Boardwalk Extension

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 26 August 2015 04:00

Dear Editor,
Again, the Town of Carolina Beach (TCB) will be seeking approval at the Coastal Resource Commission (CRC) meeting scheduled for November 17 and 18, 2015 to extend the downtown ocean front boardwalk 875 feet north to Pelican Lane.  A new variance package will have to be submitted including a new set of stipulated facts.
The two year long battle against the boardwalk extension began with an initial application and two subsequent variances.  In the initial application, Phase I (Existing Boardwalk) was approved and Phase II (Boardwalk Extension North) was rejected by the CRC.   The second variance (Boardwalk Extension North) was also denied and the third was withdrawn because the vote would not likely be in their favor.  Now they have hired a high priced attorney, at taxpayers’ expense, to defeat the “little guy” trying to protect his property.  This is just another example of a big local government, pushing around the taxpayer and doing what they damn well please.  (Ex:  Road Diet, Aquarium Pier).  It is obvious that TCB will do anything, to anyone, to build this boardwalk extension.
TCB relishes in the “hype” and loves the “bragging rights” associated with building the boardwalk.  They do not need to extend the existing boardwalk.  It already provides the necessary public relations (PR) to entice people to come to Carolina Beach.  We already have great crowds over the summer, even though the current infrastructure (parking) is not suitable to meet the demands. All this “hype” about the boardwalk brings many downsides, and some have already raised their ugly heads.  Here are things you might want to know:
1. Many vandalism issues have occurred on the existing boardwalk.
• Cutting tethers on swings (many times) that limit people from swinging to high or hard.
• Pedestrian lights and cigarette butt pots were broken
• Dogs, skateboards, bicycles, golf carts consistently present a problem to the pedestrians and the structure of the boardwalk.
2. Also, many homeless have been seen sleeping under the boardwalk and taking daily showers located at the boardwalk.
3. All research and history substantiates that it is contraindicated to build a parallel structure in the dunes between the ocean and inland.  The force of waves and flooding could easily undermine the existing boardwalk and cause damage to structures inland with water driven debris.
4. Presently, there are five non-elevated beach access ramps built at the existing boardwalk instead of approved CAMA walkovers.  Walkovers are perpendicular access points to the beach that maintains the integrity of the dune line.  The use of existing non-elevated ramps, caused many breaks in the dune lines, exposes inland to increased flooding and erosion.  A uniformed dune line is the first defense against a major storm.
These above issues, and more, will also occur if the boardwalk extension is built.  24 hour monitoring of the boardwalk extension will not be possible.  If they build it, you will see an increase in noise levels, littering, vandalism, trespassing and privacy issues that will affect all the homeowners, renters, and guests along the boardwalk extension.  Families come to Carolina Beach for the sun and fun and the serenity that the ocean and dunes provide.  If this is built, there will be a negative impact to families when they experience the havoc and mayhem at night on the boardwalk.
Put yourself in our position.  Would you ever agree to this?
Do you want to destroy the natural vegetation and serenity that the dunes provide?
A short easy stroll on the beach or walking the suitable sidewalks provided is all that is needed to access the boardwalk business area
Also, please remember TCB will not stop at the boardwalk extension north.  Their plans are to extend the existing boardwalk south in future plans.  More homeowners and taxpayers will be affected by this intrusion of oceanfront property.
Just remember, there are over 20 beach access points from the Carolina Beach Pier to the boardwalk business area.  The type and number of access points sufficiently meets the demands of the public, senior citizens, and handicapped.
Don’t use our taxpayer money to build the boardwalk extension north that will cause a problem to our safety and security and reduce our property values.
Mark Richard
Carolina Beach, NC


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