Emerald Tidings

June 2008

  1. NC Coastal Resources Commission Set to Consider Rule Changes Regarding "Static Vegetation Line"
  2. Make Sure You Have Your Hurricane Re-Entry Pass!
  3. The Point Continues to Improve
  4. Please Don't Mix Solid Waste
  5. Emerald Isle Woods Park Closed Temporarily
  6. FOR SALE - Existing EMS Station Building

NC Coastal Resources Commission Set to Consider Rule Changes Regarding "Static Vegetation Line"

As reported previously in Emerald Tidings, the NC Coastal Resources Commission, the policy making body for coastal development in North Carolina, is currently considering amendments to their rules to allow for the potential retirement of the "static vegetation line" used in areas where the beach has been nourished.      Under current CRC rules, the "static vegetation line" is established at the location of the actual first line of stable vegetation just prior to the construction of a beach nourishment project.  This line is then used to determine oceanfront setbacks in perpetuity.  The result is that lots and structures that are non-conforming (i.e., not buildable or re-buildable) will remain non-conforming in perpetuity, even if the actual first line of stable vegetation has migrated toward the ocean following a beach nourishment project.   In Emerald Isle, the area most impacted by the current CRC rules is the eastern 2 +/- miles of oceanfront between the Indian Beach town line and Pier Pointe condominiums.  All structures and lots in this area are behind a "static vegetation line", and nearly all will be non-conforming in perpetuity - meaning that existing structures can not be reconstructed if they become damaged more than 50% and that any existing vacant lots can not be built upon.    The CRC has been discussing possible amendments to the "static vegetation line" rules for nearly 2 years, and appears to have reached some consensus on proposed changes to the rules.  The proposed rules changes would allow a local community to petition the CRC to retire the "static vegetation line" and revert to using the actual first line of stable vegetation to determine oceanfront building setbacks.  In order to gain CRC approval to retire the "static vegetation line", a community would need to submit a 30-year beach maintenance plan that identifies sand sources and funding sources to insure that the beach will be properly maintained in the future.  It is important to note that the proposed changes would still require a new structure to meet the setback (60 feet in eastern Emerald Isle) from the actual first line of actual stable vegetation and that new structures would be limited to 2,500 heated sq. ft.  (86% of the existing oceanfront structures in eastern Emerald Isle are less than 2,500 sq. ft.)    The CRC has received extensive stakeholder input on this issue already, and has scheduled several additional public hearings at various locations along the coast in the coming weeks to gain additional input on the proposed amendments.  Public hearings will be held in Surf City on July 7, Carolina Beach on July 8, Supply on July 14, and Beaufort on July 15.  A final public hearing will be held at the CRC's regular meeting in Raleigh on July 24, after which a decision could be made on the new rules.  Interested citizens are encouraged to attend one of these public hearings to express your views on this matter.   If the new rules are approved in July, the Town would then begin work on a 30-year beach maintenance plan to submit to the CRC at a future meeting.  It is likely that the development of the plan will take up to 6 months, and the plan could be submitted for CRC consideration in early 2009.  The Town is optimistic that it can devise a reasonable plan that will be supported by the citizens of Emerald Isle and the CRC.  If that plan is ultimately approved, new construction could begin on the oceanfront in eastern Emerald Isle by mid-2009.  Again, it is important for property owners to recognize that  1) the Town's plan must be approved by the CRC,  2) that any new structures must be able to meet the 60 ft. oceanfront setback from the actual first line of stable vegetation, and  3) that the size of new structures would be limited to 2,500 heated sq. ft.   For more information on this this issue, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Warren, NC Division of Coastal Management at jeff.warren@ncmail.net or 919-733-2293, ext 241 or Frank Rush, Town Manager, at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org.   

Hurricane Season Is Here Again - Make Sure You Have Your Hurricane Re-Entry Pass!

The 2008 hurricane season is upon us, and Town staff are busy making sure the Town is prepared for potential storm impacts.  Town staff are reviewing the Town's emergency plans, communicating with State, County, and other local emergency officials, and executing pre-positioned emergency debris, generator, and storm water pump contracts to protect the Town during a storm and promote a quick post-storm recovery.   Emerald Isle is fortunate to have avoided a major storm for the past 2 years, and we remain hopeful that we'll be spared again this year.  In the event that the Town is impacted, it will be important for our residents and property owners to have their Town-issued hurricane re-entry passes on hand.  These passes are used to determine who can return to the island if there is major storm damage and the Town needs to limit access to the island for safety reasons.     All property owners were previously issued permanent hurricane re-entry passes free of charge.  These passes run with the property, and should be transferred when property is sold to a new owner and should also be provided to tenants.  Please take a moment to locate your re-entry pass and store it in your vehicle for use if necessary.  If you can not locate your pass or need an extra pass, please visit Town Hall during normal business hours to secure a new or additional pass.  Please note that proof of residency or ownership is required, and there is a $25 fee per re-entry pass.   Please do not wait until a hurricane is threatening Emerald Isle to come to Town Hall to purchase a new re-entry pass.  Town staff are very busy in the hours leading up to a storm, and Town Hall may close before you can purchase your pass.  The lines are also often very long prior to a storm.   PLEASE COME IN TO PURCHASE YOUR HURRICANE RE-ENTRY PASS NOW - BEFORE A STORM IS APPROACHING!  

The Point Continues to Improve

Sandbags Can Remain in Place for 2 More Years,

Channel Drive Walkway to Be Reconstructed 

The Point continues to accrete following the erosion of the spit at the tip of The Point earlier this year.  A new spit has been forming over the past several months, and has curved around The Point from the oceanfront and is currently located between the vehicle ramp and the Coast Guard Channel.  This accretion is expected to continue, and the Town remains optimistic that the area will stabilize in the coming months.  The accretion occurring now is similar to the accretion that occurred almost immediately after the Town's project to relocate the main channel in Bogue Inlet was completed in April 2005.


The Town's coastal engineers predicted it would take 4 - 6 years for all inlet-related adjustments to occur.  It has now been a little more than 3 years since the project was completed in April 2005.  Because the area is currently accreting, and because we are only halfway through the predicted adjustment period, the NC Coastal Resources Commission has granted a sandbag variance to allow the existing sandbags to remain in place for 2 more years.  Recent news articles have documented the State's efforts to remove old sandbags after a May 2008 deadline, however, this deadline does not apply to the sandbags at The Point.  The Town is optimistic that the sandbags at The Point will be covered with sand and vegetation within the next 2 years and will not need to be removed at that time.  The Town anticipates additional natural accretion over that time, and is also pursuing strategies to place additional sand in the area in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

The current accretion has been ongoing on the oceanfront for several months, and has now migrated to the spit at the tip of The Point.  The oceanfront area now includes a wider beach, and the area near the Channel Drive walkway appears to have stabilized.  The Town will be working to reconstruct that public beach access walkway this summer to restore it to a near-original condition.  The Channel Drive public access can be used by area residents, and by visitors who park in the Station Street parking lot located nearby.

The Town continues to monitor the conditions at The Point on a regular basis.  The entire area near The Point includes depths of 1 - 5 feet, with sand migrating into the area.  The current erosion challenge is far less daunting than the problems in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the main channel was scouring out the tip of Emerald Isle with significant volumes and velocities of water, which created depths as great at 20 - 30 feet in some areas adjacent to The Point.  The Town remains optimistic that the erosion issues will ultimately be resolved in this area.   

Please Don't Mix Solid Waste!

Town staff and the Town's contractors all work hard to provide the highest quality solid waste services for our residents, property owners, and visitors.  In order to insure the effectiveness of our solid waste operations, we ask for everyone's cooperation in adhering to the following:

1.  Please do not dispose of regular household garbage in recycling containers!  The Town's contractors are forced to dispose of recyclables with the regular trash if regular trash is mixed in with recyclables in the recycling containers.  The Town occasionally receives complaints that the Town's contractors are intentionally emptying recycling containers on regular trash days, however, this only occurs when regular trash is mixed in with recyclables.  Please make sure that recycling containers are used only for recyclables!

2.  The Town's contractors will collect small, incidental amounts of construction and demolition debris from our residential property owners.  Incidental construction and demolition debris should be placed in a neat pile at the right-of-way, and piles should not exceed 4 feet in length or 50 lbs.  Please do not put construction and demolition debris in residential trash containers, as this can result in unnecessary damage to your trash container.  Larger volumes of construction and demolition debris should be disposed of by your construction contractor or at an approved Carteret County collection site.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Emerald Isle Woods Park Expected to Reopen By July 1

Construction of the next phase of the Coast Guard Road Storm Water Project is currently underway.  Some of the work involved with the project is taking place in Emerald Isle Woods Park, the receiving site for storm water pumped from other areas along Coast Guard Road. 

As a result, Emerald Isle Woods is temporarily closed until work inside the park is complete.  This portion of the project should be complete sometime in June, and the park is expected to reopen no later than July 1.  We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your patience!

For more information about the status of Emerald Isle Woods Park, please contact Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation Director, at 252-354-6350 or asanderson@emeraldisle-nc.org .

FOR SALE - Existing EMS Station Building - 218 Cedar Street

The Town is currently partnering with Emerald Isle EMS, Inc. to construct a new EMS station on Town-owned land adjacent to Fire Station 1 on NC 58.  The new building is expected to be complete by late summer 2008, at which time Emerald Isle EMS, Inc. will occupy the new building.    The Town will take possession of the existing EMS Station at 218 Cedar Street at that time, and is currently offering the property for sale.  The existing EMS Station is a converted beach house.  The existing station is in very good condition for use as a permanent home or beach house, and may also be suitable for a low-impact, home-based business.  The building consists of a 1200 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath living area on the top floor, and also includes a large garage and an additional 1200 sq. ft. of heated space on the ground floor consisting of a full kitchen, bath, and two large rooms. The building is located on the ocean side, and a beach access is just a short walk away.    The sale price is $450,000, and the Town will consider all offers.  For more information, please contact Town Hall at 252-354-3424.  

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Sunday, June 1, 2008 9:16:00 AM