Council To Consider Amending Land Use Plan For Boat Storage

Council To Consider Amending Land Use Plan For Boat Storage

By / Local News / Tuesday, 07 October 2014 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council   will consider an amendment to the Town's 2007 CAMA Land Use Plan to permit dry-stack boat storage along the waterway in Carolina Beach during their upcoming October 14th, meeting at 6:30PM.
Currently the Land Use Plan prohibits dry-stack boat storage in the marina areas of Town. Earlier this year Councilman Gary Doetsch inquired about a process to permit dry-stack storage.
The Town will have to amend their CAMA (Coastal Area Management Act) Land Use Plan and then amend the zoning regulations to permit such operations.
A meeting was held August 18th, to discuss the proposal with the Town's Technical Review Committee (TRC).
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously last month to recommend Town Council approve the amendment for dry stack storage facilities and the amended policy has been evaluated with other existing policies and the Future Land Use Plan Map, and it has been determined that no internal inconsistencies exist.
The Council will now consider submitting a request to the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission to amend the plan.
Town staff members recommend approval of the amendment for dry stack storage facilities to be certified by the Coastal Resource Commission at the December 17-18, 2014 meeting.
According to Jeremy Hardison with the Town's Planning Department, this is a result of increasing usage of boat ramps and opportunities have decreased for boat dockage. Both of these issues have limited the town’s ability to offer boating recreational opportunities in our community. In addition to the zoning ordinance change the LUP would need to be reviewed for policies that pertain to proposed amendments. In the Land Use Compatibility section of the LUP there is a policy that addresses dry stack storage facilities. The current policy in the LUP states that dry stack storage facilities shall be prohibited at Carolina Beach. To change the LUP the town shall submit the following to the Coastal Resource Commission to certify the amendment.
Hardison  explained during the 1997 LUP plan update there were concerns with esthetics and traffic generation that lead to the current policy. In the 2007 LUP update the policy remained. The proposed policy would accommodate dry stack storage facilities in limited areas of town with specific standards in the zoning ordinance that would address design, impacts on transportation, infrastructure capacity, size and appropriate open space requirements. The Town of Carolina Beach’s LUP recommended that the Town develop a Harbor Management Plan to address the competing interests for the use of public trust waters at Carolina Beach. The town developed a plan and it recommends the town to develop additional boat launch facilities, but realizes that much of the shoreline has already been developed and land values probably render the acquisition of a parcel and sufficient parking area by the town as being cost prohibitive. With this said it recommends policy changes to encourage private land owners to construct dry stack storage facilitates near the harbor area if some water access to launch the boats could be secured.
According to Town Manager Michael Cramer, Town staff had a conversation earlier this year with David Pierce, owner of a marina on Basin Road off Saint Joseph Street, regarding his interest in being allowed to store boats on racks before performing repairs.
Cramer explained that Mayor Dan Wilcox and Councilman Gary Doetsch, "both mentioned the issue to staff after we had our conversations with David."
He said following review by the Planning Commission the issue would come before the Council in October. If Council approves, the Town would ask the Division of Coastal Management, Coastal Resources Commission to consider approving the amendment to the Plan at their December 17th meeting. If approved, the Town could then move forward with amending their own zoning ordinance in February to include an allowance for such operations.
Mayor Wilcox explained in July, "I am willing to consider this for several reasons. We are a boating community with limited options for people to keep their boats in the water or on the island, much less in a facility that can provide them water access. Additionally, while the LUP does say no dry stack, one of the predominated themes of the LUP is to increase “water access”, which is what dry stacks do. In fact, when a dry stack facility can get your boat in the water and have it waiting for you, it increases the possibility for handicap, seniors and others who wouldn’t otherwise be able to use the water (and buy/service boats and pay taxes). While the opportunities for suitable locations in MB are limited, I would consider supporting dry stack storage in the Marina Business (MB) district. I have never been a big fan of this restriction anyway."
Councilman Doetsch explained, "As the areas around the yacht basin have been developed the opportunities have certainly decreased for boat dockage and the usage of launch ramps have certainly increased. Both of these issues have limited Carolina Beach's ability to offer boating recreational opportunities in our community. I do feel this would be an asset and would offer more access for residents and visitors. I feel reasonable height restrictions, designs to best fit the neighborhood, and reasonable hours of operation if located near neighborhoods are issues that should be considered. Looking to compete with other coastal communities offering complete boating amenities I feel should include dry stack storage. For these reasons I would like to proceed so zoning requirements allow for this usage in the Marina Business districts dry stack storage." The 2007 Land Use Plan states under the section, "Land Use Compatibility Policies" under policy 34, "Dry Stack storage facilities shall be prohibited at Carolina Beach."
Since a dry-stack storage operation would be located adjacent to the water, regardless of local zoning regulations, a permit from the Division of Coastal Management (CAMA Permit) would be required. Those permit decisions are made largely based upon a Town's adopted Land Use Plan.
The proposed amendment to the policy statement in the Land Use Plan states, "The town shall support dry stack storage facilities that offer significant benefits to the community for increase boating access and recreational opportunities to the marina while maintaining the Town’s natural and scenic resources. The town shall encourage and promote standards that protect adjacent properties and the community by addressing design, impacts on transportation, infrastructure capacity, size and appropriate open space requirements. Accommodating facilities shall meet all applicable development standards and are held to remain consistent with the policies and goals of this plan."


Author

Super User

Super User

Carolina Beach North Carolina

Clear
74°F
WNW at 7 mph /93%
Friday
67°F / 79°F
Saturday
67°F / 81°F
Sunday
70°F / 80°F

 

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.