Island Gazette

Carolina Beach Moving Forward With Mooring Field; Seeking Permits

Proposed design of a future Carolina Beach mooring field in Myrtle Grove Sound. The plan calls for 10 mooring areas  for boats greater than 26 feet and less than 55 feet in length. The Town is also working on locating a new dock at Sandpiper Lane and Canal Drive to permit boaters to come ashore using smaller dingy boats.



Managing Editor

Click here to view the documents related to the mooring field... (Acrobat PDF file Will open in a new window.)

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach is moving forward with plans to construct a mooring field in Myrtle Grove Sound for large transient boats wishing to anchor up and come ashore.
The Town previously received a grant in the amount of $50,000. The state will pay $37,500 and the Town pays $12,500. Town Senior Planner Ed Parvin explained on Monday January 24, "I just created a new timeline and requested a nine month extension for our grant.  The grant was set to expire on March 31, 2011.  We are asking for this to be extended until December 31, 2011. The Environmental Assessment did take nine months
longer for the state to review than we anticipated in our original timeline.  This only put us seven months behind with our CAMA (Coastal Area Management Act) permitting because the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) has let us proceed with permitting without the official Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI)" study.
He explained, "The extension is requested for several more months than are shown on our new timeline because of the uncertainties with CAMA permits and mooring field design and construction.  Although this timeline has the
mooring field in place by June 15, it could be well into next Fall pending these unknowns."
The following is an estimated monthly timeline for construction activities:
• May 20, 2010: Contract begins between the Town and Division of Marine Fisheries
• Spring 2010 - January 2011: State Review of the Environmental Assessment
• October 26, 2010:  Signed a contract with Criser Troutman and Tanner (CTT) to begin the permitting and preliminary design for the Mooring Field
• December 22, 2010: CAMA Major Permit for the mooring field and dinghy docks delivered to the Wilmington DCM office.
• January 20, 2011: Receive a FONSI from the Environmental Assessment. According to Daniel Govoni, Asst. Major Permits Coordinator from DCM
• January 21, 2011: Submit invoices to Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) for permitting  and preliminary design costs (approximately $6,000)
• March 1, 2011: Begin finalizing the mooring field engineered design
• April 1, 2011: Receive approval of the CAMA Major Permit
• April 15, 2011: Mooring field final design documents complete
• April 21, 2011: Submit invoices to DMF
• April  18 - May 1, 2011: Bid process for Construction
• May 9, 2011: Award bid and contractor begin mobilization
• June 15, 2011: Estimated date for construction completion
• July 1, 2011:  Final report to DMF - submit final invoices to close out the grant.
Parvin explained, "Two locations are being considered for the dinghy dock. The original grant specified Sandpiper Lane.  This area is still being considered, but approval is contingent upon the adjacent property owners agreeing to waive the 15 ft. riparian setback enforced by CAMA.  If the property owners refuse to sign the waivers, the Town of Carolina Beach plans to designate a dinghy dock area at the Town Marina."
The public water way access currently existing at Sandpiper Lane and Canal Drive has only a small wooden pier and covered observation area.
The new plan would extend the pier out into the water just over 90 feet and would serve as a dock area for boat owners anchored in the mooring field and coming ashore in their smaller dinghy boats.
The "riparian" setback requires new structures such as the Town's proposed dock to be outside of a 15 foot setback from existing neighboring docks.
Recently Town Manager Tim Owens sent an email to adjacent property owners.
Owens explained, "Mr. and Mrs. Torello and Mr. and Mrs. Casey, Hello.  This email is being sent to the both of you per our discussion on Friday. The Town received a grant over a year ago to construct a mooring field area in Myrtle Grove Sound.  The Town has completed plans and we are in the process of seeking permits from the NC Division of Coastal Management for both the mooring field area and a dinghy dock facility that we would like to construct  in the Sandpiper Lane right-of-way adjacent to your homes. The plan is to replace the existing facility with an new floating dock system."
Owens explained, "As part of the CAMA permitting process, the Town will be requesting a waiver from the 15 foot setback requirement from the property line for the dock facility as required by the Division of Coastal Management.  The reason that this is needed is because the Sandpiper right-of-way area is only 30 feet wide and the pier structure cannot fit within this area and still be 15 feet from the property line."
Owens sent maps of the proposed mooring field and three proposals for locations of the extended pier and dock area on the Town's right-of-way at Sandpiper Lane. 
Those include: 
1. Pier and floating dock placed adjacent to the northern property line – This facility would require a signed waiver from Mr. and Mrs. Torello
2. Pier and floating dock placed adjacent to the southern property line – This facility would require a signed waiver from Mr. and Mrs. Casey
3. Pier and floating dock placed in the middle of the right-of-way – This facility would require a signed waiver from the Terellos and Caseys.
Owens explained, "In short, the Town Council wishes to make Carolina Beach a more boater friendly destination.  This facility would accommodate new boaters and will make anchorage in the sound safer for those that currently anchor or may wish to anchor. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to discussing this with you again soon."
In late 2010, the owners of 819 Canal Drive adjacent to the Sandpiper Lane right-of-way offered the Town an opportunity to purchase their property for around $600,000.
The Town Council went into closed session, but could not reach a consensus on obtaining an appraisal of the property required before researching the option and making an official offer.
Mayor Joel Macon and Councilman Dan Wilcox expressed a desire to examine the Town's options and favored exploring the property while Council members
Bob Lewis, Pat Efird and Lonnie Lashley expressed budgetary concerns with spending taxpayers money on the property in uncertain economic times.



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