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Kure Beach Council Approves Oceanfront Pool Encroachment Agreement

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KURE BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council voted to agree to an "Encroachment agreement" with the owners of 530 North Fort Fisher Blvd at their March 19, meeting. The agreement will permit the owners to construct a pool at their oceanfront home within a U.S. Army Corp of Engineers easement area.
In 1995 the Town became part of the federal “Carolina Beach and Vicinity Area South Hurricane Wave and Shore Protection Project.” The purpose of the project is to provide beach re-nourishment for the protection of the oceanfront properties from beach and hurricane erosion.
The project required the Town to enter into a contractual obligation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which in turn mandated the Town obtain a perpetual easement from every ocean front property owner for beach re-nourishment. The perpetual easement protects the beach from excavations, the establishment of landfills, and prohibits any structures on or beyond the boundary of the easement line, with the exception of approved walkways.”
That agreement secures that area for beach renourishmnt projects and established that anything in the way would be removed in favor of such projects.
The owner, Paula Roth, explained, "We really love Kure Beach and love this Town" and they built their dream home here with five daughters attending colleges in North Carolina.
She said the home is not a rental property and is a full time residence.
Wilmington attorney Matthew A. Nichols of Shanklin & Nichols, LLP represented Roth during the meeting and said they've communicated with representatives of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers counsel and real estate office and, "They don't have any specific objections to the proposal to the extent that we could enter into this arrangement with the Town." He said, "I think the agreement very much protects the Town. If the Town has any issues with the pool, my clients will move it at their cost and expense for any reason or for no reason. There's an enforcement mechanism in the agreement so that it will be moved."
Town Attorney Andy Canoutas said, "The agreement protects the Town three ways from Sunday. I can tell you the honest Gods truth if I were the owner of that property I wouldn't enter into that agreement. That's how much it protects the Town."
The Council agreed the reference to "Town Manager" needed to be corrected in the agreement since the Town operates under a form of government without a manager.
Building Inspector John Batson said, "I think you all should be very concerned with  permitting this type of encroachment in our beach renourishment area which appears to be very difficult to maintain here lately."
Batson said a subdivision is working on convincing the Army Corp of Engineers to move the easement line and if that was done there would be no need for the agreement.
Mayor Dean Lambeth said, "I think that SeaWatch, going through the steps trying to get that line moved, its not going to happen overnight. It's going to take awhile."
Lambeth said, "They thought they could put in a pool when they built a house but they didn't realize that the line was there and its hard for them to stand there on the back porch and look up the beach and see another house with a pool. I for one, I'm fine with the agreement and let them put the pool in. And I won't be building the pool."
Councilman David Heglar said he respects the Building Inspector's opinion, but he thinks the agreement is a good thing.
The Council voted three to one in favor of approving the agreement. Mayor Lambeth and Council members David Heglar and Chuck Keener voted in favor. Councilman Steve Pagley voted no. Council member Emilie Swearingen was not present.