State approves buying Sunset Beach land near Bird Island

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Sunset Beach land near Bird Island (Photo: StarNews)

SUNSET BEACH, NC (StarNews) — A years-long dispute over barrier island land in Sunset Beach is seemingly over after state leaders voted Tuesday to buy the land.

Tuesday morning, the N.C. Council of State voted to buy 35 acres at the western end of Sunset Beach for $2.45 million. Under the deal, the land will be added to the adjacent 1,200-acre Bird Island Reserve, a coastal reserve managed by the state. Money for the sale was part of the 2018 state budget.

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The Council of State is the 10-member body that makes up North Carolina’s executive branch, including the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and other state executives.

The 35 acres sit between the existing reserve and the developed portions of Sunset Beach. Much of the land did not exist prior to the late 1990s, when Madd Inlet — the waterway that separated Bird Island from Sunset Beach — shoaled in.

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