You will need a major development permit if your project involves development in an Area of Environmental Concern and any of the following:
A major permit is usually required if there is any dredging or filling of water or marsh.
How to Apply
1. Contact the DCM office in the district where your project is located.
2. A field representative will visit your project site, discuss the proposed project with you and give you a copy of the permit application. Before you submit the application, ask the field representative to meet you on site and suggest any changes or alternatives to help you meet the CRC's guidelines. You should also ask how your local land use plan and local ordinances might affect your project.
3. The CAMA major permit application serves as an application for several other state and federal permits, to reduce confusion about the application process and the time needed to review permit applications. These permits are:
*In 1981, the Corps of Engineers began joint processing of Section 10 and Section 404 permits with the State of North Carolina for projects requiring a CAMA Major Development Permit and/or a state Dredge and Fill permit. Under this arrangement, the state receives comments on each project from federal agencies, although the Corps retains the authority to conduct a separate federal review if necessary. Most projects that previously needed separate state and federal reviews now only need a CAMA permit and Corps approval letter before work may begin.
4. The permit application asks for basic information about the project and the property. This includes:
5. A completed application and fee must be returned to the DCM field office before the application review can begin.Note: Major permit fees range from $250 to $475; see Appendix B for listing. DCM submits a report on the application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Wilmington District Office. This ensures that state and federal reviews will begin at the same time.
6. A copy of the deed or other document showing title to the land must be attached to your application. Deeds can be obtained from the county Register of Deeds office. If you aren't the owner of the property, you must submit written permission from the property owner along with a copy of the deed.
7. The application package must include a list of the names and addresses of the owners of adjacent waterfront properties. These can be obtained from the county tax office.
You must notify the adjacent waterfront owners by sending them a copy of the completed application by certified mail, return receipt requested. The postal receipt must be attached to your application form. DCM also publishes a notice of your application in the local newspaper. Coastal Resources Commission rules generally give any person who is affected by a proposed project 30 days after the date of notification to make comments. Objections don't necessarily mean a permit will be denied, but reasonable objections will be considered in DCM's application review.
8. If your project is located in an ocean hazard Area of Environmental Concern (AEC), you must fill out and sign an AEC Hazard Notice. This notice states that you recognize the natural hazards of building on the site, that the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) does not guarantee the safety of your project and that the CRC assumes no liability for future damage to the project.
The notice also states that no hardened structures may be used to protect your building or other project, and that the development must be relocated if it becomes threatened by erosion and the shoreline doesn't recover within two years – either naturally or through nourishment.
9. The permit application must be accompanied by a vicinity map and work plats (see Figure 5.1). These drawings, prepared by you or by a surveyor, engineer or architect, are part of the permit application and must be prepared as described below:
10. A cross-section diagram is required for each proposed excavation, fill or structure, including bulkheads, dikes and spoil retention works. The cross-section diagram should show the depth of the excavation (or the elevation of the fill) relative to the existing ground level, the mean high water level and the mean low water level (see Figure 5.1). The mean low water line should be the reference for other water depths and land elevations shown on the plat.
11. Additional forms may be required with the application for certain projects: excavation and fill (form DCM-MP-2); upland development (form DCM-MP-3); structures within public trust areas (form DCM-MP-4); and bridges and culverts (form DCM-MP-5. All forms must be signed and dated.
Note: if the N.C. Division of Water Quality determines that a stormwater plan is required under its rules, you must submit an additional form to that Division. See Section 9 for contact information.
12. You must pay an application fee ($250-$475; see Appendix B) when you submit your application. Contact your nearest DCM office for the amount. Payment should be in the form of a check made payable to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR.
13. Activities requiring a major development permit are often part of a larger development project that takes place outside of an Area of Environmental Concern. The Division of Coastal Management may require information on the entire project to determine the effect on coastal resources. If DCM needs more information about the project during its review of the application, you will be notified by mail.
14. Once DCM has received all of your application materials:
15. After the field representative receives your application and determines that it is complete, DCM will publish a legal notice in a local newspaper to inform the community that your project is being considered for a major development permit. The public may examine the application file for compliance with the CRC's development standards, the local land use plan and local development ordinances.You will be notified when the application is deemed complete and will be given a projected time when the permit decision should be made. You also will be asked to post a notice on-site that you have applied for a permit.
16. The field representative prepares a field investigation report that summarizes your project and any anticipated effects on the environment. That report, along with a copy of your completed application, is sent to the permit staff at DCM's Morehead City headquarters.
17. Because of the broad scope of the CAMA Major Development Permit, the complete application package is circulated to nine state and four federal agencies. Both the DCM field report and agency comments are public documents and are available for public review.
State Review Agencies
Federal Review Agencies
18. The Coastal Area Management Act allows the Division of Coastal Management 75 days from the date the field representative accepts the application as complete to take action on a major development permit. This period can be extended for an additional 75 days if more time is needed to review the proposed project.
DCM can place a project on hold if more information is needed to complete the application. When DCM receives that information, the review clock starts where it was stopped: For example, if DCM places a project on hold 15 days into the review, the clock will restart with 60 days remaining. A permit applicant also can place a project on hold for any reason.
Here's how DCM uses the review period (see Appendix C):
DCM will issue a CAMA major permit if the project complies with the CRC's rules, the local land use plan and local development regulations. Most permits contain conditions to ensure that resources are protected. It is your responsibility to meet all conditions listed on the permit.
If a permit is issued for your project, DCM will mail you an original permit, a copy and a postcard. Sign both the original permit and the copy immediately, and return the copy to DCM in the envelope provided. Before you begin work, complete the postcard and return it to the DCM district office in your area.
DCM must deny a permit if the project violates the CRC's standards for development in an Area of Environmental Concern, the local CAMA land use plan or a local development regulation. If the application for a major development permit is also an application for a state Dredge and Fill permit, both permits can be denied if it is found that:
If your major development permit is denied, the Division of Coastal Management will send you a denial letter by certified or registered mail. You have the right to appeal a permit denial or to request a variance from the Coastal Resources Commission. See Section 8 for more information.