- Update - NC Homeowners Insurance Rate Increase
- Flood Insurance Reprieve Approved
- New Playground Equipment Installed
- Resident / Taxpayer Beach Parking Permits Available Now
- Unattended Beach Equipment Exception Stickers Available Now
- One New Bike Path Segment Complete; Others Under Construction
- Storm Water Pipe Improvements Continuing
- Reminder - Yard Debris Collection Procedures
- Reminder - Important Golf Cart Regulations
- Did You Know?
Update - NC Homeowners Insurance Rate Increase
The NC Commissioner of Insurance has scheduled a formal hearing on the recently requested rate increases for homeowners insurance in North Carolina. The formal hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 6 at 10 am in Raleigh. The public is invited to attend, however, comments will be limited to the NC Rate Bureau (the entity representing the insurance companies that requested the rate increases) and staff from the NC Department of Insurance (on behalf of the public). More information about the hearing is located at
Homeowners in Emerald Isle could see as much as a 35% increase in homeowners insurance rates if the requested increases are approved. Emerald Isle homeowners (and others on barrier islands in coastal North Carolina) already pay rates as much as 5 times higher than some areas of North Carolina, and the most recent requested increase follows previously approved rate increases in 2005 (15%), 2007 (25%), 2009 (17.5%), and 2013 (19.8%). The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners has formally opposed the 2014 requested rate increase, and has urged the NC Commissioner of Insurance and the NC General Assembly to implement reforms to create a fairer rate structure.
A decision on the 2014 requested rate increase is expected sometime after the August 6 hearing.
Flood Insurance Reprieve Approved
The United States Congress recently approved and the President signed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. This new legislation will delay the most harmful provisions in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW 12) for approximately 4 years. This new legislation also directs FEMA to study ways to make flood insurance reform more affordable for policy holders who constructed their homes in accordance with flood zone requirements in effect at the time of construction, only to see the flood maps amended at a later date. The Town had been especially concerned about the potential loss of "grandfathered status" for these property owners under BW 12, who could have faced premium increases of several thousand dollars or more through no fault of their own.
On a related note, the NC Division of Emergency Management is expected to release new flood insurance rate maps for Emerald Isle in November 2014. These new maps could also impact flood insurance premiums for our property owners, and the Town will remain engaged in this issue and carefully review the new maps.
New Playground Equipment Installed
New playground equipment was installed at Blue Heron Park in March, and the playground has reopened to rave reviews! Please stop by and check it out behind the Emerald Isle Police Station!
Resident / Taxpayer Beach Parking Permits Available Now
The Town will begin charging a daily parking fee at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access on Friday, April 18 (Good Friday holiday), and will collect the parking fee each Saturday, Sunday, and holiday through September 14.
The fee is $10 per vehicle per day. These daily parking fees generate approximately $100,000 annually for the Town, and 100% of the proceeds are invested in services at these two facilities to promote a safe, family-friendly experience for our visitors. Parking fees fund dedicated Police personnel, lifeguards, custodial staff, and other expenses associated with these popular facilities.
Emerald Isle taxpayers are eligible for 2 free annual parking permits for the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access. The parking permits will be granted only for vehicles registered in the name of the taxpayer, and are not transferable.
Emerald Isle taxpayers must display the appropriate permit sticker on their windshield in order to avoid the parking fee. The permit sticker can not be obtained at the regional beach access facilities, and must be obtained prior to visiting the regional beach access facilities. To obtain your free parking permit, please visit (7509 Emerald Drive) or call (252-354-3424) the Town Administration Building during normal business hours.
Please note: Emerald Isle taxpayers will need to bring their vehicle registration(s) with them when applying for their permit.
Unattended Beach Equipment Exception Stickers Available Now
Town ordinances require that all unattended beach equipment (tents, canopies, chairs, volleyball nets, etc.) be removed from the beach between 7 pm and 8 am daily, and Town staff regularly enforce this ordinance. The penalty for leaving unattended beach equipment out overnight is confiscation, so please make sure you remove all unattended beach equipment at the end of the day.
Oceanfront property owners ONLY are eligible for 2 exception permits, and these exception permits can be obtained by visiting (7509 Emerald Drive) or calling (252-354-3424) the Town Administration Building during normal business hours. (Due to beach nourishment and property ownership issues, no exception permits are available for oceanfront property owners located east of the 3000 block. All other oceanfront property owners located west of the 3000 block are eligible.)
Exception permits are available now, and are valid for the entire 2014 season. Please note that the 2011, 2012, and 2013 exception permits are still valid, and can be used again in 2014.
One New Bike Path Segment Complete; Others Under Construction
The Town's contractor has completed the new 1.4 mile bicycle path segment along NC 58 between Fairfax Road and Ocean Drive. Town staff will be installing additional signage, bollards, and markings in the next few weeks.
Construction continues on the 2.7 mile bicycle path segment along NC 58 between the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and the Indian Beach town limits, and this project is expected to be complete and open to the public by Memorial Day weekend.
Construction of an additional 1.1 mile bicycle path segment along Coast Guard Road between Dolphin Ridge Road and Ring Street will begin later in April after a new storm water pipe is installed in this area. Rough grading for much of the new bicycle path has already occurred in conjunction with the storm water pipe project.
Storm Water Pipe Improvements Continuing
The Town's contractors continue the installation of new storm water pipe along Coast Guard Road and within Lands End. The new storm water pipe will connect existing pump stations at Island Circle and within Lands End to the Town's storm water receiving site at Emerald Isle Woods Park.
Storm water pipe installation is expected to be complete along Coast Guard Road in April, and the work in Lands End will be complete in May.
Reminder - Yard Debris Collection Procedures
The Town's yard debris collection program continues to be heavily utilized by our property owners, and we expect higher than usual volumes during April, May, and June. Town crews will be working 7 days a week to collect yard debris, and your patience is greatly appreciated.
It is no longer necessary to call in to be placed on the collection list. Town staff now make a continuous pass through all streets in the Town, and our goal is to collect from every area at least once per week. If you place yard debris near the street, Town staff should automatically pick up the debris within one week. With the busy season at hand, it may take a few extra days to get everyone, but it will be collected as soon as possible.
Thanks for your patience!
Reminder - Important Golf Cart Regulations
The Town implemented its local golf cart program in 2011, and the program continues to grow. More than 300 golf carts are now registered in the Town's program.
Please obey the Town's golf cart regulations, as they are specifically designed to promote the safety of golf cart operators, pedestrians and bicyclists, and other motorists. Key Town regulations include:
- golf carts must be registered with the Town, and must meet certain safety requirements,
- golf cart drivers must be at least 18 years of age,
- golf carts may park in specifically designated golf cart parking spaces at public beach access walkways,
- golf carts are NOT permitted on the Town's bicycle path network along NC 58 and Coast Guard Road (but are allowed on Ocean Drive connectors), and
- golf carts are NOT permitted to travel on Coast Guard Road or NC 58, but may cross over these streets.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Did You Know?
The Town of Emerald Isle's total taxable value is nearly $3 billion! That amount is nearly 20% of the total taxable value of Carteret County, and more than the total taxable value of Morehead City, Newport, and Beaufort combined!