Thursday, November 8, 2012

Currituck County moves to Dismiss Lawsuit for Commercial Development

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.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Currituck County to waive certain fees for storm related repairs

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.


Jennie Newbern

Planner I/Code Enforcement/CAMA LPO

County of Currituck

P: 252-453-8555 ext. 222
F: 252-453-8300

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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post Hurricane Sandy Beach Videos of the 4WD Area

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.