Emerald Tidings

August 2007

  1. NC Coastal Resouces Commission Considering Revisions to Oceanfront Setbacks and Use of "Static Vegetation Line"
  2. Phase I of Police Station Renovation / Expansion Complete; Phase II Underway
  3. Emerald Isle Continues to Enjoy One of Lowest Tax Rates Among NC Beach Towns
  4. Make Sure You Have Your Hurricane Re-Entry Passes On-Hand Now
  5. Coast Guard Road Traffic Signal Timing Adjusted
  6. Emerald Isle "Kids Weekend" - September 14 & 15
  7. Celebrate Emerald Isle's 50th Birthday - Grand Celebration Scheduled for September 22, 2007
  8. Order Your 50th Birthday Commemorative Items Now!

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


NC Coastal Resources Commission Considering Revisions to Oceanfront Setbacks and Use of "Static Vegetation Line"

  Draft Rule Put Out for Public Comment  

At its July meeting, the NC Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) conducted a preliminary review of a proposed new rule that would amend oceanfront setback requirements and also provide a mechanism for the potential removal of the "static vegetation line" used to measure setbacks after certain beach nourishment projects.  The CRC gave a generally favorable review to the proposed new rule and directed its staff at the NC Division of Coastal Management to schedule a public hearing later this year.  The public hearing will likely occur at the CRC's September or November meeting.

  The proposed new rule would amend the current oceanfront setback requirements by establishing larger setbacks for larger oceanfront structures.  Under the proposed rule, any building less than 5,000 sq. ft. in size would be required to meet a setback equal to 30 times the annual erosion rate, as is required under current rules.  Under the new rule, any building (including residential structures) greater than 5,000 sq. ft. in size would be required to meet a setback based on a multiplier ranging from 60 - 90 times the annual erosion rate.  The result is that larger buildings would be located further back from the ocean.   The proposed new rule also includes a mechanism for the potential removal of the "static vegetation line" that is required to be used to measure oceanfront setbacks after large beach nourishment projects.  (A static vegetation line is currently in place in eastern Emerald Isle.)  The proposed new rule would allow a community with a static vegetation line to petition the CRC to remove the static vegetation line and revert back to using the actual first line of stable vegetation for measuring oceanfront setbacks.  In order to remove the static vegetation line, a community would be required to demonstrate a long-term commitment to renourish the beach (a 30-year plan) and identify compatible sand sources.  If the CRC removes the static vegetation line, and a structure can meet the required setback from the actual first line of stable vegetation, then a new or replacement structure could be permitted.  Any new or replacement structures would be limited to 2,000 sq. ft. and could not be located seaward of adjacent structures.     In eastern Emerald Isle, the application of the static vegetation line essentially means that oceanfront properties between the Indian Beach town line and Pier Pointe condominiums will remain non-conforming in perpetuity.  The practical result of the current rules is that none of the existing structures in this area can be reconstructed if they are damaged greater than 50%, nor can they be redeveloped voluntarily.  The proposed new rule would potentially enable the static line to be removed in eastern Emerald Isle.  If the setback can be met from the actual first line of stable vegetation (which is likely in several cases), reconstruction could occur along the oceanfront in eastern Emerald Isle.    The Town of Emerald Isle is on record in support of a new rule that would remove the static vegetation line, and will be monitoring the deliberations on this new rule over the coming months.  For more information about the proposed new rule and the CRC's meeting agendas, please visit www.nccoastalmanagement.net.  Future issues of Emerald Tidings will also include updated information on this issue.

Phase I of Police Station Renovation / Expansion Complete; Phase II Underway

Police Department Now Located in Former Town Administrative Office Space


Phase I of the Police Station Renovation / Expansion Project is now complete, and the Police Department now occupies a portion of their new space. 


Phase I involved renovation of the former Town administrative office space at Town Hall, and was completed in late July.  To visit the Police Department, please use the main entrance to Town Hall and enter the former Town administrative area. 


Phase II of the project involves the complete renovation of the old Police Station.  Upon completion of Phase II, the Police Department will expand back into the area that comprised the old station.  Phase II has begun, and is expected to be complete in the next 3 months. 

  The completion of this project will result in a new, 5,000 sq. ft. Police Station that will serve the Town's needs for many years.  The Police Department has been operating in cramped and outdated conditions for the past several years, and the Town is pleased to provide this new facility for our Police personnel and the citizens of Emerald Isle. 

Emerald Isle Continues to Enjoy One of Lowest Tax Rates Among NC Beach Towns

The Town of Emerald Isle strives to provide high quality services in the most cost-effective manner.  This emphasis has enabled the Town to maintain a relatively low General Fund tax rate over the past several years.    It is not fair to compare Emerald Isle's low General Fund tax rate to inland municipalities due to the fact that Emerald Isle has high property values due to its proximity to the water.  Many inland municipalities have much higher tax rates, some approaching 1 dollar per $100 of assessed value.  The Town routinely compares itself with the other 21 beach towns in NC, and this comparison of tax rates is much fairer because all of these towns have similar property values.   For FY 2007-08, Emerald Isle has the 3rd lowest General Fund tax rate of all 21 NC beach towns.     

Make Sure You Have Your Hurricane Re-Entry Passes On-Hand Now

Don't Wait Until the Storm is Approaching!   Unfortunately, we are in the midst of the 2007 hurricane season!  As always, we hope Emerald Isle is spared this year, but if we are impacted by a hurricane you'll want to make sure you already have your Town-issued hurricane re-entry pass if needed.    The Town of Emerald Isle utilizes a hurricane re-entry pass system designed to assign priority for returning to the island if the Town is closed as a result of hurricane damage.  The Town previously issued permanent hurricane re-entry passes to all property owners in Emerald Isle, and these passes allow residents and property owners to return to the island earlier than the general public if the island is temporarily closed after a hurricane.   The Town's re-entry passes are permanent passes, and are intended to be transferred with the property.  If you sell your property, the re-entry pass should be transferred to the new owner.  If you are purchasing property, please make sure the permit is transferred to you at closing.  If you are a long-term renter, please contact your landlord for the re-entry pass for your rental unit.  If you do not have a pass, a replacement pass can be obtained at Town Hall at a cost of $25.  Conclusive proof of property ownership or residency (for renters) is required in order to secure a replacement pass.   The Town urges all residents and property owners to make sure that you have the necessary re-entry pass well in advance of an approaching storm.  Town staff are always extremely busy preparing for an approaching storm, and at some point it becomes necessary to stop the issuance of hurricane re-entry passes.  Prior to previous hurricanes, there were numerous residents and property owners who waited until the last minute to secure re-entry passes, and these individuals were unable to secure a re-entry pass.  Although recent storms did not result in prolonged closure of the island, future storms may require the Town to temporarily close the island.   Please don't wait to get your re-entry pass.  If you don't have a re-entry pass, please obtain one now at Town Hall.  We're open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.

Coast Guard Road Traffic Signal Timing Adjusted


In response to citizen concerns, the Town's requests, and requests by State Representative Pat McElraft and Senator Jean Preston, the NC Department of Transportation has adjusted the timing of the traffic signal at the intersection of Coast Guard Road and NC 58.  The new signal timing pattern went into effect on July 14, and increases the amount of time allocated for traffic to exit Coast Guard Road onto NC 58 at key times during weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

  The Town greatly appreciates NCDOT's assistance on this matter, and is hopeful that these changes will result in better traffic flow out of the Coast Guard Road area.  Please let us know how the new timing pattern is working by sending an email to Town Manager Frank Rush at frush@emeraldisle-nc.org and/or NCDOT Traffic Engineer Steve Hamilton at shamilton@dot.state.nc.us .    

Emerald Isle "Kids Weekend" - September 14 &15

Join Us for Two Great Town Events, plus join in the Walk to D'Feet ALS! 

The weekend of September 14 & 15 is shaping up to be a busy one in Emerald Isle, with 3 great events scheduled!   The Emerald Isle Police Department will sponsor it's 2nd annual "Crime Free Party Night for Kids" on Friday, September 14 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  This great event is free of charge, and will include many great kids' attractions, including hayrides, dunking booth, slides, games, Police and Fire vehicles, boats, and much more!  The event will be held on the corner of Islander Drive and Reed Drive.  Bring the whole family out!   The Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor its 2nd annual "Day4Kids" at the Emerald Isle Community Center on Saturday, September 15 from 10 am to 2 pm.  This event is yet another great offering from our Parks and Recreation Department, and will include free giveaways, activities, games, face painting, and much more!  Author Donna Washington will present two storytelling sessions at 11 am and 1 pm.    Saturday, September 14 is also the date for the "Walk To D'Feet ALS" in Emerald Isle.  This event is sponsored by the Jim "Catfish" Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association, and seeks to raise $175,000 for ALS research and activities.  The event begins at Holiday Trav-L-Park at 9 am.  For more information, and to make a contribution, visit http://walknc.alsa.org .

Celebrate Emerald Isle's 50th Birthday - Grand Celebration Scheduled for Saturday, September 22, 2007


Please join us for the the Town's grand 50th Birthday celebration!  September 22, 2007 - all day long!   The Town will present a free, all day, outdoor concert on the vast NC 58 right-of-way near Emerald Plantation Shopping Center.  The concert includes great music from the past 50 years, including The Impressions (Motown sound), The Breakfast Club (80s cover band), the Backbeat (Beatles cover band), Captain Cook and the Coconutz (Jimmy Buffett and more) and Sammy O'Banion and Mardi Gras (beach music).  The Town continues its excellent working relationship with NEXT Media (assisted with previous concerts, including Josh Turner and Kellie Pickler), and will announce the headliner act, and up-and-coming artist to represent today's music, later in August.    The event will also include amusement rides, food vendors, a beer garden, magicians, and other kids activities.  The day's activities also include a classic car show and a beach volleyball tournament!  The celebration will conclude with the largest fireworks display ever in Emerald Isle that night off of Bogue Inlet Pier!   Please join us in celebrating our glorious past, fortunate presents, and promising future on September 22!     More Sponsors Added The Town extends its sincere appreciation to our latest 50th Birthday sponsors - Stevenson Chevrolet, The GAM, and Century 21 Coastland Real Estate.  Thank you!

Order Your 50th Birthday Commemorative Items Now!

The Town has commissioned the production of several terrific items to commemorate its 50th Birthday, and all proceeds will go toward the Main Event celebration on September 22!

Items include the following:

* 50th Birthday Coffee Table Book

* 50th Birthday Commemorative Print

* 50th Birthday Commemorative Poster

* 50th Birthday Note Card Packs

* 50th Birthday T-Shirts

* 50th Birthday Commemorative Lapel Pin

Order online with a credit card at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/50thmemorabilia.htm

Please note that there are limited quantities of some items, so order yours soon!

Frank A. Rush, Jr. Town Manager Town of Emerald Isle 7500 Emerald Drive Emerald Isle, NC 28594 252-354-3424 frush@emeraldisle-nc.org

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
Posted by Frank Rush Wednesday, August 1, 2007 11:30:00 AM