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State could allow building closer to the water on NC's Atlantic

RALEIGH (AP) -- Towns along the North Carolina coast would be able to build closer to the ocean under a policy shift under consideration by state regulators. Critics of the current policy say it keeps a large number of vacant lots empty and hundreds of older houses from being replaced. Current rules prevent development beyond a certain distance from the first line of vegetation on a beach that is being nourished with pumped sand. The new rule would allow towns with beach renourishment programs to apply for an exception. To qualify, towns would need both a 30-year beach nourishment plan and a way to pay for it. The state Coastal Resources Commission is accepting written comments on the proposal. It could vote on the change in January. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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