Friday 28 November 2014 at 6:16 pm
Three of my blogs this fall were on topics that need some updating. They all were about issues in Hatteras Island's villages -- the possibility of zoning for the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, beach restoration in Buxton, and the question of whether the Hatteras Village Tax District should purchase oceanfront property.
I've done relatively short updates on these topics for this week's blog, and readers who want more information can go back and read what I wrote before -- and what the readers have commented on each of them.
ZONING IN THE TRI-VILLAGES
An ad hoc group of residents and business owners in Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo have launched a campaign to begin exploring use-specific zoning for those villages.
In a blog on Sept. 19, I wrote a blog that updated the county's efforts to get Waterfall Park cleaned up and its initial exploration of zoning in the tri-villages.
In a Sept. 2 meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, chairman Warren Judge said the county had received a letter from the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association, asking to start the planning process for use-specific zoning in the tri-villages.
Friday 21 November 2014 at 4:52 pm
National Park Service officials want to hear from you about a new regulation they are proposing that would prohibit leaving personal items overnight on the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The draft of the regulation would prohibit unattended property -- such as tents, canopies, umbrellas, awnings, chairs, and such sports items as volleyball nets -- on the ocean beaches between sunset and sunrise daily.
It would also require that all holes dug on the beach be filled in before beachgoers leave the area.
The reason for the regulation is that equipment left on the beach after dark and holes not filled in are not only public safety issues, but also pose a hazard to protected sea turtles.
The proliferation of tents, awnings, chairs and other items left on the beach seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon. Perhaps the equipment is more readily available and more affordable than before.
But for whatever reason, you can go to the beach any summer day and see it lined with the tents and canopies, some tied together to make large encampments. Many groups set up makeshift volleyball courts and such things as pits for horseshoes. They might set up grills and tables for serving food.
And that's all well and good -- at least during daylight hours.
Most of these groups take all their beach "stuff" with them when they leave at the end of the day, but an increasing number do not. They leave it set up on the beach for the duration of their week's vacation.
And after dark, these items become safety hazards for emergency personnel and for pedestrians.
Friday 14 November 2014 at 5:52 pm
Three years ago this month, in an article in the Island Free Press, Eric Kaplan announced his plans for the Hatteras Island Ocean Center.
It was a grand plan that included not only an ocean pier and pier house but also such things as an event venue, a restaurant, shops, a playground, parking, a beach access with bathhouse, and education components, including classes and exhibits.
He envisioned that locals and visitors would come together at the Ocean Center for fishing, swimming, kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, bird watching, live music, and learning about the marine environment, island history, wildlife, and commercial fishing.
And he also believed that the economy of southern Hatteras Island, which has struggled since Hurricane Isabel in 2003, badly needed a shot in the arm. What Hatteras village needed, he said, was a nine-month economy instead of a three-month economy.
At this point, it should be noted that Kaplan also said he was not launching the Ocean Center project to make money -- at least not for himself. He envisioned Hatteras business owners profiting from whatever retail or rental opportunities that became available.
He created a non-profit, 501(c) 3 with its own board to run the center. He bought two pieces of property -- one on the oceanside and one on the soundside of Highway 12 in Hatteras village. Later, he bought another property with retail buildings on it on the soundside of the road, and then received a donation of some land next to the marsh.