|March 3, 2018
Hatteras Island Real Estate Coastal Barrier Resource Areas
By TOM HRANICKA
Associate Broker, Outer Beaches Realty
on an island located 30 miles from the North Carolina mainland in a place that
is subject to severe storms and high tides, it is only natural that flooding is
a frequent topic of discussion. And, when the conversation turns to flooding,
at some point the subject of flood insurance is almost sure to arise.
flood insurance is readily available at a reasonable cost through the National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for most locations on Hatteras Island, were you
aware that there are a few places on the island where NFIP insurance is not
available? These places are Coastal Barrier Resource Areas (CBRA), commonly
called “COBRA areas”. There are only two COBRA areas on Hatteras Island. One is
located in a portion of the soundside in the Kinnakeet Shores Subdivision in
Avon, and the other is in the vicinity of the elementary school in Buxton.
background, in the early 1980s, Congress recognized that certain actions and
federal government programs subsidized and encouraged development on coastal
barriers, resulting in the loss of natural resources; threats to human life,
health, and property; and the expenditure of millions of tax dollars each year.
To remove federal incentives to develop these areas, Congress passed the
Coastal Barrier Resource Act in 1982. This legislation created the Coastal
Barrier Resource System (CBRS) which established CBRA areas around the United
States, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service has operational responsibility for the CBRS.
the federal government generally cannot restrict the development of privately
owned property, it can, however, influence the desirability of development by
making these areas ineligible for most new federal expenditures and financial
assistance. Areas within the CBRS can be developed provided that private
developers or non-federal parties bear the full cost.
are three principal considerations that affect properties located in CBRA
- Flood insurance coverage through the National
Flood insurance Program is not available for new construction in any
CBRA within the Coastal Barrier Resource System after the effective
date of the CBRS. Flood insurance may be available through private
companies. The practical implication of this restriction is that the
cost of flood insurance issued by private carriers is significantly
more expensive than flood insurance through the NFIP. As an example, if
the cost of flood insurance for a 3-bedroom home insured through the
NFIP was $1,000, the cost for private flood insurance could be $5,000
- Federally related, guaranteed, or insured
loans are not available to finance purchases within CBRA areas.
Financing may be available from private sources.
- In the event of a natural disaster, most
federal funding for disaster relief is not available to owners of
properties within CBRA areas. Exceptions exist for emergency actions in
a federally-declared disaster area which are essential to the saving of
lives, the protection of property, and public health and safety as long
as certain criteria are met. Assistance through private or volunteer
agencies may be available.
you would like to get an idea of whether a specific property is located within
a CBRA area, go to – https://www.fws.gov/CBRA/Maps/Mapper.html - and in the box “find a location”
enter the address of the property. For a formal, written determination of
whether a property is located in a CBRA, go to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service web site at http://www.fws.gov/CBRA,
and follow the instructions for requesting a letter of determination. A survey
will also show if all or a portion of a property lies within a CBRA area.
or prospective buyers of properties located in CBRA areas who would like a more
detailed explanation of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act and its provisions
should contact an insurance agent, a lender, an attorney, or a Realtor who is
familiar with the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, subsequent revisions, and
and comments may be sent to Tom Hranicka at P.O. Box 280, Avon, NC 27915 or by
e-mail to [email protected].
© 2018 Tom & Louise Hranicka. All