Editorial: Participate In Update Of CAMA Land Use Plan

By / Editorials / Tuesday, 09 July 2019 22:42

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach is undergoing a CAMA Land Use Plan update process. The Carolina Beach Land Use Steering Committee will hold an open house on July 16th, as part of an ongoing process of updating the Town's 2007 Land Use Plan.

If you are concerned about how development is governed in Carolina Beach this is your chance to get involved in the process and help shape the future of our Town.

The Town's Land Use Plan is an important document that serves as the community’s blueprint for growth.

The document governs the types of development that can take place near the ocean front and along waterways where a CAMA permit is required by the Division of Coastal Management.

Farther back from the water, the document serves as a guide for future development and redevelopment of commercial and residential properties.

You can view the current 2007 plan by visiting the Town's website at www.carolinabeachcamaupdate.com

The plan covers all aspects including building height, density, size of structures, storm water and much more. The document is based largely on public input. Get involved!

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."

Visit www.carolinabeachcamaupdate.com to view the proposed updated plan and attend the July 16th meeting from 4 to 7pm at Town Hall.

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