Emerald Tidings

December 2008

  1. Town Has Agreement to Purchase Land for New Public Boat Launching Facility
  2. Applications Due December 19 for Aquarium Pier Advisory Committee
  3. Vehicle and Pedestrian Ramp at The Point is Open Again
  4. Implementation of Static Line Exception Rule Delayed by Formal Objections Process
  5. New Recycling Requirements Mandated by State
  6. Please Turn Off Irrigation Systems in Winter Months
  7. FOR SALE - Existing EMS Station Building

Emerald Tidings, composed monthly by Town Manager Frank Rush, is the official newsletter of the Town of Emerald Isle.


Town Has Agreement to Purchase Land For New Public Boat Launching Facility

Seeking State and County Funding for Land Purchase

The Town has been working hard over the past several months to insure that a public boat launching facility continues to exist in Emerald Isle in the long term.  The Town is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to purchase land adjacent to Chapel By The Sea for the development of a new public boat launching facility in Emerald Isle. 

The Town's agreement calls for the Town to purchase 7 lots (16 acres total, 5 acres of upland area) in the Shell Cove North subdivision located directly west of Chapel By The Sea for $4.25 million.  The land includes a recently dredged canal and boat basin with access to deep water in Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  The land is adjacent to Town-controlled land immediately east, now known as the yet-to-be-developed McLean Park (8 acres total, 4 acres of upland area).  The two properties would be combined to create the largest public boat launching facility on the NC coast - with up to 120 parking spaces for vehicles and trailers (based on conceptual plan prepared by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission).  The Town intends to convey the property to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, who will construct and maintain the facility as part of their public boat launch facility system.  The Town is fortunate to have a great partnership with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for this project.

The Town's purchase agreement is contingent upon the Town securing $3.75 million of State and County funding through grants and other contributions by May 31, 2009.  The Town has been working hard and will continue to work hard to secure the necessary funding to make this project a reality.  The purchase agreement does include a provision to extend the contract if necessary to pursue additional funding partners beyond the May 31, 2009 deadline. 

The Town is committed to this project because the privately-owned (but open-to-the public) Island Harbor Marina is expected to be redeveloped into an improved marina facility in the near future.  The improved marina facility should be a great addition to Emerald Isle, however, the developers have indicated that they do not intend to include a public boat launching facility with parking as part of the new project.  The Town is very concerned about this issue, and seeks to insure that the boating public in Emerald Isle, western Carteret County, and eastern Onslow County has adequate access to our waters.

For more information about this project, please visit  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/PressRelease-BoatLaunch.htm .  The site includes photos, maps, and other information about the project.  

Applications Due December 19 for Aquarium Pier Advisory Committee

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and the Town of Emerald Isle are looking for citizen participation in planning a new educational ocean fishing pier.  An eight-member advisory committee will help guide decisions on design and operation of the proposed Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle complex, to be built at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access. As part of a partnership agreement, the Town of Emerald Isle will convey the 4.5-acre site to the Aquarium.

The agreement also specifies the creation of the advisory committee. The Aquarium and the Town each will appoint four members.  The Aquarium will appoint 1) one representative of the local research community, 2) one member of the surfing community, 3) one member of the Aquarium's existing advisory board, and 4) one at-large member.  The Town will appoint 1) one Town Commissioner, 2) one neighboring property owner, 3) one avid pier fisherman, and 4) one at-large member.   

Anyone wishing to be considered for either the Town or the Aquarium appointments can apply by mailing or emailing the Town of Emerald Isle a statement of reasons for wanting to serve. Applicants should indicate which slots interest them, and briefly describe their pertinent experience or qualifications. All applications must be received by Dec. 19. The appointments will be announced in January.

Applications for the Aquarium Pier at Emerald Isle advisory committee should be submitted to Emerald Isle Town Clerk Rhonda Ferebee by email at rferebee@emeraldisle-nc.org , or mailed to her attention at: Town of Emerald Isle, 7500 Emerald Isle Drive, Emerald Isle, NC 28594. Please call the Town office at 252-354-3424 or visit the Town website for more information - http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/AquariumPierAdvisory.htm  .

Vehicle and Pedestrian Ramp at The Point is Open Again

As of December 10 

The Point continues to experience accretion, and the Town is pleased to be able to reopen the vehicle and pedestrian ramp at the terminus of Inlet Drive to the public. 

A local contractor recently restored the dune at this location, and Public Works staff is installing a new wooden Hatteras ramp.  The ramp is open for pedestrian use now, and will be reopened to vehicles no later than December 10.  Beach drivers interested in fishing at The Point are encouraged to use this ramp instead of the Doe Drive ramp. 

Although they are in the process of being covered with sand, beach drivers and pedestrians are reminded to stay away from existing sandbags in the area.  There is plenty of beach available for everyone to enjoy!  Thanks for your cooperation!

On a related note, the US Army Corps of Engineers is currently entering into a contract for dredging of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at Bogue Inlet.  Dredging is expected to occur in late winter / early spring.  The sand dredged from the AIWW will be placed on the beach at The Point, and will help to further stabilize this area.  

Implementation of New Static Line Exception Rule Delayed by Formal Objections Process

New Rule May Be Reviewed by General Assembly

As reported earlier in Emerald Tidings, the NC Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) approved new rules in September that allow for an exception to the "static vegetation line" if a community can demonstrate a long-term commitment to protecting the shoreline with beach nourishment.  The Town, along with others, worked very hard to gain approval of this new rule, and believes that the Town can put together a solid beach nourishment plan for the CRC to consider in 2009.  That plan, if approved, would enable oceanfront property owners to use the actual first line of stable vegetation for oceanfront setbacks instead of the "static line", and could restore conforming status to many homes and lots on the oceanfront in eastern Emerald Isle. 

The new rule was approved with wide CRC support in September.  The new "static line" rule is linked to another rule change approved at the same time that requires structures greater than 5,000 sq. ft. to meet a larger oceanfront setback (the "graduated setback" rule).  Although the Town did not object to this new rule, there were some objections from other municipalities, development groups, and property owners.  Under State rules, if 10 letters of objection are filed, the rules adopted by the CRC must go to the NC General Assembly for review.  This is expected to happen in the 2009 legislative session.

Most of the objections appear to be associated with the "graduated setback" rule.  There are a few potential outcomes associated with the General Assembly review.  One outcome is that the General Assembly could void the rules altogether.  Another outcome is that additional negotiations could occur that result in compromise rules, hopefully keeping the "static line" provisions intact.  Another outcome is that the  General Assembly could choose not to review the rules and allow them to become effective without General Assembly review. 

The Town will be monitoring the General Assembly's review very carefully and will participate in any process made available.  The Town should have a clearer understanding of how this issue will unfold after the General Assembly convenes in late January.  The Town remains committed to finding a reasonable improvement to the existing "static line" rule. 

New Recycling Requirements Mandated by State

A new State law enacted in 2008 now prohibits plastic bottles and aluminum from being disposed of in a landfill.  The Town's residential garbage is transported to a regional landfill in Tuscarora, just west of New Bern, and the Town must comply with this new requirement.

The Town already operates a curbside recycling program, with recyclables collected once per week on Wednesdays.  Plastic bottles and aluminum are among the recyclables collected by the Town.  All Emerald Isle residents, property owners, and visitors are encouraged to utilize the Town's recycling program to enable the Town to adhere to the new law.  All recyclables can be mixed together in the same container. 

Under the Town's solid waste ordinance, vacation rental units are required to utilize a 40-gallon roll-out recycling container clearly marked for recyclables.  These containers can be purchased at most hardware stores, including Sound Ace Hardware in Emerald Isle.  All other residential units may use the 40-gallon roll-out containers or open recycling bins.  The open recycling bins can be purchased at Town Hall for $7.50 each.

For additional information about the Town's residential garbage and recyclables collection program, please visit  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/faq.htm .

Thanks for your cooperation! 

Please Turn Off Irrigation Systems in Winter Months

The Town and Bogue Banks Water Corporation, our non-profit water provider, urge all property owners to cut off lawn irrigation systems for the winter months!  Thanks for your cooperation!

FOR SALE - Existing EMS Station Building - 218 Cedar Street

The Town is currently offering the old EMS station property for sale.  The sale price is $450,000, and the Town will consider all offers.  A detailed property listing, including photos, is available for viewing at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/forsale.htm

The Town is currently in the process of completing several interior renovations to improve the interior appearance and functionality of the building.  

For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org

Frank A. Rush, Jr. Town Manager Town of Emerald Isle 7500 Emerald Drive Emerald Isle, NC 28594

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Monday, December 1, 2008 8:13:00 AM