Town of Holden Beach – BOC’s Regular Meeting
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments – Lou’s Views

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet
For more information » click here

There is way too much on the agenda for a December meeting during the holiday season
What are they mashugana?

1. Public Comments on Agenda Items

There were no comments

2. Audit Report, Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016 – Alan Thompson, Thompson, Scott, Price & Adams

Auditor LogoAuditor’s report for fiscal year 2016 audit was presented. Normally the audit report which is due by October 31st is given at the October meeting. They issued an unqualified opinion – which is to say they gave the Town a clean report”, meaning that no problems were found, and everything is in very good shape.

 Audit Report » click here

Audit Committee plans to do quarterly review to monitor if we remain on track

3. Discussion and Possible Nomination of Board Member to the Mayor Pro Tem Position – Per Town Ordinance

Previously reported –
As Provided for at Town Ordinance §30.05 and North Carolina General Statute §160A-70.

The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

The Mayor Pro Tempore shall discharge the duties and exercise the powers and authority of Mayor in the absence, disability, disqualification of the Mayor and during a vacancy in the office of Mayor; provided his or her rights and duties as BOC shall remain unimpaired; except he or she shall receive the salary or expenses of Mayor when serving in that capacity.  No additional oath of office shall be required of the Mayor Pro Tempore upon assuming the duties of the Mayor beyond that oath taken at the time of appointment to Mayor Pro Tempore.

A bit unorthodox but that’s what they decided to do last year when they adopted Ordinance 15-08

Update –
Commissioner Isenhour made a motion to nominate John Fletcher for
Mayor Pro Tem

A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

4. Discussion and Possible Nomination of Board Member to the Executive Secretary Position – Per Town Ordinance

Previously reported –
Ordinance 15-08 amended Section 30.05 adding an Executive Secretary position

The BOC shall elect from one of its members: (1) a Mayor Pro Tempore, and (2) an Executive Secretary, who shall not be the same member. The normal term of office of both the Mayor Pro Tempore and the Executive Secretary shall be one year, commencing at the first regular meeting in December; provide, however that each shall serve at the pleasure of the BOC.

The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for: (1) creating the agenda for each regular and special meeting of the BOC, and (2) assembling all supporting agenda package materials, in consultation with the other members of the BOC and the Town Manager and Town Attorney, as applicable. The Executive Secretary shall timely deliver the same to the Town Clerk for copying, delivery and publication in accordance with these ordinances and the Rules of Procedure provided for herein. The Town Clerk and Town Manager shall provide logistical and advisory support to the Executive Secretary in performing these functions and the Town Attorney shall provide legal interpretation or support as requested by the Executive Secretary. No notice of any regular or special meeting of the BOC, nor any agenda or agenda package materials with respect thereto shall be delivered or published by the Town Clerk without the express prior authorization of the Executive Secretary.

Update –
Commissioner Isenhour made a motion to nominate Peter Freer for Executive Secretary

A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

5. Police Report – Chief Wally Layne

Police Patch
So far so good, things remain quiet
It’s that time of the year, still break-in season

Wally instituted proactive measures –
they are now conducting random traffic stops

Requested that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.
If you know something, hear something, or see something –
call 911 and let police deal with it.

Neighborhood Watch

  • Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
  • Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
  • Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
  • Submit completed Property Registration Form
  • Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence
Property Registration Form
. a)
Record of items in your home that have a value of over $100
. b)
Complete the form and return it to the Police Department

6. Discussion and Possible Action on the Budget Calendar and Process –
Town Manager Hewett

Previously reported –
In 2016 we did not start the budget process until April
Request was to move everything up and start the process earlier

My Two Cents - CR II


Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:

.     1) Raising taxes
.     2) Cutting spending
    3) Operating more efficiently
The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than June 30th for the next fiscal year

Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board

This is what I’d like to see the budget process look like starting in January –
Monthly Meetings / Workshops
Board Goals
Review Capital Improvement Plan
Staff presentations – wants / needs / revenue streams / cost cutting measures
Review Towns current level of services provided – change /add / delete
Review staffing and compensation package
Line by line review of the budget
Appropriate funds for the following:
      a) Beach Nourishment
.       b) Dredging
.       c) Infrastructure Reserves – Water System / Sewer System / Roads & Sidewalks

Commissioner Freer would also like to have the Board be more involved in the process. He recommended that a workshop be held for the Board in the process. Town Manager Hewett stated that we need Board availability to pinpoint dates, times certain.

Agenda Packet –
Budget Season 2017 / Draft Schedule

  • 23 Jan                     BOC’s Workshop Goals / Capital Programs
  • 24 Feb                    Canal Dredging Working Group
  • 3 Mar                      Departments input to Manager
  • 15 Mar                   BOC’s Workshop Revenues
  • 15 Apr                    Board Workshop
  • 1 June                     Budget Message
  • 20 June                   Regular BOC’s Meeting / Public Hearing
  • 30 June                   Budget adopted

 My Two Cents - CR II


The Budget schedule wasn’t moved up in any meaningful way.
The Board is still not really working on the budget until the eleventh hour.

7. Discussion and Possible Action on Contract for Engineer to Review Sewer System Vulnerability – Town Manager Hewett
.       a. Ordinance 16-17, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 16-12, The Revenues and         .            Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2016 – 2017 (Amendment No. 2)

Previously reported –
The Town’s sewer lift stations were built underground which makes them highly vulnerable to flooding from a storm surge. If the electrical panels controlling the sewer lift stations are damaged by water, we could be looking at shutting down the sewer system potentially for months. Under current health and building laws, no houses could be occupied during that time because there would be no sanitary sewer system operating. The surrounding islands do not have this issue since they elevated the electrical control panels to eliminate the panels from being exposed to water damage. The new Board established The Sanitary Sewer Vulnerability Community Advisory Committee to assess the vulnerability of our sewer system and look at alternatives and costs to solve the problem.

In August, the Board voted to obtain an independent second opinion from an engineering firm that specializes in this area, qualifications related to the task at hand, as opposed to the engineer of record which is more of generalist. Town Manager was instructed to initiate a request for proposal process to evaluate the current situation, do risk analysis of the vulnerabilities of our lift stations, propose remedies to mitigate those risks, address concerns and propose solutions.

November meeting –
Vendor addressed Board’s concerns
By consensus they agreed to move forward with developing a contract
Contract to be reviewed and possibly approved at next scheduled Board meeting

Agenda Packet –
Professional Services Funding
The FY 16/17 Budget does not include an appropriation for Sewer Vulnerability Analysis/Engineering Services. Approval of the proposal from Compass Pointe will require a budget amendment to provide funding. The attached budget amendment appropriates the required $43,700 for Professional Services should the Board be inclined to approved the proposal.

Update –
Response to the proposal contract was prepared
Fund balance appropriated in the amount of $43,700
Money is coming from the Water & Sewer Fund Balance

A decision was made – Approved (4-1)

Commissioner Kyser opposed spending the money. Although he supports addressing the sewer vulnerability issues he felt it was an unnecessary expense.  His position is that the Advisory Committee had already done the work being requested so it was redundant. The rest of the Board indicated that they felt it was prudent to spend the money to make sure thinks were done right this time round.

8. Discussion and Possible Action on Street Plan Modification – Town Manager Hewett

Previously reported –
Street Survey
2015 / Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering
We have a total of 12.8 paved asphalt roadways
Subject streets are Class A (low volume) roads
40% of the roads need maintenance
Total estimated costs are a whopping $1,200,000
Average cost of $93,750 per mile for the entire street system
Cost estimate is for pavement repair only, with the costs being variable
Draft report is a planning document
Surface evaluation was done rating each street and prioritizing the work that needs to be done
Recommended we address it with a ten-year game plan, budgeting accordingly
Understandably we can expect our streets to continue to degrade while costs will continue to go up

In this year’s budget the Board allocated $115,459 for infrastructure, including updating street condition survey report and to make necessary road repairs. In addition, the state Powell Bill funds are distributed to municipalities based on their population as well as the number of city maintained street system miles. The budget lists @$35,000 as the amount that we anticipate receiving from the fund.

Agenda Packet –
This memo seeks BOC approval to reprioritize 2016/2017 programmed streets paving until storm water problems and other associated subdivision Right of Ways’ (including streets) issues with Tide Ridge Drive and Pointe West Drive may be resolved.

RATIONAL: At this point in time it is staff’s belief that the issues will not be resolved in time to carry out the necessary engineering, contracting and paving work before the end of the current fiscal year – 30 June 2017. Additionally, it would be more logistically and economically favorable to bundle the Pointe West Drive paving with that of Tide Ridge Drive instead of splitting paving across two fiscal years/contracts/mobilizations etc.

BACKGROUND: A Fiscal Year 16/17 budget appropriation of $131k (a little more than one tax penny) was made to provide for the paving of Tide Ridge and Jordan Boulevard in accordance with the Streets Condition Survey (excerpt below) and Capital Improvement Plan. Itis suggested that Tide Ridge Drive    and Pointe West Drive be replaced by the next highest priority streets (Marshwalk and Schooner) which collectively are estimated to cost $1253 more but are believed to be within program cost tolerances. Resulting streets resurfaced this fiscal year would thusly be Jordan, Marshwalk and Schooner.

RECOMMENDED MOTION: Approve the reprioritization of the streets paving and capital improvement programs by substituting Marshwalk and Schooner Streets in place of Tide Ridge Drive and Pointe West Drive until the Tide Ridge/Pointe West storm water and subdivision issues are satisfactorily remedied at which time Tide Ridge Drive and Pointe West Drive will regain their priority in the capital improvement plan as may be determined by the Board of Commissioners.

Update –
Tide Ridge Drive and Pointe West Drive essentially are being placed in a time-out situation. Once the Storm Water, Right-of-Way and other Subdivision Issues are resolved they will be put back in the front of the queue.The next priority streets are Marshwalk and Schooner which will be moved up and repaved in 2017.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

9. Discussion & Possible Action on Ordinance 16-18, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Title VII: Traffic Code (§Section 72.03 Parking Prohibited at All Times) – Chief Wally Layne

Previously reported –
As a result of homeowner feedback at the last Board of Commissioners meeting the following ordinance was drafted to allow the town to designate different types of parking areas on Ranger Street by signage. Failure to obey the signage will result t in a citation. This will accommodate golf carts, bicycles and wagons on the southwest side of Ranger Street.

The change only pertains to the stub street Ranger
All parking there shall be designated by signs
They now have designated parking areas for vehicles, golf carts, bikes and beach equipment

Agenda Packet –
Recently, a group of homeowners who access the beach at Elizabeth Street communicated their concerns with the current parking configuration there to the Town Manager. The existing configuration is not very pedestrian friendly and inhibits the use of golf carts, bikes, strollers, wagons, etc.

Homeowners in the area of Ranger Street recently came to the Board of Commissioners with a similar problem. In June, the Board of Commissioners approved an amendment which allowed the Town to designate parking for vehicles, golf carts, beach equipment and bikes by sign on Ranger Street. The amendment allowed for easier access to the beach for homeowners who didn’t wish to drive their cars to the access. Positive feedback was received after the change.

Using Ranger Street as a template, staff recommends that the Board approve Ordinance 16-18 (attached), which will allow for parking to be designated on Elizabeth Street.

Update –

The change only pertains to the stub street Elizabeth
All parking there shall be designated by signs
They now have designated parking areas for vehicles, golf carts, bikes and beach equipment

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents - CR IIMayor Pro Tem Royal asked if this change reduced the number of parking spaces.  The Town’s response and contention was that not only did it not reduce parking but it actually added parking. The group I was sitting with just about had a conniption. Our initial reaction was that statement is a gross exaggeration and a fabrication of the facts. How do you add parking when you plan on removing areas and designate them for bikes, golf carts and beach equipment? When I broached the topic with the Mayor, he explained that they created additional parking spaces by changing the parking configuration from parallel to perpendicular parking, that being the difference.  Following the trust but verify doctrine I went to check it out. Ranger street designated areas for other than vehicles reduced the area for parking by more than 45%; perpendicular parking spaces are 18’. Using the Ranger Street template, I found the situation on Elizabeth to be problematic. On the west side of the street you have 16’ and on the east side you have just 13’. In order to even get that area prepped will result in extensive damage to the two property owners landscaping. Not even sure that the entire area will be able to be utilized based on the topography. I have a compact car and it barely fits in the 16’ space. Let’s assume for a moment that all designated areas other than vehicles will be on the 13’ side of the street; allowing for one parallel spot on that side.  If you allow 18’ length per car and a 10’ width you would get @10 cars on both sides of the street if they parked parallel but only @9 cars on one side if they park perpendicular. Adding the one spot on the west side figure @10 cars max. Best case scenario, you may be able to make a case that the change doesn’t reduce the number of parking spaces. What you can’t make a case for is that it adds parking spaces. Hey I could be wrong but I just don’t see how they can make it happen as they contend.

The rationale given in denying the Pointe West parking accommodation request was that any reduction of parking without identifying replacement parking is inconsistent with our land use plan. REALLY? Maybe it’s just me but didn’t we just reduce the number of available parking spaces once again? Last time, Tim Evans brought up the land use plan and emphasized how important it is. The comprehensive land use plan is a planning tool that must be considered in zoning decisions. The purpose is establishment of clear, consistent, predictable community policies. The plan is a covenant between the Town and its citizens both to do and not do specified actions. That makes the third time we have reduced parking and the Town never mentioned the adopted plan when they approved the no parking. Technically speaking all three text amendments should have gone to P&Z and came out with a recommendation and a statement about the consistency with the land use plan. Although the Board is not obligated to follow the land use plan they are required to acknowledge if their actions meets the goals of the plan or not.

10. Discussion and Possible Action on Town Manager Performance Objectives for 2016/2017 – Mayor Pro Tem Royal

Postponed and moved to the January meeting agenda

Previously reported –
The town operates under a Council/Town Manager form of government. The Town Manager oversees all town departments, programs and operations pursuant to the policies, ordinances and directives adopted by the Board of Town Commissioners. The Manager serves as the primary personnel officer, appoints and suspends all municipal employees except those otherwise provided for by law, and provides general oversight of all town departments. Other responsibilities include serving as the town budget officer preparing the recommended annual town budget and providing all other management services necessary to assure the efficient and effective operation of town government. The Manager works closely with local elected and appointed officials and citizen volunteers to maximize the ability of the town to effectively serve its citizens. The Town Manager serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Commissioners subject to a mutually approved employment contract.

Motion by Mayor Pro Tem Royal that the Board of Commissioners develop performance objectives for the town manager for the year 2017 and that those objectives be developed by our December regular Board meeting; second by Commissioner Freer.

Update –
The Town Manager duties are in the NC General Statutes
We could use the duties listed there for performance objectives / metrics to do performance review.

NC General Statutes – Chapter 160A Article 7
For more information » click here

§160A – 48. Powers and duties of manager.
The manager shall be the chief administrator of the city. He shall be responsible to the council for administering all municipal affairs placed in his charge by them, and shall have the following powers and duties:
.     (1) He shall appoint and suspend or remove all city officers and employees not elected by       .          the people, and whose appointment or removal is not otherwise provided for by law,              except the city attorney, in accordance with such general personnel rules, regulations,       .          policies, or ordinances as the council may adopt.
.     (2) He shall direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices, and agencies          of the city, subject to the general direction and control of the council, except as otherwise          provided by law.
.     (3) He shall attend all meetings of the council and recommend any measures that he deems .          expedient.
.     (4) He shall see that all laws of the State, the city charter, and the ordinances, resolutions,     .           and regulations of the council are faithfully executed within the city.
    (5) He shall prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the council.
.     (6) He shall annually submit to the council and make available to the public a complete           .          report on the finances and administrative activities of the city as of the end of the fiscal      .          year.
.     (7) He shall make any other reports that the council may require concerning the operations            of city departments, offices, and agencies subject to his direction and control.
.     (8) He shall perform any other duties that may be required or authorized by the council.

§159 – 25. Duties of finance officer
The finance officer shall have the following powers and duties:
.     (1) He shall keep the accounts of the local government or public authority in accordance with .          generally accepted principles of governmental accounting and the rules and regulations           of the Commission.
.     (2) He shall disburse all funds of the local government or public authority in strict                      .          compliance with this Chapter, the budget ordinance, and each project ordinance and          .          shall preaudit obligations and disbursements as required by this Chapter.
.     (3) As often as may be requested by the governing board or the manager, he shall prepare     .          and file with the board a statement of the financial condition of the local government or            public authority.
.     (4) He shall receive and deposit all moneys accruing to the local government or public             .          authority, or supervise the receipt and deposit of money by other duly authorized officers .          or employees.
    (5) He shall maintain all records concerning the bonded debt and other obligations of the     .          local government or public authority, determine the amount of money that will be               .          required for debt service or the payment of other obligations during each fiscal year, and          maintain all sinking funds.
.     (6) He shall supervise the investment of idle funds of the local government or public                 .          authority.
.     (7) He shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by law, by the manager,      .          budget officer, or governing board, or by rules and regulations of the Commission.

11. Discussion and Possible Action on CAMA Land Use Plan Update –
Building Official Tim Evans

Land Use Plan » click here

Agenda Packet –
A land use plan is a collection of policies and maps that serves as a community blueprint for growth. These plans are a fundamental element of coastal management in North Carolina.

The Coastal Area Management act requires each of the 20 coastal counties to have a local land use plan in accordance with guideline’s established by the Coastal Resources Commission.

Each Land use plan includes local policies that address growth issues as the protection of productive resources, desired types of economic development, natural resource protection and the reduction of storm hazards.

Once the plan is approved 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 7b policies and the local CAMA plan or DCM cannot permit a project to go forward.

Recently there have been some discussions about revising or updating the Town’s CLUP, it’s important for all involved to understand that this is a function that is costly and time consuming, the standard time frame for an update is 1year from the beginning of the undertaking or after the first constructive meeting. The approximate cost is $35,000 to $40,000 dollars.

Funding: Historically funding assistance, is made available and there is a specific time frame for application. Maximum match last year was $15,000. This physical year there has been no monies allocated for funding, but sources believe it will be the same as last year. Total allocations available for all counties is $75,000 to be divided among all applicants. Available time frame for applicants to receive funding is unclear according to Council of Governments, since no monies have been allocated yet.

Guidelines: there are specific guidelines by statute that must be followed to ensure that the true nature of the document prepared follows the specifics so that the town is in compliance for participation in any State and Federal projects that may use outside approvals for funding.

In years past the guidelines were boiler plate designs, meaning many   plans simply mirrored each other for compliance with the rules in 7b of the CLUP planning process. If you update the plan under the new guide­lines it will require a complete change to the current document. Most plans do not receive or require specific updates unless there have been some major changes in the, (Physical Growth). An example would be if we suddenly started seeing massive growth in commercial areas that historically haven’t had commercial or a major shift in our size or increase in population.

The existing land use plan was formulated by a steering committee that consisted of the Mayor Pro Team; one member of the BOC; two members of the TOHBPB; two members of the public. The plan was completed with a myriad of outside consultants with assistance from several agencies. Planning Boards use the documents for approval, exclusion of the whole board is usually functional as not to white wash the document.

Any update to the CAMA land use plan requires Town Leaders to commit the community’s economic resources and the valuable time of citizens and staff.

Changes in the CLUP will also require the effected ordinances to also be changed to remain in compliance with the 7b guidelines, so this is a monetary consideration as well.

The staff of the planning department is making no recommendations on the path forward, staff is however familiar with the process and have participated many times in the process of both birthing a CAMA Land Use Plan and or Modifications.

Land use plan is current and was fully updated in 2009. In the past, the recommendation was to update the plan every five (5) years. Now the general consensus is to update the plan only when major changes occur which would then require the Town to do so.

No decision was made – No action taken

12. Report, Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 16-19, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 91: Fire Prevention – Commissioner Freer

Previously reported –
A homeowner contacted Commissioner Freer, concerned about renters and charcoal grills, they requested updating our fire prevention ordinance to be more like OIB. Apparently we do not have anything similar to the OIB grilling ordinance. They wanted to at least start the discussion with input from both the Town fire inspector and the area Fire Chief.

Holden Beach

Bookmark § 91.15 PROHIBITED FIRES.
It shall be unlawful for any person or business to set or cause to be set any fire within the town.

Recreational fires, except those confined within containers manufactured specifically for such purpose, shall not be allowed.

Strictly a request to evaluate and possibly update our existing ordinance. After some discussion, motion was made to get
input from the Town fire inspector (Building Inspector – Tim), the area Fire Chief and the Police Chief. At the next meeting, Tim presented a draft ordinance that prohibits an open fire within ten (10) feet of building structure. Basically, they want to prevent users from being irresponsible.

For this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

A stove that burns charcoal as fuel.

Portable or non-portable flame devices fueled by flammable or combustible gases or liquids that are not enclosed or installed in such a manner as to prevent the flame from contacting combustible material.

Capable of burning, generally in air under normal conditions of ambient temperature and pressure.

§ 91.17
Open-flame Devices. Charcoal burners and other open-flame devices shall not be operated within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
.        a)
Exception – does not include propane fueled grills

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

13. Discussion and Possible Creation of Five Member Shoreline Protection and Safety Board – Commissioner Freer

Apparently, the previous Board of Commissioners disbanded the Shoreline Protection Board and rolled its functions into the Parks & Recreation Board. This Board feels that a lot of money is being spent on the beach strand and it warrants being separated to focus on beach strand issues. Much to do about nothing when it became an issue about creating the Board without any supporting documentation. Language was changed to intent to establish rather than create Shoreline Protection Board. Commissioner Freer intent was to allow the new Board to establish its own mission and objectives. 

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents - CR II

This is what I would propose …

The Shoreline Protection Board will act in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners in matters relating to shore protection, coastal management, beach nourishment, dune management, vegetation management, and sand management principles, coastal armoring, and matters relating to the Town’s beach strand that will prevent and mitigate further erosion of the existing shoreline. In addition, address safety issues posed by various activities on the beach strand.

The goals of the Board are to deal with the adverse effects of beach erosion; promote the restoration, maintenance and enjoyment of beaches for the public and property owners; improve the quality of recreational public beaches for families to enjoy; and restore and maintain habitat essential to the survival of sea turtles, shorebirds and native dune plants.

Some of the issues they could work on include the following:
Central Reach Project
East End Shoreline Protection / Terminal Groin
Sand fencing and vegetation planting
Development Line as an alternative to
Static Vegetation Line
BPART funds
Beach Patrol

14. Discussion and Possible Approval of Board of Commissioners’ 2017 Regular Meeting Schedule – Town Clerk Finnell    

2017 Meeting Schedule

Regular meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month


A decision was made – Approved unanimously

15. Town Manager’s Report

Central Reach Project
Project has been delayed because of the bad weather. The project now has an estimated start date of December 28th. They anticipate that this will be a sixty (60) day project with work being done with a 24/7 schedule.

Hurricane Matthew
Beach debris cleanup is underway, contract crews are now in the process of removing remnants of old, damaged sand fence and other debris resulting from Hurricane Matthew.  They have finished working in the area east from Jordan Boulevard toward the Lockwood Folly Inlet, clearing the way for the initial Central Reach Project beach nourishment operations. Like the planned progression of the Central Reach Project beach nourishment, the crews will begin heading west from Jordan Boulevard toward the pier and all the way to the Shallotte Inlet.  Cleanup will also include removal of old tires which have continued to wash up from the 1970s-era artificial reef.

General Comments –

 Newsletter was posted early in order that our staff could go home for the holidays

Only ten (10) members of the community were in attendance

Request to the new Executive Secretary – if it’s on the BOC’s meeting agenda, then something should be in the agenda packet. Don’t get me wrong things are far superior to what they were, but please consider this as an improvement opportunity.

It appears that Christy Ferguson our Shoreline Protection & Recreation Programs Manager has been very busy.

Holiday Recreation Programs included the following:
9th Annual Tree Lighting
Chili Soup Cook-Off
Light Up Holden Beach
Home for the Holidays Luncheon
Breakfast with SantaSandy Paws Parade

Hurricane Matthew –

Beach Debris Cleanup Underway
Contract crews are now in the process of removing remnants of old, damaged sand fence and other debris resulting from Hurricane Matthew.  At present, they are working in the area east from Jordan Boulevard toward the Lockwood Folly Inlet, clearing the way for the initial Central Reach Project beach nourishment operations which are scheduled to begin December 15th.  Once the eastern leg is cleared and like the planned progression of the Central Reach Project beach nourishment, the crews will begin heading west from Jordan Boulevard toward the pier and all the way to the Shallotte Inlet.  Cleanup will also include removal of old tires which have continued to wash up from the 1970s-era artificial reef since Hurricane Matthew passed by.

After Action Report
For more information
» click here


Suggestion box –
Before next hurricane season a letter should be sent explaining the following:
. a) Communication – identify where information is available during an event
. b) Protocols – posted and explained, what staying means you’ve agreed to
. c) Bridge Closing – when and why
. d) Curfew – what that means and why its issued
. e) Mandatory Evacuation – what the law says
. f) Sewer System – problems associated with use after system is shut down



HBPOA website has videos taken from a drone to show you the impact Hurricane Matthew had on the island.

For more information » click here

Central Reach Project –


Staff and ATM have held the permit required pre-project consultation with USACE, CAMA and Weeks Marine.  Everything is set to go, preparations are well under way for the beginning of beach nourishment at Holden Beach. The original anticipated initial sand placement of December 15th has been delayed to a more realistic start date of December 28th due to contractor’s logistical considerations with the ocean tow of the pipe raft from Charleston.  The Weeks’ Marine shore crew is on site near the foot of the bridge prepping the heavy equipment needed for beach work. Sand placement will initially occur on the easternmost leg of the project between Jordan Boulevard and 240 Ocean Boulevard East. Subsequently; sand will be placed moving to the west. They anticipate that this will be a sixty (60) day project with work being done with a 24/7 schedule. Residents and visitors should be aware that this is a highly industrial operation replete with numerous danger zones on the beach strand during the nourishment activities. Please stay out of designated danger zones!

Holden Beach Central Reach Project dredging scheduled to begin Dec. 15
The project will place up to 1.31 million cubic yards of sand along 4.1 miles of Holden Beach shoreline, from 240 Ocean Blvd. E. to 781 Ocean Blvd. W.

The town has received permits from the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management’s Coastal Area Management Act, North Carolina Division of Water Quality and Army Corps of Engineers for the project. The sand for the the project will come from a site two miles offshore and will be dispersed along the stretch of beach using a hopper dredge. The bid for the dredging work was awarded in September to Weeks Marine, which is a marine construction and dredging contractor based in Cranford, N.J., in the amount of $14,551,110.

The dredging window began Nov. 15 and lasts through March 31, 2017. Town Manager David Hewett said sand placement will likely occur on the easternmost leg of the project between Jordan Boulevard and 240 Ocean Blvd. East and will subsequently be placed moving to the west. Residents and visitors should be aware of the heavy equipment on the strand during the project.
Read more » click here

$15 million in new sand coming to Holden Beach (Video)
More sand is on its way to Holden Beach. The town is prepping for its largest replenishment ever.  

The $15 million project is expected to have a coastal shelf life of 15 years before the roar of the ocean reclaims much of the sand once again. 

Beach cleanup is the number one priority. The bids for contractors to clean up the beach from Hurricane Matthew’s debris is currently underway. The deadline for submission is Dec.1. “We need to get this cleared away first, some of the debris and dune fencing,” said finance director David Hewett. “We did have some erosion of the dunes and this is what’s left. We need to get it out of the way.”

The equipment is starting to show up, parked near the beach.  Residents approved bond money to foot the bill for the project, but it’ll add about $350 a year on a home valued at half a million dollars.

“We could start seeing some action by Dec. 15,” Hewett said. “One million cubic tons of sand. If my math serves me correctly, that’s about 100,000 dump truck loads.” The sand will be pumped from the ocean floor and the replenishment will cover a stretch of beach four miles long — extending the beachfront out 60 to 80 feet. “We’re excited about it,” Hewett said. “This is a necessary project that’s going to increase property values, protection and protect the environment.”
Read more » click here

Holden Beach Getting $15 Million in Sand (Video)
Residents in the town of Holden Beach can expect their property tax to increase as part of a bond to help replenish the beach’s shoreline. Town commissioners approved a bond that will help finance the project and it will increase property tax by a third in 2017.

Town officials said the $15 million beach renourishment project is the largest they’ve ever had, bringing sand to four miles of the beach. Officials said the new sand will help protect ocean front houses, which are vital to the local economy. “Our occupancy tax is driven primarily in summertime collected on rental properties here. And of course, we don’t have a beach to put your blanket on, there’s not a place for people to come and recreate,” said David Hewett, Town Manager and Finance Officer of Holden Beach.

The project is scheduled to start December 15 and last 90 days.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach’s $15 million nourishment project to begin
All the hoops have been navigated, all the obstacles hurdled and the Central Reach project reaches shore in Holden Beach in the coming days.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach Central Reach Project delayed a week
Holden Beach’s Central Reach Project was delayed one week because rough seas the weekend of Dec. 10-11. Town Manager David Hewett said the project will instead have an estimated start date of Dec. 21-23. He said rough seas wreaked havoc on the ocean tow of the pipe raft from Charleston, S.C. A tow is a floating assembly of the pipe sections used to bring sand on shore for the project. Because of its large size, Hewett said, the tow cannot be transported down the Intracoastal Waterway from Charleston. Instead, it’ll be delivered to Holden Beach by ocean tow.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach sand placement delayed
Roughs seas have delayed the start of Holden Beach’s largest replenishment project. According to town officials, Thursday’s anticipated start now will more likely take place Dec. 21-23. The rough seas wreaked havoc on the ocean tow of the pipe raft from Charleston last weekend. The tow is a floating assembly of pipe sections that are used to bring onshore.
Read more » click here

 For more information, go to the Central Reach Project post

Terminal Groin –

Terminal Groin #6 - CR

Terminal Groin Presentation
For more information
» click here

What’s next?

The next steps include the following:
. 1)
Review Final EIS with USACE – November
. 2) Publish final EIS – December
. 3) Submit CAMA permit for review – December
. 4) Public Hearing – January
. 5) USACE record of decision – February
. 6) Federal and State permit issuance – Spring 2017

Timelapse is a zoomable video
See how the ends of Holden Beach and the inlets has changed over the past 32 years.

Having trouble viewing  » click here

After Hurricane Matthew, Ocean Isle Beach awaits terminal groin
Read more » click here


It’s a mystery to me –



OIB 750-foot terminal groin with an estimated construction cost of $5.7 million / @$7,600 foot

HB 1,000-foot terminal groin with an estimated construction cost of $2.5 million / @$2,500 foot

We plan on building a terminal groin that is 250’ longer but will cost $3.2 million less?
Granted that the plans may not be identical
But seriously, they are only going to be approximately ten miles apart
How different could they be?
Let me get this straight, we plan to build for just 33% of the OIB estimated construction cost?
Terminal groin project is a boondoggle
Project will saddle Holden Beach taxpayers with a huge debt load.

For more information, go to the Terminal Groin post

Calendar of Events –

Las Vegas Night
The Rotary Club of Shallotte will host its Twelfth Annual Las Vegas Night on Saturday, January 28th at 349 Whiteville Road, the Planet Fun building in Shallotte.

TDA - logo
Discover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here

Calendar of Events – Island

Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here

Reminders –

Curbside recycling –

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $54.00 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here


Elevator - CR.

Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually
. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.

If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.

Neighborhood Watch - CRNeighborhood Watch –
Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
Submit completed Property Registration Form
Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

Upon Further Review –




Brunswick Community Hospital



Previously reported
Commissioners have been trying to sell or lease the property since ownership of the hospital reverted to the county more than a year ago when the hospital closed and moved to the New Brunswick Novant Medical Center a few miles north of the former hospital location. This is the third group to submit an offer to purchase the aging hospital facility since commissioners started the process to sell the hospital facility, citing the costly upkeep of the property and its grounds. The sale package includes the old hospital off U.S. 17 at Supply, the 32-acre site, three ancillary buildings and five medical office suites.

Former hospital building sold / 2015
The former Brunswick Community Hospital was formally sold Friday for $750,000 to a Raleigh development company. The county board of commissioners ratified the sale during an emergency meeting held at noon Friday. The building, built in 1979 and vacant since 2011, will be turned over to Centre Development Company II, which was formerly Excel Medical Development, County Attorney Huey Marshall said.
Read more » click here

Update –
Former Brunswick hospital site sold, mental health facility planned
The old Brunswick Community Hospital property has another owner with new plans for the nearly 32-acre parcel off U.S. 17, which has been sitting vacant for the last five years. Past owner Centre Development Co. II LLC sells property for $1.6 million to a group that plans to convert the facility into a behavioral and mental health facility.
Read more » click here

Conference Center #2 - CR

Mega Houses

Previously reported
Oak Island adds layer of review for big houses
Oak Island has added another layer of review for property owners wanting to build big houses. Going forward, owners/builders of any island home topping out at 4,000 square feet or more must secure a conditional-use permit (CUP) prior to construction, meaning that the application is screened by the planning board followed by an additional analysis by the town council.
Read more » click here

Update –
OI board suggests limit on number of individuals in order to restrict ‘mega-houses’
Oak Island Planning Board has recommended restrictions on vacation rentals to large groups. At its regular meeting last Thursday, the board also suggested against largely separating establishments that serve alcohol, and made technical corrections to the text amendments for setbacks of oceanfront lots.

The restriction on rentals is the latest move in an ongoing effort to limit what some town officials call “mega-houses,” the multi-bedroom structures that attract large parties. Parking, noise and waste management are among the problems reported by residents. The town cannot restrict the number of bedrooms, but has limited house size to 5,000 square feet. A conditional use permit is also required for houses between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet.

Town staff, with some tweaking by chairman Ted Manos, suggested that structures in residential districts not be rented to more than 14 individuals. Such structures would be considered motels, and staff could withdraw their certificates of occupancy. The restriction would apply to all residential zones, except for CR (community recreational) areas. “I think it covers the bases of what you want,” Manos said. Vice-chair Denise Pacula said she thought the provision would be easier to enforce than other possible restrictions. Member Bob Germaine said limiting occupancy to 14 would be the key.

The motion to recommend the rule to town council passed unanimously. If approved, it would take effect upon adoption of the new unified development ordinance, still in the works.
Read more » click here

Oak Island Planning & Zoning Department
Zoning regulations shall be designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare. The regulations shall be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, as to the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses, and with a view to conserving the value of buildings and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout Oak Island. The attached General Statute and Senate Bill, which has been ratified, state how municipalities can no longer regulate the number of bedrooms but are allowed to regulate land use regulations to “enhance the appearance of the municipality and its surrounding areas.”

The consultant hired to write the town Land Use Plan and Unified Development Ordinance has offered some suggestions. The text amendment is a multi-pronged approach to address the harmful impacts of large homes on the island. First, the definition of dwelling, single-family is adjusted to 3,999 square feet on the island side only. The second part of the text amendment is to have a separate definition for dwelling, single family to be greater than 4,000 square feet. This definition closely mirrors the former except for the structure size limitation. The final portion of the text amendment specifies that a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required in a residential zoning district for single-family dwellings 4,000 sq. ft. or greater. This is done by amending Section 18.116 – Table of Uses.

The reason for this requirement is to better regulate the impact of such structures on the surrounding neighborhood. With a Conditional Use Permit the town can add and mandate conditions to address those potential negative impacts. The Conditional Use Permit approach requires clarity on additional standards that should be considered as a condition upon approval. Examples of such standards are: parking, storm drainage, traffic, sewer & water system impact/capacity, impact of public health safety & welfare, impact of property value of surrounding properties, and consistency with the other provision of the ordinance. The public is also made aware when a CUP is applied for. The adjoining neighbors are sent a notice letter via certified mail and the CUP hearing is publicly advertised.

Conditional Use Permits are firmly established as permissible, allowable and common practice across North Carolina. Please note the text amendment applies to island side homes only and the existing house size limitation is still in place. The solution is simply, effective, within state law, and can be administered without complication. The Planning Board has discussed and voted to recommend approval to the Town Council. The ordinance language submitted is very enforceable. A follow-up text amendment detailing specific standards and further land use regulations to address this issue will be presented to Planning Board and then Council at the next meetings.

Public Beach Access
Previously reported – July
Joint Amicus Brief – NC Oceanfront Counties and Towns – Nies vs. Emerald Isle
The Town of Emerald Isle is requesting all NC beach communities assist with funding in the matter of Nies vs. Town of Emerald Isle. At issue is the right of the public to use the dry sand beach which has been the historical and traditional public practice by right.

The potential implications of this case to the State of North Carolina and its citizens are significant and it is critical that oceanfront counties and municipalities weigh in and sign on to an amicus brief in support of the Town’s position that the beaches of North Carolina, including the dry sand portion, are a public resource open to all for public resource uses.

County, towns take interest in beach access court case
Brunswick County and some of its municipalities are supporting Emerald Isle in a state Supreme Court case to protect public access to North Carolina beaches.
Read more » click here

Emerald Isle supported by BC commissioners in case impacting coastal community
Brunswick County commissioners have pledged $2,000 in support of the Town of Emerald Isle, which is involved in a N.C. Supreme Court case that could impact the right of public access to North Carolina beaches. Statewide, 6 of 8 oceanfront counties and 18 of 21 oceanfront municipalities have agreed to sign onto the brief.
Read more » click here

Couple who filed lawsuit against the beach town have sold their oceanfront home
Gregory and Diane Nies, the retired couple whose lawsuit against the town of Emerald Isle has the potential to create a sea change in the public’s access to North Carolina’s 301 miles of shoreline, have sold their oceanfront property at the heart of the case.
Read more » click here

Update –
NC Supreme Court Dismisses Nies Case Against Emerald Isle
In an order issued earlier today, the NC Supreme Court dismissed the Nies case against the Town of Emerald Isle.  As a result of this dismissal, the November 2015 opinion of the NC Court of Appeals is now the definitive law on public beach access in Emerald Isle, and everywhere in North Carolina.  The Town is pleased with the Court’s decision, which clarifies the public’s historical and continuing right to use the dry-sand beach (from the base of the dunes to the water) everywhere in North Carolina. 

Court dismisses lawsuit involving public beach access
North Carolina’s Supreme Court is dismissing a lawsuit that challenged how much of the state’s beaches are free for anyone to stroll or whether parts of it could be closed off by private owners. The court on Wednesday issued an order saying it was dropping the case on its own initiative but did not explain why.

Justices were scheduled to hear arguments next month in the case that could have decided whether the public can use entire beaches between surf and dunes along all 300 miles of North Carolina’s shoreline.

Gregory and Diane Nies sued Emerald Isle over an ordinance creating a 20 feet passage on beach property they own for public vehicles to travel anytime necessary. The New Jersey couple sold their $1.3 million beachfront home this fall.
Read more » click here

County, towns react to dismissal of beach access case
Brunswick County and its beach towns are pleased with the state Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the case of Nies v. Emerald Isle.

Emerald Isle beachfront property owners Gregory and Diane Nies sued the town over access to beach property in the “dry sand,” or between the highwater mark and the dunes. When the property owners lost a Superior Court decision and an appeal, they took the case to the state Supreme Court, which dismissed the case Dec. 14.

In a newsletter, Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett said had the Nieses won, it would have had dire consequences for the public to use dry sand beach in North Carolina. He said he learned of the dismissal from Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush and expressed his relief on behalf of Holden Beach.
Read more » click here

Corrections & Amplifications –

Previously reported –

Sunset Beach bans cabanas
Following more than an hour of debate, including numerous citizen comments on both sides of the issue, Sunset Beach Town Council voted 3-2 Tuesday morning to ban cabanas on the beach.
Read more » click here

Update –
Sunset Beach cabanas get reprieve

After public outcry about the prohibition, the council reversed itself on Monday, voting 3-2 to continue to allow cabanas on the beach strand.
Read more » click here

Sunset Beach rescinds ban on cabanas
Following much discussion and debate, a majority of Sunset Beach Town Council on Monday night voted to rescind a prior action Nov. 15 to ban cabanas on the beach.

Sunset Beach Mayor Robert Forrester opened discussion at the Dec. 5 meeting stating prior reports council had enacted a ban on the sun-shading devices wasn’t accurate because such an action would have required an ordinance amendment and four affirmative votes, which didn’t occur at the Nov. 15 meeting.
Read more » click here

Odds & Ends –

Hurricane #1 - CR

Hurricane Season – Do you have a plan for your family?!
Coastal residents can expect to see an above-normal hurricane season this year. This outlook makes no attempt to say how many storms will hit land or what coastal areas are most at risk. However, during active seasons the United States is more likely to be struck by hurricanes. Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st and ends Nov. 30th, but storms outside that time frame are not uncommon. Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook. Now is the time, if you haven’t already, to get your plan together for what you and your family would do if disaster strikes. Be prepared – have a plan!

Be prepared – have a plan!

Hurricane season ends –

First above-normal Atlantic hurricane season since 2012
For the Atlantic, this was the first above-normal season since 2012. The Atlantic saw 15 named storms during 2016, including 7 hurricanes (Alex, Earl, Gaston, Hermine, Matthew, Nicole, and Otto), 3 of which were major hurricanes (Gaston, Matthew and Nicole). NOAA’s updated hurricane season outlook in August called for 12 to 17 named storms, including 5 to 8 hurricanes, with 2 to 4 of those predicted to become major hurricanes.

Five named storms made landfall in the United States during 2016, the most since 2008 when six storms struck. Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina. Tropical Storms Colin and Julia, as well as Hurricane Hermine, made landfall in Florida. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.

The strongest and longest-lived storm of the season was Matthew, which reached maximum sustained surface winds of 160 miles per hour and lasted as a major hurricane for eight days from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7. Matthew was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Felix in 2007. Matthew intensified into a major hurricane on Sept. 30 over the Caribbean Sea, making it the first major hurricane in that region since Poloma in 2008. It made landfall as a category 4 major hurricane in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, causing extensive damage and loss of life. It then made landfall on Oct. 8 as a category 1 hurricane in the U.S. near McClellanville, South Carolina. Matthew caused storm surge and beach erosion from Florida through North Carolina, and produced more than 10 inches of rain resulting in extensive freshwater flooding over much of the eastern Carolinas. The storm was responsible for the greatest U.S. loss of life due to inland flooding from a tropical system since torrential rains from Hurricane Floyd caused widespread and historic flooding.
Read more » click here

Things I Think I Think –

My Christmas List - CRI respectfully submit my Xmas list, the items I would most like to see addressed this year

  • Fix Sewer System Storm Vulnerability
  • Implement Central Reach Project
  • Restore Town’s Government Access Channel – TWC on channel 8
  • Establish a Beach Patrol
  • Increase Beach Strand Ordinance Compliance & Enforcement

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
Name:             Caprice Bistro
Cuisine:           French
Location:        10 Market Street, Wilmington NC (downtown)
Contact:          910.815.0810 /
Food:               Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:           Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:      Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:            Four Stars
Caprice Bistro looks every bit like a real authentic French bistro.  A bistro is a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting. The menu has a great traditional bistro selection of authentic French & Belgian cuisine prepared home-style. The atmosphere is welcoming, warm and inviting. The art-filled upstairs sofa lounge and bar area is great. This is a personal favorite of mine because of the consistent delivery of a fine dining experience every time that we go there. Certainly, it is among the best restaurants in town; you really should put it on your short-list of must try restaurants.

Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
This is the twenty-first entry in the retired LAPD Detective turned private investigator Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and his half-brother Defense Attorney Mickey Haller (Lincoln Lawyer) series. Harry volunteers as an investigator to help a small cash-strapped police department track a serial rapist, while as a P.I. he aids a reclusive billionaire nearing the end of his life search for a possible heir.

Request –
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HBPOIN Website –

The views expressed here are simply my opinion based on the facts as I understand them. I have no hidden agenda, no ax to grind, or any political ambition. I’m simply attempting to keep the community informed on what actually is going on here. I welcome updates, clarifications or a correction to any fact I have stated which have changed or was inadvertently stated incorrectly.

Disclaimer –
. 1) Not official correspondence from the Town
. 2) Not affiliated with Holden Beach Property Owners Association

HBPOIN – Holden Beach Property Owners Information Network
.          • Gather and disseminate information
.          • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you
.          • Act as a watchdog
.          • Grass roots monthly newsletter since 2008


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!Poinsetta