance exists in other communities in North Carolina.  This is not a novice idea for Emerald Isle.  Commissioner McElraft said, “As a Special Use?” Commissioner Wootten answered, “That’s right.  This is not a new idea.  This is why we had Benchmark give us the background as to why this is the way to word it.

            Commissioner McElraft commented, “So these legal opinions and this information here is erroneous.  Commissioner Wootten said, “You can always get a legal opinion to support what you want to hear.” 

            Commissioner McElraft still feels that the Board should take a little more time, maybe one more month, to research this a little further to make sure there is not any other way we can do this without making it a Special Use.  She feels it could be done with an Ordinance change and she has said this from the beginning.  She thinks it can be made black and white.  They could say with any building over 8,000 square foot, the Board is going to require a traffic study, they are going to require whatever all the different things, storm water and other items, without making it Special Use where the banks laugh at you and there is a possibility it may be illegal and taxpayers will have to foot the bill if this ends up in court. 

             Commissioner McElraft motioned to table this item for one more month in order for the Board to do more research on it.   There was no second.  Motion died for lack of a second.

            Commissioner Farmer asked to get specific in the language in Section 19-83 (24) 1. reads,  “a sidewalk or boardwalk which provides a grade separation of pedestrian from vehicular traffic shall be constructed.”  She asked if this could be changed to say “The developer shall construct a sidewalk or boardwalk - - - - - to keep it in the same form as the other stipulations.”

            She also indicated she is a little confused on Section 19-84, at the bottom of the page where it says “Adding the following wording at the end of paragraph 1”.  If you go to the Code Book is does not quite fit in. 

            Mr. Jim Slack from the audience asked Mayor Harris “Could we possible have a Special Use Permit for someone to run the air conditioner?”  Commissioner Murphy seconded that comment.

            Commissioner Wootten commented that there is a nit-picking of words.

            Commissioner Wootten motioned that this be tabled until the March meeting with another Public Hearing in the March time frame with the words all ironed out.  Commissioner McElraft seconded motion.

            Commissioner Farmer interjected that she feels tabling this is absolutely ridiculous. The problem that exists is with a colon.  You don’t table an Ordinance because of a colon.  She said to leave the ordinance the way it is and vote on it.

               Commissioner McElraft commented that if this thing is going to go before lawyers and judges, she feels we need to take one month and make sure it is the right way.

            Commissioner Farmer replied she does not think a lawyer or judge is going to have any problem with a colon.

            A vote was taken and Commissioners Wootten and McElraft voted to table.  Commissioners Trainham, Murphy and Farmer were opposed.  Motion denied.

            Mayor Harris entertained a Motion that the Special Use Permits for B-2 and B-3 commercial zones stand as written.

            Commissioner Murphy said, number (3) on 19-83 (24), “the developer shall install a pedestrian sidewalk along the full length of each public right-of-way to which the development abuts” would be an impervious surface and he is not too crazy about creating more impervious surfaces so he requested that this be taken out. 

            Commissioner Farmer said, “ I did not support that in the first place. I think it would be nice to have sidewalks at some point but I am not sure this is how we go about getting them.  I agree with Commissioner McElraft that sidewalks should apply to everyone who has property fronting the streets.  How we figure out how to get them is another question.  I would like to see them not be made out of concrete. I would like for them to be impervious surface.  I don’t think this Special Use Permit is the way to go about getting them.”

            Commissioner Trainham agreed with Commissioner Murphy that number (3) in Section 19-83 (24) should be removed.

            Mayor Harris clarified the following.  19-83 (24) (1).  The developer shall construct a sidewalk or boardwalk which provides ………

(3)    The developer shall install a pedestrian sidewalk along the full length ……DELETED.

Attorney Taylor asked for more discussion to be done before a motion so that things are in sync.  He believes Commissioner Farmer suggested that 19-84, adding to the end of paragraph 1 to be deleted from the Ordinance.   Commissioner Farmer said, “I said leave it like it is.  That would be the old language plus the new.”

Commissioner Murphy asked that 19-84 (7)  Line 4 “The Council may issue special use permits, have an insertion,  “for buildings or structures 8,000 square feet or larger”, which have no expiration date.

Commissioner Farmer asked for Attorney Taylor’s opinion on the changes.  Attorney Taylor asked, “Just for curiosity, historically, why was the 24 month Special Use Permit ever put in the Ordinance?”  Mrs. Angus from the Inspections Department replied that is the way it had originally been written. She said this would virtually limit things that you would not want to go on forever. 

Attorney Taylor said he thinks this would be fine. 

Commissioner Farmer moved that the Board adopt Ordinance 2001-2-13-01 as revised including Section 19-83 (24) (1)  “The developer shall construct a sidewalk or boardwalk which provides a grade separation of pedestrian from vehicular traffic; number (3) being deleted, number (4) becomes number ( 3).  Section 19-84 (7) third sentence “The Council may issue special use permits for structures 8,000 square or larger, which have no expiration date and which will expire only if the conditions of the permit or some other provisions of law or regulations pertaining to the use are found by the Council to have been violated.  

Commissioner Trainham seconded the motion.            

            Commissioner McElraft noted that while she agrees with these changes, she thinks it does help and she agrees with what the Board is trying to do but she cannot put the Town in legal jeopardy which she is afraid has been done. 

            Commissioner Farmer stated, “While some of the commercial developers may find it hard to believe that I don’t object to commercial development in Town, I think it is very important that any impacts that come to the Town from these developments are paid for by the developers and not the taxpayers of the Town of Emerald Isle and I think this Ordinance will help.”

            A vote was taken and the outcome was a vote of 4-1. Commissioner McElraft opposed the approval.   Motion carried.





Mayor Harris said the Sign Ordinance Committee had been working for several months on changes to the amendment.  The changes will take place in Section 19-131 through Section 19-140.

No one in the audience chose to speak on the proposed ordinance changes.

Commissioner Farmer thanked the Sign Committee.  She said Commissioner Murphy and she were on the committee, and it was a pleasure to serve.  She particularly thanked Mike Crews and Pat Patteson, who both did a spectacular job.  They kept the

committee on the straight and narrow on aesthetics and also kept in mind the businesses and how important signage is to them.

Commissioner Farmer had a few questions.  In Section 19-131, Intent, she asked Mr. Taylor about a change he had made.  She was not sure what it means.  “It is the intent of these regulations to authorize the use of signs whose type, size, and arrangements are compatible with their surroundings.”  Mr. Taylorreplied that he had put it in there because at one time, it was one of the intents of the previous sign ordinance.  He did not know whether it was an oversight or not, but the reason it is bolded is for them to give consideration to it.  Commissioner Farmer recommended that it come out.

Commissioner Wootten said the mode tonight was to take it to public hearing next month, and as suggested changes are made as they go through, he suggested that they deal with those changes as they go through it, piece by piece.

Commissioner Farmer said she did not have that many changes, but she thought it was important that they get the language right so that they are not fumbling around at the public hearing.  She asked if it would be agreeable to take out, in Section 19-131, “authorize the use of signs whose type, sizes, and arrangements are compatible with their surroundings while preserving . . .” and put back in “to preserve . . .”.  Commissioner Wootten agreed.

Commissioner Farmer next questioned Section 19-134, Exemptions, 11, “for calculation purposes . . .”, which had been removed.  What they were trying to explain was that the business can choose one façade, but that is not the side the signs have to be on.  It is the façade used for determining the 25%.  It does not mean that the signs have to appear only on that one façade but shows how much sign area they can have.

Mr. Taylor asked who would be “designating.”  Commissioner Farmersaid the business owner can designate that.  He takes a building side, and 25% of that side tells him how big an area he can have, but he does not have to put it on that wall.  She suggested putting the words “for calculation purposes” back in.

Commissioner Farmer asked if Mrs. Angus had any additions or corrections.  Mrs. Angus replied “No.”  She did agree with Commissioner Farmer that the “calculations” did need to be put back in so it is clear.  She had a synopsis of what they had changed because they were deleting the entire ordinance and replacing the entire ordinance.  She said there may be a lot of misconception on how lengthy that was.  If anybody wants to know what changes might affect a business, she has notes so they would not have to read every page of it.

Commissioner Trainham asked Mrs. Angus if she could see any problem with enforcement.  Mrs. Angus said, “Yes.”  Commissioner Farmer asked if that was always a problem with everything.  Mrs. Angus said that on weekends, for signage, it would help if they could get cooperation from the police or fire department.  When something happens through the week when she has the inspectors out on something that is ocean-erodable area, signs will take a lesser priority.  If someone sees something, it will have to wait until the priority is taken care of.

Commissioner Wootten suggested that this is a somewhat significant change to the sign ordinance.  His concern is to make sure that the business owners know about this.  They have gone out of their way in terms of the sign committee and published meetings; but even so, he does not know what they can do to make sure that every business owner in town understands what is happening.

Commissioner McElraft asked if they could get a copy of the changes to each one of the businesses.  Mrs. Angus said that would be difficult.  She made it obvious to the Merchants Association, and Mike Crews is one of the officers.  It has been out there since September.  Mayor Harris said they would be having their luncheon the next day, and she will take a copy of the synopsis of the changes to the meeting.

Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board approve the holding of a public hearing at the March 13, 2001, meeting with the purpose of approving the draft sign ordinance changes of Sections 19-131 through 19-142 with the two corrections as discussed.  Commissioner Trainham seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of approval.  Motion carried.




Mayor Harris said that David Schock had called and said it was impossible for him to get to the meeting.  She explained that this was Mr. Harrison’s second term.  She said he was God-sent, they love him, and they are going to miss him. She read the certificate of appreciation:  “The Town of Emerald Isle, Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  This is to certify that Cary Harrison is hereby awarded this certificate of appreciation for his outstanding service and contribution to Planning Board Chairman January 2000 to January 2001, on this 13th day of February, 2001.”



Mayor Harris said this was Resolution 01-02-13, Storm Water Project Fund.  She read the resolution, which is contained in its entirety below. 

Commissioner Wootten explained that the Board decided in the budget process for this fiscal year that any excess monies left over from last year’s operating budget ending June 30, 2000, be set aside to establish a fund for storm water management.  The idea was to start accumulating some money to make a contribution for the Moffat and Nichols study, or whatever steps they can take to improve storm water management in the Coast Guard Road area.  The Board approved this in the budget process, and he asked the Town Manager how many times they had to approve it.  Mr. Allen said that Ms. Overman related to him this needed to be done.  Commissioner Wootten said this is the third step of a process to take leftover money from last fiscal year and put it into a separate fund for storm water management.

Commissioner Wootten moved that the Board approve Resolution 01-02-13. Commissioner Farmer seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Commissioner Farmer moved that the Board approve Budget Amendment 01-02-13-01.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Commissioner Murphy moved that the Board approve Budget Amendment 01-02-13-02.  Commissioner McElraft seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.


Mr. Mark Brennesholtz, resident of 9322 Ocean Drive and a member of the committee, gave the final report for the committee.  He said he appreciated the Board putting them on the agenda.  This Mayor and Board of Commissioners appointed the Bogue Field Committee originally in September in 2000, and they met for the first time in October.  The primary objective at that time that they felt they had been appointed to address was the issue of noise over Emerald Isle, which is controversial—some people love it, some people are indifferent, some people never hear it.  It is something of an

issue.  As they got further into their research on the subject and in discussions with the Marine Corps, they determined that there was a safety issue that was probably at least as significant as the noise issue.

The issue of the relationship between the Town of Emerald Isle and Bogue Field specifically goes back at least 10 years.  In fact, the Board of Commissioners and Mayor in 1993 sent some rather strongly worded letters to the Department of the Navy and to the Marine Corps on the issues.  It is not a new thing.  It was one of the objectives of this Board to appoint a committee to address the Bogue Field issues, and it is out on the Town’s website as an objective of this Town’s government.

As a committee, they presented an interim report in December, which, consi­dering it made no recommendations at all, turned out to be rather controversial.  At that time, the committee was given until the February meeting to come up with a final report with a final set of recommendations.  Whether they are final or not remains to be seen, but they have come up with a set of recommendations on this schedule.  In the January meeting, they made suggestions for the Joint Land Use Study that is being formed and will be performed.  Two members of this Board, Mayor Harris and Commissioner Trainham, are members of that JLUS committee.  In the January meeting, the Bogue Field Committee recommended four action points to be addressed by that study.  It was not their total recommendation, but it was probably as good as the scope of that particular study is going to address.

At that same meeting, when those action items were approved, the group was disbanded by the Board despite the fact that they had not made their final report.  They continued to work on it and have come up with 13 recommendations, which are pretty much common-sense recommendations.  He did not read them but said there was a stack of them with rationale on the table in the back of the room.

One of the things the committee found was that there are at least six traffic patterns that have been flown out of Bogue Field.  Only one or two of those go over Emerald Isle.  The other four are not flown anymore, for one reason or other—only the patterns over Emerald Isle.  The ones that the Marines have historically flown in Harriers and other aircraft, for some reason or other they do not fly over the mainland anymore.  They fly over the Sound and Emerald Isle. That is a little bit bothersome—because of the proximity, the aircraft cannot reach safe or quiet altitudes before they pass over the Town.

The recommendations come into 6 categories—safety issues, measurements of noise level, modify Bogue Field Standard Operating Procedure, maintain continuing

dialog with the Marine Corps, establish a methodology for handling public comments, and addressing of land use issues.

Under the safety issues, they recommend that the patterns be adjusted to minimize flights directly over the Town of Emerald Isle and over populated areas, especially until safety issues have been addressed concerning the Harrier specifically, to the satisfaction of even the Marine Corps themselves.  It is not unanimous within the Marine Corps that the Harrier is a satisfactory or completely safe aircraft.  The committee feels that there should be a formal joint command for disaster response.  They have heard conflicting reports whether the Town is prepared for a disaster in the event that an aircraft does happen to go down in this area.

Under measuring of actual noise levels, if the pattern were modified or changed, this would be totally unnecessary.  The noise would go away.  It is a documented concern that both the residents and our visitors, which are our lifeblood here, find this objec­tion­able.  Noise concerns would only need to be addressed if they cannot get a minor adjust­ment to the flight patterns.

Modify the Bogue Field Standard Operating Procedure.  There are two items that are common-sense—banning the carrying of live ordnance over Emerald Isle (they say that is the policy anyway, and the committee is suggesting that it be put into the orders) and that first-time pilots using Bogue Field be given a formal briefing about the traffic patterns and the sensitivity of the area as a resort community.  In addition, they would like to have some restrictions on normal hours of use of the field.  If there is an emer­gency, clearly nobody would object if they are preparing for a cruise and have to get in some last-minute flight hours.  Normal hours of between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. are recommended.  Bogue Field does not have radar; and as a result, they cannot track the compliance of their pilots with their own Standard Operating Procedure.  The only way they can track aircraft is via radar out of Cherry Point; and any time they fly at low levels, they disappear off the radar screen.  The committee is asking for some monitoring of the altitudes, that they are complying with their own orders.

Once every 7 or 8 years, this becomes a hot enough item.  The committee thinks there should be a continuing dialog with the Marine Corps on a monthly basis. 

The Marine Corps are already addressing handling public complaints, but they used to have an 800 number to place complaint calls or other comment calls that was taken away.  They are taking steps to reinstall it.


Mr. Brennesholtz finished by saying that Emerald Isle is a more-or-less built-out community.  The typical JLUS responses of “Well, we will use that land over by the Sound as a warehouse district instead of residences”, will not apply here.  It might apply in Havelock and other areas, but it will not apply here.  The committee thinks the Town should recommend that they take actions to work with the Marine Corps or Department of Defense to address land use issues and property values in those areas that are already committed.

Mr. J.B. Cobble, resident of the west end of the island, said this past weekend there were 3 warships offshore.  They were probably 5 miles beyond the sea buoy.  For hours, there were helicopters coming in over their residences, shaking the china in the china closet, on maneuvers.  He lives a block from the Coast Guard Station, and the guys were coming in with fighter helicopters and landing in the Coast Guard Station.  They circled his house and neighborhood for 30 minutes.  They have a job to do, and he is glad they have somewhere to work because we may need them someday.  If they can make changes, that would be great.  They have a little more problem than just on the eastern end of the island. They have two ends to work with.

Mr. Jim Slack, resident of 407 Channel Drive, said there are two sides to these issues.  He is a native eastern Carolinian.  Bogue Field was established in 1943, and it was for military purposes.  They have a job to do.  He has lived in Jacksonville since 1973.  Along with that job, there are some inconveniences that he may consider, and vice versa.  The gentleman alluded to an economic standpoint.  The economic base of Onslow County and Carteret County and Craven County is the military and government.  If Camp LeJeune, New River, Cherry Point, Bogue Field leave here, the tourism base will not cover it.  He lives near J.B., and he got used to it.  They have visitors who come who are not used to artillery fire, they think it is a thunder squall.  They are doing their job.  One night, they heard small arms fire and looked out.  There were 14 boats with Navy Seals practicing taking the Coast Guard station.  They do not pay any attention to it.  He is not saying there should not be concern, but they had to know “Buyer Beware.” Most of the people in here have jobs related to the military.  There are two sides to the question and he wanted to present another side.

Mr. Bob Sonzogni, resident of 8726 Emerald Plantation Road, said a funny incident happened a few years back.  He called in on the 800 complaint number and asked to speak to whoever was in charge to register a complaint.  The person in charge called back the next morning and asked about the problem.  Mr. Sonzogni told him the Harriers were noisy and asked if he had a topo map in front of him.  He asked if he could see the Food Lion shopping center, and the man replied, “Yes, yours isn’t that yellow stucco house, is it?”  That is a landmark.  As to caveat emptor, he must admit buyer

beware.  He was not aware of Bogue Field when he bought here 9 years ago. Seven years after that, there was discussion that the realtors had to notify prospective buyers of things like Bogue Field and sewage treatment plants and other enjoyable operations.  So apparently there must be something wrong with Bogue Field.  It is not exactly an amusement park, but be that as it may, it is there.  As to it being there in 1943, that was originally built for reciprocating engine, which are much quieter and safer than the Harrier.  Why they have to have the most inexperienced pilots, the trainees like the one that went down the previous Saturday, flying the worst piece of equipment over a populated area is beyond him.  Why, when that plane takes off, must they go to port and not starboard?  Are they concerned about the woodpeckers in the forest?  He asked the same questions 5 years ago of the military, and he got the same answer he is getting tonight.

Mrs. Betty Wethington, resident of 121 Sandbur Drive, said she is not anti-military.  In 1943, when they built Bogue Field, Emerald Isle was not populated like it is today.  It is no excuse for continually flying low, it is a safety issue with the population in our area now.

Mr. Tom Henson, resident of 8806 Sound View Court, encouraged people to take the paper in the back because it is not about noise, it is about safety.  The Harrier, since 1991, has 57 crashes, 16 killed, 28 groundings, 14 crashes in eastern North Carolina.  It has such a bad safety record that they formed a Harrier Review Panel in 1997 which, in 1998, came out with over 50 recommendations going toward engine failure, pilot proficiency—a Harrier pilot said “Flying so little, I feel I am barely proficient enough to do an engine start”—and maintenance crews, where kids doing the maintenance on the Harrier said parts were reused which were “meant to be thrown away” and enlisted men were “forced” to do things “wrong or dangerous.”  Does that sound like the Osprey?  That is what is flying over here.

Mayor Harris interrupted Mr. Henson at this point.  Mr. Henson, said “ I am not speaking to you Madam Mayor”.  Mayor Harris interjected that out of courtesy for the Town of Emerald Isle and our military neighbors, she asked him to please refrain from further comments about the military.  It has been answered, and copies of the final report that the Board and Town have sent to JLUS committee are on the back table for folks to read.  She asked Mr. Henson to refrain from any other further comment.

Mr. Henson said he would make one other comment, and it is not about the military.  Pointing at several members of the Board Mr. Henson said, “It is about all you, and you and you!  Mayor Harris said “No sir, you cannot. Mr. Henson please take a seat.” 


Commissioner McElraft said, “Lets have some respect for the two young pilots who died.

Mr. Henson replied that they didn’t have to if the military was doing their job.

Commissioner McElraft said “if they are flying where they are suppose to train”. Not one civilian has been killed in a crash by a Harrier”.

Mayor Harris interjected “I will call a recess or adjourn this meeting”.

Commissioner McElraft apologized to the Mayor for her outburst and Mr. Henson took his seat.






Mr. Pete Cochran, who owns property on Coast Guard Road, said he was not here to complain about the Town of Emerald Isle or any of the people who work or volunteer here.  He was asking for help in making some changes in the Town code.  Horses have a longstanding history here on the North Carolina coast. His wife Suzanne and he have had the fortunate opportunity to buy a large section, 10½ acres, of property on the Sound side of Coast Guard Road.  They feel that the majority of the residents driving up and down Coast Guard Road in the past four years are very pleased with what they have done to the property to enhance the beauty of Coast Guard Road.  Their long-term goal is to build their dream house for themselves and their four children.  With that dream, they would like to include their pets.  At this time, the Town code on horses reads, in Section 4-6 Horses and Other Livestock, paragraph (a), “It shall be unlawful for any person to have or possess within the town horses, cattle, hogs, goats, fowl and other livestock except through a duly issued permit under paragraph (b) hereafter.”  Paragraph (b) says, “The board of commissioners is authorized to approve upon written application a temporary permit for a period of not exceeding seven (7) days for one or more livestock for a parade, circus, fair, or similar event to be held on property other than residentially zoned sites.”


Mr. and Mrs. Cochran ask that the Board remove the word “horse” from the code, and to understand that a horse is considered a companion by the Veterinarians Associa­tion.  The horse is equal to a dog or a cat in the companionship terms.  They ask also that the Board issue them a special use permit so that they may have their horses back on their property.  This special use permit can be issued with the following guidelines:  a) you must have 5 acres or more to qualify for the special permit; b) you must have a clean and healthy environment for the horses and their surrounding areas; c) you must have the consent from adjoining neighbors.  This permit cannot be used in a residential or private community.

Mr. Cochran had asked two people, Jim Slack and Bob Isenhour, who drive by the property two or three times a day to share their personal feelings about this.

Mr. Jim Slack, resident of 407 Channel Drive, said there is a situation in the community that he thinks is aesthetically very pleasing.  He prefers horses in these areas over a motel, a high-rise building, or a multi-family complex and all of the consequences that go with it.  Mr. and Mrs. Cochran have gone to no ends to make it aesthetically pleasing, they would make a great asset to the area, and he would like to see it be retained as open spaces rather than having it be multi-complex.  He hopes the Board will seriously consider allowing them to try it.  If they do not like it and they keep it in proper perspec­tive, the privilege can be taken away.

Mr. Bob Isenhour, resident of 313 Channel Drive, lives around the corner from the Cochran family.  He knows Mr. Cochran to be a man of his word.  When he says he will maintain a safe, clean environment for these horses, they can take it to the bank.  Mr. Isenhour drives up and down Coast Guard Road every day and is pleased to see what he has done to the property.  Before Mr. Cochran cleaned up the property, it was a tangle of vines, poison ivy, and dead trees.  Now it is very pleasing.  He is happy to see the horses out there.  They are nice to look at, but he is also happy from an environmental standpoint that horses are there rather than multi-family buildings with hardened surfaces.  The horses will add a welcome bucolic atmosphere, and he supports their request to amend the ordinance.

Mr. Cochran thanked the Board members who went out to look at his property the day before.  He asks that they consider this important matter.

Commissioner McElraft said she agrees that horses are definitely non-imper­vious, and she loves what Mr. Cochran has done with the property and would love to see more of that.  She would like to limit the horses to two.  If they did this, they should

make sure that the neighbors agree, and that it has to be 5 acres of more.  If the horses are ever mistreated in any way, that special use would be revoked from that owner.  She would be in favor of this.

Mr. Taylor said it should be taken into consideration the issues of what ordinance to pass.  Several things had been suggested.

Mayor Harris read Section 4-6 Horses in Emerald Isle.  Mr. Taylor said if they are going to do this as a special use permit, which has been suggested, they will do this as a zoning issue, which needs a specific public hearing if it goes further.  The best they can do tonight is to refer it to the Planning Board or draft a document calling for a public hearing.

            Commissioner McElraft moved that the ordinance be referred to the Planning Board.  There was no second.  Motion denied.

Someone from the audience asked to make a comment on the issue and asked if Roberts Rules is part of the Town Meeting issues.  Mr. Taylor asked what his issue was.  The gentleman said there was an amendment made to the proposal that was made, and the amendment, not the proposal, was defeated. They should then go back to the proposal.

Mr. Taylor asked for specifics.  The gentleman said that Mr. Cochran had asked that horses be allowed to be there, and Mr. Taylor had suggested a procedure.  That procedure was voted against, not the issue.

Mr. Taylor said the Board has no authority to issue a special use permit unless it is listed as a special use within the zone he is in.  The ordinance would have to be changed.  He had given the procedure necessary for changing the ordinance to do what Mr. Cochran wants to do.  The Board cannot just say it is ok. It failed to be given to the Planning Board for any further consideration.



Ms. Patricia Buhr, resident of 119B Sandbur Drive, said she had been asked by the Animal Committee and the people she rents from to speak to the Board about the feral cats on the island.  They do present a problem, and the problem lies within us.  They are all over.  They carry diseases that can affect humans as well as animals.  She believes in trapping, spaying/neutering, and setting free.  These animals would then be marked.  Then they would have the problem of them being inoculated against distemper, feline 

  leukemia, and rabies.  She was part of a trapping and neutering program in Hawaii—they do not have rabies there.  Each veterinarian in the area would volunteer one day a week and would go to the Humane Society.  Animal control would help the group to take in cats and dogs, and that way it cut down on the population.  Canines come into season twice a year, felines come into season, after 6 months of age, every 3 weeks.  They have anywhere from 6 to 7 kittens, and they can die.

Ms. Buhr said she is willing to speak to the different veterinarians about them volunteering their time.  If they get animals when they are babies, they can be adopted.  If they take a grown animal, people do not want them, and they are hard to train.  You cannot train a wild animal.  She would like to see animal control and understands there is no animal control in Emerald Isle.

People say the cats keep the mouse population down; but when they get in the garbage, they eat raw meat that causes toxidia in animals, which gets into their intestines; and then they die.

Ms. Buhr said she is willing to do anything to help with the situation.  She passed out information on diseases.

Commissioner Wootten said there is an Animal Committee, and he was looking forward to their coming forward with suggestions on how to deal with this problem.  Ms. Buhr went to the Animal Committee, and they told her to come here.  Ms. Buhr said they had asked her to come.  Commissioner Woottenencouraged her to keep in touch with the Animal Committee.  He is looking for the committee to define a problem and hopefully come up with some type of solution.

Mrs. Anne Eckerson, chairman of the Animal Committee, said it is her under­standing that unless Ms. Buhr is approved by the Board, she cannot be part of the Animal Committee.  She said she would love to have Ms. Buhr on the committee.  Mayor Harris appointed Ms. Buhr to the Animal Committee.



The Board had the contract before them.


Mr. Taylor said one of the things he had a concern with from a legal perspective is the N/A in “shall not exceed . . .”. He suggested they set some ceiling that they come before the Board for.  Usually the scope of work would do that, but it is right now wide open.  The other concern is that he would like to talk with them about the possibility of a couple of additions to the contract.  He would like to negotiate with them.

Commissioner Wootten agreed.  He is not sure that this would hold up as a contract.  Hourly rates should be in there for the type of individual who is going to do the work . . . .

Commissioner Farmer asked why they would need this.  Why would they not contract with them as they needed them?

Mayor Harris said the Town has been using them without a contract, and they need something.  Commissioner Farmer said the next time they hire them to do something, they need to contract them.

Commissioner Wootten said this is known as a “labor hour professional contract” that says every time they want x individual, he is going to charge the Town so much.  This provides the ability to have the individuals do work individually and not as a project.

Commissioner McElraft said they had asked Mike Harvey to do something gratis for them, and he agreed to do that.  She understands that may not be happening.

Commissioner Farmer said this contract has nothing to do with what Mike said he would do gratis.

Commissioner Wootten said he would like to have the Town Attorney tighten up the contract.

            Commissioner Farmer moved that the Board approve the contract with whatever changes the Town Attorney feels necessary to protect the Town’s interests.  Commis­sioner Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous for approval.  Motion carried.




Mayor Harris said normally this is done in March, but since there were two openings and the possibility for someone being sick and then not having a quorum, they would do the appointments this evening.

For re-appointment to March of 2003, she named George McLaughlin, Frank Vance, and Phil Almeida.

            Commissioner Wootten moved that they approve the re-appointments to the Planning Board.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote was unanimous for approval.  Motion carried.

Mayor Harris said for the two openings on the Planning Board, they had 6 applications.  There were great applications with qualified people, but there were only two openings.  The remaining applications will be kept on file.

            Commissioner Murphy moved that Art Daniel be appointed to serve from February 14, 2001, through March 1, 2003.  Commissioner McElraft seconded the nomination.  Vote was unanimous for approval.  Motion carried.

            Commissioner McElraft moved that Harry Thompson, a retired Department of Transportation road engineer, be appointed to serve from today’s date until March 1, 2002.  Commissioner Murphy seconded the nomination.  Vote was unanimous for approval.  Motion carried.



Commissioner McElraft said the Reforestation/Re-vegetation Committee is now over 20 members.  There will be no cap on this committee because they want everybody planting trees and vegetation.  They will be working with the Garden Club to give free seedlings at the St Patrick’s Day festival.  Scott Chadwick and Brian Watson will be helping to work with the Parks and Recreation Department to create an arboretum, or test garden, at the Western Regional Beach Access.  They will plant different varieties of plants and vegetation that will grow on the oceanfront, and will tag them with the proper and common names so people can see what will grow on the oceanfront.

The names for the committee are:  Tom Ross, Sophie Martin, Doje Marks, Peggy Brown, Joan Simmons, Emily Zucker, Sandy Sherer, Julia Wax, Ed Dowling, Alesia Sanderson, Bill Reist, Jane Diloreto, Tom Ramsey, Brian Watson, Mark Penry, Scott Chadwick, Rose LoPinto, Sylvia Short, and Ed Grant.  Commissioner McElraftsaid

they are trying to have representation from every area so they can get as many people involved in the reforestation/re-vegetation effort.  It not only helps the beauty of Emerald Isle but helps with the storm water problems, too.


            Mayor Harris said she had received six applications for this committee and discovered at the last minute that a seventh had been misplaced and found.

Commissioner McElraft named the 7 people on the Beach Nourishment Committee:  Charles Stuber, Jerry Huml, Julia Wax, Charles Vincent, Bernell Vance, Bob McInnis, and Bob Isenhour.



            Mayor Harris read a resignation letter from the Town Manager.

Mr. Cary Harrison, resident of 10010 Coast Guard Road, heard somebody say at one point in time that Mr. Allen was a national treasure and he told that person shortly afterwards he did not think he was a national treasure at all.  He is very much a local treasure, and he knows the Town is going to miss him.  He said he appreciates Mr. Allen being here and all he has done in the past for the town. He also wants everybody in the audience to not wait until somebody resigns to thank them.  They have immense staff that works for the town.  If they don’t see what these people do every day, they should take the time to thank them now, and not later.

Mr. Harrison said he was a little bit blind-sided by the process, or lack of process, that went on earlier with Mr. Cochran.  He had been under the impression that this Board has been the type that has wanted to go through the ordinance in its entirety and either fix, remove, but certainly enforce everything that is there. There is currently a little bit of a problem in the one section that deals with horses.  You cannot have horses in Emerald Isle, in Section 4-6, but in section 4-4, it says you must keep the stables clean.  That is in the book—they should look it up.  He almost brought his kids tonight because they wanted to know why Mr. Cochran’s horses had to leave, and he had explained to them the process, and he almost brought them to show how you can go before a town and ask for something to change and maybe even get it or at least get the ball rolling.  He said he was glad he did not bring them.  He has always abhorred people . . ., and it probably stems from his own father getting up and confronting him and saying “It is this way because I said so.”  He told his kids he would never say that to them, that he would always explain it to them.  He hoped the Board would take the time to explain to 

Mr. Cochran what went on tonight, because it has flabbergasted Mr. Harrison.  The horses were basically added to the livestock as a result of a pot-bellied pig incident in 1994.  There had never been problems with horses in this town.  He thinks it is ironic, and we need to take a look at what they have done tonight, because we’re the newcomers and can look at Bogue Field which pre-dated this town by 23 years and tell them they are no longer needed and are in our way and need to get out of the way.  We can look at the ponies that inhabited the banks and tell them they are no longer important and need to be outlawed, too.  He hopes our successors are a whole lot more gentle to them than we have been to our predecessors.  He hopes next time Mr. Cochran comes back, the Board will at least give the Planning Board a chance to look at wording and think about what he is talking about.  He would much rather see up the street from him what he is putting in than what other people in the room would put in.

Commissioner Wootten said he had spent some time with Mr. Cochran and they had a frank conversation, and Mr. Cochran knows exactly why he had taken the action he took tonight.

Mr. Cochran said the only answer Commissioner Wootten had given him was “this is going to open up a can of worms” to anybody to put a horse in their back yard, and he had explained that if they put a special permit and in that special permit said 5 acres or more, that would disqualify 95% of the residents in this community.  Commissioner Wootten said then he and Mr. Cochran had not communicated as well as he thought they had.

Mr. Harrison asked since when was this Board afraid of a can of worms.

Mr. Bill Ellis said he had been here longer than anyone else on the island. He thanked Pete Allen for all he had done over so many, many years for the people of Emerald Isle.

Mayor Harris said there would be a shindig for Mr. Allen later on and everyone would be notified.

Mr. Bill Reist congratulated Mr. Allen.  He also said that at the last meeting, he was pretty critical of Commissioner Wootten and Commissioner Murphy because he thought they were not representing the residents of Emerald Isle.  Tonight he congratulated and thanked them for their action on the special permit because he thinks they were acting in the interest of Emerald Isle.  He thought if he could be critical he could also compliment them on a good job.

Mr. Pete Allen, Town Manager, said he thought what he would have to endure when he wrote the letter of resignation was to leave here with the attitude of this audience and this Board that he had seen tonight.  It floors him. He has spent 13 years of his life and devoted a lot of it to this town.  For the life of him, he is totally frustrated, disgusted, and it embarrasses him to no end as to what they have been going through for the last few months.  If the Board does not do anything else for him, take control of this situation and get the town back to where it needs to be—professionally, officially.  This is totally embarrassing, and they have become the laughing stock, the Barnum and Bailey, of eastern North Carolina.  He is sorry to say that he is ashamed to be a part of it.  Some-­

body said he would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.  He might be jumping from the fire back into the frying pan.  He did not want to go away after 13 years of dedicated service to this town, but he is totally embarrassed.  If they do not do anything for him other than this, get this town back into shape.  This is totally ludicrous and absurd, and he is sorry to have to say that.



            Mr. Allen said they had asked him to say, because of the lateness of the evening, that they would like to waive their comments.



            Commissioner Trainham said so many people had left that maybe they should have comments earlier in the agenda.  He announced a 4:30 P.M. meeting Thursday, February 15, 2001, for the library.  The meeting will be at the Western Carteret Community Center, and Mrs. Bob Isenhour has been the president.  They would hope that some of the audience would show up for that meeting because a lot of decisions need to be made with regard to the library in Western Carteret County.

Commissioner Farmer said she wanted to bring everyone up to date. They had talked at the Board workshop the day before about the ethanol plant. They had been asked to sign a resolution which was going to be on the agenda next month.  However, there was a Port Authority meeting today with officials from the County and munici­pali­ties, and at that meeting it was announced that DFI and the ethanol plant are out and instead the Port will give an option to lease to an unnamed Fortune 500 company to construct an LNG storage and distribution facility which is significantly larger than the facility planned next to the ethanol plant.  While there is no guarantee the County will actually receive any of the LNG from the facility, it will get approximately $3 million in taxes.  To put that into perspective, Big Rock brings in about $5 million and recreational boating brings in about $20 million.  And then you add tourism to that.  Are all these income generators going to be threatened by an LNG plant?  Interestingly enough, Eric


Stromberg, Executive Director of the Port, said at the meeting today, “Make no mistake about it, LNG is a dangerous product.”  It is explosive, and there is some question as to whether the U.S. Coast Guard safety zone requirements will mean that the ICW at Beaufort Inlet will have to be closed whenever a tanker or barge carrying LNG heads toward the port.  The next meeting of the Port Authority will be held in Wilmington next week.  The Port had promised that if it extended an option to lease to DFI for the ethanol plant, it would take that action in Morehead. Apparently, this courtesy to Carteret County residents does not extend to the significantly more worrisome LNG facility because it is at that meeting in Wilmington that the contract is expected to be signed.

Commissioner Wootten had no comment.

Commissioner McElraft said there was one person who had wanted to speak who was out of the room when public comments were going on.  She asked if she could give up her time to let that person speak.  Mayor Harris said she would prefer not.  Commissioner McElraft had no comment.

Commissioner Murphy had no comment.

Mayor Harris said the only comment she had is the new medical care at Cape Carteret is now open, and that is for urgent care only.  They had asked her to make that announcement.

            Commissioner Murphy motioned, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously to go into Closed Session to discuss employee contracts and for attorney consultation.

The Board went into closed session at 10:07 P.M.

The Board returned to regular session at 10:50 P.M. 

            Commissioner Trainham motioned that the Board accept Town Manager Allen’s resignation.  Commissioner Murphy seconded and the Board vote was unanimous.

Commissioner Farmer motioned that the Town Board appoint Georgia N. “Mitsy” Overman as Interim Town Manager.  Commissioner McElraft seconded the motion and the Board vote was unanimous.


Commissioner Farmer motioned, Commissioner Wootten seconded and the Board voted unanimously to adjourn.

   The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 02/13/2001

January 15, 2001  

Planning Board

Town of Emerald Isle Planning Board Minutes

Regular Monthly Meeting

Monday, January 15, 2001



The meeting was called to order by Chairman Cary Harrison, at 7:00 P.M.

Members in attendance: Cary Harrison, Ceil Saunders, Phil Almeida, George McLaughlin, Ed Dowling, David Schock, and Frank Vance. Also in attendance were Carolyn Custy, Town Clerk, substituting for Carol Angus; and Pete Allen, Town Manager.

Minutes of the regular meeting of December 7, 2000, were approved with two comments made by Phil Almeida: 1) on page 4, change the wording to what he said, "Rezoning of the property would not be fair to the owner. On the other hand, if the project is developed in its entirety, the community would suffer further added traffic problems"; 2) on page 4, Mr. Harrison’s words "The capacity of Coast Guard Road" should be changed to "The traffic volume of Coast Guard Road would largely increase by approximately 6,600 cars per day."

Motion was made by David Schock to accept the minutes as changed with a second by George McLaughlin. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager – Mr. Pete Allen reported that the Town Board granted final plat approval for the 4-lot commercial subdivision and the 9-lot residential subdivision in Block 15. The Board also approved a resolution of support for establishing a state-funded Beach Renourishment and Restoration Commission. The two other items, which they are discussing this evening, are special use permits in B3 zones and possible gateway overlay district.

Report from Building Inspector – Mr. James Taylor was not in attendance to give the report. Chairman Harrison said that the permits issued for the last month totaled 101 permits for a total of $1.78 million. Mr. Almeida said he had been driving down Coast Guard Road and noticed that there might be an encroachment from the Texaco station onto the right-of-way of Coast Guard Road near the junction of Hwy 58. He thinks that needs to be checked, as he thinks the island is too close to the right-of-way; and when they start building the right-hand land, they will run into problems.


Chairman Harrison said there was an item he wanted to add. Dr. Almeida wanted a few minutes to go over some comments he had about stormwater issues. They started off with that item.

A. Stormwater Issues

  • Mr. Almeida said they had stormwater problems and they have a $5 million solution that Moffat & Nichol had suggested. That solution and implementation is still a ways off. His concern is that there is development going on, and they are compounding the problem. He would like to move that they make a motion to the commissioners that they should set priorities if they want the current stormwater ordinance to be revised.

    Mr. Harrison said he was inclined to agree with Mr. Almeida. It is critical, and a lot of things were impacted by the commissioners and the Planning Board last year. It was brought up by Benchmark in a workshop they had on January 12, and they suggested that commercial structures be required to retain all the storm water from a 2-hour, 10-year storm event, which turned out to be 4¼ inches. He asked if that sounded like a plausible number. Mr. Almeida said that might be tough to order because the water table is so high and they can store the water only above the water table. In locations where the water table is 2 feet below ground, there is not that much volume where they can retain all that.Mr. Harrison said the other thing they discussed was the notion of requiring that all residences retain the first 1½ inches, and that is currently a requirement but is not something that is not well enforced. Mr. Almeida said it is currently a requirement, but if you look at some of the lots that are very low, very close to a pond, there is no way they can retain that 1½ inch because the water table is so high.

    Mr. Harrison asked, if they were to remove the exemption for single-family duplexes to submit some stormwater plan . . . . Mr. Almeida said they really need to do that without making it really difficult on the individual homeowner, but at least have some semblance of stormwater management for what they propose to do. Otherwise, they might get the problem they have had in Spinnakers and other areas.

    Mr. Almeida moved that the Planning Board make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners that the revision of the stormwater ordinance be placed on priority. Mr. Dowling seconded. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

    Mr. Dowling commented that he thought it was long overdue and it should be their priority. He looks at the subdivisions downstream from 58 and looks at the problems they had with the hurricane and with the last storm where people were walking through the water to bring their kids to a bus and to pick up their mail. That is uncalled for. He thinks they had two petitions before the Board of Commissioners and would also recommend that they take a special look, as part of the stormwater, at the engineering off the end of the island that was brought up by Mr. Bob Isenhour at the last Board of Commissioners meeting. He addressed that issue and made a plea for the second time because he did put a petition in for the Board of Commissioners that they do something and prioritize that that, and Mr. Dowling does not think that has been done. They owe that to the citizens.

    Commissioner John Wootten commented that if they want to prioritize it, do it. They wrote the standard operating procedures in such a way that the chairman of the Planning Board could come back to the commissioners and say these are the priorities of the group. They have the ability to do it. Mr. Harrison said for the short term, they might well make the recommendation because this is something that will take some time and hence will take away from some other issues, and they need to make sure that the Board of Commissioners is well aware of it. Historically, the Planning Board has hardly ever embarked on a single issue by itself, they’ve always been instructed.

    Commissioner Wootten said the standard operating procedures were written so that the Board of Commissioners would not get down at the level of the Planning Board’s business and try to tell them what to do and not to do in priorities.

    Mr. Almeida said he recalled some discussion somewhere that they would get the Board of Commissioners to prioritize the projects to be taken up by the Planning Board. Commissioner Wootten said, "Read your standard operating procedure." Mrs. Saunders said the standard operating procedure also says that what they get comes from the Board of Commissioners signed by the mayor. Commissioner Wootten said the Planning Board can fit it into what slot they want it.

    Mr. Allen commented that whoever wants to take this and go with it contact him first because there is a lot of activity going on that he is not sure the Planning Board knows about—a lot of attempts to get grant money, the big picture and small localized projects to solve. Mr. Harrison asked Mr. Almeida if he could do that informally, and Mr. Almeida said he could.

  1. CVS Drug Store, Commercial Review, Block 38, at present location of Beachmart and Coconut Grove Miniature Golf, adjacent to Hwy 58.
  • Mr. Harrison explained that CVS is contemplating a move from their current location to the corner of Mangrove and NC 58 where it is a Beachmart and miniature golf facility. This is a preliminary stage for this, as they routinely send this on to the Mapping Committee for discussion later on in the week.

    Mr. Schock asked if they would have architectural drawings of the site. Mr. John Odom said that Mrs. Angus had the two color renderings of it. The smaller one was passed to the Planning Board members. Mr. Odom said it was pretty generic, that the signs are too big on the side view, but the building would be made of that type of material. Mr. Harrison asked if it would be a complete redo of the façade. Mr. Odom said yes, that there is a lot of glass in the Beachmart building that they will block over. Mr. Harrison said it would not be a mere reoccupation of the building. They are talking about an approximate 50% increase in the size—a 4,000 sq. ft. addition to the building. The longest side of the building would face Hwy 58.

    Mr. Odem said the signs would be redone.

    Mr. Dowling asked about the flow of water. Mr. Odom replied that there is a stormwater plan that covers it that he had provided to Mrs. Angus. Mr. Dowling asked about a vegetative buffer around the dumpster. Mr. Odom said he would put an arrow on the plat showing that.

    Mr. Harrison asked about lighting on the building. He said there were 8 area lights in the parking lot. In addition to what is already there, what else will be on the building. Mr. Odom said he did not know, but they have plans coming for that from the builder. Mr. McLaughlin asked if they would have any free-standing signs. Mr. Odom said that was noted around parking space 43. Mr. McLaughlin asked whether they are willing to conform to the new sign ordinance, and Mr. Odom replied that they had submitted a sign proposal to Mrs. Angus that does blend with the new rules.

    Mr. Harrison said they showed a new entrance onto NC 58, but the DOT had recently said no more from Merchants Park all the way to the bridge. Mr. Odom said they had revised the plan to take that out, but they will still work towards that.

    Mr. Harrison said that from his understanding with Mrs. Angus, there was a request by the owners of CVS, that in order to get their materials and crews on the job prior to the heavy traffic season, to fast-track this and get it reviewed and approved by Wednesday. Given the fact that they do not have a stormwater plan and there are a lot of other questions about it, he does not think that is possible.

    Mr. Odom said the stormwater plan was submitted when the maps were submitted. Mr. Harrison said they did not have it in their hands. Mr. Almeida said there are no computations. Mr. Odom said he had what was needed.

    Mr. Harrison said it would be reviewed at the Mapping Committee on Wednesday.

    Mr. Odom said the reason they are in a hurry to get started is that there is a building that has to be removed, some demolition that needs to go on in the interim. They are anxious to be open for the season or at least a portion of the season. Mr. Harrison said he understands that, but for the record, somebody else’s last minute planning does not necessarily make it so that the Planning Board needs to put it into double gear to accommodate a tourist season.

C. Sign Ordinance Committee Proposal

  • Mr. Dowling praised Mrs. Angus and the committee, representatives from the community and from the Merchants Association, and said Mrs. Angus was very well versed in her leadership role. Mrs. Angus presented what she wanted with courses of action that were appropriate, and they discussed them in great depth, and she really was a professional. He wanted the Planning Board to know that a lot of work went into this, and it is all due directly to Carol Angus and the committee.

    Mr. Vance added that he had sat in on two of the meetings, and the discussions that went on were really good. They tried to consider every aspect, tried to make it fair to everyone, and it was. It was a good committee.

    Mr. Harrison explained that the whole idea was born from the fact that there was a workshop held between the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners, and they realized after an hour and a half of arguing about the very first point of the ordinance that they were going nowhere quick. Somebody suggested the brainstorm of getting a couple of business people, a couple of normal citizens who didn’t have business interests, Planning Board people, and commissioners together to come up with a fair sign ordinance. This was something that worked out very well and is hopefully something that can be done in the future.

    Mrs. Angus had reported to Mr. Harrison that they had used a total of 14 tapes, so they have many, many hours. They met 12 times on this, and for the record, they thank them, because it took a huge burden off the Planning Board. Thanks to George McLaughlin and Ed Dowling, to Carol Angus, Emily Farmer, Pat Patteson, Bernie Whalley, Mike Crews, and Jay Murphy. Their work is very much appreciated.

    Mr. McLaughlin commented that the section is a total re-write. They didn’t go in and change one word to another because they found that would be very laborious and difficult for the public to understand because they would have needed two documents—one to see what the old one said, and one to see what the new one said and what words were changed. So they rewrote it sentence by sentence, making changes where they felt it appropriate, and on the copy that they had, the highlighted portions were those that were changed. If there were paragraphs that were no longer relevant, they went by the wayside. They had 11 meetings between September 7 and November 30, three hours at a clip. The input from Mike Crews and Pat Patteson, who have business interests, were very helpful because they gave them a point of view from the business side, something that most of them wouldn’t have had, Mike especially saying what was the minimum they could get by with for this kind of business. It was fair to everybody, especially when they got down to when non-conforming signs would be brought into conformity, and it was decided 6 years, given the cost that the people had gone into to get it where it is today. Six years would be a suitable amount of time to let them write it off as a business expense.

    Mr. Harrison said this was available to everyone in the town, but asked Mr. McLaughlin to give the audience a quick synopsis.

    Mr. McLaughlin said they didn’t just pull it out of thin air. They got town ordinances from 3 or 4 different towns in several areas of the country. From one extreme in Cary, NC, the max sign height is 44 inches, which you can’t even see. During the last election cycle, they passed out $6,500 in fines for election signs that exceeded the limits, including to somebody running for office, a town councilman who passed it. He took pictures in Glastonbury, Connecticut. One of the big things they came up with was limiting the height of the signs, to get them down more into conformity to where they are not only at eye level, but they will be more pleasing to look at, given what the committee feels the community wants to look like.

    Mr. McLaughlin continued that the maximum height of a sign now is 15 feet, depending on, if it is a gang sign, how many advertisers are on it. They geared it all to pieces of 4 x 8 plywood. That’s how the measurements were geared. They changed some of the signs on Wings, etc., to try to tone them down. A business has to decide where the main entrance is, on what street.

    Mr. Harrison said there was a remark about portable signs—signs on wheels, attached to a trailer or vehicle, A-frames or other devices. These are prohibited signs. He asked if that included magnetic ones that people stick on their vehicles. Mr. McLaughlin replied "no," that if you have a business and use your car for that business and park it in front of your house, that is allowed because that is a private vehicle and is not being used to advertise a business at the house. He used the example of Box Office Bagels and said you can’t take a vehicle and just park it in a parking lot and leave it. That doesn’t go. You have to use it for the business, move it around, and leave it where the business is generally located. There was some discussion about the Pepsi-Cola truck that is always parked in the parking lot at Food Lion. It is advertising Pepsi-Cola, but the reason it is there is because of the amount of Pepsi Cola that is needed at the store instead of running to New Bern or Morehead City, where they have to bring in a new supply every day. That is done throughout the country, not just here. They are there for supply purposes, not advertising purposes.

    Mr. Harrison asked about the intent, of promoting the aesthetic qualities of the town, promoting the business community by conveying information, and promoting the safety of persons and property by providing that signs do not create traffic hazards due to collapse, fire, collision, disrepair, and abandonment. He did not understand how that was a likelihood for signs to catch on fire and become a traffic hazard. Mr. McLaughlin answered that they were trying to get at the free-standing signs that could become a hazard if they got damaged in a storm, and one of the traffic hazards of the signs is if they are so visible from the road that the drivers are distracted—they then become a hazard.

    Mr. Mark Brennesholtz, a resident, asked about lighting. Does the ordinance address sign lighting, lighting up, lighting down? Mr. McLaughlin replied that lighting is covered separately. They didn’t address it directly, and he said they had talked about, for example, the sign at Eagles with purple lighting. All they would have to do is change the bulbs, and that became quite an issue. Mr. Dowling said that all lighting plans have to be first put before the Planning Board and have to be noted on the plat. They centered on neon and fluorescent lights. They did not want to the lights conspicuously displayed on new buildings for fluorescent purposes, so they limited it in that area. Neon and fluorescent lights either in the form of strip lighting or as a part of a decorative display, signage, or other building structures are prohibited on either the exterior of any commercial building or commercial property. They also addressed neon lights in buildings like the famous ice cream cone and Open signs, but they gave the benefit of the doubt to the merchants for a period of 6 years, so they were very fair and were looking after the merchants in that area.

    Mr. Harrison said he assumed that anyone who starts to do business after acceptance of the signage ordinance will be in conformity, and the rest will be amortized. Mr. Dowling agreed, but added with the exception of hurricane or storm damage. Mr. McLaughlin said if they take a sign down, it is down.

    Mr. Harrison said there had been a lot of talk about the Town doing almost the identical thing, i.e. a complete rewrite, to the lighting ordinances. There is a huge need for that, and it will follow close in the footsteps of the stormwater study.

    A businessman asked for a copy of the proposal so he could see how it would affect his business. Mr. Harrison was under the impression that they would be laid out at the back of the room. Mr. Dowling explained that Mrs. Angus was sick and was home in bed and asked him to bear with them. Mr. Harrison said he would provide him a copy at the end of the meeting. The businessman advised he had to leave now. A copy was given to him.

    Commissioner Trainham asked if the committee had done anything about considering the problem of political signage. Pine Knoll Shores does a beautiful job of taking care of that matter. Mr. Harrison said they can’t place the signs out prior to 90 days before the election, and they have to be picked up within 10 days after the election. Commissioner Trainham said Pine Knoll Shores had been able to take care of it so they can put political signs in the private yards, and it lends a lot to the appearance of things. Mr. Vance said the signs are to be kept on private property. Commissioner Farmer said they limited political signs to private property, and they should not be on Hwy 58. They had a lot of discussion back and forth about doing away with it entirely, but they can’t do that on people’s private property. Mr. Harrison asked if they would be permitted on public property, i.e. the entrance. Commissioner Farmer said her memory says no.

    Mrs. Dorothy Marks, a resident, said they presently have an ordinance that says a sign can be no more than 32 sq. ft, mainly 4 x 8. The sign on the Scoops shop at Coconut Grove is made up of individual ice cream cones and names that certainly exceeds 32 sq ft. Has that type of thing been addressed?

    Mr. Harrison said it depends on the zone they’re looking at, and currently, in a B3 zone where this property is located, they can have a sign up to 100 sq ft that can stand 20 feet tall if freestanding. As far as attached signs, they’re allowed and can have up to 32 sq ft. He asked if attached signs greater than 32 sq ft had been addressed. Commissioner Farmer said as she recalled, it was addressed and that would not comply. It would be allowed to stay up for 6 years. Mr. Harrison said for the CVS drug store, the freestanding sign will be allowed, but as far as the attached sign, they will be limited to 32 sq ft. Commissioner Farmer said for freestanding signs, they gave more area to signs that were advertising more than one business. For a single business freestanding sign, they are limited to 32 sq ft. as well. Mr. Dowling said they addressed that also under temporary signs because they said a lot of businesses put those signs (Sale, for instance) up, and they rewrote under exceptions 19-134, paragraph 11, Temporary Signs, and that is brand new, i.e. "window displays will be limited to 25% of the window surface and one designated facade for calculation purpose. A business of 2,500 sq. ft. or less is limited to not more than two signs. A business over 2,500 sq. ft. is limited to not more than 4 signs. Signs are not to be posted more than 12 feet from the top of the sign to the walking elevation. Each sign cannot exceed 6 feet in width, and no descriptive advertisement or affixed to merchandise may be displayed in the window, i.e. towels and t-shirts."

    Mr. Harrison asked whether the walking elevation is where the feet are or where the eyes are. Mr. Dowling replied, "Where your feet are, from the walking surface."

    Mr. Harrison said that for the record, and he realizes this is an artifact of people being sick, he thinks that for things like the wireless ordinance and sign ordinance when they are 15 and 20 pages apiece, they should have it on the website, have copies available, and a few copies in the back, or at least a synopsis. It is only fair that people understand what is going to happen with these ordinances.

    Mr. Vance made a motion to pass the proposed sign ordinance on to the Board of Commissioners, Mr. Almeida seconded. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

    Mr. Harrison thanked everybody who worked so diligently on this problem.

D. Discussion and possible recommendation of Special Use for B-3 Zoning

  • Mr. Harrison explained that commercial enterprises were laid out in Emerald Isle for general public use, and almost always they provide some sort of asset—drugstores, grocery stores, clothing stores, etc. There are times when they become a detriment, either in terms of traffic generation, stormwater, aesthetics, on and on. There are things that businesses can do that cause a problem to the health and welfare and safety and property values. The commissioners asked the Planning Board to look into this issue. This past Friday, both people from the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners met to discuss this with Mike Harvey of Benchmark Engineering, and they talked at length of the need for this proposal, what it should encompass, what items should be in there, what sort of details should be in there, etc. They started looking initially into what was already in the Code of Ordinances, and in there, there is a lot of what they need currently in place; specifically, the Code of Ordinances says that the commissioners have the right to limit anything (in an application for a special use) which might be injurious to public health, welfare, or safety, that might injure the property values; in fact, most everything they were trying to cover is already in there. There was a small handful of things that did not quite pigeonhole what they wanted, but most everything else did. The one thing that this section does say is that the commissioners have the right to require, and the group thought it was important to mandate that the commissioners HAD to require, to charge them with the responsibility to make certain that any development that is done in this town did not injure public health, safety, and welfare and did not injure property values. That should be by definition part of their job. They went farther to add a couple of comments.

    Mr. Harrison said that what is currently in place says that "permission may be granted for the establishment of uses listed, special uses if the Board of Commissioners finds through the evidence, maps and documents filed or produced after a study that complete records and following a hearing regarding the application for a special use permit, that every condition below, of items 1 through 7, is adhered to." That is currently in place. Further, "the Board of Commissioners is required in its review of any special use application, to ascertain that the use and requirements of the proposed development will adhere to the following conditions", and it enumerates items 1 through 7. These pertain to public health, safety, welfare, and property valuation. The few items that did not pigeonhole are the following, and these were written up by Benchmark and modified by Mr. Harrison and would be discussed by the Planning Board: that any development maintain a full parameter 12-foot-wide fire lane access purely for reasons of safety; that a boardwalk or sidewalk that provides some sort of grade separation between pedestrians and vehicular traffic be constructed; that the Board of Commissioners determine the number of allowable points of access and their spacing; that the developer shall install a pedestrian sidewalk along the full length of each public right-of-way to which the development abuts; that the Board of Commissioners shall impose additional requirements to assure the development’s compliance to section 19-84, which is basically what he had just read.

    What development would this pertain to? They looked at all the business zones and all the potential uses within each zone and tried to feel out numerically what traffic volumes, stormwater volumes, etc., would be injurious to the town. They came up with the following two zones that they feel should be restricted to special use: B-3 and B-2. What size building? 5,000 sq. ft. How did they come up with that number? They started looking at the traffic that could be generated by varying building sizes. They looked at everything from 2,000 sq ft on up to 16,000 and above and tried to find out if you put a business at a bad intersection, what would be some sort of injury. This would allow, not mandate, the commissioners to stop it and allow them to review it to see if it is going to injure public health, safety, welfare, or property values. What they did is lower it down to 5,000 sq. ft. That seems small, but it is almost anything that is going to happen in B-2 or B-3, but this allows the commissioners to look at and very quickly pass on, for example only, the CVS to say this is no problem because their outflow is here and the traffic volume is going to be such and such, the stormwater plan is no difficulty. There may be other issues where the buildings are fairly small that are quite a difficulty. The fellow from Benchmark Engineering pointed out to them that they might be talking about something initially of 8,000 sq. ft., but if they have a McDonald’s of 8,000 sq. ft., that will generate a whole lot more vehicles in a day on a square footage basis than anything else they could have in town. So they reduced the threshold so they could encompass a lot of things and hopefully have the commissioners pass on the majority of the developments but be able to catch in that sieve the ones that do pose a problem to the town.

    The wording is still somewhat loose at this point. They had someone in the audience asking for the exact wording, but they are not quite there yet. They will be submitting this on Friday morning to the Board of Commissioners should it pass approval by the Planning Board this evening.

    Mr. Rick Farrington mentioned the 12-foot border around the property. He asked about the side and rear setbacks in B-3 zone. He said there was a 0 side setback, and now they have made it a 12-foot side setback. Mr. Harrisonsaid the rear setback is 15 now. The rear would be the only one with any difficulty and would short them by 2 feet. Mr. Harrison said the idea of this is to have it be reviewed by commissioners and to make sure that it accomplishes the objectives that are already in the Code book about injuring public health, safety, welfare, and property values. If there is a commercial building abutting another commercial building and there is no way you can get a road in there, the Board of Commissioners will have the good common sense to look and say this is obviously not required. If it is physically possible, then the notion is, for public safety, to be able to have fire access on all possible sides.

    Mr. Bill Holz said he always thought that one of the purposes of writing ordinances was to eliminate this committee review of everything that goes on. You write your ordinances, you have the book, setbacks, heights, parking requirements, then somebody who wants to do something comes and deals with the building inspection department, which hopefully are professionals, and they show them what they are supposed to do and make sure they comply. What they have done with the B-3 overlay is make every project in B3 be approved by committee, and that opens things up for mischief; and if the commissioners like this project, this person, they will be more inclined to think it conforms to their public safety requirements. If the commissioners are against this developer or another t-shirt shop or whatever it is, they will find ways to stop it. Good ordinances, good planning, eliminates this very thing they are creating, which is by committee. That is why you have the ordinances and an ordinance book, so that somebody can come in, see what the requirements are, design for them, and apply for a building permit. Now they have everybody in B-3 who wants to do anything will have to go through this series of vague committee meetings. There is nothing black and white that somebody can plan a project, building, etc. for.

    Mr. Harrison replied that he cannot speak for any commissioners or Planning Board members, but he would hope like crazy that it never happens that people will be prejudicial to anything they do. Mr. Holz said they are making it a law and are correcting laws that were passed 20 years ago because they don’t think they’re any good.

    Mr. Harrison said his second point would be that if the Board of Commissioners are not looking out for public health, safety, welfare, and property values, then they have no business, in his opinion, sitting up there at all. That is a priority, what the definition of their job needs to be. The third thing, when talking about a review, they already have a review of every commercial project that has ever happened in Emerald Isle and ever will happen. Mr. Holz said that is to make sure they are conforming to the written down printed ordinances. Mr. Harrison replied that this will be written down. Mr. Holz said it has judgment factors all over it, so that committees decide if they think it is going to meet it or not meet it. Mr. Harrison said it would not be committees, it would be the Board of Commissioners.

    Ms. Saunders said that right now the Board of Commissioners has the final say anyway. If 10 years down the road, a new board comes in, everything changes, but that is nature.

    Mr. Holz said the ordinances do not change unless they are rewritten as the Planning Board is doing, and then go to public hearing, then they are changed. If they have a new group that comes in and they start making these judgments based on this overlay where every single building has to come and be approved by committee, then you might not get the same interpretation you get from this board that you do in 5 years. Mr. Harrison said if they are not using as a measure of their passage of any development those basic tenets that look after the public health and welfare and safety, then something is missing. That is all this ordinance asks them to do, it charges them to do that.

    Mr. Holz said the ordinances they have, if he came over and asked for the requirements for building a house, they would give him those to take home and study and conform to. And the health and safety is taken care of because it should be in the ordinances in black and white. Mr. Harrison said Mr. Holz is asking for quantitative things, when this is actually a qualitative issue.

    Mr. Holz said what they are doing is making every building permit for every B-3 development a decision by committee based on interpretation of the people who happen to be on that committee.

    Mr. Farrington said that prior to doing any type of development of any size, there is a lot of money spent on planning, and a lot of decisions made prior to construction actually beginning. Gray is not good when it comes to bankers and things like that. The average investor or person with engineers should be able to lay out on paper without having to go talk to 50 people in the town what they can and cannot do on a piece of property.

    Ms. Saunders asked if he didn’t think also that sometimes they get builders in that activate that gray area, too. What the Planning Board is trying to do is make sure that everything is the way it should be, and she is sure things will not deviate by going to the Planning Board with the drawings, getting the building permit, and the same type of procedure. Mr. Harrison added "unless there is an inherent problem with the development," in which case this will hopefully catch that problem. If they want to come and put a McDonald’s on the busiest intersection in Emerald Isle and have a super-size McDonald’s, he can almost guarantee them that it will be in black and white that they will probably have difficulty with this proposed ordinance.

    Mr. Holz said that in the real world, that is where McDonald’s are built, the busiest intersections. They could say there is an intersection 5 miles down the beach where there isn’t anybody, go build the McDonald’s down there. Mr. Harrison said that for anybody who lives on this island, they will be concerned if there is a McDonald’s pouring out whatever number of vehicles into the traffic pattern every single day.

    Mrs. Paxon Holz said it kills her when they talk about a McDonald’s when they have no There is not going to be anything generating that amount of traffic for we have no sewer. Mr. Harrison said that he is not certain that he necessarily agrees with her, that is something they discussed the other day. There are already Swedish firms and other people aware of the pressures on land, and to be able to put McDonald’s on street corners in places like Emerald Isle and to be able to come up with a technology that would allow them to buy the filtered sewage onsite is not by any means an impossible dream anymore. Mrs. Holz suggested that the stormwater study take that technology into account and use it. If there is such technology available, she recommends that those considering the awful problems we have with stormwater in that section of the island utilize that knowledge to treat stormwater effectively because it is not going to go away.

    Mr. Gus Farmakidis said he applauded the Board for taking an initiative in writing this, and he is sure they went to a lot of other places and checked out what they have. He is a citizen, pays taxes, started coming down here in 1953 to Atlantic Beach, and what does that look like when you go across the bridge. This town still is beautiful, and they have to do these sorts of things. These developers come up here and everyone is against them. In Cedar Island [sic], Cape Carteret, you need 20,000 square feet to build a duplex. Here it could be 11,000 and 15,000. You have to start improving all this stuff. These people aren’t going to do anything for you, they’re not going to make this a better place. They’re going to level it. They don’t want any restrictions. That’s bull, and he applauds the Planning Board.

    Mr. Holz replied that the people Mr. Farmakidis was talking about, the developers, are the ones that created this island that he is so proud of. Mr. Farmakidis responded, "I am? And what have you done for it? You haven’t made any money? You’re broke, right?"

    Mr. Harrison stopped the argument and asked if there were any more constructive questions.

    Mr. Dowling said he would like to add that the Jacksonville Daily News reported "Council pushes beautification." They want a prettier place to live, and there is a picture of what you can put in the B3 area—self-storage, U-Haul, a pawn shop. And now they are trying to roll back what they have. Mr. Dowling quoted from the article, "‘Otherwise,’ Jones said, ‘we’re going to condemn the next generation to what we are already apologizing for.’" This is the trend of the United States urban sprawl.

    Commissioner Farmer asked about the stormwater ordinance. The Board of Commissioners can turn to that, as will the Planning Board, to look at stormwater problems. She is glad they will be looking at that ordinance. She is concerned about the traffic impacts; that is what got this whole thing started. There is nothing in this ordinance that specifically directs the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners to look at traffic impacts, and therefore, they need to have an educated Board of Commissioners and an educated Planning Board that will think health, safety, that means traffic. Or is she missing something?

    Mr. Harrison replied that is one of the concerns they had early on. They started talking about 1) how these things pigeonhole, and 2) how somebody is going to be aware. There is a learning curve that happens with anybody elected to an office. He agreed with Commissioner Farmer that there has to be some learning curve, but this has to be a mutual process. That is why they wanted to charge them and require that the commissioners HAD to do all these things, not that they may do it, but that they had to. That would allow anybody in the room to come up before the commissioners and say, "Excuse me, you are not following the code. You are not looking at this traffic issue, for instance, which you should be addressing. If you are going to bottleneck this road up here and that one down there, how are you going to get an ambulance to the beach."

    Commissioner Farmer said her suggestion would be to give them a hint, and that is to put in that paragraph in parentheses "i.e. traffic, stormwater, noise," whatever. Mr. Harrison said they had started doing that, and called it their first level of detail, because it was a question of how much they wanted to mire in the details. This was something they intentionally wanted to avoid. They could have written volumes on how big the vegetative buffer should be, how deep it should be, how long it should be, etc. And what they tried to do was avoid the details and follow the inherent logic of what the commissioners are supposed to be doing. They are supposed to be here for the community. Commissioner Farmer said she would drink to that, they are supposed to be there for the community, but she is not convinced that that is the way it always turns out. She feels that if they give them a nudge in black and white to be looking at traffic and stormwater, they will be the two biggest, they should give them a gentle nudge. Mr. Harrison said they could add the first order level of details in there. Benchmark had written volumes of information, but the committee backed off the details and tried to make it an inherently simple ordinance that had an inherently simple objective. He agrees that it would not hurt to have that. Hopefully nobody would look at the details so much if they get the big picture of what they are supposed to be doing.

    Mrs. Holz said she had referred previously to the Emerald Isle 2000 survey that was given out October 10, 2000. She asked who formulated the survey. Commissioner Farmer answered that she, along with a couple of other citizens, sat down and took the 1990 survey that was done in conjunction with the land use plan, and updated it.

    Mrs. Holz said that is interesting because the survey generated some responses with respect to this district that she asked the Planning Board to keep in mind. Most of Emerald Isle’s business zones "run from the bridge to Town Hall on both sides of Emerald Drive and remain only partially developed. Areas zoned for business should be: increased, 60; decreased, 183; remain the same, 623; no response, 45. The overall appearance of the business district is: good, 304; fair, 464; poor, 132; no response, 12." So overwhelmingly, the citizens who cared enough to answer the survey said they feel the area zoned for business should remain the same. And said the overall appearance presently is fair and good. So where does the impetus come from for all these changes?

    Mr. Harrison asked her what her point was. If the people basically said do not increase the volume of the business district and don’t decrease the volume of the business district, keep it the same . . . . Mrs. Holz said they are saying don’t decrease the property zoned for business. Mr. Harrison added, "And don’t increase it."

    Mrs. Holz said they were not saying don’t increase it. The point is that the business district is a necessarily strictly limited district. And they are proposing to put even more limitations on it that adversely impact the use of the property.

    Mr. Harrison said the proper implementation of what they are talking about will not adversely impact in excess of 95% of the developments that come before the Town. It will probably adversely impact 5% of the ones that will necessarily be adversely impacted in the community. Mrs. Holz said that is no comfort to those 5%.

    Mr. Phil Gagnon, resident, said he answered that question on that survey but said his understanding of the question was, is there enough business development as is in Emerald Isle. That is why he answered don’t change it. Mr. Harrison said that was his implication. Commissioner Farmer said the question before that indicates that there is quite a bit of concern about and interest in the commercial development in Emerald Isle.

    Mrs. Holz said the highest number is "The following statement best describes the rate of growth." The most answers were 300 saying it is the right pace. Commissioner Farmer said there is another question, too. Commissioner Trainham said Mrs. Holz was taking the questions out of context. Commissioner Farmer said she would bring the survey results to the workshop on Friday.

    Mr. Gus Farakidis, resident, said in rebuttal to the developer, the same thing was brought up before. She read the same statement. They are mixing apples and oranges because at that time, there was no threat of development along there. At this point in time, if they took the same survey, he doesn’t think they would get the same results.

    Mr. Mark Brennesholtz, resident, said he agrees with Mr. Gagnon. When he filled out the survey, he read it too quickly. His interpretation was do we have enough commercial development on the island, and the answer was "yes." That is what he checked, it was not would you like to see the entire area from Langston Bridge up to Town Hall fully developed commercially. The answer to that would have been most definitely "no."

    Commissioner Trainham said it had been his finding that this has been the consensus of people on the island. They are very concerned. We have already been built out in many areas, and he is questioning whether they are building out in so far as the business area is concerned. We plan for the future, and we have buildings right now standing empty. To keep these open and to keep them vibrant during the year is not easy for the merchants to do.

    Commissioner McElraft asked how the special use worked. Does the person who builds the building have to come back every year to get it renewed? Mr. Harrison replied that was an excellent question, and this is the one problem they stumbled into last Friday. A special use permit is good for a maximum of 24 months. They had remarked that they will likely have to amend that statement in the Code that it is good for a maximum of 24 months except as the commissioners may approve it an appurtenant use. Nobody is going to go and say they would like to build a 15,000 foot store, go to the bank, apply for a loan, and tell them that they may yank it in two years. They won’t get the loan. It is something they will have to address.

    Commissioner McElraft said that after it is built, they don’t have to go back in two years. Mr. Harrison said that in the case of all special uses for all the time they are listed as such. If somebody is found in absolute violation, there is a direct procedure already in the book that says they will be notified, there will be a public hearing, and then the special use can be removed. That is not likely to change. This is not designed to hamper development. This is designed to identify the problematic development that is going to injure this community in whatever way, shape, or form.

    Mr. Harrison continued that it would be a virtually invisible process. It is not another step, it is not another set of meetings, it is not another month. It is something that is an additional review, and it is additional by empowerment of the commissioners to look at things they consider to be problematic development. It also removes the burden from the Town to defend their lack of support for any development.

    An audience participant, who did not identify himself, asked if they could go through the process. There is not a proposed ordinance that they will adopt tonight. Mr. Harrison said they may well adopt the wording for passage on to the commissioners. The participant, an attorney, said it is hard to address what they are proposing when he hasn’t seen it, his client didn’t receive any notice that this was going to be happening. They do own B-3 property. This is the time when you need comment from the B-3 property owners. It makes it difficult.

    Mr. Harrison said they don’t serve half-baked eggs. If they get the wording together, it will be made available to everybody. Also, nobody directly notifies all property owners. There are posted notices in the newspaper and on the board outside and on the website. These are public meetings. The attorney said it would be good as far as having a discussion about proposing an ordinance that it be out there. Mr. Harrison said it is out there and he hopes people do see it. The attorney said somebody will make a motion and say we propose to send this to the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Harrison said the issue is out there, not the wording of the ordinance. That is not on the website or on the bulletin board or on the back table. The agenda item is out there.

    The attorney asked if a motion were adopted, would the motion adopt language that will then go to the workshop. Mr. Harrison said they would look through it, as this does not all necessarily fit in one place in the ordinance but three or potentially four places, on a piecemeal basis, discuss it, accept these, then pass it or not pass it on to the commissioners. The wording will be on tape and will be available before the Board of Commissioners meeting.

    Mr. Dowling mentioned the sidewalks. From past history, a developer or owner of new property wants to come in and modify them, it can take them out. (Change to tape 2) He would make a recommendation that wording be included in the statement, because right now this is a weak statement in that they can be removed within a year, 2, or 3 years. He also mentioned page 2, the bottom paragraph. Do they want to tie down any more of the statements with a stronger "may" or "shall" or "will" or "must."

    Mr. Harrison commented that this would be under section 19-83, "Notes, requirements, and conditions for certain permitted and special uses." This would be a subsection, a denotation off the zoned use table that already has 23 denotations, and this would be number 24. "That all commercial and retail structures within the B-3 and B-2 zoning district greater than 5,000 square feet in area are a special use and subject to the following conditions:

    1. That a 12-foot wide fire lane access be provided along each building as is physically possible;
    2. A sidewalk or boardwalk which provides a grade separation of pedestrian from vehicular traffic shall be constructed;
    3. The Board of Commissioners shall determine the number of allowable points of access to the development and their spacing;
    4. The developer shall install a pedestrian sidewalk along the full length of each public right-of-way to which the development abuts;
    5. The Board of Commissioners shall impose additional requirements to assure the development’s compliance with section 19-84."
  • Mr. Almeida asked about item 3. Could they be more definitive on that? Mr. Harrison said the point is that they don’t want to have a piece of property where there are 3, 4, or 5 entrances onto a street. The commissioners might say that would be confusing for traffic, pedestrians, etc., and all they would need is 2. This would give them the position to limit the number and spacing of the access points. Mr. Almeida said the problem he sees is that the developer needs to know the number of access points allowed; otherwise it becomes a trial and error solution. It leaves it too much up in the air. Mr. Almeida suggested changing to wording to two or more access points and go on from there.Mr. Harrison asked if two or more is always going to be plausible. There are no entrances from NC 58. Give them a latitude that they will usually be allowed two unless it’s a problem. Mr. Harrison said that "two or more where possible" is not a lot more definitive than what they already have.

    Mr. Dowling said that would give them variance that they could appeal. He suggested inserting the words "two or more." They would have latitude to appeal that based upon the plan and according to the ordinance. Mr. Harrison said he was considering some of the businesses around town—Sound Ace Hardware has one, BP has two. He was trying to think of instances where it would be problematic. Mr. Harrison continued that if he were the developer, he would come before the Board of Commissioners and Planning Board asking what he wanted. If he wanted two entrances, he would ask for two. Mr. Dowling complimented Mr. Harrison and said it was outstanding, but he would like to see the gateway concept.

    No-one had objections to that portion, so Mr. Harrison put it aside as temporarily approved. They would need some wording about the 24-month special use termination period. In section 84, he proposed adding "except that the Board of Commissioners may approve a special use as an appurtenant use." He asked Mr. Schock to read Section 7, which says "All special use permits shall be issued for a period not exceeding twenty-four (24) months, and special use permits may be renewed by the board of commissioners provided all conditions and requirements of this chapter have been satisfied. However, the board of commissioners is authorized to issue special use permits appurtenant to the special use so approved for the property. Provided, however, that any such special use permit shall become invalid upon the cessation of the special use for twelve (12) months." Mr. Harrison said he would add the wording "except for the Board of Commissioners may approve a special use as an appurtenant use." They can check with the Town Attorney and make sure that this is proper. Mr. Schock said if they were going to grant a special use to a builder to build a building and commit resources, they need to make sure that it is not every 24 months. Mr. Harrison replied "with the exception of, say, a stormwater system and filtration system failing, that they have this in perpetuity." Mr. Schock said any time they have to go back and change the structure or re-do anything of the building, anybody has to go back and get a permit from the town.

    Mr. Harrison said the third component on this issue is Section 19-84, Restrictions and Conditions for Special Uses, permission may be granted for the establishment of uses listed as special uses if the Board of Commissioners finds through the evidence, maps, documents, files produced, after studying the complete records and following a hearing regarding the application for a special use permit, that every condition below is adhered to. That is currently in the book, and what they would be adding to that section would be "Further, the Board of Commissioners is required in its review of a special use application to ascertain that the use and requirements of the proposed development will adhere to the following conditions." It lists numbers 1 through 7, which relate to public health, safety, welfare, property values, etc.

    Mr. Harrison asked if they could sell an entire package. He asked if everybody was in agreement that all three points are ok.

    Mr. Schock moved that they pass the three points and the special use on to the Board of Commissioners, Mr. McLaughlin seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

    E. Discussion And Possible Recommendation Of Proposed Overlay District For Emerald Isle Gateway (Entrance To Emerald Isle From Langston Bridge)

    Mr. Dowling read and submitted a working paper, furnishing background and information supplementing the e-mail that the Planning Board had received that gave the parameters of special interest. He acknowledged 32 people that he talked to in soliciting information that supplements and complements and gives him 100% backing on the document. He discussed this with homeowners associations in Osprey and Cape Emerald. There is already a formal letter or petition on file from Osprey homeowners from when they made an appearance to the Board before (attached to these minutes).

    # 2 From the people Mr. Dowling spoke with, the stress was on aesthetics. As soon as you come over the bridge, they held close to their hearts the beauty of the island and did not want it closed off. The key philosophy behind the document is also echoed in the code.

    #3 We all know about the ponding in Osprey. When we had the last flood, they had 5 feet of water contiguous to the boundaries of each one of those apartments. The Planning Board went down and looked at that, and their hearts went out to those people.

    Scratch the one sentence about 6,300 ingoing and 6,300 outgoing cars. They are treated the same for a total of 6,000. They are talking 6,300 cars vs. the present 2,000 cars.

    Stormwater – when you look at the land, although it is not classified as a hazardous flood plain, it is like a bathtub, and Mr. Larry Spell maintains that the way you manage floodwater in this town, based upon the conversation with Daisy Spell, is that you keep the ponds in existence. They have already seen on the property two footprints filled in of ponds. Mr. Spell has agreed to keep the ponds in effect back there, but they still have one major pond that prevents drainage that goes into Cape Emerald and out through the pipe into the Sound, which is grandfathered. So there are headwaters that have to be thought about.

    The condos contiguous to the boundary of this B3 piece of land are already affected. It is very hard to sell the houses.

    Property value – is it worth the billion dollars that they are seeing flooded out in the Dunes on down to Lands End. Is it worth seeing that area flooded out? 

    Mr. Dowling had numerous additional comments and figures. (His working paper and notes are attached)

  • Mr. Harrison had some comments. The interest of this island is very valuable, very attractive to the residents and people who visit it. It speaks a lot to the community’s commitment to quality growth. It is an understatement to say that most of us prefer the view from Cameron Langston bridge to the view from the bridge at the other end of the island. The entryway onto the island is enough of an asset to the community in general that the means to preserve this view should be investigated. Commissioner Farmer has authored a gateway overlay district to address it. Mr. Harrison said he had read the entire proposal and could not agree more with the intent, the scope, and the delineation of this proposed overlay district.

    However, he personally disagrees with the strong constraints that the proposal places on land owners that are listed within its guidelines. The guidelines call for a 50-foot vegetative buffer along NC58. All other commercial property is required to have a 5-foot buffer. Some compromise is in order. Any development in this overlay district would be required to avoid excessive grading and vegetation removal. He agrees but feels it should be required for all commercial districts, not just a gateway district. Structures shall be designed to be unobtrusive and shall be set into natural land forms and existing vegetation. He agrees but thinks it should pertain to all commercial districts. Single story structures or ones having discreet second stories contained within the roof would be required, and maximum roof heights would be limited to 35 feet. The maximum building height was recently reduced by this Planning Board and by this Board of Commissioners, and he does not feel that it is fair to further constrain the owners of these properties with an additional reduction in height. Nature blending hip roofs are encouraged and flat roofs would be prohibited. He agrees and thinks it should be the case for all commercial districts. He agrees with the size limitations but thinks it should be required for all commercial districts. He agrees with all of the remaining comments about the structure blending in with the community but it should be required everywhere on this island. He feels that if it could be demonstrated that the proposed overlay district is indeed as important as we all feel that it is, the Town should make the ultimate preservation efforts by buying the properties. Most of the constraints listed in the proposal should apply to all commercial properties and structures, especially along NC58.

    Mr. Schock said that the gateway is so important financially to everybody on the island, and that the design group did such a great job, and this cannot be done from a Planning Board point of view or Board point of view. He proposed that, if they are going to do a gateway resolution or ordinance change or anything like that, that they put together another committee with business leaders, residents, Planning Board members, and commissioners to do exactly what they did with the sign ordinance and look at the big picture.

    Mr. Harrison asked if Mr. Schock was implying that this should pertain to a gateway district or an entire NC58 district. Mr. Schock replied that could be discussed by the group when it assembles. The original idea was the gateway coming onto the island. If there is more concern that the entire island needs to be worked on, he does not know about that. He wants everybody’s fair use of the people who own the land and also to maintain as much of the natural habitat as they can. If the proposed committee cannot reach a consensus among the members, they could come back to the Planning Board.

    Mr. Harrison said it was an excellent idea. It would take some load off the Planning Board, that is very overburdened, and it would have fair representation from the citizens, from business owners, planners, commissioners, etc.

    Mr. Dowling asked if they could put a time frame on it. Or do they want it to go on as long as the sign committee did? He thinks it is only fair to the developers who are sitting in the room that they put a limitation on that so they can get back and satisfy them. Mr. Harrison said they are not holding anybody up. Mr. Schock said he is not aware of any development right now that would be affected by the gateway. He would like to see it take as long as it needs to to get it done right so it is fair for everybody, the people who come across the island and bring all their hard-earned money and spend it on their vacations to the people who own the property and to the residents.

    Mr. Almeida said he thinks they are rushing to push this thing through. He agrees in principle, that the idea of an overlay district is good. The Town is having difficulty acquiring land for solving the stormwater problem. That is the first priority rather than going to buy land to address the overlay mission. When you come from 24 toward the island, what has been done is fairly nice up to the point where you get to Coast Guard Road in terms of vegetation and planting that the city has done. Once you cross Coast Guard Road and go farther east on 58, there is something lacking. He thinks the city can do something there. If they are going to require private individuals to develop the land to meet this overlay requirement, the city should also demonstrate good faith by trying to beautify the area. Mr. Harrison agreed. Getting back to Mr. Dowling’s point that there is an inherent cost in building out or improving the junction of Coast Guard Road and NC58, he thinks that a month ago the Board of Commissioners agreed in principle to that when it comes to beach renourishment, people who live on the ocean should pay more than others because they will benefit much more than others. If you apply the same analogy to the cost of redeveloping or improving the junction, it would appear that it would be reasonable to charge a special assessment to the business property that is around that area that would benefit from that improvement. It is nothing new; it has been done in other parts of the country. There is always a special assessment if property value goes up because of certain development. Mr. Almeida continued that as far as the 300 feet and other things, there are minor things that need to be changed. They have defined distances from the edge of the existing road, NC58. Tomorrow if they make it 4 lanes, the road moves out. Do they move the 300 feet? It should be from the center of the road or the edge of the right-of-way rather than the edge of the pavement.

    Mr. Dowling conceded that point. Mr. Almeida said they need to sit down and discuss this in detail. Mr. Dowling said the 50 feet is what is in the 2002 plan for the state. It is for discussion. They do not know how much the wetland purchase would be. Mr. Almeida said they have to be realistic. Mr. Harrison said they have to ascertain whether this is important enough to people in this town to pay the taxes. Mr. Dowling said he asked the same question, and the response was "How much are you talking?" He said he did not know, maybe $100 a year, maybe $500. Most of them said if it was going to be under $1,000, it is ok, they would buy the land with the town and would be willing to have a special tax to pay for that. That was before they came in with the recent assessments.

    Mr. Vance said he agreed with Mr. Schock about forming a committee, and he thinks they should scrub it, not rush it, and come up with a good plan and have the business sector and residential person, Planning Board, commissioners to look at it. If they could get a committee as good as the sign committee to work on this, they could satisfy most people.

    Mrs. Saunders said she thinks the main concern right now is stormwater more than the gateway. She believes that with the special use permit and being able to control the buildings more and let the people build, stormwater is more important than anything. They have a problem there that has to be fixed before anything else, and she thinks they can do the special use on both sides of 58 and do the buffers and things like that, but the stormwater is the big issue before they get into other spending projects.

    Mr. Harrison said that in a nutshell everybody seems to be in agreement that they need to get some sort of corridor/gateway study group. He hates hearing of committees being appointed in government, it is always something that drags on forever, and one of his favorite words is hyperdemopronehilifaction, (people meeting frequently to do nothing). That is not the case with these groups. The groups that have been generated by the Board of Commissioners and by the Planning Board have accomplished some real things, and if they get a study group of business people, citizens, planners, commissioners, etc. together and look at this issue, they will really go somewhere.

    Mr. McLaughlin moved that they make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at their meeting on Friday morning to appoint a committee of business people, citizens, planners, and commissioners to look at the gateway issue. Phil Almeida seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

    Mr. Allen said he wasn’t sure that they would have room on the agenda for this on Friday morning. Mr. Harrison replied that two of the issues are already on the agenda.


  • Mrs. Saunders commented that this was Mr. Harrison’s last meeting, and it would be a tough act to follow. She did not know which one of the brave souls was going to step up, but she is real hesitant. Mr. Harrison said he could see some consistent faces in the audience that seem to have a lot of interest in what goes on in the Town, they care about it, they care enough to show up at meetings, make positive comments and negative comments. He suggested they may want to do something as near suicidal as putting in an application for the Planning Board. He joked that it pays well, but said seriously it is a very rewarding experience, and they get to work with some really terrific people.

    Mr. Rick Farrington said he had looked to Black’s Law Dictionary when some of this started surfacing. He read the definition of "private property"—protected from being taken for public uses; such properties that belong absolutely to an individual and of which he has the exclusive right of disposition. The definition of "property" is that which is peculiar or proper to any person; that which belongs exclusively to one; in the strict legal sense, an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by the government. Mr. Farrington commented that when you put a 50-foot buffer on a piece of property, you are depriving that personal property owner of the rights to the value of his property and his highest and best use of that property. The word "deprivation" means taking away or confiscation as a deprivation of a constitutional right or the taking or property under eminent domain without due process of law. That refers to "taking", whose definition was there is taking of property when government action directly interferes with or substantially disturbs the owner’s use and enjoyment of the property; to constitute a taking within constitutional limitations, it is not essential that there be a physical seizure or appropriation, and any actual or material interference with private property rights constitutes a taking; also, taking of property is effective to the application of zoning law denies the property owner the economically viable use of his land, which can consist of preventing best use of land or extinguishing fundamental attributes of ownership.

    Mr. Farrington read that "public property" is the term that is commonly used as a designation of those things which are public juris and therefore considered as being owned by the public, the entire state or community, and not restricted to the dominion of a private person; it may also apply to any subject of property owned by a state, a nation, or a municipal corporation. He said it is easy to make plans and develop other people’s personal private property. To do things right, the town would need to purchase that property instead of restricting it to the point where it cannot be developed to its highest and best use by the owner of the property. That would be fair, and to do that, you would have to raise everybody’s taxes in Emerald Isle. Right now the people who own the property (private property owners), just because they are on the main road, that zone was developed B3. You do not want to put a buffer between the traffic and the front of the business where you cannot see the business. That is why that was all laid out as B3, it is the highest and best use for the property as a town. They have to look at it from a legal point of view and look at the rights of all the owners of all the property in Emerald Isle. The way it is being approached is not fair, and Mr. Farrington does not think making a quick change is fair. The people have a right to develop and use the property they have been paying taxes on since 1957. It is zoned, there are current laws that are black and white. A business person cannot do business with a bunch of people that are emotional making the decisions for them. If we were to do that, we would never get any loans to develop property. There are 3 to 4 months once they get a plan developed, that is approved by the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners. It should be very simple to have engineers draw a plan, where a business person will know that he won’t have delay after delay after delay. He thinks the rules that are in place are good, but they need to keep in consideration that that property has been B3 for a very long time. Even though it has not been developed, the person who owns it has a right to develop it. And if we have a right to use it and enjoy it with nothing on it, then we need to exercise our right to buy it from them at fair market value.

    Mr. Mark Brennesholtz, resident of 9322 Ocean Drive, said they had heard the argument a couple of times that the owner of the property has owned the property for longer than most of us have owned ours. His inclination is to ask why didn’t they develop it in 1970, or 1957. Since they didn’t, what is the hurry now? He thinks the answer is that their property has become far more valuable because the rest of us are now residents here. We have moved in, and it is because there is now a population here, there is now an influx of summer visitors that weren’t here in 1957 or 1970, the property is more valuable because of the investments that other people have made in their property. He is sympathetic to the rights of private property owners, but on the other hand, he does not feel that the people who have taken the actions and made the investments that caused their property to increase in value should in effect have to subsidize the development of their property, either directly by improving road of infrastructure or by potentially watching the value of our property go down because the gateway district becomes paved with asphalt. He thinks the reason they are complaining now and are in a hurry now is because of the investment that we have made in the past to make that property valuable.

    Mrs. Dorothy Marks, resident of 134 Sand Castle, answered Mr. Farrington’s comments. Every single one of us that owns property in Emerald Isle has restrictions placed upon us. We have setbacks that limit how much we can put on that property. The amount of land that can be covered by houses and so on are limited by the ordinances. So to say that we are placing an unfair burden on the B3 property owners and not on anybody else is a mis-statement. Every single one of us has restrictions on what we can do with our land.

    Mr. Bill Holz said everybody does have setbacks, impervious zones, etc. What they are seeing on this particular piece of property is an attack on it to increase something to an unacceptable level. This property has come under attack by the good people they talk to primarily who live down on Coast Guard Road, turn right on Coast Guard Road—they don’t want to see that property developed, they want to see the trees, so they have come out and started the attack on this thing. The first attack was the traffic, which in discussions of the Planning Board and discussions of the Town Board, this piece of property that sits empty is the villain. What about the people of Lands End—do they use that road, do they create any traffic? They are part of the problem—they are the traffic problem. Everybody who builds a house is part of the traffic problem. The poor people in Osprey with the 5 feet of water—the implication is that this property has created 5 feet of water. This property is in its natural state except for the little parking lot that Look Realty had. In fact, Osprey Ridge is probably creating a problem on this property because of all their pavement and houses, condos, there is a real good chance that their water is making its way onto this property. As Mr. Farrington said, this town was incorporated soon after they developed their zoning, and they zoned this property commercial. At some point, they made it B3. The town and the property owner, who has remained consistent for the whole time, have a covenant. When the town says here is our ordinance, therefore we are taxing you based on what the property is zoned under these ordinances, you create a covenant. The property owner pays those taxes year after year, and when they want to develop that property, that is up to them. Now you have people who don’t want to see it developed, and they come up with a traffic excuse, now it’s the gateway thing and we have to maintain the beauty. Mr. Holz said Mr. Harrison had used the term "an asset to the community." If they start basing these decisions on how good it is for the town, what an asset it is for the town, then they are asking a private property owner to lose value to benefit the town. The town buying the property would obviously be the solution. Can they afford it? No, maybe.

    Mr. Holz said the agenda tonight was to propose some ordinances for the town to create a public hearing. It seems that a board like this, and particularly the town board, when they call a public hearing or ask for public comment and have 50 or 60 people speaking against the property and one property owner who wants to develop it in accordance with ordinances that have been in existence for years, it is tough on the Planning Board and the town board to say they have 50 or 100 voters raising hell saying don’t let them do it, and one lone property owner saying what about the moral implications to do the right thing. It must be tempting to say we have the crowd, we have the public, let’s go ahead and change the ordinances and let the property owner worry about the consequences. He hoped that the Planning Board would take all these things under consideration.

    Mrs. Saunders commented that anything the Planning Board gets to do like change an ordinance or update anything, they are directed by the commissioners to do so. It is not the Planning Board’s decision to do this. They are directed as to what to do. They are following orders like anyone else would in the job, for $25 a month. She does not want Mr. Holz to think that it is just the Planning Board that is doing this on their own, because they are not. Personally, she does not feel that there is anything wrong with the ordinances that are in place. They might need a little tweaking here and there. She can understand both sides of the argument with the property at Coast Guard Road, why they want it developed and why they don’t want it developed. It puts the Planning Board in a hell of a position to try and get all the reports in and make something of it. She knows how she would feel if she were sitting on that property.

    Mr. Harrison said, with due respect, it is not as if a request had been made for a subdivision of this property and they simply said no. He cannot tell Mr. Holz how many hundreds of hours he personally and the rest of this board has in this issue; the fact that the town has almost $15,000 invested in traffic studies; the volumes of materials they have gone through that pertain to this property. It is not something where they said that is a pretty piece of property, so let’s not let them develop it. This is a piece of property where people said this could be a problem if you maximize what can possibly be built on there—and he has to rely on estimates—and they have examined this and there is immense reason to be concerned about the traffic. He wishes the property were up the way or down the way, away from this intersection. We would love to see you develop it; he would have been able to see his kids a whole lot more this summer and fall; and to hear that this property and its owners are being attacked he takes personal offense to. This Planning Board is a highly professional unit that he will not allow to do anything of the sort, and he does not think any of them personally or individually would do something of the sort.

    Mr. Holz said the town board had directed the Planning Board because of the complaints from people who live down Coast Guard Road who did not want to see this property developed. Mr. Harrison replied, "Not at all." If the buck stops anywhere, it stops with the Planning Board, because as soon as they (and he) got the proposal for the subdivision and he heard about a NCDOT study that he has a copy of and read, that is where it started. People down Coast Guard Road heard about it after the fact. This board and the Board of Commissioners were the source of that, not the people down Coast Guard Road.

    Mr. Holz said the first DOT traffic study was done by a 23-year-old intern who was telling the Town of Emerald Isle how to zone the property. It was the most bizarre thing he had ever seen. That triggered the other thing. Back when the old town board was in force a couple of years ago, Paxon went to them and said how about abandoning Reed Drive so they could plan the property properly. The Board said they wanted to see a plan. She said she didn’t have a plan because she couldn’t do anything unless she knew if Reed Drive was there or not. They said they wouldn’t consider it unless she had a plan. So instead of spending $150,000, she asked an engineer to draw up a big box that looked like a super K-Mart just for something so she could go in and give them a plan. Somehow that plan drifted out into the community because in the last election, the thing that surprised him at the candidates’ meeting was all the people coming up and asking about the development at Coast Guard Road. There was no big development—it was a thing to satisfy the existing town board who then said they would not abandon Reed Drive. So Paxon said she had to market the property and came up with the subdivision of the three lots utilizing Reed Drive and fronting on 58, and that’s when all this stuff started.

    Mr. Harrison said Mr. Holz could understand how it started for the Planning Board, too. When somebody wants to use a piece of property and is asked what is going on there and responds they have no idea, all the Planning Board can do is look in the book and say they have to take away this for a buffer and that for a buffer. If parking will take up this, and septic will take up this, that will leave a building like this. You get two different firms, as well as the NCDOT, to look at it and generate traffic numbers to be spilled onto Coast Guard Road which is about 60-70% maxed out as it stands, and there is reason for concern. It is nothing personal, there is no attack, it is pure good estimates that cause reason for concern. One third of the resident population lives down Coast Guard Road, and he does not want his kid to fall off his skateboard and hit his head and need an ambulance when there is a roadblock right there because of the tourists who come down here and are more interested in turning left than in letting anything happen. When you pre-empt an ambulance or any emergency vehicle from making it down there—and that is the only way you can get there—there is a reason to be concerned about the safety and welfare of this community.

    Mr. Holz argued that this property does not have to bear the burden for all the development down Coast Guard Road, and that is what is happening. They could come up and say that anybody who lives down Coast Guard Road can make one trip out and in a day. Or everybody down Coast Guard Road can have one vehicle per house. Mr. Harrison said that is a public road, and their burden is real and present. Mr. Holz’s burden is estimated at some point in the future.

    Mrs. Paxon Holz said the intern who did the traffic study that started all this misconception listed a square footage of 17 acres in the tract including Reed Drive. There are not 7. So from the beginning the traffic studies were flawed. Mr. Harrison said he did not see any reference to the acreage in the study. He asked Mr. Allen if Mr. Lassiter had authored the NCDOT study. Mr. Allen said the study was initially requested by the old town board. The author is Joel Cranford, and he is an urban traffic engineer.

    Mrs. Saunders said the thing that bothers her on this Planning Board is when they get a project, they do not know what they are dealing with. Anybody could bring in a drawing that had one building on it, and this is what they have to go by. In the meantime after they have said ok and it has been approved, somebody has bought the property and it is into something else, and it keeps snowballing.

    Mr. Harrison said the Planning Board is very happy to play every card they have face up, which is the proper way to do things. It is a shame that some people do not choose to play the card game the same way. A lot of times, if developers came to the Board of Commissioners and the Planning Board and said this is what they want and had an informal discussion rather than presenting and saying "Will you approve this?", he does not think there would be any difficulty. Maybe there wasn’t any call for all these studies, maybe they wasted taxpayer money, but it is the only way they could come up with viable estimates. They were not Ceil’s estimates, they weren’t Frank’s estimates, they were the estimates of two professional traffic engineering firms that charged very dearly to give us that information.

    Mr. Holz said they came up with the solution to have an entrance off 58, which everybody knew they couldn’t do anyway. Mr. Harrison said he agreed.

    Mr. Farrington said if he appeared to be on the attack, it was on the issue and not on anybody individually.

    Mrs. Korin Gagnon said she wanted to make sure the CAMA issues that are on the table coming up to be finalized in 2003 are included in the discussion and that they make it clear to everyone on the island what is going on. There are a lot of people who do not have a clue.

    Mr. Harrison said he had heard property owners, taxpayers, and quite often the same person make the comment about not knowing what is going on. The town does everything they can to promulgate by website, by the bulletin board outside, by handouts, and by notifications required in the newspaper. Mrs. Gagnon said they need more coverage so the people know to come to the meetings. Mr. Harrison said the people need to look in the newspaper. Mrs. Gagnon said they should not assume that everybody knows what is going on because everybody does not.

    Mr. Almeida proposed a word of thanks to Cary Harrison on the outstanding job he had done. Mr. Harrison was given a standing ovation.

    Mr. McLaughlin moved that the meeting be adjourned, Ed Dowling seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

    Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 P.M.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 01/15/2001
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