Friday, December 21, 2007

Erosion Rates determine CAMA structure setback lines

One of the most important aspects of buying property and/or owning property close to the Ocean is knowing what your setbacks are. Every platted parcel is subject to property line setbacks, but those properties in close proximity to the Ocean have an additional setback consideration. It is called the CAMA small-structure setback line. It is my understanding, though accuracy should be confirmed with CAMA at their website, that the small structure setback is the line at which your dwelling most be landward from the body of water. I wish I could tell you that this setback is X amount of feet for everybody, but it is not. Here's how it is done for single family dwellings:

Each property, or even portions of each property are calculated from the starting point of the first line of stable natural vegetation. Once the starting point is established, then calculations from that point follow the formula of 30ft x Long-term erosion rate. The long-term erosion rate is calculated in feet as the potential amount of annual erosion that potentially can happen (over the long term) in any given year. The minimum amount is 2ft, thus the minimum small-structure setback requirement for any property from the Ocean is 60ft. In areas of high erosion, let's say 8 ft p/y, your setback can be 240ft from the first line of vegetation which may end up compromising your ability to build on the lot. If I am a current property owner (which I am) or am thinking about buying an undeveloped lot, I would want to know if my property if affected by CAMA setback regulations. I not trying to scare anyone here, just keep you informed. Let me know if anyone would like help on their individual property.

To find out the different erosion rates CAMA uses for the 4WD area,

Click here for Swan Beach and South
Click here for N. Swan Beach to the Virginia line

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New State well regulations to take effect in 2008

A very important issue that has seemed to go under the radar is the new regulations effecting private drinking wells in all 100 counties in North Carolina. It appears that by no later then July 1, 2008 all counties are required to adhere to the new statutes written out by the general assembly. I have only been able to find a copy of this general statute at the NC general assembly's website. For a copy of the bill along with my highlights of issues I feel are important, click here

These regulations and oversight are necessary to ensure some baseline level of consistency across the state, but it comes at an increased cost for consumers. It appears the Health Dept. will require pre and post site visits for inspections, water tests, site plans, etc...

Additionally, when buying a vacant land property, Buyers will need to not only do site evaluations for soil suitability of septic systems but will soon need to consider well placement for improvement purposes.

Road Improvements in the 4WD? Not a sound was heard...

In what appeared to finally be a decision on an extremely controversial issue regarding road improvements in the 4WD area, the Currituck County commissioners were poised for a vote whether or not to create a service district whereby the county could make improvements to roads west of the dune line in an effort to reduce beach traffic congestion on the foreshore and address safety and accessibility concerns. After an extensive public comment period and considerable county tax dollars spent researching the feasibility issues, the votes were tallied and it came out to.............0 for, 0 against. For an explanation as to how, click here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Breaking down the various flood zones

People often wonder what the differences are in the various flood zones on the Outer Banks. Moreover, what impact does that have on their property value, insurance premiums and/or more ability to make improvements to their property. FEMA provides a fairly user friendly breakdown of the various flood zones that you can view on their website. I have broken it down further, it can still get rather technical, but you can view it at my website by clicking