Sept. 26, 2008
Contact: Michele Walker, 919-733-2293, ext. 229
CRC approves changes to oceanfront setback and static line rules
RALEIGH — The Coastal Resources Commission today approved changes to its rules governing setbacks for oceanfront structures and static setback lines for communities with large-scale beach nourishment projects.
The setback rule changes increase setback distances for large-scale oceanfront structures. 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 static line rule changes develop separate management strategies for beaches that receive ongoing long-term, large-scale beach fill (sand nourishment) versus those that do not. The rule change could allow limited development seaward of the static line 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 changes allow limited development under these conditions as a “static line exception.” Additionally, if the community has such a program, their maximum setback will be the current maximum of 60 times the erosion rate for large structures.