10 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments


BOC’s Regular Meeting 09/21/21

Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5), To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of Contracts Concerning the Acquisition of Real Property – Commissioners Murdock and Kwiatkowski

No decision was made – No action taken

Recessed till Wednesday, September 29th at 8:00am


BOC’s Meeting 09/29/21

Audio Recording » click here


Back from Executive Session they discussed asking for an extension of the due diligence period in order to get pier property inspection completed. The motion was to be cautious and take a conservative approach, require date certain, asking for date of November 19th which should be adequate time to have everything they need to make a decision.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Based on several variables,  they anticipate that would push the closing date till February of next year. Motion was to define the closing date to be by the last day of February.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Need a response from the seller by 5:00pm on Friday which is the current contractual deadline. They requested a response from the seller by noon Friday, which gives them some time to decide what they want to do. A no response would trigger a termination of the contract at that time.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Documents should be disclosed and made public

      • Appraisal
      • Engineers report of the building
      • Town Inspectors accompanying report

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Resolution 21-15

Approved amending resolution for lift station financing

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


Scheduled Special Meeting on Friday, October 1st at 12:15pm


Mayor Holden is the agent for the pier property. He stated that he has not participated other than procedurally in the process. Alan reaffirmed that he is not getting any commission for the sale. That should put to bed any conversations about their being a conflict of interest in him representing both the seller and the buyer.


BOC’s Special Meeting 10/01/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Appraisal Report

Engineering Report – Building Assessment

Systems Evaluation

Audio Recording » click here

Mayor Holden – was not in attendance


1. Public Comment

2. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5), To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of Contract Concerning the Acquisition of Real Property

3. Discussion and Possible Action on Contract for the 441 Ocean Boulevard West (the pier property)

The seller accepted what we requested. Motion was to approve amended contract as prepared by our town attorney which contains all conditions necessary to comply. Seller agreed to the request to extend the due diligence period but wants an additional $50,000 to keep the property off the market. Commissioner Sullivan pointed out that the reason we needed to ask for an extension is because the seller delayed sending us back a signed contract.

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


We just authorized an additional $50,000 payment for extending the due diligence period.

The extension was necessary because the seller created the problem by not responding timely.

This is money he just gets if we do not close on the properties.


BOC’s Regular Meeting 10/19/21

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here


1. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
It’s that time of year, rental season ends, and break-in season officially starts.
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.


Agenda Packet –

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA SESSION 2021
SESSION LAW 2021-33 / SENATE BILL 241
AN ACT AMENDING MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS REGULATING MODIFIED UTILITY VEHICLES

2021 Legislation Amends Rules for Modified Utility Vehicles – NC Criminal Law

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA SESSION 2021
SESSION LAW 2021-128 / HOUSE BILL 692
AN ACT PROHIBITING CERTAIN MODIFICATIONS TO PASSENGER VEHICLES OPERATING ON HIGHWAYS OR PUBLIC VEHICULAR AREAS.

The agenda packet material refers to modified utility vehicles, they are not restricted like golf carts and can operate like any other legal motor vehicles.

They had a brief discussion regarding golf carts west of Greensboro that are not supposed to be on OBW since the speed limit was changed to 45mph. No report was given on golf cart citations as requested by the Board.


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

Crime prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds

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


2. Discussion and Possible Action on Parking Deliverables, Staff Response to BOC Tasker to the Parking Committee – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – background information was provided (pages 32 – 86) but it is too large to include all of it here

This memo responds to Board direction to prepare a map in accordance with Tasker dated 15 Jun 21 (Atch 1). It provides a framework to address specific issues regarding implementation of a paid parking program at Holden Beach.

Specific charge questions were:

Parking Lots
  * suggest committee show lots and spaces on a town map, color code for a, b, c.

       a) What town owned lots currently exist and how many spaces are available paid             parking?
       b) What town owned property is suitable for conversion to paid parking before     .           Spring and what is the estimated cost for conversion?
       c) What properties (if any) are proposed for purchase and how many spaces will             be available for paid parking? What is the estimated cost to purchase?

A map has been prepared and is on display in the Board room. It has been developed within the existing framework of administrative, legal, logistical, and practical considerations. Further details are as follows:

.   1. Administrative and Legal:

The tasker itself evolved from the Board’s Objectives for FY21/22 which included as high priority “Determine if paid parking is economically viable; if so, implement paid parking (Atch 2). The determination of what is construed as a “lot” for the purposes of determining parking is aided by a discussion of related terms, definitions, and constructs. It is of particular import to note the inherent differences in the meaning of a “lot” in real estate parlance and what is nominally referred to as a “lot” that may or may not be used for parking and are shown in fact to be street ends within the town right of way. Example: NE Comer of Bruns Ave/Davis versus southern end of Ferry.

a) The Town’s street system map (Powell Bill) is at Atch 3 and has been manually transposed onto the Town Zoning Map for clarity. Both Town maintained streets and State streets are shown. Town streets are depicted in GREEN State streets are shown in PINK. The authority for Town maintained streets is GS 136-41.1 thru 41.4 and is at Atch 4.

b) The NC DOT publication “Standard Specifications for Roads and Structures is included at Atch 5. It includes definitions for streets, right of ways, roads and other relevant definitions which coupled with the Powell Bill Map referenced above serve to refine the focus of the dialogue on implementing paid parking at Holden Beach.

c) The authority governing Town Streets, Traffic and Parking is contained in GS 160A-296 thru 309; hereto included at Atch 6; specifically relevant to paid parking is GS 160A-301 (a) and (b) which categorically differentiates between “on street” and “off street” parking and the manner in which revenues generated from each may be used.

d) Enabling legislation has been granted (Atch 7) to New Hanover County municipalities providing for greater flexibility in the use of “on street” and “off street” paid parking revenue. If the Town implements a paid parking program that has an on-street component it should consider seeking similar enabling legislation.

e) Standards for Public Access – 15A NCAC 07M.0310 (d)· Public access sites funded by CAMA may charge user fees, but the use of those fees are restricted to providing for public access. (Atch 8)

f) A listing of town real estate ·prepared by the Holden Beach Tax Collector and the Subdivision Administrator is at Atch 9. These properties are shown in BLUE on the map and includes dredge spoil islands and public walkways.

.   2. Relevant Town Regulations

a) Street Right of Way: Encourages Landscaping and allows exclusionary practices by adjacent to street property owners (post and rope) – Atch 10

b) Parking Regulations: Identifies no parking areas, streets, times, and worker exceptions Atch 11. No parking streets and areas are marked in RED.

.   3. An attempt to perform a “density calibration” has been made by identifying structures at the parcel level. The Brunsco GIS system was used to spatially identify developed parcels primarily for the purpose of gauging development by the depiction of residences and businesses. All parcels with structures are indicated with a black “dot”.

a) Vacant to developed tots counts by subdivision/area have been made for the following:

* Holden Beach Harbor             25/281/9%      (no OBW or “ICW dock” parcels)
* Heritage Harbor                       20/153/13%    (no OBW parcels)
* Harbor Acres & Herons           65/337/19%    (no OBW parcels)
* Holden Beach West                  N/A
* Dunescape                                  N/A
* 349 BAW – Rothschild              39/145/27%
* Quinton – Ferry                         29/158/18%    (no OBE parcels)
* Ferry – OBE/McCray                 40/196/40%    (no OBE parcels)
* Density calcs have not been made for the public area east of OBE/McRay split
* The Commercial areas adjacent to Jordan Boulevard require detailed review beyond the scope of this analysis

  4. Atypical house/lot/driveway configuration

a) The vast majority of Holden Beach lots that front public streets are 50 feet wide.

b) Residences constructed thereon have either a two-driveway connection or a single driveway connection with a landscaped area substituting for the second driveway.

c) Side yard setbacks are 5 feet.

d) Pile separation to allow for vehicle clearance is nominally 10 feet

e) Nominal dimensions of parking spaces are 9×18

f) Valve pits and water meters intrude into the ROWs

g) The above constraints imposed by the current built upon environment alone would seem to significantly constrict the ability of the Town to implement paid parking abutting developed lots.

h) The acceptance of a paid parking program abutting developed but unbuilt upon lots is unknown at this time but is anticipated too not be favorable.

  5. Areas most suited to considering implementation of a paid parking program

a) several localized areas east of the McCray/QBE split to include town ROWs

b) Jordan Blvd – Requires a more in-depth review

c) All of the high ground town owned properties and ROWs adjacent to same depicted on the map

d) Staff had previously developed estimates for construction of parking spaces in the 800 block, the two through streets between OBW and BAW, Avenue A and Hillside Drive. Those estimates are included at Atch 12.

.   6. Block Q: A draft parking plan (Atch 13) for the area known as block Q (near the boat ramp) has been prepared. Development of the plan as drafted would require procurement of all subject properties and an abandonment of the Carolina Avenue ROW with a recombination of the properties into a contiguous whole. Thusly configured it is estimated to provide for 214 10 by 18-foot parking spaces. Boat trailer accommodations were not considered in the preparation of this plan. The extent to what improvements would be required (and cost) to support the development of a parking lot are unknown at this time.

  7. The Town is currently under contract to purchase the Pier Property located at 441 Ocean Blvd West. It is estimated to be able to provide 80 parking spaces which is the current configuration of the site.

RECOMMENDATION: BOC’s consider memo and provide staff direction.

Thirteen (13) Attachments

      • BOC tasker 15 June 2021
      • BOC goals excerpt
      • Town Powell Bill Map
      • GS 136-41.1-41-4 “State Aid for streets”
      • NC DOT “Standard Specs”
      • NCGS Article 15 Streets, Traffic and Parking
      • HB 1596, HB 212
      • 15A NCAC 07M.0310 (d) “CAMA user fee rule”
      • Tax scroll of municipal properties
      • Town Ordinance Chapter 95.05 Streets Right of Way
      • Town Ordinance Chapters 72.01 thru 72.06 Parking Regulations
      • Staff cost estimates for parking area development
      • Block Q parking concept

Previously reported – August 2021
Parking Committee Status & Possible Action – Commissioner Kwiatkowski
Agenda Packet –
The BOCM remit to the parking committee that was unanimously approved has an October deadline. The two (2) meetings since have been cancelled. There may be actions needed to ensure fulfillment of the remit in time for BOC review and decision on implementation of a paid parking program for 2022

Directive was Made: June 15, 2021
Directive to:
Parking Committee
Issue and Action Requested:
In order for paid parking to be successfully rolled out in Spring pf 2022, there are a number of decisions that will need to be made by the BOC before the end of 2021. The Parking Committee is asked to develop a paid parking plan with financials covering the years 2022-2025 in line with the charge questions below.
Background and Potential Implications:
With the continuing popularity and growth of Holden Beach and Brunswick County, parking on the island during many months of the year is increasingly problematic for both visitors and property owners. Additionally, increasing numbers of off island beach goers translate to increasing costs for the Town in terms of trash pickup, facilities maintenance, beach patrol and traffic control.
In order to better organize visitor parking and help defray seasonal costs, the decision has been made to implement a paid parking program starting in Spring 2022. It is important to have a clear description of the parking facilities and cost plus a communication plan for rollout of the paid parking program to avoid miscommunication and confusion.

Charge Questions:

1. Parking Lots (suggest the committee shows lots and spaces on a town map, color code for a, b, c)

a) What town owned lots currently exist and how many spaces are available for paid parking?
b) What town owned property is suitable for conversion to paid parking before next Spring and what is the estimated cost for conversion?
c) What properties (if any) are proposed for purchase and how many spaces will be available for paid parking? What is the estimated cost to purchase, assumed timeframe for establishing the parking lot and cost for conversion?

2. Financials

a) Rate proposal and date range for paid parking
b)
Estimated gross profit associated with 1a, 1b and 1c for 2022, 2023 and 2024
c) Estimated initial costs for signage and equipment (show where on map)
d) Estimated expenses associated with 1a, 1b and 1c for 2022, 2023 and (including personnel)
e) Estimated net profit for 1a, 1b and 1c for 2022, 2023 and 2024

3. Public Communication and Engagement Plan
Who, when, where

Proposed Deadline:
No later than the October BOCM.

Editor’s Note –
Tasker is a formal request to the Committee. It outlines what information that they would like to be included in their report and clarifies their purpose. The intent is to get information needed so that the Board are able to make a decision.


Previously reported – September 2021
The Parking Committee has not met they have cancelled several meetings. Actions are needed for BOC’s to review and make a decision on implementation of a paid parking program for 2022. Patty recommended that at least some of the tasker, charge questions part 1, should be handed off to Town staff since they already have the information. David said “sure” they can do it. Board tasked the Town with preparing information for the next meeting.

Lawsuit filed against several N.C. towns over on-street parking programs
Currently, all four municipalities in New Hanover County along with Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Speaker of the State House Tim Moore, and State Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger are being sued for local laws, which set them apart from the rest of the state when it comes to profiting from on-street parking. Greg Buscemi, a Wrightsville Beach resident, and mayoral candidate, filed the lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court on Wednesday, alleging these local acts are in direct violation of the North Carolina Constitution. There’s a lot of legal minutiae, but the crux of the lawsuit is whether or not these local acts made by the General Assembly are prohibited in the state Constitution. State law is explicit with how municipalities are allowed to use the proceeds from on-street parking, and there’s a reason why so many towns don’t charge for it. “Proceeds from the use of parking meters on public streets must be used to defray the cost of enforcing and administering traffic and parking ordinances and regulations,” according to G.S. § 160A-301. That means that towns could use the money to pay a parking company or for the maintenance of parking meters, but they could not take that money and put it in their general funds. Off-street parking lots owned and operated by the municipality are fair game when it comes to using the proceeds, but since the streets are owned by the state, there are restrictions.
Exceptions to the rule
In the late 90s, the Town of Wrightsville Beach was granted an exemption to the state law allowing them to use parking revenues to help offset taxes, fund lifeguards, and use the money for any public use. The General Assembly approved the new law, and the town has been using the parking funds ever since. In 2001, that law was amended to include all of the municipalities in New Hanover County. It was titled, “An act to allow certain municipalities in New Hanover County to use proceeds from on-street parking meters in the same manner in which proceeds from off-street parking facilities are used.” “Now they can do that for private lots but not for on-street parking,” said Buscemi. “The streets belong to everyone in the state, and they are provided to them so they can access the beach. And when they start charging for a profit to benefit only their community and no one else, they can’t do that.” Following the lead of New Hanover County, other cities across the state also managed to get local acts passed allowing them to use on-street money for any public use. But Buscemi says these local acts are unconstitutional. “Our state constitution has a specific section that limits the certain areas where the General Assembly can enact local or special laws,” he said. The impact of these local acts is massive for beach communities like Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach. Paid parking is a big revenue-generator and these funds act as an incentive for municipalities to continue to increase costs and the financial burden of visitors, Buscemi said. “These local modifications allow the Defendants to charge excessive fees for the use of on-street parking meters and to use the proceeds for public purposes other than defraying the cost of administering traffic and parking ordinances,” according to the lawsuit. There are several claims Buscemi makes in the lawsuit, but in terms of unconstitutionality, he says that the state constitution forbids these types of local acts. “N.C. Const. art. II, § 24, which expressly forbids the General Assembly from enacting any local, private, or special act or resolution concerning 14 prohibited subjects, N.C.,” according to the suit. Some of those subjects include authorizing the Laying Out, Opening, Altering, Maintaining, or Discontinuing of Highways, Streets, or Alleys; Regulating Trade, Labor, Mining, or Manufacturing, but Buscemi says these local acts do just that. “You can’t profit from on-street parking, that’s why the state law specifically specifies on-street parking and off-street parking. They can own as many private lots as they want — that’s private land, which has nothing to do with people’s right to access the beach. If they want to charge $1,000 a day to park there — by all means. But once you start profiting from on-street parking, you’re violating the state constitution,” he said. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday and so far, most of the towns that did respond told WECT they had yet to be served with an official copy of the lawsuit. After receiving a copy of it via email, Brian Edes, the Town of Wrightsville Beach’s attorney said the following. “As of this writing, the Town has not been served. Nevertheless, we have reviewed the allegations contained in the Complaint that you provided and offer the following response: The allegations are baseless and without merit. The Town of Wrightsville Beach has acted in accordance with the authority granted to the Town by the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina. Moreover, the individual who filed the Complaint cannot represent “other similarly situated citizens, residents, taxpayers, and voters” as he has been ordered by the N.C. State Bar to “refrain from practicing law in North Carolina unless and until returned to active status . . ..” That Order is a Consent Order and is a matter of public record…” As for Buscemi, he wants the courts to make it even across the state and not allow the General Assembly to pick and choose who can or can’t profit from parking. “So, I’m asking the court to declare the specific local acts that allow these certain municipalities to do this, declare those acts void,” he said.
Read more » click here

Update –
David reviewed the work done by his staff  to do an assessment of paid parking for the island. The attachments are the presentation of their analysis. Essentially what he said to them is that the ball is in the Board’s court now.


3. Discussion and Possible Action on Agreement Between the Town and Otto Connect – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet –
This Consulting Agreement (“Agreement”) formalizes the relationship between Otto Connect, Inc. (“Consultant”) and The Town of Holden Beach (“Client”), and the terms and conditions both sides agree are reasonable for the conduct of the relationship.

CLIENT will be invoiced by the Consultant at a not to exceed value of $5,000.00 at a rate of $100 per hour per person at the end of the Term and shall be payable within 30 days. All consultation fees will be waived upon execution of a definitive agreement whereby Consultant will provide paid parking services to CLIENT so long as said agreement is executed prior to the termination of this Consultation Agreement”

Consultant had previously evaluated and proposed via formal RFP response an end-to-end paid parking solution for the Town of Holden Beach. As a Consultant, we will be available to answer questions either via phone or in person (as jointly agreed), evaluate all current and proposed parking areas, on-street vs. off-street parking, and town ordinances needed to implement paid parking. Specific areas of assessment include but are not limited to:

      • Enforcement policies
      • Dates and hours of operation
      • On-street and off-street parking options
      • Parking rate structure, competitive to the coastal environment or for different parking areas
      • Golf Cart rules and regulations for parking
      • Business Parking
      • Ordinance Assessment to support paid parking and parking in general
      • Audit-ability requirements
      • Projected revenue – based on fees, weather assumptions, and visitor trends
      • Signs and Communication plans for paid parking awareness

Previously reported – July 2021
Received proposals from four vendors, staff is looking for direction on how to proceed. Commissioner Murdock felt that the staff should be the one to make the decision since they will have to make the program work. The Board asked the Town staff to review the proposals and make a recommendation to them. David said that they would utilize a decision selection matrix and report back to them at the next scheduled meeting.
No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – August 2021
David went through the process they used to create the decision selection  matrix. Commissioner Murdock felt the staff should interview Otto and Premium and have them make the selection. David agreed to make the call, will bring back recommendation at the next meeting.
No decision was made – No action taken

Previously reported – September 2021
Agenda Packet –
Per the Board’s direction at the August meeting, staff met with Premium Parking and Otto Connect to determine which firm would be better suited to implement a paid parking program for the Town. Six staff members participated in the process, which included looking at price, user interface and program implementation logistics.

Otto Connect unanimously selected as staff’s recommendation to the Board. The next step is for the Board to consider approving Otto as the Town’s parking vendor and to have a contract prepared.

David said they were tasked to select vendor and make recommendation and that they unanimously chose Otto. Mike pointed out that they had not approved proceeding with paid parking yet. Therefore it was premature to select a vendor. We need to determine what paid parking will look like first. Brian said the Parking Committee can’t move forward without parking vendor input and would like to bring them on as consultant. The motion was made to approve Otto as the Town’s parking vendor and to have a contract prepared for the Board’s consideration for parking consultant services.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
David stated that the contract was in response to the Board’s direction to obtain parking consultant services. Otto will credit back the money spent for consultation if we hire them when we decide to have a paid parking program. They had a discussion, what came first the chicken or the egg, whether they need the consultant should be there initially or after some decisions are made. be there right out of the gate to give the committee direction. The motion was to approve contract as submitted, limiting the contract not to exceed $5,000.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously


4. Discussion and Possible Action Relating to the No Wake Zone – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Alan stated that laws are not being abided by and there are daily violations. He was unable to get government officials here on such short notice and requested that they revisit this issue at the January meeting. That meeting would include as many officials and office representatives as possible for an in-depth discussion.


5. Discussion and Possible Action Relating to the Boat Ramp and Trailer Parking – Mayor Holden

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Alan requested that they revisit this issue at the January meeting too.


6. Discussion and Possible Action on Block Q Property – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet –
Maps –
.     1)
Preliminary Parking Layout
.     2)
Brunswick County GIS Data Viewer

Update –
Brian explained that Block Q is a commercially zoned property where lots of people park there now . It is a track of land, , east of the bridge, by the boat ramp, where the festivals are held. He said that it is a valuable piece of property and has been offered for sale to the Town numerous times before. It is currently up for sale and would provide us with over two hundred (200) public parking spaces. If it goes away it would have a significantly negative impact on public parking on the island. He made a pitch that we should consider purchasing it now.

No decision was made – No action taken


7. Discussion and Possible Action on Amending Holden Beach Code of Ordinances, Section 94.05, Digging of Holes on Beach Strand, to Include a Section on Metal Detecting on the Beach Strand – Commissioner Smith

Agenda Packet –
I would like to discuss with other commissioners the possibility of amending Ordinance 94.05 to include a section on Metal detecting on the beach strand.

Metal detecting/treasure hunting on the beach strand            

      • it will be illegal to dig a hole more than I ft deep on the beach strand and must be completely covered and packed to its original condition.
      • Metal shovels are not permitted for metal detecting.
      • Plastic sand scoops are allowed for metal detecting.
      • Metal detecting holes must be filled and packet to return the beach strand to its original condition to prevent injury to beach strand walkers before leaving the area.

Other islands have such requirements and the outer banks and state parks do not allow any metal detectors. I have been approached by several residents about this issue.

§94.05 DIGGING OF HOLES ON BEACH STRAND.

(A) To help prevent personal injury and damage to property, it shall be unlawful tor any person, firm or corporation within the corporate limits of the town to dig into the sand on any part of the beach strand greater than 12 inches deep, without having a responsible person attending the area to prevent any person or persons from walking into any existing hole and risking personal injury and to allow public safety vehicles the ability to respond to emergencies without the risk of damage to equipment or personal property.

(B) Prior to leaving the area, any hole greater than 12 inches deep shall be filled to be level with the surrounding area, leaving the area in the same general condition in which it was found.

(C) The violation of this section shall be punishable by a $50 fine.

Update –
Item was removed from the agenda


  • 8. Posting of Documents Related to the Proposed Purchase of the Pier Property – Commissioner Sullivan

Agenda Packet – separate packet
Proposed Pier Property Purchase Information

Update –
Mike stated that public comments indicated that not enough information was available to the public. He wanted to make sure that everyone knows the documents are now available on the Town’s website.


Agree to disagree, we still do not have enough information to formulate an opinion. Although they have shared information, they still have not explained what the game plan is or how we are planning to pay for it.

Appraisal Report

Oceanfront Land Sold –
2018 – 2021 / 18 properties sold average @$530,000
2021 / 5 properties sold average @$592,000
So the appraisal average of $715,000 seems pretty high to me

The ten sold properties used as comps also don’t seem kosher
Half of the properties, five (5) of the ten (10), are in gated communities
More importantly the lot size and dimensions on a number of these lots is significantly larger than what we are considering purchasing at the pier

Engineering Report – Building Assessment

McPherson Engineering Design did assessment
The original section of the building and the east side addition may be demolished.
The west side addition may be able to be salvaged.

 Systems Evaluation

Town Building Inspector did assessment
The structure itself is in disrepair, but the west end of this structure may have some real potential and modifications, other portions are practically beyond repair, but have monetary value for improvements.

ATM Pier Inspection Report

The inspection of the timber piles was conducted by a three-person engineer dive team. MidAtlantic attempted to perform diving operation on the piles, but due to the sea state it was unsafe to continue. Alternatively, MidAtlantic inspected all the upland piles and performed a hands-on tactile inspection on the accessible  piles by wading into the wave break until water depths exceed 5ft. Piles which could not be safely inspected by a person in the water the piles were visually inspected using a drone. All work was performed in accordance with the ASCE Underwater Investigations Standard Practice Manual, No. 130.

Based on the available information provided to ATM and the preliminary results of our inspection, the Holden Beach fishing pier has likely surpassed its remaining service life considering it was constructed in 1957, which is ~64 years old. Most fixed timber pier structures are constructed for a 50-year life span with regular maintenance. Without maintenance records it is difficult to ascertain when key components such as the pilings were replaced.

One of the key concerns observed during the inspection was the heavily corroded and missing/damaged connection hardware throughout the pier structure. Most connections appear to have more than 50% sectional loss (thereby reducing their strength by 50%).

In order to extend the service life to a reasonably acceptable time, many of the connections and bracing will need total replacement. While the piling may have a longer remaining service life than the other components, significant maintenance and repair of the other key structural components will need to be completed.

Immediate repairs to the pier to extend the service life to a reasonable period of time (10-15 years) is estimated to be on the order of $500,000 to $750,000. This would include replacement or significant repair of the three damaged piles, replacement of the damaged pile caps, installation of new cross bracing and total replacement of corroded fasteners and connections. This estimate assumes that significant material such as decking and stringers can be salvaged, and the construction can be completed by land-based equipment (i.e., no mobilization of barges or water-based equipment).


We want to keep you informed regarding the status of the Town’s plans to purchase a portion of the pier property.  Since this is a complicated issue, the HBPOA has created a new Hot Topic page on our website to share important documents and detailed information.  This email summarizes some of the key points.

At our Labor Day meeting, the HBPOA adopted a position to withhold support for the pier purchase until the plans and associated costs for the property are known.  We followed up with an online survey sent to property owners and over 80% of the responses supported our position.  We shared this information with the Board of Commissioners and sent a letter summarizing the key questions and issues.

The town has still not identified the intended use of the property or provided specific information on how it will be paid for other than the debt financing of the purchase.  

On September 29th the Commissioners discussed the Engineering Report – Building Assessment, the Systems Evaluation report, and the Appraisal Report for the pier building.  The reports basically confirm that the building is a tear-down.  At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Brian Murdock stated that based on the inspection results the Town may end up tearing down both the pier and the building but should still purchase the property for investment purposes; listen to his comments here at the 2:32:00 mark.

The Commissioners then voted to offer the pier owner a revised contract which would move the Due Diligence period back until November 19th – after the inspection report on the pier structure is expected – and push the closing date back until February 28th.  This delay is what was requested by HBPOA.  

On October 1st the Commissioners voted to offer a new contract including an additional $50,000 due diligence payment to the pier owner.

Many property owners have expressed concerns about the Town borrowing money and potentially raising taxes to speculate on real estate.  A worst-case scenario would be for the Town to buy the pier and allow it to become an abandoned, derelict structure while taxpayers foot the bill.  

We will keep you informed as this topic evolves.  Please don’t hesitate to communicate your position to the Commissioners and the HBPOA.


9. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff on Oceanfront Lighting – Commissioner Smith

Agenda Packet –
§92.30 DEFINITIONS
For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

DECORATIVE LIGHTS. Lights used to enhance the appearance of an area rather than to provide illumination. These include Christmas lights and low voltage (less than sixty (60) volts) driveway and landscaping lights.

DOORWAY LIGHTS. Lights attached to structures or walkways used to illuminate doors and immediate areas leading to entrances; to include those installed beneath houses.

FLOOD/SPOT LIGHTS. Bare lights attached to buildings and used to illuminate a specific area (yards, driveways, walkways, and the like) normally for a limited time period. These may also be used as security lights.

SAFETY LIGHT. A light used to warn boats or vehicles of possible obstacles.

SECURITY LIGHT. A light (either automatic or manual) which remains on overnight for the protection of people or property.

YARD LIGHT. A light whose fixture is not attached to a building, ramp, or deck and is over four feet above ground level.

§92.31 PURPOSE
It is the intent of this subchapter to permit sufficient outside lighting to provide for the safety and security of citizens while preventing undue distraction to residents or guests.

§92.32 UNLAWFUL LIGHTS.
It shall be unlawful for any outside light to be installed or directed:
     (A) So as to interfere with the vision of the operator of any motor vehicle on any                  street or waterway; or
     (B) That is not in compliance with the provisions of this subchapter.

§92.33 LIGHTS PERMITTED IN R-1 AND R-2 DISTRICTS. 

    • (A) Decorative lights.
      (B) Flood or spot lights provided they are directed onto the owner’s property.
      (C) Doorway lights of 100 watts or less per light.
      (D) Safety lights.

      (E) Security lights, attached to a building, and so shielded that no direct lighting is outside the owners property.
      (F) Security lights, presently on poles, which do not meet the restrictions of division (G) of this section are permitted for a period of one year following enactment of this subchapter provided they are so shielded that there is no direct lighting outside the owner’s property.
      (G) One yard light per living unit provided:
        1. It does not exceed ten feet in height (measured from mean lot level) and does not draw in excess of 100 watts.
        2. It is of the same design and wattage as the approved town street lights and does not exceed 20 feet in height.

§92.34 LIGHTS PERMITTED IN C-1 COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS.
     (A) Any lights permitted in R-1 or R-2 Districts are permitted.
     (B) Security lights not attached in buildings and lights used to illuminate                           entertainment facilities provided:

        1. The light is so shielded that no direct lighting is outside the owner’s
        2. Any pole is a minimum of ten feet from the road right-of-way.

§92.35 COMPLAINTS.
Permitted lights which may be in violation of§ 92.32 of this chapter will be reported in writing to the Town Manager who will make the final determination if a violation exists. The Town Manager will notify the complainant and the alleged violator of his/her findings in writing.

Update –
Rick in conjunction with the Turtle Patrol wants to address light pollution and restrict oceanfront lighting. Decision was to have our attorney and our building inspector review the ordinances and make a recommendation for any potential changes to the existing ordinances.


10. Town Manager’s Report

Annual Audit
The audit was completed and submitted to Local Government Commission
Should have it back to the Board for the November meeting

Budget Report
David had a slide presentation that did a brief overview of the budget highlights
For more information » click here
Basically  it showed where we are at right now ninety (90) days in to the budget year

We have had a robust collection of  occupancy tax that funds the BPART account

The budget report is posted on the Town’s website
For more information » click here

Loan
The Town has closed on the lift station #3 loan of approximately $2.5 million dollars

In Case You Missed It –

Veteran’s
In the past we have honored Veterans, with a Resolution in Honor of Veteran’s Day and an appreciation luncheon.
The Town will hold its Veterans Appreciation Luncheon outside at Bridgeview Park on Wednesday, November 10th.

Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On September 30, 2021, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 3, 2021.


11. Mayor’s Comments

Although hurricane season is still on the calendar, traditionally we have been out of the woods. He feels that we have safely made it through another hurricane season and have been very fortunate this year.

Festival by the Sea is scheduled at the end of the month, festival will be held on the island but there will not be any parade this year.

OBW paving/bike path are still on track, but they were some eighteen (18) to twenty-four (24) months off. He will be attending a GSAT meeting regarding both of these projects in the near future.

It seems that both of these projects got pushed back a year. In February we were told the resurfacing program for OBW is scheduled for the spring of 2022. It seems like every year they say it will be done next year.

                 It’s kinda like when Lucy tells Charlie Brown to kick the football –


12. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(5), To Instruct the Staff or Agent Concerning the Negotiation of the Price and Terms of a Contract Concerning the Acquisition of Real Property (Commissioner Kwiatkowski) and North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(A)(3), To Consult with the Attorney (Town Manager Hewett)

No decision was made – No action taken


Previously reported – September 2021
Discussion and Possible Action on Division of Coastal Management, North Carolina Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Grant Application – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
Agenda Packet –
Based on the BOC’s direction to pursue grant opportunities to assist with the pending purchase of the pier properties, the staff submitted a final grant application (Attachment l) to the Division of Coastal Management on August 16, 2021. The application was for the 50-foot-wide oceanfront lot (Parcel # 246DB002) only based on the lack of clarity DCM has in the current funding policy regarding public purposes for paid parking. DCM has previously approved a pre-application submitted in April that allowed for a final application package in the amount of $180,460.00. The Town Manager and I have been in continuous dialogue with DCM regarding updates and changes as they emerged. They advised us to submit the application with as much information as we had available at the time in August and then complete additional areas as they come to fruition. One of the requirements is that the application be on the agenda of a public meeting. While we submitted draft minutes of the public hearing that was held on the potential purchase, the provision in the application is for the grant package itself to be placed on the agenda for consideration. If awarded the grant, the BOC would still have to choose to accept or decline funds.

DCM Grant Assistance Requested              $180,460
Holden Beach Contribution                    $361,207
Total                                                                $541,667

To move forward with grant application it needed to be an agenda item. Motion was made to have grant application considered for funding from DCM. If awarded the grant, the BOC’ would still have to choose to accept or decline funds.
A decision was made –
Approved unanimously

State officials award more than $1.1M to improve beach,
coastal waterfront access
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management has awarded more than $1.1 million to nine local governments to improve public access to coastal beaches and waters for the 2021-22 fiscal year. “For 40 years, the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program has helped fund key projects that enhance access and improve experiences for residents and visitors enjoying the natural beauty of our coastal waterways,” said Elizabeth S. Biser, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. “DEQ is honored to offer this support for our local partners and the coastal economy.”

The division awarded grants to the following local governments:

    • Atlantic Beach received $73,288 to construct a 290 ft. handicap-accessible dune crossover at the DoubleTree East Public Beach Access.
    • Town of Cedar Point received $60,000 to construct an ADA accessible kayak launch with shaded wheelchair parking at the Boathouse Creek Walking Trails Park, the project includes both an ADA accessible parking area and walkway to the kayak launch.
    • Elizabeth City received $92,180 to fund the George M. Wood Memorial Park Restoration Project, which will rehabilitate the existing boardwalk on the Pasquotank River and provide ADA parking space at the existing public access.
    • Holden Beach received $180,460 for the acquisition of oceanfront property.
    • Hyde County received $90,750 to renovate the Englehard Far Creek Boardwalk.
    • Town of Nags Head received $200,000 to remove the existing bathhouse and dune walkover and install a bathhouse and dune walkover with upgraded parking, site amenities and landscaping at existing oceanfront access. Improvements will increase ADA accessibility at the Epstein Street Public Beach Access.
    • City of New Bern received $110,809 to extend the existing marshwalk and add a fishing platform at Lawson Creek Park.
    • Tyrrell County received $25,650 for Phase III of the Scuppernong River Park Renovation to expand existing pier platform at the existing public access site.
    • City of Washington received $350,000 for Phase II of the Wetlands Boardwalk Reconstruction to renovate 1,024 ft. of the pedestrian boardwalk.

The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program, now in its 40th year, provides matching funds to local governments in the 20 coastal counties. Governments that receive grants must match them by contributing at least 25 percent toward the project’s cost. Funding for the grant program comes from the North Carolina General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. Access projects may include walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers, and related projects. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization. Staff with the state Division of Coastal Management selected the recipients based on criteria set by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission. The grant program has provided more than $48 million for 461 public waterfront access sites since the program began in 1981. For more information about the program, go to the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access website.
Read more » click here


General Comments –

2021 Municipal Elections
The following candidates have officially filed for Holden Beach municipal elections and will not face any opposition.

Holden Beach Mayor
Alan Holden                           128 OBW                           Holden Beach             (incumbent)

Holden Beach Commissioner
Pat Kwiatkowski                    1298 OBW                        Holden Beach             (incumbent)
Rick Smith                               823 OBW                          Holden Beach
Page Dyer                                149 Scotch Bonnet          Holden Beach

Board of Commissioners Duties and Responsibilities include:

      • adopting the annual budget
      • establishing the annual tax rate
      • enacting local ordinances and Town policies
      • formulating policies for the conduct of Town operations
      • making appointments to advisory boards and committees
      • oversee long range plans for the community

General Election 2021 – Tuesday, November 2nd

        • Encourage everyone to vote
        • Remember it’s a right and a privilege to be able to do so
        • Polling place location is at the Holden Beach EOC Building, 1044 Sabbath Home Rd., Supply

For more information visit The North Carolina State Board of Elections web site
Read more » click here

Elected officials have significant impact on our daily lives. As a matter of principle, we would want everyone to vote, and to do so in an informed and reasoned way. Remember it’s a right and a privilege to be able to do so.

Be a Voter – Your Vote Matters!



        • BOC’s Meeting

          The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, November 16
          th
          .


Hurricane #1 - CR

 

Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

Be prepared – have a plan!

.a.

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


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.


Goodbye hurricane season? With 6 weeks to go, it may be all but over
While the Atlantic hurricane season does not officially end until Nov. 30, AccuWeather forecasters believe that the odds of any additional tropical storm formation in the near future are low. After a frenetic pace around the peak of hurricane season, there is now just one name left on the 2021 list of storm names: Wanda. Might that name go unused? The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season got off to a record-fast start, with five storms forming by July 1, surpassing a record set just a year ago. The season continued at a fast pace, with development kicking off again in mid-August and continuing through mid-September. By the end of the period of rapid activity, eight storms had made landfall in the United States. But now, the tropics sit dormant.
Read more » click here


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