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Proposal to change setback requirements

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New proposals would change the setback requirements from a standard figure to one based on the size of the structure. The larger the home, the farther back from the water it would have to be built. The Division of Coastal Management is hosting informational meetings on the possible rule changes. The first is going on right now at the Surf City Community Center, another will take place tomorrow at the Carolina Beach Town Hall and a third is scheduled for next Monday at the Brunswick County Association of Realtors facility on Stone Chimney Road in Supply. All three meetings start at 5:00 p.m.

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Setback rules

They should be 10x stricter for any waterfront properties then they are now. When will we learn that development on the waterfront is very risky at best. We didn't learn at Carolina Beach after Fran when she destroyed many homes on the ocean front but people just built more. At Topsail Island it's sad what's happening there all for the love of money. Everytime there's a storm/hurricane that damages expensive ocean front property it's our tax dollars, increase in insurance rates & increase in taxes that pays for folks to rebuild again on the ocean front. Let's learn & rethink how we develop. We need to more strict.

Fran all but destroyed my home

State Farm wrote me a huge check and I rebuilt. No tax dollars were used at all. You will find that taxes are used to repair public infrastructure, and unless a person is destitute, the government is not paying for their recovery. Though I never applied for emergency FEMA aid as I didn't need it, remember that for most people the aid is in the form of an SBA loan - you have to pay it back. Bear in mind, too, that the two hurricanes that most impacted your insurance rates, Fran and Floyd, destroyed homes hundreds of miles inland. The beach homes destroyed therefore, represented only a small portion of the overal insurance liability, as evidenced by the fact that rates were raised for anyone living East of I-95. Hurricanes are a fact of life, as are tornadoes, fires, and a host of other perils. Using your rationale, people shouldn't be allowed to build homes in the Midwest because of tornadoes, anywhere in the Southwest or West Coast because of fires, or East of Raleigh because of hurricanes. There is risk involved in every aspect of life. I face a double risk, proximity to the coast and a forest fire in the woods surrounding my home. I assure you that my insurance premiums reflect those two risks. That means that I and my insurance company both accept the risks and costs of our arrangement.... ...and THAT'S what it's all about: The freedom to make choices that you can afford.

No Tax Dollars were used at all????

Common Sense, I'm assuming you have an oceanfront home. Whether or not your insurance paid for you to rebuild your home in the exact location after it was destryoed by a hurricane is beside the point. Local governments in our area have spent millions of taxpayer dollars over the past decades to take sand from offshore and from inlets in an attempt to halt beach erosion because of the mere existence of homes such as yours. This money INDEED comes out of taxpayers pockets. As sea-level rises, a beach's natural response is to move landward. With so many homes built so close to the advancing sea, local governments have clamored, not to protect the beach, but to protect the tax base that million dollar ocean front homes provide. Sea level has been rising for the past 20,000 years and barrier islands have survived by rolling over themselves and moving landward with the sea. The huge amount of infrastructure we have placed on the oceanfront makes this natural process impossible. This region of North Carolina, unlike the northern Outer Banks, has a paucity of sand supplies offshore. Communites such as North Topsail Beach have gone through extensive environmental permitting, at a huge expense to the taxpayers, to protect homes built too close to the ocean, only to find there's little sand available for the type of nourishment projects needed to hold "a line in the sand." It may not be tomorrow, but at some point in time there will be little local communities can do little to protect the "tax base" that is these oceanfront homes. Having the money to build a 4000 sf home right behind the primary dune doesn't mean it's the responsible thing to do. If you want to rebuild your home in the same location, I suggest you and your fellow oceanfront homeowner's take a page from Figure Eight Island's book and chip in $20,000 per household each time you want to renourish the beach - say every 4-5 years. I expect you'll have a different view when it's coming out of your pocket. At some point in time, we must begin to move back from the sea. The Rich Inlet Relocation Project was conducted because the the inlet had migrated to the base of the Shell Island Resort, which provides a large tax base to New Hanover County. After millions of local, state and federal taxpayer dollars were spent for that project, continued maintenance is required to hold the inlet in that location which will take millions more of taxpayer dollars in the future. Barrier Islands are inherently dynamic systems. To insist we bend the natural environment to our will, or stupidity, seems a bit egotisical to me.

I do not dispute....

... anything you have written from a scientific point of view. I take issue, however, with the contention that simply because these islands move with the littoral current, that we cannot manage their development to a degree that is economically feasible. I have no problem with special assessments to residents of the barrier islands to pay for beach renourishment.....as long as it is reasonable and fair, since it's not only the residents who benefit from that beach. For example, as long as Wrightsville Beach is a public beach, public funds should help pay to maintain it. The Mason Inlet move was a worthwhile expenditure of general tax dollars as it benefitted far more than the residents of Shell Island. (You will note that Figure Eight residents paid entirely because their island is private.) As I said, tax dollars are used to maintain the public infrastructure, and that includes sand replenishment of public beaches.

I believe what cintrek may

I believe what cintrek may be trying to say is for people to quit building along or on the beaches here completely, and if so, I agree. With the hurricane(s) records we have had, it would be smarter to go and play in the middle of the street then to continue to build along or on our beaches. Some people just don't get it, and those that don't are the ones with enough money too get it! I would imagine with the higher cost of homes on the shoreline, just because they are on the beaches, plays a major contributor in insurance adjustments and increases in rates after a hurricane comes through. Pay $200,000 for a home in Fayetteville, same home at Carolina Beach would value in the ball park at (i.e) $450,000 all for just looking at water...water that may come up and swallow your home some summer day, along with others next door to yours and insurance companies writing out checks for damages only to get it back with higher adjustment rates. Now does it make sense? Yes and No...Yes for the insurance companies to protect their monies, No to build there on the beach. Now you get it? At present with Hurricane Bertha out at sea, if it was projected to come along the eastern shores as opposed to turning north now, you would tense up a tad bit more then the family in Fayetteville would, you think???

Understand this...

..as long as my insurance company and I accept the risks, it is not your concern. I accept that I have to pay large premiums. They accept that they may have to write out a large check. I'm happy, they're happy. You cannot escape risk, ANYWHERE. (With the tornado record Oklahoma has had, it would be safer to go play in the middle of the street....with the wildfire record southern California has had...you can pick anywhere on the planet. Risk of natural disaster is a part of life.)

A Broader Perspective

Hey Commonsense, What about your leaky septic tank leaching bacteria into our waters? The water table is rather high on the barrier islands, isn't it? What about your stormwater run-off? What about the safety risk to people from flying/falling/washed-up house debris? Building on our barrier islands was a HUGE mistake. Coastal town governments are faced with some challenging times ahead.

Hey Dolly!

What about the fact that people have been building on barrier islands for hundreds of years, yet somehow we survive? Everyone out there knows that the right storm at the right time could sweep the island clean. It's an accepted risk of living there.... ...but has anyone heard about any cholera or typhoid outbreaks on Topsail or Wrightsville due to septic tanks with poor drain fields? Any evidence that getting nailed by a wind-driven two-by-four out on the beach is deadlier than in Leland or Castle Hayne? I understand that to the enviroloons the world would be sooooo much better if we abandoned the barrier islands and surrendered them to the shore birds.....but welcome to real life. From Main to Florida to South Padre, millions of people own trillions of dollars worth of property on barrier islands. That's never, EVER going to change. People like living at the beach, and as long as we do it sensibly, there's no harm in it.

How's oceanfront real estate

How's oceanfront real estate sales these days? I think that's a pretty good indicator of what people want.