Voted to support a proposed amendment to the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA). The amendment would improve the process by which permit applicants seek a variance from CAMA regulations and the criteria used by the CRC in reviewing requests. The proposed changes include removing a criterion that the CRC could not have anticipated certain situations when it adopted regulations.
Adopted a resolution asking Gov. Mike Easley to reissue Executive Order 15 in conjunction with the National Governors Coastal Conference and national Coastweeks, both scheduled for September. The order requires that actions taken by state agencies in the CAMA counties comply with North Carolina’s coastal management policies to the maximum extent possible. Former Gov. Jim Hunt originally issued the order in 1977, and it is still in effect.
Voted to ask DENR Secretary Bill Ross to review with NCDOT the planned U.S. 17 Wilmington bypass under existing Executive Order 15 to see if there are ways the project can avoid funneling stormwater runoff into Futch Creek.
Adopted for public hearing a proposed technical change in the text of the new CAMA land-use planning guidelines. The phrase “probable Section 404 wetlands” – which are under U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction – is being replaced with a definition, “non-coastal wetlands, including forested wetland, shrub-scrub wetlands and freshwater marshes.” A hearing on the proposal will be scheduled later this year.
Adopted procedures for staff to ensure that statutory provisions are being followed concerning adequate documentation that a county has given a municipality authority to develop an individual CAMA land-use plan. The procedures also cover instances where municipalities do not ask for county approval and seek authority directly from the CRC. In such cases, the municipality will provide the CRC with a letter from the mayor or his designee verifying that the local government has adopted and is enforcing zoning and subdivision ordinances and State Building Code regulations.
Adopted time limits for CRC consideration of certification of new land-use plans developed in accordance with the 1995 CAMA land-use planning guidelines, which are being replaced.
Adopted procedures for reviewing and certifying minor amendments to existing CAMA local land-use plans once the revised land-use planning guidelines take effect. The procedure allows the executive secretary of the CRC to certify minor amendments.
Denied a variance to Geraldine Williamson of Sunset Beach, who wanted to build a pier that was longer than the length allowed by CRC rules.
Affirmed an administrative law judge’s denial of an appeal by James and Winnifred King, who were unable to rebuild a storm-damaged house at Surf City because their lot was not big enough to meet state construction-setback requirements.
Adopted a Superior Court judge’s order in the case of Sammie Williams of Hyde County. The judge had ordered the CRC to grant Williams a variance to build a freezer facility that would encroach into coastal wetlands.