Emerald Tidings

January 2016

  1. NC 58 Corridor Study Considering "Roundabouts" for Emerald Isle Intersections
  2. Village West Rezoning Approved
  3. New Flood Insurance Rate Maps Expected This Spring
  4. Emerald Isle Woods Storm Water Management System Resolves Nuisance Flooding Concerns in the Most-Impacted Locations
  5. New "Wayfinding" Signs To Be Installed
  6. List Personal Property with the Carteret County Tax Office Now
  7. Controlled Deer Hunt Planned for January and February
  8. Renew Your Golf Cart Registration Now
  9. Carteret Arts Forum - Next Event 
  10. Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races! - Saturday, April 9
  11. Purchase Your Own Emerald Isle Logo / Nice Matters T-Shirt!
  12. Did You Know?

NC 58 Corridor Study Considering "Roundabouts" for Emerald Isle Intersections

On behalf of several towns in Carteret County, the Down East Rural Planning Organization (DERPO) and the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) have been working over the past several months on a "NC 58 Corridor Study".  The study's purpose is to identify strategies to improve traffic flow along NC 58 from the NC 24 intersection near Cape Carteret and Cedar Point, all through Emerald Isle and other towns along Bogue Banks, and out to the US 70 intersection in Morehead City. Staff from both agencies have been evaluating traffic counts, crash data, and existing traffic system infrastructure to develop recommendations for further consideration by the Carteret County Transportation Committee and the individual towns.  Any potential improvements in Emerald Isle will be presented to the Town's Board of Commissioners for review and comment at a future date.

In an effort to maintain the Town's "family beach image" and "small-town atmosphere", the Town's 2004 Land Use Plan (which will be updated in 2016, with a new plan anticipated to be adopted by the Board of Commissioners in late 2016 or early 2017) includes a very clear policy statement that the Town opposes the future widening of the NC 58 bridge, and that the Town also opposes the future widening of NC 58 all through Emerald Isle.  This policy was developed after significant public input during a lengthy community planning process in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Because of this formal policy, the current "NC 58 Corridor Study" has focused on other intersection improvements along NC 58 in an attempt to promote smoother, more consistent traffic flow along NC 58, particularly during peak traffic periods in the summer.

Emerald Isle currently has 4 signalized intersections along NC 58 --- at Coast Guard Road, at the entrance to Emerald Plantation shopping center, at Mangrove Drive (near CVS), and at Bogue Inlet Drive --- that are perceived to contribute to traffic delays during peak periods.  The DERPO and NCDOT have identified the installation of single-lane traffic "roundabouts" (similar to the photo below from Ocean Isle Beach, NC) as a potential improvement that would reduce traffic backups during peak periods.  The "roundabouts" would be installed at each of the 4 signalized intersections, and because there would no longer be any left-turn movements (all turns from a "roundabout" are right turns) the DERPO and NCDOT believe traffic would flow continuously, with traffic from side streets merging into the "roundabout".  The potential "roundabouts" at the Coast Guard Road, Emerald Plantation, and Mangrove Drive intersections would likely have a diameter in the 125 - 150 ft. range, while the Bogue Inlet Drive intersection would be served by a "mini-roundabout" with a 70 - 80 ft. diameter.  The roundabouts would be designed to insure adequate turning movements for tractor-trailers, recreational vehicles, school buses, and emergency vehicles.

The Board of Commissioners received a presentation on "roundabouts" at its December meeting, and will receive additional presentation(s) at public meetings in early 2016.  For more information, please visit http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/memo-12-08-2015-14 .  The Town welcomes constructive input on this issue from our residents, property owners, and visitors, which can be submitted to Frank Rush, Town Manager, at  frush@emeraldisle-nc.org .  The Board of Commissioners is not expected to make a decision on this issue until spring 2016 at the earliest, and perhaps not until later in the year.



Village West Rezoning Approved

In an effort to promote quality redevelopment in the vicinity of Islander Drive, the Town's 2004 Land Use Plan and a subsequent 2006 small-area plan designated this area as the "Village West" planning area.  Village West envisions a mixed-use district, with both residential and commercial uses in the same area, on the same parcel, and even in the same structure, and includes very flexible and lucrative zoning regulations.

In recent years, a few properties in the Village West area have been rezoned to the new Village West zoning district, but the remaining properties remained zoned as Business (which does not allow any mixed uses or residential uses).  The Board of Commissioners recently completed the full rezoning of nearly all properties in the Islander Drive, Reed Drive, NC 58, and Crew Drive area to the Village West zoning district.  The Town is actively promoting quality redevelopment in this area, and is eager to work with any and all property owners and potential developers to make the Village West vision a reality in the future.

New Flood Insurance Rate Maps Expected This Spring

The NC Floodplain Mapping Program, on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been working in recent years to update the official flood insurance rate maps used in Emerald Isle. The new maps are nearly complete, and will be released to the public in spring 2016.

Overall, the new maps are expected to be favorable for Emerald Isle as a whole, and will hopefully reduce flood insurance premium costs and regulatory burden for many Emerald Isle property owners. There will, however, likely be some property owners that are negatively impacted by the new maps, and the Town will be publicizing this information when the new maps are released in spring 2016. Please remain attentive to this issue to determine the specific impact on your property.  For more questions about the new flood maps when they are released, please contact Josh Edmondson, Town Planner, at jedmondson@emeraldisle-nc.org .

Emerald Isle Woods Storm Water Management System Resolves Nuisance Flooding Concerns in the Most-Impacted Locations

The Town operates a sophisticated system of fixed pump stations and buried pipeline in several neighborhoods along the Coast Guard Road corridor, and this system discharges pumped storm water and ground water in Emerald Isle Woods Park, where it is treated by the natural environment.  The Town's system is now connected to 8 different pump stations in the Deer Horn Dunes, Sea Dunes, Spinnakers Reach, Lands End, and The Point neighborhoods, and these pump stations have eliminated or significantly reduced chronic nuisance flooding concerns in these areas.

The Town continues to work on additional storm water solutions in other neighborhoods in Emerald Isle, with the Osprey Ridge neighborhood (directly adjacent to the Town-owned Emerald Isle Woods Park) targeted for the next pump station in the future. It is important to note that the primary impediment to resolving the remaining storm water concerns is the lack of a legal, acceptable, and publicly owned (or controlled) location to discharge pumped water.  For water quality reasons, it is not legal for the Town to create new storm water discharges to the Atlantic Ocean or Bogue Sound, thus all storm water must be effectively infiltrated on the island.  Due to the lack of available public land, and the understandable reluctance of other private property owners to accept pumped storm water, this results in limited options for the Town to resolve the remaining concerns.  With that said, however, the Town continues to explore and implement various alternatives in small areas where feasible.

New "Wayfinding" Signs To Be Installed

In an effort to provide better directions to public facilities for our visitors, and to enhance the aesthetics of the "downtown" area and other areas along the NC 58 corridor, the Town will be installing new, decorative "wayfinding" signs with the new Emerald Isle logo during spring 2016.  The new signs have an attractive design, and will direct visitors to key facilities, including beach accesses, soundside accesses, parks, public buildings, and more.

List Personal Property with the Carteret County Tax Office Now

North Carolina law requires the owners of all taxable personal property to list such property with the Carteret County Tax Office each year in January.  The owners of personal property that was listed in 2015 should have received a notice from the Carteret County Tax Office in the past several weeks, and should return the necessary documentation no later than February 1, 2016.  If you did not receive that notice, or if you purchased new personal property in 2015 you should contact the Carteret County Tax Office at 252-728-8485 during normal business hours to begin the listing process.  More information is also available at http://carteretcountytax.com/property#Personal .

Controlled Deer Hunt Planned for January and February

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission recently completed an updated deer population estimate in Emerald Isle, and has recommended that the Town remove 30 - 50 deer from the local population this winter.  EIPD officers will utilize bow-and-arrow to take deer from public right-of-ways and other public properties during overnight hours on weeknights only in January (and potentially in February also).  These are the same protocols used successfully in January 2015. All deer meat will be donated to the Hope Mission in Morehead City, and will be used to feed the hungry in our county.

Renew Your Golf Cart Registration Now

Annual golf cart registrations must be renewed in January for 2016.  Please contact the Town Administration Building at 252-354-3424 or visit  http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/golf-card-registration-program to renew.  In an effort to improve the visibility of plate numbers, the Town will issue new license plates for 2016.  Enjoy your golf cart!

Carteret Arts Forum - Next Event

The Carteret Arts Forum (CAF) continues to offer a variety of arts programs, including a lecture by Al Sheppard, author of "E-Man: Life in the NYPD Emergency Service Unit" on Thursday, January 21 at 10:30 am at The Elks Lodge in Morehead City. Sheppard will detail his experiences working for the NYPD's elite units performing the most difficult of Police work.  For more information, and a complete lineup of upcoming CAF events, please visit http://www.carteretartsforum.com/products-services .


Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races! - Saturday, April 9

The 3rd annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races will be held on Saturday, April 9 at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  The full Marathon begins at 6:15 am, followed by the Half-Marathon at 8:15 am, and the 5K race begins at 8:30 am.  The 2015 races attracted nearly 1600 runners and raised $50,000 for heart charities and the Emerald Isle bike path, and we hope to surpass those totals in 2016!  The 2016 races will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Emerald Isle bike path.  Start your training now, and sign up at http://www.emeraldislerun.com/ .


The Town has received a very positive response to the new Emerald Isle logo and the new "Nice Matters" tag line.  If you'd like to purchase a t-shirt with the new logo and tag line, please visit the Town Administration Building at 7509 Emerald Drive.  T-shirts are $15 each, and will be available in late January for purchase.

Did You Know?

The Town is served by a highly dedicated group of men and women in the Emerald Isle Police Department and the Emerald Isle Fire Department. EIPD responds to more than 8,000 calls for service annually, in addition to proactive patrols and beneficial public education efforts, with a total of 16 full-time sworn law enforcement officers and several reserve officers.  The EIFD staff includes a total of 14 full-time firefighters and several reserve firefighters operating 3 pumper trucks and 1 ladder truck from our 2 fire stations.  EIFD suppresses an average of 20 structure fires (some small but some much larger) each year, and provides invaluable first responder emergency medical assistance to those in need.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, January 4, 2016 3:28:00 PM