Editorial: Town To Try For Boardwalk Extension... Again

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 21 January 2015 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach will attempt, again, in April to get a variance to extend our existing 750+ foot long wooden oceanfront boardwalk in the downtown area another 875' feet to the north.
They withdrew their request for a variance when it became apparent the State Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) was not likely to vote in favor of it and they would not be able to return with the same request at a later date. Now they plan to return to the CRC on April 29th and 30th, to ask again. One of the issues was opposition from residents living in the area where the extension would cross their ocean views. That's a valid issue for those property owners to raise because ask any other resident living on the oceanfront if they want a wooden walkway built in between their home and the beach and the majority will say no.
Among numerous claims presented by the Town to justify the extension such as providing additional public access, preserving the environment and others, they claim it will provide additional ADA handicap access to both view and access the beachfront. Additionally, it will connect the downtown Boardwalk area to the Town's Marina several blocks away.
First, the existing 750+ foot long boardwalk - which is being rebuilt as we speak - has never experienced a traffic jam of people needing ADA access. It's more than adequate and more than doubling that area is akin to building a 50-bedroom house for two people.
Second, it will not connect the street to the beach for public access. Standing in the middle of the extension, you'll have walk over 400' feet in either direction to access Carolina Beach Avenue North.
Third, people who park in the Town parking lots in between the Boardwalk and the Marina will never, ever, have a reason to get to their destination by going hundreds of feet in the opposite direction to get to either destination. This is like watching someone build a glass fish tank under water, in the ocean with a filter: Pointless.

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