Emerald Tidings

November 2008

  1. Construction of New Town Administration Building Underway!
  2. Unified Development Ordinance Adopted
  3. Don't Miss the 5th Annual Emerald Isle Holiday Parade!
  4. Town Participating in Beach Vitex Eradication Program
  5. Suggested Deer-Deterrent Strategies
  6. Town Works to Find New Method for Phone Book Distribution
  7. Mayor Schools Appointed to NC League of Municipalities Board of Directors
  8. 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.


Construction of New Town Administration Building Underway!

Construction of the new Town Administration Building is finally underway!  Site clearing began on October 24, and the site is now ready for work to begin on the building's block foundation.

The new building is being constructed on the south side of NC 58 across from the Town's Community Center, and will occupy approximately half of the Town's 1.2 acre tract on that side of NC 58.  The building was designed to have a coastal appearance, and the color scheme will be consistent with the new EMS Station.  A total of 4,200 sq. ft.of office space is planned for Town administrative staff, the Town's elected officials, and a new conference room.  The new building replaces administrative office space in the Town Hall that was recently converted for use by the Emerald Isle Police Department.

The new building was designed by Burnette Architecture, Morehead City, NC, and is being constructed by Bluewater Builders, Emerald Isle, NC.  Construction is expected to be complete by Summer 2009.

Unified Development Ordinance Adopted

After nearly two and a half years of hard work by Town staff, the Planning Board, and the Board of Commissioners, and numerous public input opportunities, the Town's new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) was adopted on September 9.

The new UDO is a comprehensive update and consolidation of all of the Town's development ordinances into one document.  The UDO is intended to eliminate inconsistencies in the Town's previous development ordinances, create a more user-friendly document, and insure consistency with the Town's Land Use Plan.  The adoption of the UDO also included a few policy changes and zoning map changes that are consistent with the Town's Land Use Plan.

The Town is proud of its development ordinances, which are carefully crafted to insure the proper balance between responsible growth and private property owner rights.  The Town consistently strives to maintain a small-town atmosphere, and we believe we have been very successful over the years.  More than 80% of the Town's land area is zoned for one- and two-family residential structures only, and the Town has longstanding policies requiring new development to maintain large lot sizes, limit building heights, preserve natural vegetation and topography, and control storm water runoff. 

Town staff, the Planning Board, and the Mayor and Board of Commissioners are all committed to maintaining quality development patterns in Emerald Isle. 

Don't Miss the 5th Annual Emerald Isle Holiday Parade!

Saturday, November 29 at 4 pm 

The Town and the Emerald Isle Business Association are proud to present the 5th Annual Emerald Isle Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 29 at 4 pm.  The parade route is identical to previous years - along 1 mile of NC 58 from Mangrove Drive (near CVS Pharmacy) to the Town Hall complex near Black Skimmer Drive. 

Please join us for another great event as we celebrate the holiday season (Thanksgiving and Christmas) in Emerald Isle.  There are plenty of great entries lined up for this year's parade, and the event will also include the official Christmas tree lighting, caroling, and refreshments at Merchants Park immediately following the parade.

For more information, please contact Diane Schools, Parade Chairperson, at dschools@ec.rr.com or 252-354-2916.  The Town extends a special thanks to Diane and all of the parade entries for making this a great annual event!   

Town Participating in Beach Vitex Eradication Program

The Town is partnering with the Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force to eradicate the invasive dune plant known as beach vitex from Emerald Isle. 

Beach vitex was introduced in the southeastern United States in the 1980s as a landscape plant, and was originally intended to strengthen dunes.  By the mid-1990s, biologists determined that the plant was doing more harm than good, as it crowds out native dune species such as sea oats, American beachgrass, and bitter panicum that can stabilize dunes.  Biologists also learned that beach vitex can harm the habitat of sea turtles, shorebirds, and other rare, native plants. 

The Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force is working in communities all along the NC and SC coasts, and has identified approximately 50 locations in Emerald Isle where beach vitex is present.  Town staff and contractors (paid with grant funds) will be working with affected property owners to kill and remove the vitex plants over the next year.  No work will be completed on private property without the consent of the property owner.  Most property owners have already granted permission, and work continues to secure approval from others.

For more information about beach vitex and the Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force, please visit http://www.northinlet.sc.edu/resource/vitex.htm or contact Town Hall at 252-354-3424.

Suggested Deer-Deterrent Strategies

The Town occasionally receives inquiries and complaints from property owners with concerns about the deer population in Emerald Isle. 

At the Town's request, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission completed a survey of the deer population in Emerald Isle in the fall of 2005 and determined that the deer population was not excessive.  As such, the Town is not pursuing any activities designed to thin out the deer population in Emerald Isle.

The Town understands property owners' concerns about deer grazing on landscaping plants and trees, and recommends other strategies to protect landscaping plants and trees from deer.  The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University has prepared an outstanding educational leaflet with information about fencing off certain landscaping plants, planting deer-tolerant species, or using chemical deterrents.  The leaflet can be downloaded at 

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/pdf/hil-575.pdf .

Town Works to Find New Method for Phone Book Distribution

The Town recently reached an agreement with DEX, the publisher of the Jacksonville and Morehead City phone books for Embarq, to alter the delivery process for telephone books in Emerald Isle.  

The current process for the distribution of phone books to residential customers involves the distribution of the Jacksonville phone book in April each year, with the Morehead City phone book distributed in late June.  Both phone books are typically left outside of second homes for several weeks.  DEX has agreed to consolidate the distribution of the phone books into one event in late June when most homes in Emerald Isle are occupied, thereby reducing the length of time the phone books will remain outside before pickup.

There is also a way for Emerald Isle property owners to opt out of phone book distribution altogether.  Please visit  http://selectyourdex.dexknows.com/SelectYourDex/orderAction.do?method=prepareView , type in your information, and select "0" phone books to be delivered.  With more and more reliance on the internet for telephone listings, you may no longer need to have a hard copy of the telephone book.  If you need more than one copy, you can also order additional copies at this website.

Mayor Schools Appointed to NC League of Municipalities Board of Directors

Mayor Art Schools was recently appointed to serve on the 27-member Board of Directors of the NC League of Municipalities ("The League").  The League is a nonpartisan federation of more than 530 cities, towns and villages in North Carolina.

The League is an outstanding organization that provides vital services and support functions for NC municipalities.  The League serves as an advocate for municipalities at the state and federal level, provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among municipal officials, promotes excellence and efficiency in municipal government, and provides services and information that help municipal officials meet the needs of their citizens.

The Town is proud to have Mayor Schools representing central coastal North Carolina municipalities on the League's Board.  Emerald Isle, the other municipalities in our area, and the entire League will be well-served by Mayor Schools.

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

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 252-354-3424 frush@emeraldisle-nc.

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