Future Southern Boardwalk Extension

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 06 January 2016 05:00

Dear Editor,
Any oceanfront property owner in Carolina Beach, especially if you have oceanfront property between the southern end of the present public boardwalk and Atlanta Ave., should be aware of what the town of Carolina Beach says they now can do.   
A quote by Councilman Steve Shuttleworth about the oceanfront dune in the Nov. 18, 2015 issue of the Island Gazette was, “The town owns the dune and has the power to put in highways and parks on it”.
If you think there has been no vote by town council and no discussion by others to extend the boardwalk south, here are excerpts from three documents that show otherwise:
1.  In the minutes of a Special Meeting of the Town Council Town of Carolina Beach on June 24, 2013  “Jerry Haire discussed the funding requirements for the Boardwalk Project.”
“Steve Shuttleworth made a motion to approve funding up to $50,000 to include surveying, architectural design and structural engineering for Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 from TDA reserve funds to include engineering.  MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.”
 (Note, the large bold letters are not my addition, but are actually in the minutes. Phase 3 is the extension south to Hamlet Ave.  Phase 4 is the extension south to Atlanta Ave.)
2.  In a letter written to the Coastal Resources Commission on behalf of the Staff and Board of Directors of the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, Greg Reynolds (the Boardwalk Project Architect and Chairman of the Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission)  writes, “When the subject of an extended Boardwalk was brought before our Board over a year ago, we unanimously endorsed the project as well as recommended an extension to the south connecting the Carolina Beach Lake Park to the Central Business District.”
3.  On the first page of the final application for a grant, dated June 30, 2013 and signed by Bruce Shell, the interim Town Manager, “Phase 1 is an extension of the Boardwalk north to Pelican Lane public access.  Phase 2 is a replacement of the existing Boardwalk.  A possible future Phase 3 has been discussed extending south to Hamlet Ave., but is not part of this application.” 
In this same document, there is an architectural drawing showing the Public Boardwalk extended south.
If you think these documents are not relevant today, these 3 documents were in the variance package presented to the Coastal Resources Commission on Nov. 17, 2015, requesting permission to extend the boardwalk north which the town did receive at that meeting.
According to Councilman Steve Shuttleworth, the town can go as far north or south with the boardwalk extension as they wish and can build, not just a public boardwalk , but a highway on the ocean dune to expedite getting shoppers and restaurant diners to and from the central business district. 
Elected town officials and town employees worked hard and spent a great deal of taxpayer money to insure that some future tourists who rent oceanfront properties in Carolina Beach will be viewing the ocean through the railings, benches, swings, picnic tables and light poles of a public boardwalk. 
Donald Motsinger,
Carolina Beach, NC

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