The Coastal Resources Commission is considering easing the rules on how close to the ocean homes can be built. For people on Oak Island that change is not coming fast enough. Right now homes and structures have to be built behind the first line of vegetation, or dune grass on a renourished beach. That creates a problem for more than 500 lots on Oak Island. There are big dunes at Oak Island now. The town pumped in sand after Hurricane Floyd. While it looks like the homes have plenty of beach between them and the water, the vegetation line established by the state says otherwise. Oak Island Town Council Member Dara Royal said, “The static line in many areas in Oak Island is at the road right of way.” That’s posing a problem for Oak Island residents. “We're just looking for fair treatment and to do reasonable development given the circumstances we have,” Royal said. Royals said Oak Island is not asking to build homes closer to the water. They just want to protect and repair the homes already there. “We wouldn't be building out on a nourished beach, we'd just be rebuilding what's in place, and what has better protection than it has when it was originally built there,” Royal said. People who don't want the vegetation rule to change say nourished beaches erode faster than natural beaches. They argue that could put homes in danger. But royal says the town of Oak Island will not let that happen. “We are committed to future beach nourishment to maintain what we have,” she said.
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