Land Use Plan Steering Committee To Hold First Meeting Nov. 27th

Land Use Plan Steering Committee To Hold First Meeting Nov. 27th

Land Use Plan Steering Committee To Hold First Meeting Nov. 27th Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 20 November 2018 23:48

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  The Carolina Beach Land Use Steering Committee will hold their first meeting on November 27th, to begin the process of updating the Town's 2007 Land Use Plan. The meeting will be held 6:pm at Town Hall.

According to Town Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison, "The Land Use Plan is an important document that serves as the community’s blueprint for growth.  Staff and our consultant,  Stewart design, engineering and planning, have already conducted stakeholder group meetings to begin examining the issues, opportunities, and challenges that are facing the Town. This series of meetings was part of the beginning phases of the conversations that will develop around the Town’s future plan, and the information and perspectives gathered will help inform the initial information-gathering stages of the plan development process."

Hardison explained, "Staff will provide a summary of the stakeholder meeting comments, and what themes emerged. This summary will form part of the discussion that will take place at the first Steering Committee meeting. The Steering Committee will provide input and use this information as they guide staff and the consultant in the information gathering, analysis, and plan creation processes."

The Town's 2007 Land Use Plan serves as a guide for growth in commercial and residential areas as well as regulating development within a certain distance of the waterway and the ocean.

According to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) the Coastal Area Management Act requires each of the 20 coastal counties to have a local land use plan in accordance with guidelines established by the Coastal Resources Commission.

The CRC's guidelines provide a common format for each plan and a set of issues that must be considered during the planning process; however, the policies included in the plan are those of the local government, not of the CRC. By law, the role of the CRC is limited to determining whether plans have been properly prepared.

Each land use plan includes local policies that address growth issues such as the protection of productive resources (i.e., farmland, forest resources, fisheries), desired types of economic development, natural resource protection and the reduction of storm hazards. When the Land Use Plan was last updated, important issues were building height in residential and commercial areas and how many units could be built in various parts of Town. In the early 2000's many people expressed a desire to discourage high-rise development especially along the ocean front.

According to DEQ, "Once a land use plan is certified by the CRC, the Division of Coastal Management uses the plan in making CAMA permit decisions and federal consistency determinations. Proposed projects and activities must be consistent with the policies of a local land use plan, or DCM cannot permit a project to go forward. At the local level, land use plans provide guidance for both individual projects and a broad range of policy issues, such as the development of regulatory ordinances and public investment programs."

The meeting will take place in the Council meeting room at 6:PM on November 27th, at 1121 N. Lake Park Boulevard.

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