Town To Hold Open House For Land Use Plan Update July 16th

Town To Hold Open House For Land Use Plan Update July 16th

Town To Hold Open House For Land Use Plan Update July 16th Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 09 July 2019 22:34

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach will hold an Open House on July 16th to hear public input on a proposed update to the Town's CAMA Land Use Plan.

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."

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."

During the Council's January 22nd, workshop meeting, Councilman JoDan Garza explained, "We have the website up and running now. In the middle of the page for the website  you can actually leave ideas if you think of things we can improve on for the Land Use Plan. The open house I believe is February 6th. The week beforehand there will an online survey for residents and it will last for about three weeks. That way, any ideas you have, thoughts, comments, things of that nature."

He explained, "Tell everybody it's extremely important and this is something that benefits us short and long term."

For more information visit the Land Use Plan Update website at

Following the July 16th Open House, from 4 to 7pm at Town Hall, the updated plan will go to the Planning Commission on August 8th and then to the Town Council for a public hearing on September 10th.


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