07 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Special Meeting 07/21/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here NA

Audio Recording » click here


1. Federal Updates and Discussion and Possible Action on Next Steps for Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study – Poyner Spruill (Mayor Holden)

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Previously reported – January 2020
Scope of Engagement. We have agreed to advise and assist you with governmental matters and legal issues that arise and the Client hereby engages Poyner Spruill LLP to perform the following services in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement: working with the Client to secure federal assistance and project management regarding:(1) federal issues related to any beach nourishment opportunities  at Holden  Beach, North  Carolina,  excluding  the Brunswick  County  Beaches  Corps  of Engineers 50-year Project and (2) federal issues related to Lockwood Folly Inlet maintenance along with beach nourishment efforts for placement of beach-quality sand on the east end of Holden Beach. The Client acknowledges and agrees that Poyner Spruill LLP does not have control over third party decision makers, and, that Poyner Spruill makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees that it can achieve  any particular results. Poyner Spruill LLP shall act in good faith with the necessary due diligence in connection with its performance of the services described herein. Two local meetings with the Council and two trips to Washington, D.C., per 12-month period, as well as a monthly status report, are included in the services to be provided. Our work for this engagement will be on the federal level. It is understood that The Ferguson Group will be assisting our firm on your behalf. As the need arises for specialized assistance, such as grant writing or for legislative monitoring/research, then fees and costs incurred for such services will be billed separately to the client.

Retainer
The retainer for their services is $7,725 per month or a minimum of $92,700 annually. Retainer is the minimum it will cost us. Ferguson Group services are billed separately. Additionally, we are billed monthly for all kinds of additional charges.

Update –
Congressman Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill made presentation to the Board with an update on Poyner Spruill and The Ferguson Group’s most recent advocacy efforts. The Ferguson Group team was also listening in and available to answer questions and provide additional information to the discussion.

Board was presented with four options for moving forward and recommended pursuing the following two options:

1) Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study Authorization Section 7001 program – three / three / three. Three years / three million dollars / reviewed at all three levels – District / Division/ Washington. Deadline to file a Letter of Intent application, is the end of next month, this just gets us in line to be included for consideration. If we are selected and we have made the cut, we would then have to sign a contract probably sometime around 2024 making a commitment to pay our share. That would be half the cost, so our portion would be $1.5 million. At best this is a long shot and years down the road. That said, we would still be committing to pay $1.5 million for the study with no assurances  that we will actually have the project constructed.

2) Congressional authority to do study was approved in 1966 but was never completed. We could pursue this option simultaneously with the 7001 process. However, as it stands now, we would be obligated to pay the costs that were incurred during the original study request. This is like a Hail Mary pass. We would attempt to run the 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Project up the flag pole.  USACE spent $8.5 million and the beaches are obligated to pay half of that.  We could ask for forgiveness, where we would not agree to pay for our share which is $1.1 million and do a new study. Uncertain whether USACE would go for this.   

The whole purpose of the study is to identify a plan of improvement that is in the public’s best interest which comprises of three prongs that includes being technically feasible, environmentally acceptable, and cost justified.

Board agreed to give authority to proceed with both options, with no financial obligation at this point.

A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
Commissioners Kwiatkowski and Sullivan voted against the motion

Not providing background information is completely unacceptable. Neither the Board nor the public were able to review this material prior to the meeting.

HB commissioners vote for beach nourishment application submission
“Let’s not leave any stone … any pebble of sand unturned,” said Mike McIntyre, Poyner Spruill partner and former congressman, during discussion of Holden Beach’s beach restoration options. Holden Beach Board of Commissioners met with McIntyreon Tuesday, July 21, for a special meeting regarding the possibility of partaking in a Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Three individuals from The Ferguson Group (TFG) joined via conference call to provide guidance in the commissioners’ decision. On call was Rodger Gwinn, CEO; Earl Stockdale, council and senior advisor; and Stephanie Missert, principal and manager of policy and regulatory affairs. McIntyre described The Ferguson Group as “a strategic monitoring and legislative research group that is right there in Washington. They are our eyes and ears on the hill so that we can monitor legislation daily.” TGA is working as the advocate for Holden Beach, committed to do whatever it takes to help them. Stockdale explained that TGA is trying to devise a path forward that will get Holden Beach a plan of improvement on the shortest timeline with a clear understanding of what that means to them on terms of cost and with part of the strategy involving when they would be expected to pay for either options. “The idea here is basically to preserve a path forward,” Stockdale said. McIntyre opened the meeting by providing background context of what is going on in Congress in the first half of 2020. He said the House energy and water appropriation bill has funding for USACE of $49.6 billion, an increase of 3 percent from last year. In addition, money has been appropriated for seven new study starts, which McIntyre said is a major feat compared to their normal one study start appropriation. An additional $43.5 billion has been appointed for emergency spending money for COVID-related items. McIntyre said this budget might help free up money for projects such as beach nourishment. “These are at least the silver lining around the dark clouds of the coronavirus, in looking at the funding that’s been added to the core to deal with some of its projects,” McIntyre said. McIntyre reported having extensive discussions about status of authorization from Flood Control Act of 1996 for Brunswick County beaches with both senator offices and committee staff over this past month. The Wilmington District USACE has heeded the Lockwood Folly and beach nourishment status at Holden Beach. They recommended the town apply for Section 7001 of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2014. According to the Congressional Research Service, for USACE studies and projects, congressional study and project authorization generally is required prior to being eligible for federal appropriations. Congress generally considers an omnibus USACE authorization bill, known as WRDA, biennially. WRDA is an annual process for identifying proposals for site-specific studies and projects under USACE’s water resource mission and authorities for congressional consideration of the proposal’s authorization. The submission period for the 2021 WRDA opened May 1 and closes Aug. 31. McIntyre presented the board with four options. Option A, they do nothing. Option B, apply for the Section 7001 to request authorization and start the process over. Option C, request a new study using the existing 1966 Brunswick County Beaches authority. The final option is to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for the new study using the existing 1966 Brunswick County Beaches Authority and commit to paying back the town’s share of construction costs. “It may be worthwhile to go ahead and put your name in the pot because if it’s not in the pot it’s not going to be considered and it’s not costing you anything right now,” McIntyre said. While Section 7001 requires a payment of $1.5 million,the town does not have to pay anything upfront. McIntyre estimated the payment would not be made until 2023. “I guess the sweetener for that deal is that, sure if the prior authorization works and it saved you a few years of waiting on getting a construction project done, then that may have been worth paying that $1 million back,” McIntyre said. Commissioner Mike Sullivan asked if the board decided to go forward with the Section 7001 program whether that would preclude them from being eligible for FEMA reimbursements in the future. Similarly, Commissioner Woody Tyner questioned the difference between FEMA and USACE funding. TGA employees said the advantage of USACE funding is they can apply pressure and be watchdogs in D.C. USACE also allows projects to be paid for, get technical expertise and bring the beach back up to USACE level. Commissioner Gerald Brown motioned to start the Section 7001 application process, authorizing town manager David Hewett to do preliminary work in conjunction with TGA. “We’re not obligated to spend one dime, but at least we’re rolling the ball in the right direction,” Brown said. Thevote was passed with three in favor and Commissioners Pat Kwiatkowski and Sullivan opposed. To learn more about Section 7001 Annual Report Process, go to fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R45185.pdf. The meeting was livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to provide social-distancing measures.
Read more » click here 


BOC’s Regular Meeting 07/21/20

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Discussion and Possible Action on Membership of Town Boards and Committees – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
At the June Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board decided to vote regarding existing members who were interested in serving another term at the July meeting. For the remaining vacancies, the Board agreed to wait until the Board  is able to hold  interviews like it traditionally has done in the past. All eligible members, with the exception of Ronda Dixon are willing to serve another term. Below is a breakdown of the vacancies on each board.

Board of Adjustment: Two regular members’ terms are expiring, and they are not eligible to serve another term. Anne Arnold’s Regular Member term is expiring. She is eligible to serve another term.  Jack Lohman, Mary Lou Lahren and Phil Caldwell are the current Alternate Members. Their terms are expiring, and they are all eligible to serve another term. Two of those members can be moved to the Regular Member positions if the Board chooses to fill the positions in that manner.

Inlet & Beach Protection Board: Dean Thomas is eligible and willing to serve another term. Ms. Dixon does not want to serve another term at this time.

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board: Becky Willis, John McEntire, Dolly Mitchell, and Candace Vick are eligible and would like to serve another term. There is one additional vacancy that the member’s term is expiring, and they have already served the maximum number of terms.

Planning & Zoning Board: Greg Shue’s Regular Member term and Peter Pallas  and Stu Atwell’s Alternate Members terms are expiring. They are all eligible and willing to serve another term.

If the Board would like to assign additional terms to the current eligible members, I would recommend the Board make a motion to appoint the current eligible members of the Inlet and Beach Protection Board, Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and the Planning & Zoning Board to serve another term. I would suggest that the Board vote on the Board of Adjustment in a separate motion or by ballot in order to accommodate filling the vacancies of the Regular Members (potentially with two of the current Alternate Members). Ballots will be supplied at the meeting if the Board desires to vote by ballot.

Previously reported – June 2020
Discussion and Possible Action on Membership of Town Boards and Committees – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet –
Attached is list of current members serving on boards and committees of the town. Appointments to most boards are typically made in July of each year. The members who are highlighted have terms that are expiring.

A majority of the current members are eligible to serve another term if they are interested and the Board agrees (highlighted in yellow on lists). There are a couple of members who have reached the maximum terms allowed for their positions (highlighted in blue on lists). Normally the Board will hold interviews for any vacancies on the various boards at this time.

Due to the current restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, staff needs direction on our interview process. Options include soliciting volunteers, with the Board making their decisions based on the applications submitted or having staff arrange for a remote interview process. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Blue / not eligible to serve another term, there are three (3) volunteers
Yellow / eligible to serve another term, there are thirteen (13) volunteers

Discussion was on how to proceed given the current restrictions in interviewing candidates. None of the Boards or Committees are currently holding any meetings. Therefore, there is no sense of urgency, so they decided to  hold off on doing anything at this time.

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
§155.11 MEMBERSHIP AND VACANCIES
No regular member shall serve for more than two consecutive terms, and a member having served two consecutive terms shall not be eligible for reappointment until after remaining off the Board for one year.

The Board reappointed everyone that was eligible. On the Board of Adjustment, Phil Caldwell and Mary Lou Lahren will replace Larry Blume and Ben Baker.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

I’m of the opinion that our Board term policy unnecessarily creates vacancies. Interestingly we have term limits for all our Boards except the Board of Commissioners. In what universe does that make sense?

Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various Boards and Committees.
If you are interested, submit a resume form to heather@hbtownhall.com.


2. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff to Obtain Probable Costs for the Paving of Sea Gull Street, Deal Street, and Canal Drive – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet –
Deal and Seagull Streets are “Town” streets but are currently unpaved. They are in bad shape with very  little to work with from a maintenance perspective.  New construction has populated these streets to a point where owners are seeking a remedy to improve the streets. Town practice provides for a petition process to occur but an estimate for constructing suitable improvements needs to be obtained prior to a more formal undertaking.

Request the Board of Commissioners direct the Town Manager to obtain a preliminary engineering cost estimate necessary to improve Deal and Seagull Streets. At a minimum – improvements evaluation should address coquina/marl, gravel, and full paving options in addition to any other considerations that are relevant.

NC Chapter 160A, Article 10
§160A-216.  Authority to make special assessments.
Any city is authorized to make special assessments against benefited property within its corporate limits for:

.   (1) Constructing, reconstructing, paving, widening, installing curbs and gutters, and otherwise building and improving streets;

§160A-217.  Petition for street or sidewalk improvements.
    (a) A city shall have no power to levy special assessments for street or sidewalk improvements unless it receives a petition for the improvements signed by at least a majority in number of the owners of property to be assessed, who must represent at least a majority of all the lineal feet of frontage of the lands abutting on the street or portion thereof to be improved. Unless the petition specifies another percentage, not more than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the improvement may be assessed (not including the cost of improvements made at street intersections).

For more information » click here

Update –
Added Canal Drive to agenda item, they discussed adding other streets too
Board approved getting engineering cost estimate for the three (3) streets listed

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


3. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 20-04, Resolution Amending the Holden Beach Fee Schedule – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
Based on a review of other municipalities and a discussion with the PRAB prior to Covid restrictions, the staff recommends the following changes/additions to the fee schedule.

Facility/Program- Pavilion (Jordan), Bridgeview Park Picnic Shelter, Recreation Programs, Independent Contract Instructors

RESOLUTION 20-04
RESOULUTION AMENDING THE HOLDEN BEACH FEE SCHEDULE

WHEREAS , the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners has fees for facility rentals and programs that need to be changed to  reflect  current market  value.

WHEREAS, the fee increase also considers contract instructors and the need for service fees to be set by those instructors.

WHEREAS, the Holden Beach Fee Schedule needs to be updated to reflect both of these circumstances

Update –
Approved as submitted

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 20-05, Resolution Establishing Criteria for Engineering Firm Selection for FEMA Projects – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson

Agenda Packet –
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION AND RANKING OF ENGINEER FIRMS FOR PROJECTS FUNDED THROUGH FEMA’S PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Item 1: General Qualifications and Availability 15 points

    1. Provide the following information:
      • Legal name of firm
      • Location of Office that will be conducting the work
      • Contact Persons
      • Date of firm formation
      • Legal business description (Individual, Partnership, Corporation, Joint Venture, etc.)
    2. Provide a statement on the availability and commitment of the firm, its principal(s) and assigned professionals to undertake the project, reporting responsibilities and how the firm will interface with the Town of Holden Beach Town Manager and Project meetings will be required, as necessary.
    3. Provide a statement of interest for the project including a narrative describing the firm’s specific expertise and unique qualifications as they pertain to these projects.

Item 2: Proposed Staff 25 points

    1. Organizational chart for personnel (including sub-consultants) who are to work on this project including license information.
    2. Names and roles of key personnel proposed to work on this project and their office locations.
    3. Include resumes for all key personnel and indicate any individuals who have had previous experience on similar projects.
    4. Provide staffing size by areas of expertise.
    5. Provide current workload of prime firm.
    6. Provide staff availability to perform services.
    7. Provide the Project Managers experience with similar size/type projects. Project Manager shall demonstrate knowledge of similar Disaster Recovery Project.
    8. Provide the sub-consultants experience with similar size/type projects.

Item 3: Project Experience 40 points

    1. Provide an overview and brief history of the firm and sub-consultants.
    2. Services provided
      • Date of completion or project status
      • Final construction costs
      • Client name and contact person
      • History of meeting project schedules
      • History of accomplishing services within established budget, include planned versus actual
      • Detail cost savings or cost increases

Item 4: Project Experience 20 points

    1. Explain how the team will assess and design the project(s). Are there multiple or alternate design options, etc.?
    2. Provide an example of a typical project schedule.

Update –
We have some large FEMA projects coming up. The most restrictive rules procurement requirements under federal uniform guidelines require competitive proposal procedure for contracts for engineering services. Based on size and scope of upcoming projects necessitates needs us to engage in this process. In order for us to comply, and in accordance with North Carolina General Statute § 143-64.31, we will need to send out Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to solicit competitive proposals for engineering services. Approved as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


5. Discussion and Possible Action on Request by AT&T to Renegotiate the Terms of the Water Tower Lease – Budget & Fiscal Analyst McRainey


Agenda Packet –
Lease Optimization
AT&T has requested a rent reduction shown in the attached memo from AT&T (Attachment 1). This is a substantial reduction from their current monthly payment shown in the right column of the chart. We have made improvements to the water tower within the past two years and believe it would be in the towns best interest to deny their request.

Update –
The Town’s water tower lease agreement with AT&T has expired. The proposed agreement is a continuation of the expired lease with a lesser monthly payment. They are requesting the agreement be renewed for another five years at the proposed lower rent. The proposed lease for sixty (60) months would go from $154,117 to $114,000; approving the contract would result in a revenue loss of approximately $40,000. Verizon is paying us $3,048 a month while AT&T is paying us just $2,419 a month. The AT&T proposal is for $1,900 a month, approximately a 21.5% rate reduction. AT & T has attempted to renegotiate the contract before. It has been our policy not to respond to these rate reduction requests. No action was taken, and the rate remained the same. The concern is if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too. Our Town Manager recommended that we stay with the current contract.



What are they mashugana?


Update –
AT&T is requesting the Town’s water tower lease agreement be renewed for another five years at the proposed lower rent. The proposed lease for sixty (60) months would go from $154,117 to $114,000; approving the contract would result in a revenue loss of approximately $40,000. Verizon is paying us $3,048 a month while AT&T is paying us just $2,419 a month. The AT&T proposal is for $1,900 a month, approximately a 21.5% rate reduction. AT&T has attempted to renegotiate the contract before. It has been our policy not to respond to these rate reduction requests. No action was taken, and the rate remained the same. In the past., the concern was if they cut their rate other carriers will want their rate reduced too. The Town staff recommended that we deny this request.

Motion was made to deny the request
A decision was made – Approved unanimously


6. Discussion and Possible Action to Receive Distribution of Federal CARES Act Funding
Added to the agenda

Municipality COVID-19 Grant
Option to receive CARES Act funding or be subject to the federal compliance requirements and documentation.

With a population of only 651 our percentage share of the distribution is .99951%
Round 1 we received $8,203 of the $846,110 total amount of the grant
Round 2 we would receive $8,835 of the $911,240 total amount of the grant
The total we would receive is $17,038 of the $1,757,350 total amount of the grant

County has received appropriation, distribution to the towns will use the same methodology that is used for the sales tax distribution. Perhaps not the best way but it is the simplest way to handle.  We need to send declination letter to the County advising them that we do not want to receive the CARES Act funding that was mandated by NC Session Law 2020-80(HB1023). It’s an either/or deal, you can’t double dip. The Board decided to approve sending the declination letter. Since the Town has spent approximately $70,000, we will need to submit a reimbursement request to FEMA too.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

7. Discussion and Possible Action on Suggested Changes to Draft Land Use Plan – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski has prepared the changes discussed by the Board at the January 17th Special Meeting (Attachment 1 ). Wes Macleod has reviewed them and asked that staff communicate to the Board that Goal 4.2 on page 4-16 comes from the state’s 7B planning guidelines (Attachment 2). He encourages the Board to consider leaving the goal as originally written.

The  proposed  plan was  approved  by the  Department  of  Coastal  Management. The  next step  in the adoption process would be to schedule a Public Hearing on the plan.

Land Use Plan document with proposed changes is way too large a document (@16 pages) to include here


Previously reported – September 2019
Land Use Plan
For more information » click here

HBPOA
What is the Land Use Plan?
“Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers seeking to achieve the community’s long-term vision. This process allows public officials, staff, and other stakeholders to be proactive rather than reactive in maintaining Holden Beach’s status as one of the finest family oriented coastal communities on the East Coast of the United States. This plan builds on the previous land use plans prepared by Holden Beach in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1997, and 2009. It encompasses all geographic areas in the community, considering issues of future land use, development, and natural resource protection. The plan is long-range in nature and looks beyond current issues to address potential future land use and environmental issues over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond.”

Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
As the Board of Commissioners are aware, the Land Use Plan Committee completed their work as commissioned by the Board of Commissioners. The LUP was then sent to the Holden Beach Planning and Zoning Board where a public hearing was held. The P&Z Board approved sending the completed document for review.

The P&Z Board requested that another public hearing be set before the Board of Commissioners’ meeting. They erred in this request, as only the Board of Commissioners can set their public hearings. While a second public hearing is not necessary at this time, the Board may request such if they feel the need arises.

The P&Z Board provided three recommendations:

      1. Accept the Document and send it forward to DEQ for staff review.
      2. Send the Document Back to the LUP Committee with changes.
      3. Amend the document.

* If the document is amended any amendments will need to be reviewed by Wes McLeod and staff for    compliance with the 7B statutory requirements.

It is important to understand that while the document is a guideline and a mirror of the community’s philosophies, it is not a regulatory document. It is basically a comprehensive guideline to show that the town’s future is directed towards those ideals as set forth in the Statutes.

Wes explained the procedure to get this plan adopted. It has been recommended for approval by both Boards that worked on it (Land Use Plan Committee & Planning and Zoning Board). The statuary process for this to be adopted requires it to be submitted to the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) for completeness review. After that 75-day review process we are still required to have a Public Hearing, after that it can then be adopted by the BOC’s. It then goes back to the DCM for certification.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Only approved submitting proposed Land Use Plan to DCM for their review

Previously reported – December 2019
Board will coordinate their schedules to determine date of meeting

For starters, the plan merely sets guidelines which can be changed as the situation requires. What’s more it is nonbinding. Every land use or zoning decision needs a consistency statement that says whether the recommendation conforms to the LUP or not.   We can recommend something that does not conform if we state why it is in the best interest to do that.  A considerable amount of time and effort were put in to develop this plan. The BOC’s had a chance to give input on the plan, along with the rest of the Town, at the input meetings and at every LUP meeting.  All shareholders were involved in the process and contributed a significant amount of input.  It is a compromise document, no one got everything they wanted in it. Cannot imagine what value the BOC’s think that they can add to what was already submitted.

Previously reported – January 2020
Special Meeting held

Audio Recording » click here 

No decision was made – No action taken

Update –
Commissioners Kwiatkowski submitted proposed changes at the January Regular Meeting, but it was not approved at a later meeting because of  amended agendas due to the pandemic. The Board decided to approve amended Land Use Plan with just one additional change. Based on the recommendation from Wes McLeod, they excluded changing 4.2 Public Access and Recreation in order to remain in compliance with the 7B statuary requirements. We will still need to schedule a Public Hearing before they can approve the LUP finalized version.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


8. Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance 20-04, An Ordinance Amending the Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 157: Zoning Code – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
§157.060 RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT (R-1).
. (D) Dimensional requirements R-1.

.     (1) Lot area. Minimum required:
.        (a) For a one-family dwelling,5,000 square feet.
.        (b) For a two-family dwelling, 7,500 square feet.
.     (2) Lot width. Minimum required: 50 feet.
.     (3) Front Yard Setbacks per structure size:
.         <4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 25 Feet
.         4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 30 Feet
.         5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 35 Feet
.     (4) Side Yard Setbacks per Structure Size:
.        4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 5 feet
.        4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 7 Feet
.        5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required:10 Feet
.       (a) Open porches, decks, or overhangs shall not extend into minimum setbacks
.     (5) Rear Yard Setbacks Per structure S1ze
.        <4000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 20 Feet
.        4000 < 5000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 25 Feet
.        5000 > 6000 Square Feet Minimum Required: 30 Feet
.     (7) Lot coverage.
.     (a) Lot coverage of main structure shall not exceed 30% of the platted lot. If structure is 4000 square feet or greater then lot coverage cannot be greater than 25 percent. If structure coverage is 5000 square feet or greater lot coverage is limited to 20 percent.
.    (12) Minimum floor area of building 750 square feet of heated space.
.       (a) Maximum Structure Size of any dwelling shall be 6000 Square Feet
.    (13) Open uncovered stairs, not including any deck or landing at porch level, may project up to ten feet into the required front or rear yards of structures <4000 Square Feet, but not both.


Proposed Ordinance » click here

Previously reported – June 2019
Agenda Packet –
The Planning Board has approved a proposed ordinance change for consideration by the Board of Commissioners. As you are aware, Commissioners have voiced some concerns over possible future and present issues related to homes that are so large that they pose an impact to the quality environment that the Holden Beach wishes to portray.

This ordinance has been vetted by the planning Department and is similar to other beach town regulation pertaining to the same issues.

Proposed Zoning Ordinances Changes

      • Maximum House Size of 6,000 square feet
      • Progressive Setbacks
      • Protection of Storm Water Discharge through Reduction
      • Traffic Reduction
      • Reduced Parking Density
      • Reduction of Trash refuse
      • Improve Quality of Life
      • Increase Lot Open Space
      • Decrease Potential Secondary Storm Debris

Clear, concise, easily understood presentation by Timbo. This has been a major issue for years. He said that he attempted to be fair and equitable for everyone. Well thought out, benchmarked other beach town regulations and the Planning Board has already signed off on the proposal. Proposal would not be changing the dynamics of what has been done before; but homes will fit better on the lots now. Next step is for staff to put this into an Ordinance format.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
Attached is the proposed ordinance for maximum house size construction that Inspections Director Evans sent to Attorney Fox for review per the Board’s direction. Attorney Fox suggested that the new attorney selected by the Board have the opportunity to review it before action is taken. If the Board agrees a motion to send it to the new attorney should be made.

New Town attorney will work on language that is both lawful and enforceable.
Consensus of the Board is to put item on the agenda at the November Regular Meeting

Previously reported – January 2020
Agenda Packet –
Attached is a presentation provided by Inspections Director Evans at a previous meeting. Based on the presentation, the Board directed him to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size limitation and provide it to the attorney before it is presented to the Board for review. The item is on the agenda for the attorney to issue comments and guidance to the Board

Item was removed from the agenda yet again

Previously reported – February 2020
Agenda Packet –
The Board directed Inspections Director Evans to prepare an ordinance around his description for house size limitation and provide it to the attorney before it was presented to the Board for review. Attorney Carpenter has advised me that she does not have any concerns with the ordinance prepared by Inspections Director Evans. It is enclosed for your review.

We have been working on this issue for at least the last five (5) years. Timbo did not make slide presentation since he has made this same presentation numerous times already. The abridged version is simply that you can’t build as big a house that you could before. State statutes require that the governing board hold a public hearing prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any ordinance regulating development. Therefore, it was decided to schedule a Public Hearing before the next Regular BOC’s meeting so they can adopt the Ordinance.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
They didn’t make a decision at this meeting because they needed clarification regarding square footage verbiage, otherwise we are good to go. Request was made for Inspections Director Evans to bring back to the Board at the next Regular Meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken


Oak Island leaders tackling issue of ‘mini-hotels’
Some Oak Island leaders are again tackling the complex issue of when a one- or two-family dwelling becomes not just a house but, as they call it, a “mini-hotel.” The question has vexed coastal communities that are economically dependent on short-term rentals for years. The concerns include noise, overcrowding, parking, fire safety and the general use of “single-family” residential areas. One and two-family dwellings are exempt from state fire codes. The question has become “What constitutes a single-family dwelling, versus a small hotel?” Earlier local attempts to limit the number of bedrooms or bathrooms were squashed by the state General Assembly. House sizes in most residentially zoned areas of Oak Island are restricted to 4,000 square feet unless the applicant obtains a special use permit, which puts the cap at 5,000 square feet. Local leaders have also included off-street parking requirements in an effort to limit so-called “mega-houses.” The results are a mixed bag. A quick look at a popular short-term rental website showed several houses – including at least one built in the past year – offering 19 or more beds. Oak Island Mayor Ken Thomas said he’s seen places stating they could sleep more than 20 people. “Some of them sleep up to 38,” he said. “I want the builders to build,” Thomas said. “But we have to have integrity, safety and morality, and put sprinkler systems in these larger houses.” Oak Island’s unified development ordinance (UDO), adopted in October 2018, states that temporary rental “for the occupancy of more than 14 individuals shall be without further administrative action immediately thereby classified as a hotel/motel use of property and considered a non-permitted use in that residential district…” “The reason it continues is the failure of code enforcement to act,” said Planning Board Chairman Bob Carpenter. He raised the issue at the June meeting. Thomas said regardless of the 14-person limit, the town should consider requiring fire suppression systems in larger houses, especially those at the ends of the water system where fire hydrant flows can be half or one-third the available water along most of the rest of the town. “I want to see build-out,” Thomas said. “But I also want to see safety.” Development Services Director Steve Edwards said town officials are compiling lists of short-term rentals and their advertised occupancy. Those built after the UDO was adopted in October 2018 are required to comply with the 14-person limit, he said. “There is action on these properties,” he said. There is a balance between long- and short-term rentals and the town cannot be more restrictive than state rules, said Edwards.
Read more » click here


9. Discussion and Possible Action on Text Amendments for Ordinances Pertaining to Construction and Flood Management – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
The Planning and Inspections Department often finds discrepancies in the ordinance that are either violations of state law, are problematic in their application, have no practical purpose or are not in the best interest of the town or the well-being of the Citizens. The reasons for this can be internal, external, or simply outdated application, when this happens clarification and correction should be followed for ease of use and understanding and for citizens clarification. The proposed changes fall into those categories.

Update –
Basically housekeeping, cleaning up some of our existing Ordinances. Timbo reviewed Ordinances that he recommends being changed and explained the reasons to make these changes. Board approved changes as submitted. State statutes require that the governing board hold a Public Hearing prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any ordinance regulating development. Therefore, it was decided to schedule a Public Hearing before the next Regular BOC’s meeting so they can adopt the Ordinance

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


10. Discussion and Possible Action on Chapter 160D Requirements for Local Governments – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet –
The General Assembly enacted legislation (S.L. 2020-25) making Chapter 160D effective on June  19, 2020. This law allows cities and counties greater flexibility in the timing for adoption of amendments to conform local development regulations to the new statute. The law also makes technical and clarifying amendments to Chapter 160D. Inspections Director Evans will provide the Board with information on Chapter 160D requirements for local  governments.

Session Law 2020-25 / Senate Bill 720
AN ACT TO COMPLETE THE CONSOLIDATION OF LAND-USE PROVISIONS INTO ONE CHAPTER OF THE GENERAL STATUTES AS DIRECTED BY S.L. 2019-111, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL STATUTES COMMISSION

For more information » click here

Update –
Timbo recommended that the Board allow staff to compare our Ordinances to make sure they are in line with the changes made by the state in Chapter 160D. Board agreed to the review.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


  1. 11. Discussion on Designating Back-up Emergency Managers in Case of Unavailability or Incapacity ofthe Emergency Manager During a State of Emergency – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
  2. Agenda Packet –

    §33.08 ABSENCE OR DISABILITY OF MAYOR.
    In case of the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Mayor-Pro Tern, or such other person as may be designated by the Board of Commissioners, shall have and exercise all of the powers herein given the Mayor. A line of succession, at least three deep, should be designated by the Board of Commissioners.  Recommendations shall include other elected officials, the Town Manager and other key staff as deemed appropriate.

  3. Update –
    Ordinance as written addresses the Mayor’s role and responsibilities but does not adequately address Emergency Manager duties. Pat felt that we haven’t adequately addressed the selection and designation of Emergency Manager in the event the Mayor cannot fulfill his duties. Discussion considered the possibility that the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem might not be knowledgeable or kept abreast of what the role requires during an emergency situation. Consensus appeared to be that if they get in that situation, they will meet to decide a way forward.

    No decision was made – No action taken

    Editor’s note –
    Given the high level of responsibility that the Emergency Manager has it would be prudent if all of the Board members had some basic training and meetings to ensure that all of them are up to speed and could assist or step in if required to do so.


  4. 12. Discussion on the Practices that Could be Taken to Reduce Resident and Employee Exposure to COVID-19 if There is a Return to More Restrictive State or County Directives Based on the Town’s Experience of Steps Considered and/or Taken Between March and July of this Year – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

    Agenda Packet –
    Discussion on the practices that could be taken to reduce resident and employee exposure to COVID-19 if there is a return to more restrictive State or County directives based on the Town’s experience of steps considered and/or taken between March and July of this year.

    Based on risk management methodology, the Town could benefit from including the below actions when defining and carrying out a COVID response plan

    1. Draw up scenarios and needs
    For example, what actions might we take if we are required to return to Phase 1 or even Phase O/stay at home and what additional materials or resources would be needed
    2. Continually assess and implement feasible practices that reduce exposures to as low as reasonably achievable Consider employees and town contractors and residents (visitors where possible).
    3. Continually communicate risk reduction methods and the importance of personal responsibility Guidance can change as more becomes known.
    4. Coordinate with other municipalities.
    Positive impacts can be increased for our community if the Brunswick islands all take similar steps to the same timeline.

  5. Update –
    Recommendation made was that similar to after storm event we should do an after-event review. Based on our recent experiences we can develop a plan of action for the future, so we are better prepared the next time.



    Editor’s note –
    Facebook audio stopped recording before the rest of the agenda items. Heather was encountering technical difficulties posting  the YouTube audio, which is still not up yet. We are unable to complete our report at this time, but we will update the remaining agenda items as soon as the audio is posted. Sorry for any inconvenience.




  6. YouTube was posted on 07/27/20

    Agenda items have been updated
    .


    13. Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning Property Owners Desire for a Dog Park to Replace the One Previously Located on Scotch Bonnet Drive – Commissioner Tyner

    Agenda Packet –
    Request:
    The BOC make a decision about the next course of action to address the desires expressed by property owners for a new dog park to replace the one previously located on Scotch Bonnet

    At the January 21, 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting, property owners addressed the Commissioners about their desire for a dog park to replace the one previously located on Scotch Bonnet. Emails were subsequently sent by property owners to the Commissioners expressing their desires for a replacement dog park.

    On January 24, 2020, I sent an e-mail to 100 property owners requesting their feedback concerning the request to replace the previous dog park and the request to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

    As of February 10, 2020, 53 property owners had responded to the e-mail. 37 responses were in favor of replacing the dog park, 5 were opposed, and 11 had no opinion or no preference.

    At the February 11, 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting, I stated the issue of replacing the dog park would be placed on the agenda for the March board meeting.

    As I see the issue, we have four possible options to address the property owners’ request to replace the dog park:

    1. Direct the Town Manager to identify suitable replacement options.
    2. Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.
    3. Wait for the Scotch Bonnet site used for disposing the canal dredging materials to dry out.
    4. Do nothing


    I believe options #1 and #2 would be the best courses of action to address property owners’ concerns. Option #2 would be my preferable option as a new dog park site would be considered as part of a much larger effort to address all the parks and recreation needs for residents, property owners, and visitors. However, this option would most probably not be a near-term solution.

    I request we address the concerns expressed by property owners for a new dog park by deciding which course of action is most suitable at this time.

    Previously reported – January 2020
    Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site. We did some site ditching prior to Hurricane Dorian storm event to facilitate draining of the pond.

    Intent is to reestablish pre-dredge capabilities which in order of priority are as follows:

    • Permitted primary disaster debris management area
    • Public Works lay down yard
    • Dog Park


    Must maintain compliance with environmental permit and monitoring

    Safety is the priority for this site, at present it is not ready for use

    The dog park will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Town needed to use the land at the dog park to place material from the canal dredging project as the dredge spoils area. It is unknown when it will be returned to a useable state as a dog park again. They are currently looking at other options for a dog park on the island. Four people spoke during the Public Comments session at the January BOC’s meeting,  all in favor of creating a new Dog Park area. The park was utilized by people daily. We no longer have anywhere on the island to walk a dog safely.  The nearest dog park for off leash activity is in Shallotte. I think we should make every effort to provide an area for dogs on the island. My recommendation is to utilize existing town property. The Town actually owns quite a bit of property. For instance, we have two parcels between BAW and OBW, across from Marker Fifty-Five, that were platted as streets but never put in: between High Point Street and Neptune Drive. We had previously discussed the possibility of creating parking areas out of them, one of them could be made into a dog park. Parking should be on the BAW side of the park, so it doesn’t get taken over by guests going to the beach. The designated area would be an additional recreational opportunity as well as an option for having dogs off their leashes instead of in unauthorized areas like the beach strand. As for allocating funds the cost should be paid for by the canal POA’s. You ask: Why? In April of 2014 we established the Dog Park on Town owned property at Scotch Bonnet Drive, at a cost of $19,000 sourced from BPART account. The Canal Dredging Project  was mostly paid for from the Water Resources Development Grant of $1,439,922 which we secured in December 2017. According to Town Manager Hewett, “the Canal Dredging Project is paying all costs for the reconstitution of the Scotch Bonnet site to include installation of dog park facilities at that location.” That’s all well and good but meanwhile we do not have a dog park.  It is my humble opinion that the right thing to do is for them to pay to create a temporary replacement dog park too.

  7. Previously reported – February 2020
    Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning Property Owners’ Desire for a Dog Park to Replace the One Previously Located on Scotch Bonnet Drive – Commissioner Tyner
    Agenda Packet –
    Several property owners offered comments at January’s Board of Commissioners meeting during the public comment time on the agenda concerning the desire to see a replacement dog park for the previous one located on Scotch Bonnet Drive.
    The purpose  of this  agenda item is to discuss  the concerns expressed  by the property owners  and determine  whether the Board  should  request  the Town Manager to explore options to replace the previous dog park.


    Update –
    BOC’s are cognizant that the residents want a dog park. The Board went with Option #2 – Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.

  8. A decision was made – Approved unanimously

  9. 14. Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning the Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard – Commissioner Tyner

    Agenda Packet –
    Request:
    Direct
    Town Clerk to prepare a draft ordinance to modify the existing Town of Holden Beach speed limit ordinance to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

    At the January and February 2020 Board of Commissioners meetings, property owners addressed the Commissioners about their desire to see the speed limit west of the pier on Ocean Boulevard set to 35 mph year-round.

    This item was included on February’s board meeting agenda for discussion by Commissioner Sullivan. David Plumridge spoke during the public comments time on agenda items in favor of keeping the speed limit at 35 mph west of the pier year-round. The Board subsequently agreed to table the item until the next meeting.

    I have placed this item on the July agenda for discussion and action. My request is we direct the Town Clerk to prepare a draft ordinance to modify the existing Town of Holden Beach speed limit ordinance to set the speed limit west of the Holden Beach pier to 35 mph year-round.

    TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH
    BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
    TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2020 – 7:00 P.M.

    DISCUSSION PERTAINING TO SPEED LIMIT ON OCEAN BOULEVARD
    Commissioner Sullivan said Mr. Plumridge gave a good synopsis of the information from the last meeting. He doesn’t have much to add, except to say it is a hot topic of conversation as people are divided on whether the Town should maintain the speed at 45 or lower it to 35. His point of view is he is more interested in knowing what the people who live on the island think about it. The folks who live here need to put up with that speed limit every day. He asked that people email him with their position and the reason why they are for or against it. Commissioner Sullivan said he thinks next month they should vote on it one way or the other. Commissioner Kwiatkowski has been privy to some of the emails that have been flying back and forth. She said in her opinion what is important about this is the marked crosswalks. She lives on the west end, so she is one of the people impacted by the extra minutes. She can live with the extra minutes. The golf carts are nice, but to her that is not the point of this. Commissioner Kwiatkowski stated the point is the benefit of having marked crosswalks. Commissioner Murdock said he has been asked by quite a few people to not budge because it has been like this for a long time. He thinks the repercussions of some of this are greater than getting there a little bit faster. He works on the island and loves it when the speed limit changes. He stated he is seeing people stay longer and we need to keep them safe. Commissioner Murdock wants to listen to everyone’s opinion and the Board needs input. He said if we save one person it is going to be worth it. He said he thinks we can all consider living with it. The crosswalks are the main deal. We need people to visit and rent houses. It is not over Labor Day weekend anymore. He stated he will do what most of the people want to do, but he asked people to consider it. Commissioner Tyner said he wants to hear from a lot of people on what they think about the subject, so he sent out an email to about 100 people. He said it was a survey and he listed items like the speed limit and dog park. He presented the facts and asked what people thought. Commissioner Tyner said as of today he has 53 responses. On the speed limit it was 21 in favor of changing it, 24 opposed and 8 with no preference. What people did comment on was golf carts. There are underage kids driving. They are not using seatbelts and are not following the laws. He said a lot of folks said the first accident would be when a golf cart gets hit, not somebody crossing the street. He said he thinks we need to think more about golf carts. The feedback he got was basically 50/50. Chief Dixon said he is getting a lot of that too. Commissioner Murdock said when you are on a canal and you need to lug all of that stuff to the ocean, there are people that would fight you tooth and nail for golf carts. He said there is a lot of give and take. Commissioner Tyner said they were complaining about how the golf carts were being used. The Board agreed to table the item until  the next meeting.


    Holden Beach Code of Ordinances / SCHEDULE I. SPEED LIMITS.

    (A) The streets or parts of streets described in this traffic schedule shall have the speed limits designated in the following table.

    (B) In accordance with division (A) of this traffic schedule, the following speed limits shall be established for the following streets or parts of streets:

    Name of StreetSpeed Limit (mph)

    Seasonal

    Limitations

    S.R. 1116 (Ocean Boulevard, East and West), from its western terminus to its eastern terminus35

    April 1 –
    September 30

    (inclusive)

    S.R. 1116 from a point 1.76 miles west of NC 130 (Greensboro Street) to a point 5.01 miles west of NC 130 (west end of road).45

    October 1 –
    March 31

    (inclusive each year)

    Delanne Street15
    Dunescape Drive15
    Serenity Lane15
    Windswept Way15
    All other streets25
    And all other streets within the Holden Beach West Subdivision25No seasonal

    limitations

    Proposal is to reduce speed limit on OBW to 35 miles per hour year-round



Police Chief Jeremy Dixon
Per your request, I have further researched NC General Statutes and the latest NC Traffic Ordinance Manual (NCDOT); below are my findings.

NCGS 20-141regulates speed restrictions on NC roadways. The most important subsections for our purposes are 20-141(b)(1) and 20-141(f).Subsection 81states that it shall be unlawful to operate a vehicle in excess of 35 MPH inside of municipal corporate limits. Subsect ion F states that local authorities may only increase the 35 MPH limitations upon the basis of a traffic and engineering study, and when a reasonable and safe limit has been determined from such engineering and traffic investigation.

The NC Department of Transportation’s Traffic Ordinance Manual also provides a lot of useful information. Chapter 3, section 24 provides guidance on “seasonal” speed limits. According to this manual, seasonal speed limits are designed to REDUCE speeds during peak or primary seasons and provide no guidance for increasing speeds during the off-season.

An increase to 45 MPH actually falls back to NCGS 20·141(f), since the 35 MPH municipal speed limit has already been established and would again require a traffic study.

In summary, during my reading I find that NC law has been established to regulate municipal speed limits to a maximum of 35 MPH. With this, Holden Beach should not be increasing the speed limit on Ocean Blvd to 45 MPH without first conducting a traffic and engineering study. I also find that seasonal speed limits are designed to reduce the speed limit during peak seasons and are not designed to be used to increase speeds during the off-season. An example of the seasonal speed limit would actually be in direct contrast to what we do now; for example – speed limit 25 MPH from east end to General Store from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-141.pdf

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Crash%20Data%20and%20TEAAS%20System/Chapter_03_Speed_Limits.pdf

The links above will provide you with the full readings on the topic. Quite simply, the speed limit by law must remain at 35 MPH within our corporate limits and can only be increased upon the completion and documentation of an engineering study.

Originally reported – January 2020
Discussion and Possible Action Pertaining to the Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard – Commissioner Sullivan

Proposal is to reduce speed limit on OBW to 35 miles per hour year-round

Police Chief Dixon had four (4) talking points

    1. Accident death rate goes from 45% to 85% when speed is increased by 10mph
    2. Stopping distance increases by 79 feet when speed is increased by 10mph
    3. Time difference from general store to west end gate is just over 1 minute with change
    4. Lower speed limit allows golf carts and installation of crosswalks

Previously reported – February 2020
Speed Limit on Ocean Boulevard
John Plumridge made appeal again, at the Public Comments section of the meeting, in favor of keeping OBW at 35mph year-round. His case is plain and simple, we need to take reasonable precautions to safeguard pedestrians. Despite the talking points presented the community still does not appear to be convinced about making the change. The Board hedged their bets, seeking additional public input since it is pretty much a split decision right now. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on them putting safety over mobility. 

No decision was made – No action taken


Update –
Police Chief is attempting to locate the completed traffic engineering study that they think was done sometime around 1985. The Board decided that they need additional information before making a decision. Agenda item was tabled again

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Public Comments – Tracey Thomas
Speed limit change:
First of all, let’s be clear that the speed limit on Ocean Blvd west of the pier is 45 mph (with a seasonal reduction to 35pmh), so Jeremy’s argument in his memo dated 7/13/20 saying we cannot increase the limit to 45 mph due to NCDOT Traffic Ordinance chapter 3 section 24 is flawed – the speed limit is currently 45 mph!

(Ref: http://ncdot.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?layers=2229ffaa3ea5470992d021023618e1e6&useExisting=1)

The rest of Jeremy’s arguments then support the current 45 mph speed limit.  This speed limit was determined by a NC traffic and engineering study and is the safe and correct speed for that section of the road.

We should accept the science on the correct speed limit and the fact that there has never been an incident (per Jeremy at the Jan meeting), and not change it because a couple people want to drive their golf carts on the road in the winter.  Please make a fact-based decision and not based on unsubstantiated fear of accidents.

We currently do NOT have any official crosswalks in that area.  If and when we get them, perhaps the speed limit will need to be revisited, but until then that shouldn’t be used as a reason.  Hopefully where crosswalks are needed will also be based on a scientific study and not someone subjectively choosing.

Finally, when surveyed in the Fall of 2019, almost 80% of over 400 respondents wanted the 45 mph to remain in effect during the off season.  The people have spoken!  (Woody’s email to 100 people is not a ‘random’ sample like the survey was.)

I hope that the commissioners will listen to the majority of people.

I live full time on the west end and feel very strongly that the speed limit remains 45 mph in the off season.  


15. Discussion and Possible Direction Concerning Petition by Wild Dunes Neighborhood Residents to Install Speed Bumps at Specific Street Locations – Commissioner Tyner

Agenda Packet –
Request:
The Board of Commissioners direct Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the vehicular traffic concerns of the Wild Dunes property owners and bring back to the August Board meeting his evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

On Monday, July 6, I received a request from Carolina Avenue property owners Mack and Suzannah Tucker to meet with a group of residents representing the Wild Dunes neighborhood to discuss concerns related to vehicular traffic in their neighborhood.

On Friday, July 10, I met with four Wild Dune property owners to discuss their concerns with vehicles/drivers not making a complete stop or making a rolling stop at the intersections of Halstead Street and Carolina Avenue and Halstead Street and Brunswick Avenue East.

At this meeting, I was presented a petition signed by 52 of 60 neighborhood property owners requesting the Board of Commissioners consider the installation of speed humps just prior to the existing stop signs at the intersections noted above.

The petition also asks the Board to provide an alternative solution to address residents’ concerns if the speed humps cannot be approved.

The representatives of the Wild Dunes neighborhood presented the following concerns:

  • Many residents observe “dozens of times a day” drivers/vehicles performing a rolling stop or driving through the two stop signs on Halstead Street at the intersections with Carolina Avenue and Brunswick Avenue East.
  • A resident installed a remote camera to film activity for one hour on July 8 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and Halstead During the one hour, nine (9) events were captured where a driver performed a rolling stop or did not stop at all.
  • The neighborhood representatives also recounted the recent event noted in the petition where a Holden Beach police officer failed to stop for the stop sign where Halstead crosses Brunswick Avenue Eas The officer almost t-boned a resident and his daughter.
  • The neighborhood representatives also noted that except for Ocean Boulevard and Brunswick Avenue West, their neighborhood is unique in that Carolina Avenue and Brunswick Avenue East are long thoroughfares and not simply side streets off Ocean Boulevard.
  • In addition to the speed humps, residents are also interested in converting the Halstead/Carolina Avenue and Halstead/Brunswick Avenue East intersections into four-way.
  • It was also noted the bushes on the vacant lot at the southeast corner of Brunswick Avenue East and Halstead Street are overgrown thereby creating a challenge to see oncoming traffic on the east side of Halstead Street at theintersection with Brunswick Avenue East.
  • The neighborhood representatives noted they have requested on two previous occasions that the Commissioners make these intersections a four-way Their requests were denied on both occasions.
  • The neighborhood representatives stated the Town may be shown to be negligent and held liable if a serious accident occurs and it is discovered the Town took no action on requests from residents to address their concerns.

I informed the Wild Dune neighborhood representatives I would place their concerns and the petition on the July Board meeting agenda for discussion and possible action.

I request the Board of Commissioners direct Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the concerns of the Wild Dune property owners and bring back to the August Board meeting his evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

Lastly, I also noticed we have a similar situation where Quinton Street crosses Carolina Avenue and Brunswick Avenue East.

Previously reported – September 2017
Report on Speed Reducing Devices for Shell Drive – Building Official Evans Agenda Packet –
Shell Drive is the last street on the right before reaching the private section of the island; therefore, we get a lot of traffic that must use our street to tum around.  The problem we are having is the speed at which some of the vehicles are leaving going back to Ocean Boulevard.

They deferred making a decision, requested it be put on the October meeting agenda. Town Manager is charged with gathering more information. The Town attorney recommended that the Town Manager and staff determine approval criteria since other streets will request this too. The Mayor recommended that we notify everyone on that street, especially after the recent fiasco with Elizabeth Street parking, that we are considering this action.

No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – October 2017
Agenda Packet –
At the last Board of Commissioners’ meeting, the Board directed me to gather information relative to Mr. Batchelor’s request to install speed bumps on Shell Drive.

    1. Staff contacted the Town’s insurance provider, the League of Municipalities. There is no specific exclusion for general liability claims caused by speed bumps on town-owned streets.  The League provided us with examples of claims and payouts that have been made relating to speed bumps (Attachment 1).Mark Hoeweler, Assistant Executive Director – Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments and Liaison for the Grand Strand Metropolitan Planning Organization, is not in favor of speed bumps. He provided literature for the Town to review (Attachment 2).Staff also contacted the Cape Fear Council of Governments to ask for the pros and cons of speed bumps. Allen Serkin, Director of Local Government Services, responded   that speed bumps are usually discouraged for many reasons (Attachment 3). He also provided us with several resources that the Board may find helpful in consideration of Mr. Batchelor’s request (Attachment 4).

    2. Pretty clear that the information gathered did not support us moving forward with request for speed bumps

      Previously reported – July 2013
      Discussion and Possible Action on Request for a Four Way Stop at the Intersection of Halstead Street and Brunswick Avenue
      No accidents ever at this intersection
      Could we put stop sign there – Absolutely
      Would it be beneficial – Don’t think so
      Probably do more harm than good
      We do not have a four way stop at an intersection anywhere on the island

      No decision was made – No action taken

      Previously reported – July 2018
      Discussion and Consideration on Petition for Four Way Stop for Carolina Avenue – Chief Layne

      Agenda Packet –
      Homeowners Letter
      Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to return my call and giving advice on the direction that needs to be taken on the issue that is being addressed in this letter. Homeowners are requesting that stop signs are installed on Carolina Avenue at the intersection of Halstead Avenue and Carolina Avenue. We have a real problem with individuals speeding down Carolina Avenue and running the stop signs on Halstead Avenue. This has created an opportunity for an accident, and we feel that it is just a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

      We are requesting that this item be put on the agenda for the Holden Beach Board Meeting in June with the understanding that an ordinance change would be deemed necessary to have the installation of additional stop signs.

      Police Chief Wally Layne
      A group of homeowners submitted a petition requesting that stop signs be installed on Carolina Avenue at the intersection of Halstead Street and Carolina Avenue. They are concerned with individuals speeding down Carolina Avenue and running the stop signs on Halstead Street.

      If the Board desires to move forward with this request, you would need to approve an ordinance amendment for Chapter 71, Traffic Schedules of the Code of Ordinances. The amendment would need to add a section to create a four-way stop at the intersection of Carolina Avenue and Halstead Street. If the Board decides to move forward with this request, an ordinance will be prepared for your consideration at the August meeting.

      “It’s like Déjà vu, all over again” – Yogi Berra
      In order to be consistent, they would need to amend the Traffic Code Ordinance.
      No accidents ever at this intersection
      Could we put stop sign there – Yes
      Would it be beneficial – Probably not
      We do not have a four way stop at an intersection anywhere on the island

      No decision was made – No action taken
      The Board said they would like to look at all their options before proceeding.

      I suppose they didn’t want to open a can of worms. I get why they want a four-way stop there. Of course, if granted this would set a precedent. Is the Board planning on making the same accommodation for all the other street intersections too?

      Update –
      These concerns have been considered several times already and have not been acted on. This time the Board was presented with a petition signed by 52 of 60 neighborhood property owners asking that something be done. The agenda item specifically asks to install speed bumps so that’s all they really should have talked about. The Board directed Police Chief Jeremy Dixon and other Town employees as needed to review the concerns of the Wild Dune property owners and bring back to the to the Board at the next Regular Meeting their evaluation of the situation and a recommendation to address the Wild Dunes residents’ concerns.

      A decision was made – Approved (3-2)
      Commissioners Brown and Sullivan voted against the motion


    3. 16. Town Manager’s Report

    4. Beach Strand Solid Waste Hauler Service
      Vendor has withdrawn, they have an alternate vendorSeasonal Police/Beach

    5. Seasonal Police Committee
      First of monthly meetings was held in July.Sewer Lift Station #3
      Project is approximately 44% completed with completion date of December 18th
      Project is on schedule and should be finished prior to the contract completion date
      Budget Status
      Town must have its records in order by the end of the year
      .
      Budget Status
      Revenues are all coming in above budgeted amounts
      Looking surprisingly good
      Town must have its records in order by the end of the year
      Information is posted on the Town website

      .
      Auditor Schedule
      On schedule, auditor will complete field work next week
      Ahead of where we were last year.
    6. .
      Internal Controls

      Implemented plan
      .
      Genset Status
      Being shipped even as we speak, should be installed by the end of August

      .
      HB Bridge Safety Railing Project
      Contract was awarded October 29, 2018
      C
      ompletion date for the contract to be October 1, 2019
      Work on the bridge safety railing has been delayed
      COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delayed fabrication and delivery of the rail
      Work is scheduled to resume on June 15th.

      Previously reported – June 2020
      Work started a week before the date it was scheduled to resume. The existing concrete railing structure doesn’t meet the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement guidelines for cycling and pedestrians. The existing railing is only 27″ high, the newly installed railing adds another 21” which gets us up to the 48” minimum safety standard height requirement. Just so you know, work has not been completed yet.

      Update –
      Project is approximately 35% completed, railing is currently out of stock
      Railing should be installed sometime at the end of August or beginning of September
      .
      FEMA /Storm Events
      Total Cat G beach nourishment funding is now close to $40 million dollars
      Five projects in play, full time administrative effort is ongoing
      Not helping the situation, we are on our tenth FEMA Project Manager

      Dorian
      Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County.
      Town has estimated approximately $14.9mm for Cat G FEMA reimbursements. We are still in the environmental review stage.

      COVID
      Two employees have tested positive

      Deal Street
      Beach access was an easement, gift from the estate, we now have the deed

      Recreation Programs
      Continuing to adapt due to coronavirus restrictions
      Concerts continue to be cancelled as long as we remain in Phase 2
      Tide-dye has become a do it yourself activity, sold @$1,500 in tee shirts 


    7. 17. Police Report

 Police Patch
It’s the busy season on Holden Beach
First two weeks in July are the busiest weeks of the year
Typical summertime fun at the beach

 


We are just beginning the Hurricane Season – make sure your plans are in order

If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE


Public Safety Announcement
The Police Department would like to remind everyone that it is important to protect your personal property. Remove all items of value from your vehicle when you are not driving it. Always lock your vehicle doors when you are not in it. Leaving items on display, whether on the dashboard or sitting on a passenger seat, is an invitation to opportunist individuals. Make sure to follow these important tips!


Crime Prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles


A reminder of the Town’s beach strand ordinances:
…..1)
Chapter 90 / Animals / § 90.20 / Responsibilities of owners
…….a)
pets are not allowed on the beach strand except between 5p.m. and 9a.m. daily
…….b)
dog’s must be on a leash at all times
…….c)
owner’s need to clean up after their animals
…..2)
Chapter 94 / Beach regulations / § 94.05 / Digging of holes on beach strand
…….a)
digging holes greater than 12 inches deep without responsible person there
…….b)
holes shall be filled in prior to leaving
…..3)
Chapter 94 / Beach regulations / § 94.06 / Placing obstructions on the beach strand
…….a)
all unattended beach equipment must be removed daily by 6:00pm


Pets on the beach strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / §90.20
Pets must be on a leash at all times on the island.
From May 20th through September 10th
It is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand
. * During the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm


Unattended Gear
Ordinance §94.06 was passed on September 14, 2010. All unattended beach equipment must be removed from the beach by its owner or permitted user daily. All unattended personal equipment remaining on the beach between the hours of 6PM and 7AM will be classified as abandoned property and will be disposed of by the Town.


Golf Carts
Golf carts are treated the same as other automotive vehicles. Town ordinances state no parking anytime on OBW. Therefore golf carts are illegally parked when left by any beach access points.


Parking
§72.02 PARKING REGULATED ON PUBLIC STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY.
(1) All vehicles must be as far off the public street rights-of-way as possible; and
(2) No vehicle may be left parked on any portion of any roadway; and
(3) No vehicle may be parked on portion of the sidewalk.


Defensive Driving
Be mindful on the road, tourists are out there and frankly many of them are not paying attention. Defensive driving is driving characterized by prudence, diligence, and reasonable cautiousness. Its aim is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the actions of others.


Loose Ends (14)

        1. Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy            January 2019
        2. Fee Based Rollout of Containers                      January 2019
        3. Commercial District / Zoning                          February 2019
        4. Development Fees                                             April 2019              June agenda item
        5. Parking                                                               October 2019
        6. Mega-Houses / Zoning                                      October 2019        July agenda item
        7. Audit Remedial Policies & Procedures           November 2019
        8. Land Use Plan                                                     January 2020       July agenda item
        9. Dog Park                                                              January 2020       July agenda item
        10. 796 OBW                                                              January 2020
        11. Speed Limit                                                          January 2020       July agenda item
        12. IBPB – Dune Protection Game Plan                February 2020
        13. Beach Patrol                                                       April 2020             June agenda item
        14. VRBO Action Plans                                            April 2020

General Comments –

Due to the Town of Holden Beach’s State of Emergency Restrictions and Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, in person public attendance is prohibited. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Town’s Facebook page. Visit https://www.facebook.com/holdenbeachtownhall/ to watch the livestream.


.
BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, August 18th

 


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.

.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Fast Facts
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Hurricanes are rated according to intensity of sustained winds on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.
A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

    • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
    • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.

Read more » click here

THB EMERGENCY INFORMATION

EVACUATION, CURFEW & DECALS

If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE
General Assembly during the 2012 Session, specifically authorizes both voluntary and mandatory evacuations, and increases the penalty for violating any local emergency restriction or prohibition from a Class 3 to a Class 2 misdemeanor. Given the broad authority granted to the governor and city and county officials under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act (G.S. Chapter 166A) to take measures necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare during a disaster, it is reasonable to interpret the authority to “direct and compel” evacuations to mean ordering “mandatory” evacuations. Those who choose to not comply with official warnings to get out of harm’s way, or are unable to, should prepare themselves to be fully self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after the storm.

Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020
Multiple climate factors indicate above-normal activity is most likely
An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
Read more » click here


No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,
vigilance and preparedness is urged.


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