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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor BOARDWALK EXTENSION TO NOWHERE

BOARDWALK EXTENSION TO NOWHERE

Dear Editor,
The purpose of this letter is to voice my opposition to the boardwalk extension. I am a property owner at the Cabana for over 13 years and I presently live here year round. As you are probably aware, the Town of Carolina Beach would like to make improvements to the existing boardwalk and extend it north.  I support improving the existing boardwalk, but do not support the extension of the boardwalk north.  The proposed boardwalk design includes an expansion of width from 8 feet to 16 feet with increased lighting and seating.  The proposed boardwalk extension will be placed in the dunes between the ocean and the Cabana and greatly impact the Cabana Homeowners’ security, privacy, views and property values.  It will alter the landscape, views and natural habitat in the dunes at the Cabana. 
The Town of Carolina Beach stated to the CRC (Coastal Resource Commission) that only 17 plots of land are affected by the extension of the boardwalk north with only one major objection from the Averette family; leaving out an important component that the Cabana’s one plot includes 76 privately owned condominiums.
Many letters and phone calls have been directed to the CRC from the Cabana homeowners, Averette family and the Homeowners’ Association South in opposition to the extension of the boardwalk north.  I felt it was necessary to poll the Cabana homeowners to determine if they are for or against the boardwalk extension.  The present tally indicates that 47 condominium owners are against and 5 are for the extension.
Here are our concerns and questions:
• I purchased our condominium as ocean front property.  Will properties be no longer considered ocean front because of a structure built between the property and ocean?  Do we have littoral rights?  (“Littoral rights” give ocean front property owners the legal right to immediate, direct and unobstructed access to the ocean, from any point of the property abutting the ocean, and an unobstructed view of the ocean from any point abutting the ocean.) 
• There is a potential that a large horizontal structure 16 feet wide could cause damage to our building from water or wind driven debris by a major storm or hurricane.  Will the town be liable for damages?
• The Cabana is a gated community.  Security will be compromised by easy access from the boardwalk to the Cabana property.  There is a potential of increased vandalism and trespassing because of access to the boardwalk 24 hours a day.  How will the boardwalk be policed?
• There will be an increase in foot traffic in close proximity to our pool and condominium.  This will increase noise levels, littering and directly affecting privacy and views.  Who will be responsible for the clean-up of debris such as bottles, bags and cigarette butts, etc.?
• The construction and elevation of the boardwalk extension north will change the scenic views, eliminating the serenity provided by an unobstructed view of the ocean, sand dunes and sea oats.  A pool privacy fence will also have to be installed to protect the privacy of the sunbathers at the pool.  This tall fence will further obstruct and provide an unpleasant view of the ocean. 
• Will property be devalued? 
• Will the approval for the boardwalk extension set precedence for other coastal communities?  Why can a boardwalk be built between properties and the ocean when no other permanent structure is allowed?
The community has spent years preserving and rebuilding the dunes.  In our opinion, we have plenty of beach access points for the public.  There is no good reason for this extension.  Why ignore the concerns and needs of the homeowners that are directly affected by this extension?  I purchased at the Cabana for the unobstructed views of the ocean and the serenity it provides; not to have a boardwalk the size of a pier between the ocean and the Cabana property.  The damage that could be caused from a major storm and the potential for trespassing and vandalism is a high probability.
Respectfully submitted,
Mark Richard
Cabana Homeowner