Friday 04 March 2011 at 10:21 am
On Thursday, April 7, U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle will preside over another status conference on the consent decree that settled a lawsuit against the National Park Service by environmental groups.
As part of that consent decree the Park Service must issue annual reports to the courts and all the parties to the lawsuit on the status of protected species and the effort to finalize an off-road vehicle plan at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The reports are due by Jan. 31.
Each year since the 2008 consent decree, Boyle has summoned the parties to the court to discuss the reports and be updated on the ORV rulemaking process.
So we assume that is what he wants to hear about next month in Raleigh.
If his past conferences are any indication, Boyle will have a pleasant chat with Derb Carter, attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. He might ask seashore Superintendent Mike Murray some questions. In the past, he has liked to ask about law enforcement and citations and dwelled on problems at Bodie Island spit.
He may declare – as SELC has—the consent decree a great success at saving nesting birds and turtles, even though Murray has said repeatedly that one – or even two seasons do not necessarily indicate a trend.
Thursday 24 February 2011 at 3:49 pm
Dare County has had a zoning ordinance governing signs at commercial establishments since 1975.
That was back when there were many fewer businesses on Hatteras Island than there are today and almost all of them were located along Highway 12.
As time passed, businesses proliferated and began to open on the roads off the highway. Signs also multiplied – with businesses that broke the rules with more than one sign at a business, off-premises signs, and such attention getting devices as sandwich boards, magnetic signs, flags, and pennants.
Along with this explosive growth in businesses came an explosion in the clutter along the island’s only main road, Highway 12.
During those years, the sign ordinance was seldom enforced or spottily enforced and, in fact, many businesses got permits for non-conforming signs that violated the regulations.
Many people, including county officials, felt the highway was becoming cluttered and junky, not what visitors wanted to see when they come to the pristine and naturally beautiful seashore.
In 2001, the county Planning Department, with the backing of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, began a “beautification” campaign on Hatteras and began an effort to start enforcing the sign regulations already in place.
After doing an “inventory” of signs, the department sent notices to more than 90 businesses that were not in compliance.
Friday 18 February 2011 at 3:29 pm
My blog last week on the National Park Service’s economic impacts of its Final Environmental Impact Statement has generated some interesting comments and a good discussion.
I wrote last week that the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce is seeking businesses that participated in an economic survey on impacts. The businesses contacted by RTI International were kept confidential, and the chamber would really like to know more about them.
You might be interested to know that the chamber has heard from one business that confirmed it participated, and two that think maybe they did, that someone called them a long time ago and asked economic questions.
Maybe more will surface.
The discussion on the blog eventually branched out to include how the Park Service will pay for the new infrastructure that is required under the FEIS – new ramps, parking areas, pedestrian trails, soundside accesses, and interdunal roads.