U.S. Army Holds Land Use Planning Meeting July 30th In Carolina Beach

The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is preparing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in conjunction with Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) and area local governments including the Towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, New Hanover County and others. A public meeting was held on July 30th, at the Carolina Beach Town Hall as part of the land-use planning process.  The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is preparing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in conjunction with Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) and area local governments including the Towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, New Hanover County and others. A public meeting was held on July 30th, at the Carolina Beach Town Hall as part of the land-use planning process.

U.S. Army Holds Land Use Planning Meeting July 30th In Carolina Beach Featured

By / Local News / الأربعاء, 01 آب/أغسطس 2018 15:01

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

PLEASURE ISLAND - The U.S. Army is conducting a Land Use Planning process with local governments to discuss and research compatible land uses surrounding the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point. A public workshop was held on July 30th, at the Carolina Beach Town Hall to inform the public about the  planning process.
The largest ammunition transportation port in America, the study will serve to inform the public about the terminal and how safety impacts surrounding areas in terms of development.

The Army operates the Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) on the west side of the Cape Fear River and they are currently working with neighboring local governments regarding land use in the area.

The terminal is one of two large volume deep-water ammunition terminals in the continental United States. Operations take place on the other side of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County and the "buffer zone" occupies a large portion of Pleasure Island encompassing land in both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach on  the riverside of the Island.

According to Allen Serkin, Project Manager for the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) they are preparing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in conjunction with MOTSU and local governments including Brunswick County, New Hanover County, and the municipalities of, Boiling Spring Lakes, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Leland, and Southport.

Serkin recently explained, "The purpose of the JLUS is to identify potential land use conflicts around the military installation and the railroad corridor between MOTSU and Leland that might impede the long-term sustainability of its operations. The study will include recommendations for MOTSU and the local government partners to consider implementing in order to mitigate any land use conflicts that are identified, improve communication between the installation and local governments, and identify other ways in which MOTSU and its local partners can work collaboratively on issues of mutual interest."

On Monday July 30th, the JLUS study partners kicked-off the public involvement portion of the JLUS process with meetings in Southport and Carolina Beach. The public was invited to attend one of the meetings to learn more about the study and hear a presentation from MOTSU officials and the consulting team that is preparing the JLUS.

The Project’s primary goals are (1) to protect and preserve the military and defense-related operational capabilities of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU), the nation’s and world’s largest military terminal; (2) to support continued and safe growth and economic development of MOTSU’s neighboring communities; (3) to enhance communication and collaboration between military commanders and local officials; and (4) to establish policies and procedures for managing compatible land uses adjacent to and encroaching on MOTSU.

The Carolina Beach meeting  was held July 30th from 5:00pm to 7:30pm with presentation times at 5:15pm and 6:30pm at the Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Another meeting was held the same day in Southport in Brunswick County from 1pm to 3:30pm with presentation times at 1:15pm and 2:30pm at the Southport Community Building.

During the July 30th, meeting in Carolina Beach, Army officials outlined the ongoing Land Use Planning process. They outlined the purpose and need for MOTSU.

Commander of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, Col. Marc Mueller, assured the public  the results of the process will not result in expanding the buffer (or blast) zone on Pleasure Island or in areas of Brunswick County.

The "Buffer Zone" serves to protect surrounding Towns in the event of an explosion at the port. The buffer zone servers as the initial barrier to absorb the pressure of an explosion. Another area beyond the buffer zone serves to inform property owners they need to reinforce structural items such as windows due to the potential for shattering.

Mueller explained the calculation they use to determine safety during loading munitions on to ships has not changed due to safety reasons. Even as ships become larger, they sometimes only load a ship to 30% capacity. They also divide shipments into smaller loads using more ships to maintain the current safety zone surrounding the facility.

A designation called K88, which extends beyond the current established buffer zone applies to additional safety concerns. Meaning, if there were a large explosion at MOTSU, the K88 zone serves to inform the public of auxiliary impacts such as windows shattering or other structural damage within surrounding areas.

The primary Buffer Zone serves as an area to prevent inhabited structures. MOTSU allows local governments to use land within the buffer zone.

For example, the Town of Carolina Beach has a lease on land within the buffer zone for a waste water treatment plant. Another permitted use is Mike Chappel Park which includes ball fields, soccer fields, a dog park and a skate park. None of which are inhabited long term.

A portion of the Carolina Beach State Park is also part of the Army's buffer zone and is leased to the state for public use.

Army officials assured the public the planning process will examine compatible uses by local governments through leases on property located within the boundaries of their buffer zone and also to make recommendations to local governments in terms of future surrounding development trends. That includes making recommendations for developments such as high-rise hotels where the developers should consider a stronger type of window that would fair better during an explosion event.

More public meetings will be held in the fall of this year as part of the year-long planning process.

For more information, contact Allen Serkin, Project Manager via email at عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته. or by calling 910-395-4553. You can also visit http://capefearcog.org/sunnypoint/  online to learn more about the study process and future meeting dates.

The Town of Carolina Beach was recording video of the meeting, but no audio was recorded due to technical difficulty.

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