N.C. Coastal Resources Commission to resume enforcement of time limits on sandbag structures
The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission directed the Division of Coastal Management in September to resume enforcement measures that call for the removal of sandbag structures that have exceeded time limits outlined in the commission’s rules, and that are not covered with sand and vegetation.
Session Law 2009-479 imposed a moratorium on enforcing the removal of sandbag structures whose time limits had expired. The moratorium expired on Sept. 1.
The commission in 2000 granted an extension to allow property owners in communities actively pursuing beach nourishment to keep their sandbags for five years from the date of installation or until May 1, 2008, whichever was later. The commission did not further extend the time limit after that date, and directed DCM to begin enforcing removal of noncompliant structures.
The division conducted a survey of existing sandbag structures, and found that about 150 sandbag structures were subject to removal after May 2008. The division prioritized those structures to determine which should be targeted first for removal. Then, the state agency began the enforcement process for the 20 structures considered to be in the worst condition and encroaching the farthest on the public trust beach.
Enforcement activities were then halted by the 2009 Session Law.
The division is currently revisiting existing sandbag structures, and will revise its prioritization as needed before proceeding with enforcement activities. At the next CRC meeting on Nov. 18, DCM staff will update the commission on the status of sandbag structures on the state’s oceanfront.