Contact: Michele Walker, 919-733-2293, ext. 229
CRC schedules hearings on changes to oceanfront setback rules
RALEIGH — The Coastal Resources Commission and the Division of Coastal Management will hold six public hearings in July to gain public input on proposed changes to the oceanfront setback rules. The first five hearings in the coastal communities will begin with a presentation by DCM staff at 5 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. public hearing. The public hearing in Raleigh, which will begin at 5 p.m., is during the CRC’s regularly scheduled meeting and will not be preceded by a presentation from DCM. The schedule is as follows:
Monday, July 7 — Surf City Community Center, 201 Community Center Dr., Surf City
Tuesday, July 8 — Carolina Beach Town Hall, 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach
Monday, July 14 — Brunswick County Association of REALTORS Meeting Facility, 101 Stone Chimney Rd., Supply
Tuesday, July 15 — NOAA/NC Coastal Reserve Auditorium, 101 Pivers Island Rd., Beaufort
Wednesday, July 16 — Kill Devil Hills Town Hall (“The Meeting Room”), 102 Town Hall Dr., Kill Devil Hills
Thursday, July 24— Holiday Inn Brownstone Hotel, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
People who want to submit written comments about the proposal may send them to Jim Gregson, Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City, N.C. 28557, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for written comments is Aug. 15.
The CRC is proposing changes to this rule that would increase setback distances for large-scale oceanfront structures. In addition, proposed rule changes develop separate management strategies for beaches that receive ongoing long-term, large-scale beach fill (sand nourishment) versus those that do not.
Under current rules, single-family structures on the oceanfront, regardless of size, have a setback of 30 times the long-term average annual erosion rate, with a minimum setback of 60 feet. The proposed oceanfront setbacks are based on total square footage regardless of whether the structure is single-family, multi-family or commercial. In the proposed policy, the minimum setback factor remains 30 times the erosion rate for all structures less than 5,000 square feet, regardless of use. The proposed changes would allow the setback factor to increase incrementally with structure size, with the maximum setback at 90 times the erosion rate for structures larger than 100,000 square feet.
The CRC is also proposing rule changes where limited development may be allowed when a community has a long-term (at least 30 years) beach fill program in place that includes identifying beach compatible sand and a financial plan to build and maintain the project for its design life. The proposed changes allow limited development under these conditions as a “static line exception.”
A complete text of the proposed changes is available on the Division’s Web site.