Emerald Tidings

January 2017

  1. NC Supreme Court Dismisses Nies Case Against Emerald Isle
  2. Comprehensive Land Use Plan To Be Formally Considered in January and February
  3. Publix Officially Announces Planned Emerald Isle Store
  4. Planned Bogue Inlet Drive Improvements Now Include Slight Realignment of Street and Other Improvements 
  5. Town Sells Welcome Center to Carteret County Tourism Development Authority
  6. Additional NC 58 Landscaping Improvements Underway
  7. Emerald Isle EMS Offers CPR Classes
  8. Join Us for the Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival - Saturday, March 11 
  9. Start Training for the Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races! - Saturday, March 25
  10. Bike The Banks - Saturday, May 6
  11. Did You Know?

NC Supreme Court Dismisses Nies Case Against Emerald Isle

In an order issued on December 14, the NC Supreme Court dismissed the Nies case against the Town of Emerald Isle.  As a result of this dismissal, the November 2015 opinion of the NC Court of Appeals is now the definitive law on public beach access in Emerald Isle, and everywhere in North Carolina.  The Town is pleased with the Court's decision, which clarifies the public's historical and continuing right to use the flat, sandy beach (from the base of the dunes to the water) everywhere in North Carolina. 

The Town greatly appreciates the hard work of its legal team, led by Attorney Brian Edes (of Crossley, McIntosh, Collier, Hanley, & Edes, PLLC - Wilmington, NC) and Retired Special Deputy Attorney General Allen Jernigan, the support of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and numerous State and local officials and agencies that supported the Town's case, including Governor Pat McCrory's administration, Governor-Elect Roy Cooper (as Attorney General), the NC Coastal Resources Commission, and every oceanfront county and municipality in North Carolina.  The Town was also supported by many other business, tourism, and environmental organizations committed to public beach access, including the NC Travel and Tourism Coalition, the NC Vacation Rental Managers Association, the NC Coastal Federation, the NC Wildlife Federation, the NC Association of County Commissioners, the NC Beach Buggy Association, the Surfrider Foundation, the NC Beach-Inlet-and-Waterway Association, and Graham Kenan Professor of Law Emeritus Joseph Kalo.

The NC Supreme Court's dismissal represents a victory for the Town of Emerald Isle in this specific case; however, it represents a much more important victory for current and future generations of North Carolina residents and visitors who will continue to enjoy the ocean beach experience and build lasting family memories along our beautiful coastline.  

Comprehensive Land Use Plan To Be Formally Considered in January and February

After nearly a year of hard work reviewing data, gathering public input, developing a vision for the continued growth of Emerald Isle, and considering specific land use goals and policies, the Board-appointed Steering Committee has completed its work on the Town's 2017 Comprehensive Land Use Plan.  The draft plan (which will be updated again in January) will now be presented to the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners for formal review and additional amendments, with final approval tentatively scheduled for February.

The draft 2017 plan maintains a similar overall vision for Emerald Isle as the current (2004) plan, and continues to place a high priority on preserving Emerald Isle's "small-town atmosphere" and its "family beach" image for our residents, property owners, and visitors.  The draft 2017 plan also continues to assign a high priority to public access to the beach and sound, beach nourishment and inlet management activities, attractive community aesthetics, preservation of water quality, low building heights, low building densities, natural vegetation preservation, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  

Recognizing the need / desire for quality new development in certain areas of Emerald Isle, the plan also specifically promotes new commercial and mixed use development (and favorable policies for such) in the "downtown" area (centered on the Bogue Inlet Drive / NC 58 intersection), the Islander Drive area, the marina area, and along the main NC 58 corridor between Coast Guard Road and the Town Government complex.  The draft policies promote more flexible development regulations, small scale wastewater treatment facilities intended to serve these targeted areas, buildings with both commercial and residential components - located closer to the street, and the future development of an appropriately-scaled meeting and events facility in Emerald Isle to host quality events year-round and additional visitor groups in the fall, winter, and spring months.

The draft 2017 plan is approximately 140 pages long, and includes much more information about Emerald Isle and outlines all of the Town's development goals and policies.  The Town has received a great deal of thoughtful public input over the past year, and there are still opportunities to comment.  If you'd like to provide input, please email Town Manager Frank Rush (frush@emeraldisle-nc.org) and/or Town Planner Josh Edmondson (jedmondson@emeraldisle-nc.org), or plan to attend a special joint meeting of the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners on January 18 at 3 pm in the Town Board Meeting Room, or attend the regular Planning Board (January 23 at 6 pm) and/or Board of Commissioners (February 14 at 6 pm) meetings. 

Publix Officially Announces Planned Emerald Isle Store

Publix, a large southeastern grocery store chain, recently made an official announcement and confirmed the identity of the planned new grocery store in Emerald Isle. The new Publix store will be located on NC 58 between Emerald Landing and Emerald Plantation, and is expected to open in spring 2018.  Construction is expected to begin later in 2017.     

Planned Bogue Inlet Drive Improvements Now Include Slight Realignment of Street and Other Improvements  

The Board of Commissioners recently endorsed plans to make additional improvements to Bogue Inlet Drive (from NC 58 to the pier) in conjunction with a planned new bicycle path segment.  The approximately 1/4 mile long street will now be shifted slightly to the east (within the public right of way) and will be completely resurfaced.  The new, dedicated bicycle path will be constructed on the west side of the street (within the public right of way), and the plan also includes new decorative lighting and additional landscaping. The Town is soliciting construction bids in January, and hopes to award a contract in February, with a goal to complete all work by April.  

Town Sells Welcome Center to Carteret County Tourism Development Authority  

Through a partnership with the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Carteret County Tourism Development Authority (TDA), the Town designed, financed, and constructed the new Welcome Center in Emerald Isle in 2015.  The new building has been leased to and operated by the TDA since August 2015, however, the Town recently completed the sale of the building to the TDA.  

The sale was finalized in December 2016, and enabled the Town to recover 100% of its investment ($276,000) in the new building.  The Town retains the use of the small park area just east of the Welcome Center building, and also continues to maintain public restrooms on the site. The TDA will continue to operate the Welcome Center and provide helpful information about the Crystal Coast to our visitors.   

Additional NC 58 Landscaping Improvements Underway

During spring 2016, in order to prevent interference with electric transmission lines, crews retained by Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative removed significant vegetation underneath the main electric transmission lines along NC 58 between the NC 58 bridge and Coast Guard Road. Unfortunately, this work resulted in a less-than-attractive appearance in the NC 58 right of way at the main entrance to Emerald Isle, with several bare areas, vegetative debris, and "straggler" vegetation remaining. 

Town contractors are currently removing unsightly vegetative debris, the remaining straggler vegetation, and completing additional "tidying up" in this area to improve the appearance.  Town staff will then begin maintaining this area in the future, and will gradually work to improve the aesthetics in this area to match the Town's high standards along the rest of the NC 58 right of way.

Emerald Isle EMS Offers CPR Classes

Emerald Isle EMS is again offering the American Heart Association's HeartSaver CPR-AED class this winter and spring.  Multiple morning and evening sessions will be offered, with the first sessions scheduled for January 26 (9 am and 6 pm sessions) at the EMS Station.  Pre-registration is required, and interested participants should contact Emerald Isle EMS at 252-354-2249.  Take advantage of this great training opportunity, and also get to know the great staff and volunteers at EI EMS!

Join Us for the Emerald Isle St. Patrick's Festival - Saturday, March 11 

The Town's signature event is back for it's 26th year on Saturday, March 11 at the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center!  Mark your calendars now, make your accommodations reservations, and plan to join us for another great day of music, food, arts, crafts, kids' rides, and fun!

Start Training for the Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races! - Saturday, March 25

Start your training now, and sign up today!  The 4th annual Emerald Isle Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K Races will be held on Saturday, March 25 at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  The Marathon kicks off at 7 am, followed by the Half-Marathon at 8:30 am, and the 5K at 8:45 am.  

Bike The Banks - Saturday, May 6

Mark your calendars now for the 3rd annual Bike The Banks - Crystal Coast Lighthouse Challenge bicycle rides!  The 2017 event will be held on Saturday, May 6, and will again feature a 100 mile ride to the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and back, a 50 mile ride to Fort Macon State Park and back, and a 10 mile leisure ride on the Town's bicycle path.  All proceeds benefit the Emerald Isle bicycle path network.  Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks, including a registration link.  

Did You Know?

The average-value ($360,000) property owner in Emerald Isle pays approximately $65 per month for ALL Town services - police, fire, and EMS services, beach access and maintenance, beach nourishment, parks maintenance, street maintenance, storm water management, trash collection, recycling collection, yard debris collection, and various capital improvements.  On average, your Town government costs each property owner about $2 per day! 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, January 3, 2017 9:48:00 AM