IMPORTANT NEWS - Preliminary Floodplain Mapping Information The Coastal Resources Commission met last week in Nags Head and a portion of the agenda was dedicated to flood, wind and homeowners insurance as well as NC flood maps. Kenneth Ashe, Assistant Program Director with the North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Office, presented preliminary floodplain mapping data for the Outer Banks and other coastal communities. The information presented comes as great news for Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties! First, Mr. Ashe informed Commission members that flood maps are due to be released, per FEMA approval, per County as follows: •Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender – July 2014 •Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimans – September 2014 •Carteret, Craven, Onslow, Pamlico – November 2014 •Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell – End of Year 2014 •Bertie, Washington – March 2014 The preliminary data shows an 82% drop in VE zone structures and a 65% drop in AE zone structures! Only structures within those zones are required to have flood insurance when they are covered by a mortgage. If not within the VE or AE zone, property owners can buy flood insurance at greatly reduced, preferred risk rates. OBAR/OBHBA Government Affairs Liaison Willo Kelly participated in the CRC meeting. She shared the above information as well as an update on homeowners and flood insurance at a meeting last night sponsored by the Dare County League of Women Voters. The Outer Banks Voice will be providing video highlights of that meeting soon at www.outerbanksvoice.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted by Jason Summerton at 10:35 AM
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Interesting articles coming from Cindy Beamon at the Daily Advance. Both articles seem to point that change is again coming, and no one yet knows if they will be better or worse off for it with regards to their flood rating. See articles below:
New flood maps may benefit Currituck ratepayers By Cindy Beamon The Daily AdvanceFriday, January 31, 2014 CURRITUCK — New federal flood maps coming out this spring may deliver good news to Currituck County instead of bad news as local officials had feared. In fact, flood insurance risks are likely to go down, which may mean lower premium costs, based on preliminary figures from the state’s National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator. “We are not as impacted as other states because we have done a better job of modeling,” said Currituck Planning Director Ben Woody. Every five years when the Federal Emergency Management Agency updates its flood maps, there’s a chance that homes outside the flood hazard area could be bumped into a higher-cost category. The shift could cause insurance premiums to go up for policyholders whose property lands in a higher-risk zone than before. The release of new flood maps last year in New Jersey and Louisiana were a big blow to many homeowners who were suddenly shifted into higher-risk categories. However, the new maps in Currituck are more likely to benefit property owners than hurt them. About 6,200 buildings now in the special flood hazard area could be removed to a lower risk category with the new maps. That’s good news for about 30 percent of 20,700 total buildings in the county. Most of the affected buildings are now in “AE” or “VE” flood hazard zones with an estimated 1 percent chance of being flooded every year. Of the 6,200, an estimated 5,200 buildings could be downgraded from AE to a lower-risk category, said John Gerber, the state’s NFIB coordinator in a letter to county officials last week. Homes in the AE zone have an estimated 26 percent chance of flooding during a standard 30-year mortgage. Another 900 buildings are in the VE zone for areas along the coast with a 1 percent annual chance of flooding from storm-induced wave action. Currituck Commissioners say they want to find out if most of those buildings are in Pine Island and Corolla Light, which have dune replenishment programs. Board members said if the dune build-up has helped improve insurance ratings, the county may want to consider doing the same in other areas that would benefit. The county may not know until late spring when work maps are released what specific properties may benefit from the new flood mapping. The preliminary figures only tell the number of buildings that would be impacted but do not identify specific buildings. Woody said North Carolina’s stricter standards for flood prevention have meant a less dramatic impact for state residents. “As a whole, the maps are good for us,” said Woody. Under FEMA’s timetable, the new maps would go into effect in 2015. However, the timetable is subject to change if Congress votes to delay parts of the Biggert-Waters Act. NC-20, an organization representing coastal counties, has warned that the legislation will negatively affect eastern counties in North Carolina.800 properties may see higher insurance rates By Cindy Beamon The Daily AdvanceFriday, January 31, 2014 About 800 properties in the five-county region are likely to face higher flood insurance bills in coming years if Congress refuses to slow down a timetable for changes to the nation’s flood insurance program. Congress enacted the Biggert-Waters Reform Act in 2012 as a way to stop bailing out homeowners whose flood insurance it believes have been subsidized by taxpayers and other policyholders. On Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted 67-32 to delay some, but not all, of the changes enacted in the Biggert-Waters law. But the effort could stall in the U.S. House, where, according to The Associated Press, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is skeptical of the delay. Altogether, Pasquotank, Currituck, Camden, Perquimans and Chowan counties have a combined 10,600 federal flood insurance policyholders. Not quite 8 percent of those policyholders will be affected by changes to end special discounts for older homes previously “grandfathered” under the National Flood Insurance Program. A breakdown by county, town and city on the number of properties affected is: • Camden 100; • Elizabeth City 249; • Chowan County 20; • Edenton 29; • Currituck 286; • Pasquotank 89; • Perquimans 23; • Winfall and Hertford, 10. Currituck County’s northern beaches are not eligible for federal flood insurance and would not be affected, although county officials said they’ve heard reports that privately-backed insurers are upping their rates anyway. The Biggert-Waters Act, named for the law’s co-authors, Congresswomen Judy Biggert, R-Ill., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., affects homes that were built after the Flood Insurance Program was enacted and before the first flood maps were adopted in each community. In Currituck County’s case, homes built before 1984 were previously exempt from paying higher rates if they didn’t meet flood-proofing standards adopted after they were built. The Biggert-Waters Act will remove that exemption so that homes must be brought up to modern construction standards or face big increases for flood insurance. The new law is designed to phase in a number of changes that raise rates to accurately reflect risk. NC-20, an organization representing coastal counties in North Carolina, said the legislation will cause insurance costs for some properties to skyrocket. One homeowner in Avon opted to sell her beach resort home rather than pay $15,000 in annual premiums, says Willo Kelly of NC-20. Several boards of commissioners in the northeast, including in Currituck and Pasquotank counties, are saying the reform will cripple the local economy by raising insurance rates beyond what property owners can afford to pay. Currituck and Dare counties are likely to see the biggest impacts in the five-county area if the Biggert-Waters Act isn’t delayed. Currituck has the sixth-most flood insurance policies of any county in North Carolina. Dare County has the most in the state. Because beach construction started later on the Currituck Outer Banks, its homes are newer and less likely to be affected than Dare. Changes so far have affected second homes, and businesses and homeowners who sell their homes or switch flood insurance policies. By late 2014, subsidies and discounts for all other “grandfathered” properties is scheduled to be phased out over the next five years. Rates can only go up 20 percent each year until they reach “full-risk” rates. This spring, new flood maps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are scheduled to be released for the region that could affect more property owners. Properties shifted into flood hazard areas or into higher risk zones would not be eligible for discounts or subsidies previously available under the old rules.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 2:21 PM
Friday, January 24, 2014
Posted by Jason Summerton at 12:21 PM
Friday, September 13, 2013
COROLLA, N.C. The Currituck National Wildlife Refuge plans to string more than 15,000 feet of barbed wire fence in an effort to keep wild horses from grazing where wildlife feed, raising concerns among the horses' supporters. Federal officials have requested bids to extend fencing in the 4,500-acre refuge from the dunes to the marsh, effectively blocking the horse herd's access to a large section of the refuge. Bids are due this week. More than 100 acres already are enclosed by an electric fence. The barbed wire fence would extend the barrier from ocean to sound. Barbed wire is dangerous to wild horses and deer, said Karen McCalpin, director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. A cut from rusty barbed wire can get infected or cause tetanus, she said. Currituck National Wildlife Refuge Manager Mike Hoff could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The wild horse fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have long been at odds over the size of the horse herd. Jeff Hampton, 252-338-0159, email@example.com
Posted by Jason Summerton at 9:33 AM
Thursday, September 5, 2013
New rules rein in Corolla wild-horse tour guides By Jeff Hampton The Virginian-Pilot © September 5, 2013 COROLLA, N.C. Wild-horse tour guides largely heeded new restrictions on their operations this season, even as they chafed at some of the rules. But supporters of the animals say more needs to be done to protect them. Sheriff’s deputies issued tour drivers five $50 tickets from Memorial Day through Labor Day: three for speeding and two for stopping on the road, according to a report from Currituck County’s code-enforcement division. No operators received two tickets within 30 days, which would have triggered a three-day suspension and cost as much as $36,000 in lost revenue. Dispatchers’ records show 34 calls all summer related to wild horses. Tour-guide behavior was better but still needs improvement, said Karen McCalpin, director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. “I think there has been a mixed bag of compliance,” McCalpin said. “It held people accountable when they were not before. The horses are safer.” Kimberlee Hoey, who lives in the four-wheel-drive area and volunteers with the Wild Horse Fund, reported in July a line of tour vehicles crossing dunes into her neighborhood after 8 p.m., a violation of the new ordinance. “Sometimes people forget this is a residential community,” Hoey said. McCalpin said another resident reported a frightened stallion trapped between tour vehicles. No one is supposed to come within 50 feet of a wild horse. McCalpin offered free one-hour courses on the ordinance in May and June. All but one of the nine tour operators attended, she said. Corolla’s herd of 120 horses descends from Spanish mustangs stranded on the Outer Banks more than 400 years ago, according to Corolla Wild Horse Fund research. Currituck and the state use wild-horse images in national ads to attract visitors. Studies have shown the horses to be one of the largest draws to the Currituck Outer Banks – the wild-horse excursions draw roughly 3,000 people a day and drive the county’s tourism industry. Prompted by years of complaints, Currituck officials sought a balance that would protect the horses but not stifle business. County commissioners passed an ordinance in January restricting tour times and routes, capping the number of tour companies at 10 and the number of vehicles per company at five. Speed limits remained at 15 mph within 300 feet of the horses. Guides have a reputation for doing whatever it takes to get a four-wheel-drive vehicle – such as a Jeep full of paying customers with cameras – near a herd of wild horses, rumbling over dunes and through the remote communities. Lines of the vehicles jaunt over the sandy roads, at times pressing too close to the horses, blocking travel and trespassing on private property. All the new limits were fair except one, said Bob White, owner of Beach Jeeps of Corolla: Drivers no longer can stop to let customers take photos. “That’s probably the single biggest head-butt issue,” White said. “There needs to be a little give in this.” The Corolla wild horses are so accustomed to people watching them they appear to pose for photos. One of White’s drivers was cited for stopping in the road for a photo opportunity. Some violators are not tour guides but individuals in private or rented vehicles, White said. “ ‘Jeep’ has become a four-letter word,” he said.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 12:49 PM
Monday, July 29, 2013
Currituck revises rules for horse-tour operations Corolla wild horse tours did very well this year and is a major economic engine for Currituck County, N.C., but complaints about too many vehicles on the beach and in the area are still coming in. County commissioners are looking at new restrictions that will limit the number of vehicle and hours of operation. (By Jeff Hampton The Virginian-Pilot © January 9, 2013 CURRITUCK, N.C. After three years of debate and public input, Currituck County commissioners this week approved a new ordinance that will rein in the long rows of tourist-filled Jeeps rolling through the Currituck Outer Banks beach in search of wild horses. The ordinance will: -- Cap the number of tour operators at the 10 already in business. -- Require each operator to buy a license renewed annually at a cost of $950 per vehicle. -- Limit tour operators to five vehicles. Those who own fewer than five cannot expand. The total number will drop to 32 from 48. -- Outlaw the use of buses for tours. -- Limit tour hours to between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. west of the dunes. Although the fee is high, horse-tour operators generally support the new law, said Jay Bender, owner of Corolla Outback Adventures, which has a fleet of more than five vehicles. "By and large, this is a good thing," Bender said. "It was inevitable it was going to be needed." The new ordinance takes effect immediately. Previously, horse-tour businesses had to get a county permit to operate, but there was no fee, and their fleet size was limited only by the amount of parking they had. License revenue will raise $30,400 annually for administrative costs, as well as park and road maintenance within the four-wheel-drive communities. "I think we've done our homework on this," said Currituck County Commissioner Vance Aydlett. "I feel good about it." Tour operators must follow the longstanding rules as well, including the 15 mph speed limit when driving within 300 feet of people. They and customers must remain at least 50 feet from a wild horse. Operators who get cited for two or more violations in 30 days will have to shut down for three days. Five citations in 30 days will mean a 10-day suspension, and 10 or more citations will lead to license revocation. One suspension could cost a lot of money. A company with five vehicles, each with a capacity of 14 customers, would typically charge $35 a customer per trip and could run five trips a day. A three-day suspension would result in more than $36,000 in lost ticket revenue. "I believe that is severe enough," Aydlett said. About 120 horses roam north of Corolla on a strip of beach about 12 miles long and a mile wide. The herd naturally divides itself into smaller groups of a few mares and foals led by a stallion and can be seen grazing in the meadows, walking along the dunes and even standing in the shade of a multimillion-dollar oceanfront home. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund oversees the health and safety of the herd. Through the 1990s and early 2000s, the number of tours grew. Tour drivers were often accused of going too fast along the criss-crossing sandy roads, making the numerous pond-size potholes even worse. Residents complained that tourists would get too close to the wild horses, in some cases putting small children on the animals' backs. Officials, residents and even some tour operators called for more restrictions. Wild-horse tours in Corolla attract about 3,000 people a day during the summer. Last year, North Carolina tourism officials highlighted the wild herd in its national advertisements. Jeff Hampton, 252-338-0159, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Jason Summerton at 10:42 AM
Below is an interesting article on where the fate of the Mid Currituck Bridge may lie.
<b>NCDOT Starts Moving on Strategic Mobility Formula Priorities From the Crosstown Traffic Blog News & Observer NCDOT starts moving on Strategic Mobility Formula priorities Submitted by BruceSiceloff on 07/12/2013 – 06:47 When the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory approved the Strategic Mobility Formula, a sweeping new change in state guidelines for distributing transportation construction dollars, they left it up to the state Department of Transportation to work out a lot of important details. The big plan is to make this a largely “data-driven” process, and to link transportation infrastructure projects with jobs and economic development. The state Board of Transportation, most of its members McCrory appointees, got its first formal look Thursday at DOT recommendations for criteria and weighting that will be used to score new road projects — and capital projects for transit, aviation, ferry and rail improvements. (See 6/24/13 Road Worrier column with reader comments.) DOT leaders plan to make changes in recommendations that were developed over the past several months by a statewide advisory workgroup. This is complicated stuff, but it will be important in determining how future leaders spend limited transportation dollars. The transportation board and NCDOT will report their recommendations to a legislative oversight committee in August, with updates to follow in October. DOT leaders hope to start using the new criteria next year to evaluate future projects. They won’t change their evaluation of old projects already in the pipeline. Attached below are two documents handed out, and given only a brief public discussion, at Thursday’s board meeting (plus a more detailed June meeting handout on the Strategic Mobility Formula). They show the recommendations developed over the past several months by a statewide workgroup of city and rural officials and transportation planners. Board members said they want to make some changes before they present their plan to legislators in August. As provided in McCrory’s Strategic Mobility Formula, transportation dollars will be doled out at three levels: 40 percent for statewide projects, 30 percent in each of seven regions, weighted according to population, and 30 percent divided equally among DOT’s 14 divisions. Statewide project spending will be 100 percent data-driven. The DOT workgroup recommended weighting the evaluation of road projects this way: (1) travel time benefits compared to overall project cost (30 percent of total score), congestion reduction (30 percent), economic competitiveness (10 percent), safety (10 percent), and “multi-modal (& freight + military)” (20 percent). Those terms are defined on one of the documents below. There are different criteria for other spending levels. Regional spending would be 70 percent data-driven, with 30 percent of the decision based on “local input.” It turns out that NCDOT defines local input as half coming from local elected leaders, and half coming from NCDOT division engineers. Division spending would be 50 percent data-driven and 50 percent “local input,” again giving NCDOT administrators half of the vote in that “local input” category. Note that the workgroup assigned only a 10 percent weight to “economic competitiveness,” a category defined to cover two things: increasing productivity by reducing travel times, and creating jobs. Board member Mike Smith of Raleigh said he hoped to change the definition for “economic competitiveness,” but he didn’t say how. “Economic competitiveness” is a phrase often on the lips of McCrory and other elected officials. DOT leaders want to give it a bigger weight in the formula, boosting it to 15 or 20 percent. “We would like to see some expansion of that as a weighting,” said Ned Curran of Charlotte, the board chairman. They want to reduce the weight given to congestion reduction and travel-time improvements. And they want to test the formula by plugging it into a couple of projects, just to see how it would grade them. (How will NCDOT rate the economic competitiveness of the troubled Garden Parkway toll project, predicted in an earlier NCDOT study to cause a net loss of jobs in the area? Stay tuned.) Board members broke into small groups Wednesday to talk about the Strategic Mobility Formula in closed meetings. They didn’t talk much in Thursday’s public meeting. Since the transportation board no longer has the power to approve road projects, it is by setting the evaluation criteria that board members will have their greatest impact on such decisions. After the meeting I asked Curran if he would make sure to have all future discussions take place in open meetings, so the public could learn how these important decisions are made. Curran sought to justify the privacy of small-group board discussions where the subject is “nuts and bolts” detail — rather than formal policy decisions, which are to be made in public. Late Thursday NCDOT said the board will discuss the Strategic Mobility Formula prioritization at a public meeting July 23. There was no indication that the board wants to have a direct conversation with members of the statewide workgroup that developed the “economic competitiveness” and other recommendations over the past few months.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 10:29 AM
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Legislator says Currituck span would survive cuts
Coastal Review Online
April 25, 2013
Rendering of the mid-Currituck bridge. (N.C. Turnpike Authority)
By Catherine Kozak
Coastal Review Online
A bill that would change funding for the planned Mid-Currituck Bridge and Cape Fear Skyway may be giving proponents the jitters, but even if it passes, the projects are not necessarily doomed.
An amendment to House Bill 10 would lift dedicated “gap” funds and place the bridges in the funding mix to compete with other projects.
State Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, said he is confident the 7-mile bridge between the Currituck mainland and Corolla will survive the legislative churn.
“The project wouldn’t be dead,” Steinburg said.
To nab construction dollars, the bridge would have to rank high among top-priority projects under the state’s Transportation Improvement Program. It would, however, be prioritized according to a list of criteria that include job creation and health and safety concerns.
Steinburg said that has had assurances by Tony Tata, the state Secretary of Transportation, on the fate of the bridge.
“It is my understanding that regardless of what happens to this House bill, this project would still rank very high,” he said. “Secretary Tata told me that the bridge will be built. He didn’t say when it would be built, but he said it will be built.”
But Steinburg conceded that if costs for the bridge are revised upward, the state Department of Transportation may not look as kindly on the Currituck span.
In the works for nearly 30 years, the $660 million project would trim an hour off the drive from Virginia to Corolla and address traffic congestion that routinely clogs the roads leading to the northern Outer Banks.
Even local residents who live off back roads winding through residential neighborhoods can’t escape the weekend traffic because GPS-enabled maps direct tourists to the alternate routes.
Peter Bishop, director of economic development for Currituck County, said that traffic has become the No. 1 complaint with visitors to the Outer Banks. On a summer weekend, what should be a 1.5-hour trip from Moyock can turn into four or more hours. When Hurricanes Irene and Sandy closed N.C. 12 to Hatteras, he said, the traffic got heavier when Hatteras vacationers were diverted to the north.
And with the beaches in New York and New Jersey still damaged from Sandy, Bishop said he expects that Corolla will have more visitors this summer.
But there is growing concern that traffic congestion, already a challenge in hurricane evacuation, will make tourists go somewhere else.
“You can see how that mentally kind of builds up,” Bishop said, referring to someone crawling for hours in traffic. “They think, ‘OK, I can get to the beach four hours earlier.’ ”
Traffic counts are important in determining how the bridge ranks with competing road projects. Congestion counts for 20 percent of a project’s score. The higher the traffic count, the higher the project scores. Improving road safety counts another 10 percent. The state looks at crash rates on the highway. Road conditions, time savings for drivers, and economic benefits to the region are factored as well.
Considering the value of tourism to the Outer Banks and the state, he said, the Mid-Currituck Bridge is an economic and safety necessity. It would speed up hurricane evacuation times, increase employment opportunities on both sides of the bridge, decrease commuting time for seasonal workers, and vastly improve the travel experience for tourists.
Tourism revenue in North Carolina in 2011 exceeded $18.4 billion, providing about 188,000 jobs and $4.18 billion in wages, according to the state Commerce Department.
On the barrier islands in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, tourism accounts for 5.6 percent of the state’s entire tourism economy. With annual visitation of about 8 million, the Outer Banks represents $1.03 billion in visitor spending, 13,200 jobs, $203.7 million in local payrolls and about $1 billion in tax revenue for local communities.
Steinburg said that the Mid-Currituck Bridge would also play an important role in creating a new economic engine he is proposing for the northeast corner of the state, which has lost many jobs in regional industries such as manufacturing, fishing, lumber and agriculture.
A bill Steinburg has recently introduced would use the Port of Norfolk to foster enterprises in counties located within 1 ½-hours from the port that could be become part of the foreign trade market. He said the initiative could open up the region to economic development, and the bridge is an essential component.
“I am very excited about the potential we have in northeastern North Carolina,” he said.
On March 6, state Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, sponsored an amendment to House Bill 10 that would remove the designated funds for the three proposed toll projects, including the Garden Parkway near Charlotte, and make them compete with other transportation projects. Rabon said that the amendment, which has been approved by the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate, would prevent politics from influencing road projects.
The amended House bill passed the Senate but has yet to be taken up by the House.
Being a Republican, Steinburg is well aware of the bitterness some members of his party have toward the region and projects like the Mid-Currituck Bridge.
“I believe this is a backlash,” he said. “They’re going after this bridge because of some animus they still have for Sen. Basnight. People see this as his project.”
But Steinburg said that the bridge stands on its own merits, regardless of political perceptions.
“It’s nothing but personal,” he said about the Republicans’ distaste for Basnight, a Manteo Democrat and longtime Senate president before his retirement in 2011. “There’s a great deal of resentment of some of the stuff he pulled. That’s why, sadly, Currituck is paying the cost today.”
Whatever the outcome of the Rabon bill, said Nicole Meister, a DOT spokesperson, the projects would not be slated for elimination as some fear. Like any other transportation project, they would be ranked in priority on five-year and 10-year state transportation plans for each of the state divisions.
And even if a project does not rank high, she said, it would go back into the priority process for future consideration.
“The reason why we support this is we want to take politics out of transportation planning,” Meister said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be built, or they’re going to be built.”
Meister said that the proposed bill does not remove the possibility of tolling. But instead of being the main approach to funding the projects, tolling would one of the options considered in funding.
“It gives it more flexibility,” she said.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 1:26 PM
Friday, March 22, 2013
By Jeff Hampton
© March 19, 2013
Every winter, pounding waves ravage the sand along the beach, exposing hundreds of ancient cedar and live oak stumps on the Currituck Outer Banks coastline. It is an annual occurrence here and on other beaches.
"I've seen this all over the world," said Orrin Pilkey, a professor emeritus at Duke University and expert on coastal geology.
Resembling black teeth in the sand, the stumps dot the path of passing traffic along the beach. One of the larger stumps has been outfitted with bright red reflectors to steer travelers from damaging their vehicles - or worse.
Pilkey estimates a maritime forest existed here some 2,000 years ago but was decimated as the barrier island drifted west toward the mainland, covering the roots in salt water.
Now beach traffic rumbles between the stumps - some of them broad, some small - along a section of the 11-mile strand of sand that serves as the only road to the communities north of Corolla. During the summer, when the tourists gather by the thousands, gentler waves replenish sand, and most of the stumps vanish.
"It only takes a few days in May for the sand to cover them up," said Lt. Jason Banks of the Currituck County Sheriff's Office.
Once or twice a year during the winter, somebody slams into one, he said.
"Sometimes people hit them and don't report it," he said. "We find car parts on the beach."
Banks did not recall a serious injury.
Native Ernie Bowden, 88, remembered weaving his father's old truck between the tree remnants in his boyhood. Bowden's uncle, a commercial fisherman who worked the shoreline, tore the front end off his old truck back in the 1930s. His brother once slammed into one. He also recalled that a serviceman died just after World War II when he swerved his open-top military vehicle to miss a stump and overturned.
Resident Jay Bender, a horse tour operator, once crashed into a stump and badly damaged his father's truck.
"When you get to that section, you've got to watch out," he said. "Fog is the worst."
Bowden says he believes two storms in 1846 may have leveled the forest. About 100 years ago, area resident and historian Henry B. Ansell wrote in his memoirs of a massive storm in March 1846 and another in September that sent ocean breakers over the banks and all the way to Knotts Island, more than a mile inland. He wrote of trees being uprooted.
"For the old of this island to recall the dire, terrible and still lasting disaster of that year could bring nothing but depression," he wrote, as recorded in a document at the Currituck County Library.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Bowden dug canals within the Carova Beach neighborhood and remembers uncovering large, ancient trees lying some eight feet below the surface all pointing in the same direction.
"I have to believe that 1846 hurricane leveled all those trees," he said.
These days, a maritime forest thrives on the sound side of the banks about a mile from the ocean. For now, the beach strand has stabilized with relatively little erosion or movement.
As for the ancient stumps, they have sort of become a historical trademark along the beach and most likely will stay that way.
Currituck County Manager Dan Scanlon said he has never heard of any plans by the state or county to remove the stumps. The state owns the beach, he said.
Removing the stumps would require a permit, said Michele Walker, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management.
"Nobody has ever asked to pull them out," she said.
Jeff Hampton, 252-338-0159, email@example.com
Posted by Jason Summerton at 10:22 AM
While no major surprise to the folks that vacation here year after year, US News and World Report pegged the Outer Banks for the best family-friendly spot for a beach vacation in the US. Given the runners up, that is saying something. Click on the link below for the report.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
In speaking with the Currituck County Tax Department just now, I was informed that they department hopes to have Currituck Property Owners new tax valuations in the mail by the middle to end of next week. In that letter there will also be a new web address should you need to access information online. The new website will bring enhanced features for property information in Currituck County. Anyone needing a refresher on how/why NC Counties are bound to do these rreassessments, I copied this from the County website.
Public Notice: Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 105-317 (c) the Currituck County Board of Commissioners hereby gives notice that the proposed schedules, standards and rules to be used in the 2013 reappraisal of real property in the county have been submitted to the Board of Commissioners and are available for inspection in the Tax Administrator's Office at 2801 Caratoke Hwy, Currituck, NC.
A Public Hearing will be held on the proposed schedules, standards and rules during the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. The hearing will be held in the Commissioner's room in the Historic County Courthouse.
Currituck is currently in the process of conducting a revaluation/reappraisal for Currituck County for 2013. Notices of the new values are expected to be mailed to taxpayers near the end of February 2013.
Pursuant to G. S. 105-286, all counties in North Carolina are required to conduct a reappraisal every eight (8) years. The majority of the counties, including Currituck County, conduct their reappraisals on this time frame, although a growing segment of counties conducts reappraisals on a shorter cycle.
Currituck County has revalued its' property every eight (8) years starting in 1965, the year of its' first revaluation/appraisal after the octennial schedule was imposed in 1959. The next scheduled reappraisal will be affective for the 2013 tax year.
During years that a general reappraisal is not conducted, G. S. 105-286 dictates that the real property shall be assessed at the value assigned during the last reappraisal. The assessor is limited by G. S. 105-287 to certain circumstances in which he may change the value of real property. These include correcting a clerical or mathematical error, or correcting an appraisal which resulted from a misapplication of the schedules used during the county's last general reappraisal.
The assessor is also permitted to increase the assessed value of real estate when a structure is built or improved, or to reduce the value if a structure burns or is destroyed. The value can also be revised when property had been taxed as having a certain number of acres and the actual acreage is determined to be different.
The assessor may not increase or decrease the appraised value of real property, to recognize a change in value caused by: normal physical depreciation of the improvements; economic conditions affecting the county as a whole; or minor improvements to the property such as repainting, landscaping, terracing, etc. The county may not change the assessed value to reflect a general increases (or deceases) in property values until the next reassessment.
A county may choose to conduct its reappraisal "in-house" utilizing their own appraisal staff, by hiring an outside reappraisal firm, by employing consultants to assist their staff appraisers or a combination of the above. During the 2013 revaluation the county staff will appraise the 4WD Fruitville Beach area of the county and the reappraisal firm Tyler Technologies will appraise the remainder of the County.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 1:09 PM
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Here is the latest update from the North Carolina DOT website with information on the Mid-Currituck Bridge. Funding is still in jeopardy it appears from the politics in the NC Congress but the timeline information is interesting.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 12:15 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
From an Article in the Daily Advance, there are some interesting comments regarding the Off-Road Beaches. 2013 is sure to be a year to keep an eye on things at the Federal, State, and County level.
FROM THE DAILY ADVANCE
Animal shelter, OBX sewer plant Currituck priorities
By Cindy Beamon
The Daily Advance
Monday, February 11, 2013
COROLLA – A new animal shelter in Maple and a wastewater treatment plant in Ocean Sands will top the list of new capital projects in Currituck for the coming year, commissioners decided at the board’s annual retreat Saturday.
Commissioners compiled a long list of county needs during a brainstorming session, but an informal vote narrowed those priorities to six. The list will assist County Manager Dan Scanlon in preparing a budget for the upcoming year, said the session’s facilitator, Lydian Altman with the University of North Carolina’s School of Government.
Other priorities included:
• Deciding the level of service to be provided by fire and emergency medical services;
• Developing a plan to boost off-season tourism;
• Deciding if the county is capable of developing two small area plans at the same time, one for Moyock and one for Currituck’s off-road beaches; and
• Deciding the next step for economic development – possibly by getting input from businesses in roundtable discussions.
In coming months, commissioners are expected to schedule work sessions to discuss the issues in more depth.
Altman said the challenge ahead for commissioners will be sticking to those goals throughout the year as other competing needs arise.
Scanlon warned the Currituck Board of Commissioners will have less money to spend than in previous years.
A flat tax base means the county can no longer afford to fund multiple projects at the same time, he said.
“We are going to have to make some tougher decisions than we have had to make before. We are going to have to say no to some stuff,” said Scanlon.
Timing for some of the projects is also a concern. If the county doesn’t make some big decisions about commercial development in the four-wheel drive areas of Currituck beaches, then the courts may, Commissioner Paul Martin warned. Already the county is facing one lawsuit by a developer wanting to build commercial buildings in the off-road community.
In addition, three or four applications for “conference centers” — large beach structures with 24 or more bedrooms — have recently been submitted, said County Attorney Ike McRee.
“We are going to have to make some decisions, and I think we are going to have to make them sooner rather than later,” said Chairman Paul O’Neal.
The pending lawsuit adds urgency to the issue, but the county’s planning staff is already tied up with forming a small area plan for Moyock, said Scanlon. Jumping on another project would be too taxing to the county’s planning staff, he said.
Commissioners agreed to take a closer look in coming months at if and how they can handle the ongoing Moyock Small Area Plan and take on another complex planning project for the northern Outer Banks. In the past, commissioners have rejected a proposal to contract out the work to consultants.
Commissioners said they also want to take a closer look at travel expert Judy Randall’s report last year on how to improve tourism on the Outer Banks. The county needs to focus on expanding the number of visitors during the “shoulder season,” the months before and after the busy summer months, commissioners said.
The fate of a proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge will have a big impact on that effort, commissioners agreed.
“Everything centers on the bridge as far as economic development,” said Commissioner Butch Petrey.
The new priorities did not exclude several ongoing projects to which the county has already committed. Plans for Currituck Community Park, including practice soccer fields, still remain on go. Renovations to the ABC store in Moyock also fall under prior budget priorities.
Other concerns and capital projects may have to wait, however.
Commissioners bumped several projects to lower priority, meaning they are less likely to get funded in the coming year.
Lower priority projects include:
• More hangar space and a new taxiway for the Currituck Regional Airport;
• A salary study for employees, particularly for the tourism department. The Randall report suggested the county examine salaries to ensure they are competitive with what other counties are paying. Scanlon said the county underwent a study just two years ago, and some employees’ salaries were adjusted as a result.
• A new interpretive exhibit and building for historic boats and agricultural equipment at the Rural Center in Powells Point.
• Construction of a new school, possibly a new elementary school in Moyock.
• Small-area plans for landing points for the proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 10:46 AM
Friday, January 11, 2013
Currituck revises rules for horse-tour operations
By Jeff Hampton
© January 9, 2013
After three years of debate and public input, Currituck County commissioners this week approved a new ordinance that will rein in the long rows of tourist-filled Jeeps rolling through the Currituck Outer Banks beach in search of wild horses.
The ordinance will:
-- Cap the number of tour operators at the 10 already in business.
-- Require each operator to buy a license renewed annually at a cost of $950 per vehicle.
-- Limit tour operators to five vehicles. Those who own fewer than five cannot expand. The total number will drop to 32 from 48.
-- Outlaw the use of buses for tours.
-- Limit tour hours to between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. west of the dunes.
Although the fee is high, horse-tour operators generally support the new law, said Jay Bender, owner of Corolla Outback Adventures, which has a fleet of more than five vehicles.
"By and large, this is a good thing," Bender said. "It was inevitable it was going to be needed."
The new ordinance takes effect immediately.
Previously, horse-tour businesses had to get a county permit to operate, but there was no fee, and their fleet size was limited only by the amount of parking they had.
License revenue will raise $30,400 annually for administrative costs, as well as park and road maintenance within the four-wheel-drive communities.
"I think we've done our homework on this," said Currituck County Commissioner Vance Aydlett. "I feel good about it."
Tour operators must follow the longstanding rules as well, including the 15 mph speed limit when driving within 300 feet of people. They and customers must remain at least 50 feet from a wild horse.
Operators who get cited for two or more violations in 30 days will have to shut down for three days. Five citations in 30 days will mean a 10-day suspension, and 10 or more citations will lead to license revocation.
One suspension could cost a lot of money. A company with five vehicles, each with a capacity of 14 customers, would typically charge $35 a customer per trip and could run five trips a day. A three-day suspension would result in more than $36,000 in lost ticket revenue.
"I believe that is severe enough," Aydlett said.
About 120 horses roam north of Corolla on a strip of beach about 12 miles long and a mile wide. The herd naturally divides itself into smaller groups of a few mares and foals led by a stallion and can be seen grazing in the meadows, walking along the dunes and even standing in the shade of a multimillion-dollar oceanfront home. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund oversees the health and safety of the herd.
Through the 1990s and early 2000s, the number of tours grew. Tour drivers were often accused of going too fast along the criss-crossing sandy roads, making the numerous pond-size potholes even worse. Residents complained that tourists would get too close to the wild horses, in some cases putting small children on the animals' backs.
Officials, residents and even some tour operators called for more restrictions.
Wild-horse tours in Corolla attract about 3,000 people a day during the summer. Last year, North Carolina tourism officials highlighted the wild herd in its national advertisements.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 11:34 AM
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
FROM THE DAILY ADVANCE
Top Stories of 2012, No. 4: Mid-Currituck Bridge — Hope to uncertainty
By Cindy Beamon
The Daily Advance
Thursday, December 27, 2012
CURRITUCK — The fate of the proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge became less certain in 2012 as lawmakers questioned the $660 million price tag for the project.
At the start of the year, the project appeared to be on its way toward construction in 2014. In January 2012, the N.C. Turnpike Authority, responsible for overseeing the project, released its final environmental impact statement. State officials said the FEIS was the last major hurdle in plans for the seven-mile span linking Currituck’s mainland to the Outer Banks.
But more hurdles have popped up since then.
Last summer, state lawmakers agreed to divert funding from the
project for the second year in a row. Under the earlier leadership of Marc Basnight, D-Dare, the General Assembly had agreed to set aside $28 million a year for the next 30 years to pay the state’s share of costs for the new toll bridge. Turnpike was also negotiating with a private partner to cover the cost of maintaining and operating the project.
Lawmakers have yet to begin making those promised payments.
For the past two years, funds earmarked for the bridge have gone to other road projects. Transportation officials say the funds were not needed until the bridge was closer to construction.
New challenges were also aimed at delaying the start date for construction or possibly ending the funding plan altogether.
State Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, chairman of the state’s Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee, charged “political cronyism,” not the project’s merits, were responsible for the project’s earlier approval in the General Assembly. This fall, he asked the state Department of Transportation to answer a long list of questions about the project.
Currituck commissioners, sensing a threat to the Mid-Currituck Bridge, had hoped to show committee members a newly produced video outlining all the benefits of the bridge. Committee members denied commissioners that chance in October.
The election of a new governor also adds to the project’s uncertainty.
Governor-elect Pat McCrory, while campaigning for the office, said he wanted to examine the merits of the project before deciding if he will support it. Long-time bridge supporter Rep. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, said the governor’s support will be crucial. McCrory appoints members to the state Board of Transportation, responsible for overseeing the state’s contract with its private partner in the project. If the board wants to kill the project, it certainly has that ability as negotiations are underway, said Owens.
The bridge also faces another likely assault from environmental groups. The Southern Law Center and Defenders of Wildlife are already suggesting that funds for the bridge be redirected to Dare County for an alternate option to the Bonner Bridge.
In the midst of the renewed opposition, the proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge is not without its optimistic allies.
Two newly elected state lawmakers have vowed to use their Republican connections to garner support for the bridge.
Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, and Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, both said they will have greater influence with a GOP-dominated General Assembly than their Democratic opponents in November’s election would have had.
The bridge will be losing the last of two powerful supporters, however. Basnight left office in 2010, and Owens finishes out his term in December with the bridge’s future still uncertain. Owens has said House Speaker Thom Tillis has pledged his support for the bridge, but changing alliances after November’s election could strain that commitment, some political observers have said.
Bridge supporters have argued that halting the project at this point would cost the state millions of dollars. The state has already invested $24 million in planning the project and stands to lose another $10 million if it backs out of negotiations with its private partner.
Opponents say those losses, although considerable, do not come close to the millions the state will pay if it continues the project.
The Turnpike Authority’s most recent estimate for completion of the project is 2018.
Mid-Currituck Bridge Time Line
January 2012 — Plans for the $660 million mid-county bridge cleared its last major hurdle with release of the final environmental impact statement by the N.C. Turnpike Authority. According to the state’s updated schedule, construction would begin in 2014, and the span would be ready for traffic by 2018
Summer 2012 — Gap funds earmarked for the mid-Currituck bridge are diverted to other road projects for the second year in a row. Lawmakers say the funds were not needed in 2012-13 because construction on the project had not yet begun.
August 2012 — State Sen. Bill Rabon, R- Brunswick, chairman of the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee, questions the state’s plan to pay $28 million for the next 30 years for the new toll bridge linking Currituck’s mainland to the Outer Banks
September 2012 —¬ Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, while running for office, said he would review plans for the mid-Currituck Bridge before deciding if he would support it. Long-time bridge supporter, State Rep. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, said the governor’s support will be crucial to the bridge’s future.
October 2012 ¬— Currituck releases a new video aimed at countering lawmakers’ criticism of the proposed Mid-Currituck bridge.
October 2012 ¬¬— Lawmakers in Raleigh submit a long list of questions about the bridge to state DOT officials. The Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee, an advisory board to the General Assembly, refused an audience with Currituck officials wanting to voice support for the span.
December 2012 — Two environmental groups suggested that funds for the proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge be redirected toward finding a solution to erosion problems in Dare County. The Southern Law Center and Defenders of Wildlife are expected to file suit against the Mid-Currituck Bridge after it gains approval from the Federal Highway Administration.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 10:23 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
As most know, the taxes are reassessed every 8 years and this falls on the 2013 tax year. Below is an article on that process:
FROM THE DAILY ADVANCE
Currituck revaluation rules online
By Cindy Beamon
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
CURRITUCK — The rules Currituck will use to determine new property values are now online, but it will be a few months longer before county taxpayers know how those rules will affect them.
The schedule of rates, standards and values used in appraising property does not list specific properties yet. Rather, the schedule of values explains how appraisers will calculate the value of nearly 24,000 properties in Currituck in the coming year. The document is on the county’s Web page, www.co.currituck.nc.us, and available for viewing at the tax office.
Under state law, counties are required to revaluate property at least every eight years. Once adopted, those new property values are used to determine how much owners will pay in taxes.
The new rules are designed to make sure all properties are treated the same, said Currituck Tax Director Tracy Sample.
“The goal is to get market value, and the even bigger goal is to treat everybody the same, to treat everybody fairly,” said Sample.
Currituck commissioners have agreed to set a public hearing on the schedule of values for Jan. 7. Once adopted, the new rules can be used to figure the new property appraisals.
Taxpayers could receive notice of new values by late February or early March 2013, said Sample. Initially, the county had estimated an earlier mailing, but complications with a computer program slowed the process a little, he said.
The revaluation process actually began more than a year ago.
Throughout 2012, appraisers have been visiting each property in the county to assess its value. The appraisers were looking for certain features that may add to or subtract from the value of a home, business, or farm. The goal for appraisers is to value the property at what the typical buyer would be willing to pay for it.
Appraisers look at what other similar properties are selling for to determine that value. They also look at other factors.
Appraisers basically rank houses at five levels, from “X” for superior quality to “D” for fair quality. Houses with gabled roofs and unique designs usually rank higher than less distinct box-like houses. The house’s condition, size, age, and location also factor into its ranking. For businesses, the property’s money-making potential is a likely consideration.
Building materials also make a difference. For a commercial building, a brick veneer rather than a wood one adds to its value. According to the schedule of values, brick can add $9 to $13 a square foot to the value of a building, compared to about $6 to $9 a square foot for a wooden storefront or about $3 a square foot for a light metal one.
Add solar glass, a deluxe heating and air-conditioning system or a balcony, and the value is likely to go up.
Location also matters. A house on the oceanfront could be valued at more than $1.5 million over a soundfront home on the mainland. Typically, appraisers will look for how much houses nearby are selling to come up with the value.
For farmland, the type of soil is a big factor because better dirt means higher yields and money-making potential. Sand or “Currituck muck” ranks the lowest for farmland while Portsmouth or Altavista soils have greater value.
All the factors are plugged into mathematical equations to determine the property’s value. Even the calculations can vary, depending on what information the appraisers are able to gather.
The selling price of houses in their neighborhood is likely to make a big difference. With the upswing in foreclosures and short sales in recent years, property values are likely to go down. Because of the downturn in the real estate market, county officials are expecting lower appraisals overall than eight years ago.
Some areas in Currituck are more likely than others to be affected by that trend. Sample said he expects property values in the four-wheel drive area of the Outer Banks to go down the most. Houses in Moyock, where real estate sales have been less affected by the economic downturn, are expected to either hold their value or go down less than other areas of the county.
Sample said he doesn’t know how property owners will react to the new appraisals.
Normally, property owners are most concerned when values go up because that means higher property taxes. It’s uncertain how many residents will decide to challenge appraisals that actually go down, he said. Commissioners will be scheduling appeals sometime after the new appraisals are mailed out.
County officials are expecting some challenges regardless.
With all the variables involved, coming up with property values is not an exact science, appraisal company Tyler Technologies acknowledged in the rate schedule report.
“No program, regardless of how skillfully administered, can ever be expected to be error-free,” reads the report. “The appraisal must be fine-tuned, and this can best be done by giving the taxpayer an opportunity to question the value placed upon his property and to produce evidence that the value is inaccurate or inequitable.”
Posted by Jason Summerton at 1:26 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Currituck seeks to dismiss Swan Beach suit
By Cindy Beamon
The Daily Advance
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
CURRITUCK — Currituck is asking a Superior Court judge to dismiss a challenge to its ban on commercial development on the county’s off-road beaches.
The county filed the motion in September after Swan Beach Corolla sued the county last summer for blocking its construction plans.
In the county’s motion to dismiss, Currituck is seeking the case be dropped on grounds that Swan Beach Corolla filing its complaint too late; that it did not exhaust all remedies outside of court; and that the county, because it is a governmental entity, is immune from lawsuits like the one the company filed.
A date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Developers filed the lawsuit last July charging they already had county permission to build businesses in Swan Beach, although the county is now opposed to those plans.
Swan Beach Corolla claims a plat with commercial lots was approved four decades ago, but the county has since reneged. The complaint seeks to reverse the county’s recent denial for commercial use of the lots totaling 37 acres.
The lawsuit claims the county rezoned six commercial lots decades ago without notifying the owners who purchased the property in 1966. Despite the rezoning, the county still billed the property owners as if the lots were zoned for business use, the lawsuit claims.
Developers apparently tried to remedy the problem several years ago by asking the county to restore the lots’ previous zoning.
Since 2004 Developer Charles “Chip” Friedman and other business owners who brought the suit have sought three times to rezone six lots originally zoned for commercial development.
In May, Currituck’s Board of Commissioners voted for the third time to deny Friedman’s rezoning request to build a cluster of cottage suites and businesses, including a convenience store, offices and a wedding chapel.
The decision upheld a 30-year-old county policy to restrict commercial development on Currituck’s northernmost beaches.
Outer Banks residents have protested the project would open the door for more business growth in an area ill-equipped to handle it. The remote beaches that begin at milepost 13 have no paved roads and no central water and sewer.
The lawsuit alleges that the county already allows commercial development on the off-road beaches because certain businesses are operating there.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 12:00 PM
Friday, November 2, 2012
There is some confusion circulating that the County is waiving permits for repairs. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The County is waiving certain fees but still requiring the permits for repair work. See below an email from Jennie Newbern of the Currituck County Planning Department answering my request for clarification:
Thanks for your email. CAMA Approval & Building Permits are required. The County has waived building permit fees for Hurricane Sandy related damage until November 30, 2012. If CAMA permits are required, those fees are still applicable.
Also, please see the attached (included on blog below) information regarding the emergency permit issued from the Secretary of NCDENR. Permits for dune restoration efforts (including sand importation & beach push) may be obtained from the District DCM office at no fee. Again, permits are required, fees waived.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any other questions or concerns.
Planner I/Code Enforcement/CAMA LPO
County of Currituck
P: 252-453-8555 ext. 222
Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor Dee Freeman, Secretary
N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Release: Immediate Contact: Michele Walker
Date: Nov. 1, 2012 Phone: 919-707-8604
Coastal Management Offers Emergency CAMA Permit for Beach Bulldozing Following Hurricane Sandy
RALEIGH – Oceanfront property owners with beach and dune erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy will be able to obtain a Coastal Area Management Act emergency general permit to allow beach bulldozing for the reconstruction of primary and frontal dune systems.
The emergency permit regulations speed up the authorization process for permit approval. The rules also waive permit fees for these projects. The permit does not eliminate the need to obtain any other required state, local or federal authorization.
Dee Freeman, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, activated the general permit today, for use in the Ocean and Inlet Hazard Areas of North Carolina’s eight oceanfront counties: Brunswick, Carteret, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender. Work authorized under the emergency general permits must be completed by Nov. 1, 2013.
The permit may be used only to authorize beach bulldozing for the reconstruction of primary and frontal dune systems.
The Division of Coastal Management will open an emergency field office on the Outer Banks next week to assist property owners with these and other Coastal Area Management Act permits for Hurricane Sandy recovery.
On Nov. 5, the division will open an office at the Pitt Center, 6 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, N.C. Office hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The phone number is 252-261-8281.
If you would like to apply for the emergency general permit, here’s how you can help Coastal Management review your request as quickly as possible:
1. Please make your request in person at the N.C. Division of Coastal Management office that covers your county: Pitt Center, 6 Skyline Road, Southern Shores (temporary office);1367 U.S. 17 South, Elizabeth City (Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties); 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City (Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties, and the White Oak River bank in Onslow County); 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington (Beaufort, Bertie, Hertford, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties); 127 Cardinal Drive Ext., Wilmington (Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties, Onslow County south of the New River, and Topsail Island).
2. Bring with you a description of the extent of the proposed dune reconstruction, including dimensions and shoreline length. Pre- and post-storm pictures of the project are helpful.
3. Provide your name, address, phone number and the project location. Include any detailed information that will be helpful, such as the state road number, the name of the water body and the name of the development.
4. If you have had any other CAMA permit on your property, please tell the division. Those permits may contain information that will help staff in the N.C. Division of Coastal Management review your repair or replacement request
Property owners with questions should call their local N.C. Division of Coastal Management office: Elizabeth City, 252-264-3901; Morehead City, 252-808-2808 or 1-888-4RCOAST (1-888-472-6278); Washington, 252-946-6481; or Wilmington, 910-796-7215.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 9:41 AM
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Given the volume of calls and emails regarding the beaches and current conditions, I took video driving on the 4WD beach in 1 mile segments so inquiring minds can see some Post Hurricane Sandy shots. Let me know if you need more specifics.
Ramp to MP 14
MP 14 to MP 15
MP 15 to MP 16
MP 16 to MP 17 (Swan Beach)
MP 17 to MP 19 (USFW land)
MP 19 to MP 20 (N. Swan Beach)
MP 20 to MP 21 (NSB to S. Carova)
MP 21 to MP 22 (Carova Beach)
MP 22 to MP 23 (Carova Beach)
MP 23 to MP 24 VA line
Forgive me, this is rather amateur and I had to put each video to music since the alternative was a repeated dialogue with my 5 year old on the value of eating all the carrots in his lunchbox.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 3:02 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
We have just been informed that NC Insurance of Commissioner (Wayne Goodwin) has issued Notice of Public Hearing on the 2012 Homeowners Insurance Rate Filing.
The Notice of Public Hearing is means that the NC Department of Insurance does not approve of the NC Rate Bureau's Rate Filing and feels that the filed rates are excessive and unjustified.
The Hearing will not begin until June 2013 which allows both the NC Department of Insurance and the NC Rate Bureau the time needed to go through the discovery process and prepare for the Hearing. The Hearing is conducted similar to a trial with the Department of Insurance providing evidence and testimony as to why they disagree with the Rate Filing and the NC Rate Bureau
providing evidence and testimony as to why the Rate Filing is justified. The NC Insurance Commissioner will preside as the Hearing Officer during the Public Hearing. The Public Hearing will be open to the public - the public will not have an opportunity to comment during the process.
As of last Wednesday's Public Comment Session held in Raleigh, approximately 3,000 comments were submitted. The deadline for comments was last Friday, October 19th and over 9,000 comments were ultimately received. This is a telling sign that the rising cost of homeowners insurance is a critical issue in NC.
A press release should be posted soon on www.ncdoi.com.
Posted by Jason Summerton at 11:51 AM