Emerald Tidings

April 2018

  1. Board Selects Proposal for Sale and Redevelopment of Islander Drive Tract, Will Utilize Profit and State Grant Funds for Streetscape and Beach Access Improvements
  2. Town, County Moving Closer to Final Approval of Beach Nourishment / Bogue Inlet Master Plan EIS / Permits
  3. Town Remains Engaged On Requested Insurance Rate Increases
  4. New Dedicated Golf Cart Path Completed
  5. Enjoy Your Golf Cart, But Be Safe and Follow the Rules!
  6. Town Staff Gearing Up for 2018 Tourism Season!
  7. Proper Roundabout Usage Illustrated
  8. Beach Parking Permits Available Now
  9. Beach Equipment Exception Stickers Available Now
  10. Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program Ready for Another Great Season!
  11. Check out Carteret Arts Forum!
  12. May is Deck Safety Month!
  13. Emerald Isle Parrott Head Club Donates Fund for AEDs
  14. Did You Know?

 

Board Selects Proposal for Sale and Redevelopment of Islander Drive Tract, Will Utilize Profit and State Grant Funds for Streetscape and Beach Access Improvements

The Board of Commissioners has selected a proposal from A-Team Enterprises LLC (a group that includes principals from the adjacent Islander Hotel) for the sale and redevelopment of the abandoned go-kart track / bumper boat property on Islander Drive.  A-Team would purchase the 1.846 acre tract for $804,000, and plans to construct a mixed-use development on this tract and an additional adjacent tract.  

The planned development includes multiple 3-story buildings with approximately 30 residential units and several ground floor retail units.  The A-Team proposal also includes construction of a public walkway and additional public parking spaces along Islander Drive and Louise Avenue. The total projected investment by A-Team is approximately $8 million. Pending the execution of a formal development agreement in the coming weeks, the sale would be finalized later this summer, and construction would begin in January 2019.

The Town purchased the 1.846 acre tract in June 2017, and invested approximately $689,000 in the land purchase and subsequent clean-up of the property.  Thus, the Town expects to realize a significant profit from the sale, and the Board of Commissioners has committed to use all profits for additional streetscape improvements along Islander Drive and beach access improvements at the adjacent Western Ocean Regional Access. In addition to the land sale profit, the Town has also been awarded a $100,000 State grant for the revitalization of the Islander Drive area.  In total, the Town expects to re-invest approximately $265,000 in beneficial public improvements in this area.     

The Town is pleased to have fostered the clean-up and redevelopment of this underutilized area, and looks forward to a quality development project by A-Team.  The proposed development is consistent with the Town's land use plans and current development regulations, is comparable to other existing development in Emerald Isle, and will result in significant public improvements at minimal or no cost to the Town's taxpayers.  

Town, County Moving Closer to Final Approval of Beach Nourishment / Bogue Inlet Master Plan EIS / Permits

The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the long-term (50 years) nourishment of Bogue Banks beaches (including Emerald Isle's ~ 12 miles of beach) and the management of a stable main channel in Bogue Inlet (and protection of The Point) is nearing approval, and we expect formal Federal and State permits to be issued this summer.  This effort, led by the Carteret County Beach Commission / Shore Protection Office on behalf of Emerald Isle and other towns, will greatly simplify and expedite the permitting for future beach nourishment and inlet management projects.  

The Town hopes to utilize the new Federal and State permits for a new beach nourishment project in winter 2018-19, depending on the availability of State funding assistance.  Design work is currently underway for an approximately 3 mile beach nourishment project in eastern Emerald Isle, roughly between the Indian Beach town line and the Town's Eastern Ocean Regional Access.  If State funding is awarded, work should occur in winter 2018-19. If State funding is not awarded, the project will be delayed until winter 2019-20, pending another State funding request.

The Town is pleased to see this effort come to a beneficial conclusion, and appreciates the hard work of all involved! 

Town Remains Engaged On Requested Insurance Rate Increases

 

Emerald Isle remains engaged on two significant insurance rate increases requested by the NC Rate Bureau (an entity representing a collection of NC insurance companies) in recent months. The Town continues to work with other interested parties, and has submitted formal comments opposing a requested homeowners insurance increase (25% - 40% for permanent homes) and a requested dwelling insurance increase (nearly 40% for second homes and vacation rental units). The Town remains hopeful that NC Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey will ultimately reject both requested increases.

The latest requested increases follow several significant increases in the last decade+, and property owners in Emerald Isle (and other beach communities) pay premiums that are as much as 4 - 5 times higher than some other areas of North Carolina.  Furthermore, there have been relatively few significant claims events in Emerald Isle over the past two decades. The Town is working closely with NC Representative Pat McElraft on this issue, and has also requested that the NC Commissioner of Insurance and the NC General Assembly work toward a fairer rate structure for homeowner and dwelling insurance policies in coastal North Carolina. Final decisions on the two most recent rate increase requests are expected later this summer or fall. 

New Dedicated Golf Cart Path Completed

As part of the Town's efforts to expand golf cart access, the Town recently constructed a new golf cart path to connect the Olde Cove subdivision with Whitewater Drive, thereby enabling legal use of golf carts by these property owners.  The project is a "pilot project", and was funded by contributions from the Olde Cove property owners and earmarked golf cart registration fees.  The Town's new Golf Cart Advisory Committee will be exploring the potential for other similar projects in the future. 

Enjoy Your Golf Cart, But Be Safe and Follow the Rules!

There are now approximately 900 golf carts registered in the Town's local golf cart program, and the program continues to grow.  The Town is pleased to offer this additional mode of convenient transportation for our residents and property owners, and urges all golf cart operators to be safe and follow the rules.  The most significant regulations are as follows:

  • all golf carts must be registered with the Town annually, 
  • all registered golf carts must be equipped with specified safety equipment, including seatbelts, headlights, tail lights, blinkers, and more, 
  • golf cart operators must possess a drivers license, and be at least 18 years old, 
  • golf carts are not permitted to be operated on NC 58 and Coast Guard Road, however, drivers may cross over these roads, 
  • golf carts are not permitted to be operated on the NC 58 and Coast Guard Road bicycle paths, 
  • open containers of alcohol are prohibited, and golf cart operators driving under the influence will be arrested. 

A full description of the program and regulations is located at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/golf-card-registration-program .  It is important to note that these regulations do not apply to any golf cart with North Carolina license plates or to golf carts operated solely on private streets in private subdivisions.  

Town Staff Gearing Up for 2018 Tourism Season!

Town staff are working hard to prepare for the significant influx of second home owners and visitors this spring, summer, and fall.  Various community improvement projects have been underway all winter and will wrap up in the coming weeks, Town staff are recruiting for extra summer staff (Police Officers, lifeguards, maintenance personnel, and parking attendants), and Town staff are working hard to have the entire Town looking good!  We look forward to another great tourism season in Emerald Isle!  ENJOY!

Learn More About Emerald Isle, and our Issues and Projects!

We all love Emerald Isle, and all of us realize how blessed we all are to enjoy this special place! Whether you've been here for many years, or only recently found us, we want to make sure you know as much as possible about our great town!  The Town prepares and updates several general information documents, and you can easily access this information at the Town's website:

Proper Roundabout Usage Illustrated

The new NC 58 roundabout has been open to traffic for about a month now, and is functioning well.  NCDOT and Town staff continue to evaluate the function, signage, and pavement markings, and continue to tweak these features to promote safe and efficient use of the roundabout.  To this end, NCDOT recently prepared a graphic to illustrate the proper use of the roundabout, which is located below:

Beach Parking Permits Available Now 

The Town will begin charging for parking at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access on Saturday, April 14, and will continue charging on weekends and holidays through mid-September.  Emerald Isle taxpayers are eligible for two free parking permits, and these can be obtained at the Emerald Isle Community Center during normal business hours. Please make sure you secure your permit before you visit the regional access facilities. To learn more, and to apply online, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/application-for-regional-access-parking-permit . 

Beach Equipment Exception Stickers Available Now

The Town ordinances require all unattended beach equipment to be removed from the beach each night. Any unattended equipment left out between 8 pm and 8 am will be confiscated by Town staff.  Special exception permits are available for oceanfront property owners ONLY.  To secure your exception permit, please visit the Town Administration Building during normal business hours.  To learn more, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/unattended-beach-equipment-faqs .

Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program Ready for Another Great Season!

The Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Program includes many dedicated volunteers who walk the entire beach strand each day to search for new sea turtle nests, and monitor and protect existing nests. The sea turtle nesting season will begin again on May 1, so you'll definitely see the group out on the beach!  

The EI Sea Turtle Program is led by Dale Baquer and Ruthie Gomez-Stuart, and Valerie Rohrig handles public relations for the group.  Valerie will be providing periodic updates for Emerald Tidings, and submitted the following for this month's newsletter:

Have you ever had a question about sea turtles on Emerald Isle? Starting this year, you can address those questions to: EISeaturtlepatrol@gmail.com or go to the group's new website (after April 1st) at http://www.eiseaturtlepatrol.org/ .  Do you know what they call a Sea Turtle in Hawaii? They are called Honu. Like us here in North Carolina, the people of Hawaii guard and protect the Honu.

Check out Carteret Arts Forum!

Carteret Arts Forum continues to offer many great events and bring talented performers to Carteret County!  On Saturday, April 8, ragtime / jazz pianist Ethan Uslan will perform at the Country Club of the Crystal Coast at 4 pm.  To learn more, and to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.carteretartsforum.com/ . 

May is Deck Safety Month! 

The Town and the quality vacation rental companies in Emerald Isle continue to promote deck safety in Emerald Isle, and encourage all property owners to check your decks regularly, and to seek the assistance of a qualified contractor or engineer at least annually to perform a thorough inspection.  In the saltwater environment of Emerald Isle, deck fasteners corrode much faster, and could lead to hazardous deck conditions if not maintained properly.  

May is national Deck Safety Month, an initiative designed to bring attention to the importance of proper deck maintenance and safety.  To learn more about deck maintenance and safety, please visit the North American Deck and Railing Association at http://nadra.org/ .  Town staff are also happy to assist with any questions our property owners may have about deck maintenance and safety, and please feel free to contact Town Planner Josh Edmondson at 252-354-3338 or jedmondson@emeraldisle-nc.org . 

Emerald Isle Parrott Head Club Donates Fund for AEDs

The Emerald Isle Parrott Head Club, one of the largest Parrott Head Clubs in the world, recently donated $2,000 to the Town of Emerald Isle for the purchase of automatic external defibrillators to be placed in Police vehicles.  The Town greatly appreciates the generosity of the Parrott Head Club!  Mayor Barber was pleased to accept the donation earlier this month.  

Did You Know?

Property taxes account for nearly $4.6 million, or only 46%, of the Town's annual revenues. All other Town revenues are derived from sales and use taxes (collected by the State), other State-collected taxes, permit fees, service fees, and grant revenues.  The Town's total annual budget for FY 17-18 is approximately $9.9 million.   

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, April 2, 2018 4:51:00 PM

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