Legislative Briefing 1.29.19

Legislative Briefing 1.29.19

Legislative Briefing

Week Ending January 25, 2019

  • Homeowners Insurance Increases – SUBMIT COMMENTS TODAY!
    • NC REALTORS® Call for Action
    • Public Forum Wednesday, February 13th at 7 pm
  • Southern Shores Hearing Next Week on Large Oceanfront Structures
  • Nags Head Beach Re-Nourishment Begins in May – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
  • Naming the Oregon Inlet Bridge
  • Town/County Updates


Last month, the North Carolina Rate Bureau (NCRB) submitted a Homeowners Insurance Rate Filing to the NC Department of Insurance. The filing reflects an overall statewide average increase of 17.4% for homeowners, renters and condominium rates. However, NCRB has requested a rate increase of 30% in the homeowner rate in the beach (barrier island portion) areas of Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties and a 25% increase in the homeowner rate in the inland areas of Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico counties. The filing affects condo, tenants as well as wind only policies.

Below is a breakdown of the filed rate changes for eastern NC.

Territory Territory Definition % Filed Homeowner Rate

Current Rate

10/1/2019 Effective Filed Rate
110 Beach areas of Currituck, Dare & Hyde Counties +30% $2,383 $3,098
120 Beach areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow & Pender Counties +30% $2,794 $3,632
130 Coastal areas of Currituck, Dare, Hyde & Pamlico Counties +25% $1,516 $1,895
140 Eastern areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow & Pender Counties +30% $1,947 $2,531
150 Coastal areas of Beaufort, Camden, Chowan, Craven, Jones, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell & Washington Counties +15.5 $1,278 $1,476
160 Western Coastal areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties +20% $1,375 $1,650

The deadline to submit comments is February 26, 2019.

EMAIL 2018Homeowners@ncdoi.gov TODAY and request NC Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey DENY the 2018 Homeowners Rate Filing. Include the following information:

  • The proposed rate increases are excessive, unwarranted and unjustified.
  • The increase in the Homeowners Insurance rate affects year-round resident policyholders, wind only policyholders, condo and renter policyholders.
  • The unwarranted increased cost of homeowners’ insurance impacts the affordability of housing and the ability of a policyholder to make their mortgage payments. This impacts families that live in our year-round neighborhoods.
  • Rate increases just went into effect October 1, 2018. There has not been enough time to thoroughly evaluate the adequacy of the newly effective rate increases.
  • The filing does not include the number of policyholders or amounts charged over the manual rate under “consent to rate.”
  • No filing should be considered until the NC Department of Insurance has clear knowledge of how many policyholders are paying premiums based on consent to rate and how much over and above the manual rate has been charged.

Please add DENY THE 2018 HO FILING in the subject line or personalize it as you see fit.

A public comment forum will be held on February 26th from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the second floor Hearing Room of the NC Department of Insurance, located at 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC.  The forum will be a listening session type event, with no response from NCDOI. The public will not have any opportunity to comment after February 26.

The filing can be found in its entirely by going to http://www.ncdoi.com/PC/Filing_Search.aspx, search by SERFF number, Begin Search, Accept terms and enter the SERFF tracking number NCRI-131761557 in the appropriate field and enter. The current rate territory map can be found at https://www.ncdoi.com/Media/Documents/4-18-18%20NC%20Territory%20Map.pdf.

NC REALTORS® CALL FOR ACTION: A separate call for action from NC REALTORS® is set up to send messages on the Rate Filing directly to the NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey:

Respond to both!
TAKE ACTION > > and tell Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to REJECT the Rate Bureau’s current request.
Any rate increase will negatively impact the decision-making of your clients and ultimately the state’s real estate industry. Just a couple of percent increase in insurance rates can mean hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars in additional costs that will have to be borne by the homeowner. While the average rate increase requested is only 17.4 percent, some communities across the state could see up to a 30 percent increase.
Tell Commissioner Causey to protect North Carolina’s real estate industry!

INFORMATIONAL FORUM: The Dare League of Women Voters and the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® have partnered to host an informational public forum on the proposed homeowner insurance rate increases. The forum will be held on Wednesday, February  13th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kill Devil Hills Town Hall meeting room. Make plans to attend!

Southern Shores Public Hearing on Large Oceanfront Structures
Southern Shores Town Council will hold two public hearings on Tuesday, February 5th at 5:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center. The first public hearing is being held to consider an amendment of Town Code-Section 36-132, the Regulation of Structures and Uses Nonconforming. The proposed zoning text amendments can be found here:
ZTA-18-09 Nonconforming Lots
ZTA-18-09 PB Nonconforming Lots
The zoning text amendment, if approved by Town Council, adds certain conditions that would allow nonconforming lots to be developed without being recombined.

The second public hearing is to consider ZTA-18-10, ZTA-18-10 Large Structure Regulations, submitted by the Town to amend Town Code by adding Sec 36-209, RSOF-1 Single-family Ocean Front Overlay Residential District. The Town currently has a 6,000-sf living space limit on residential structures. The proposed ordinance would add new requirements – lower height, higher setbacks, higher parking standards, etc. – for structures over 4,000-sf living space and up to 6,000-sf in the new RSOF oceanfront overlay district. The purpose of the ordinance is to encourage low density development of single-family homes in the environmentally sensitive area.

The applications and materials are available for public inspection at www.southernshores-nc.gov or during regular office hours at Town Hall.  For additional information or questions, please contact Town Hall at (252) 261-2394 or email whaskett@southernshores-nc.gov

When Will Dare Flood Maps Become Effective?
Currituck Flood Maps became effective in late December. The County added another one-foot freeboard requirement, which makes the freeboard requirement two feet, to address lower base flood elevations in many County areas.

So, what’s up with Dare’s maps? First, let’s squelch the rumors that the County is holding them up, FEMA is holding them up, or they are being re-developed. The latest information on the maps shows the Letter of Final Determination on the maps due sometime in April. From the receipt of the Letter of Final Determination, the County has six months to adopt the map.

Officials from Dare County and the six Dare County municipalities have been working on a campaign to encourage policyholders to continue their flood insurance even if their property is no longer in a special flood hazard area (AE or VE zone) on the new maps. “Low Risk is not No Risk!”

They have also been working on developing local elevation standards for new development and re-development purposes. While the maps show 75% of Dare County properties coming out of the special flood hazard area, it is understood that the maps when developed did not take into consideration flood hazard factors such as heavy rain events, a high-water table damaged drainage infrastructure, etc. The maps were developed based on the hazard of coastal oceanfront storm surge. Therefore, do not assume you will be able to enclose a first floor or add on because of lower base flood elevations shown now on the preliminary maps. You WILL likely get a great break on the cost of flood insurance. Be sure to continue the coverage because once there is a lapse, when you re-enter the NFIP program or get a new flood policy elsewhere you will then be charged the latest established rate. You will save in the long-run when maps are redeveloped in the future and base flood elevations go up and properties go back in the AE or VE zones, by keeping your coverage and being grandfathered. Check out www.Obxfloodmaps.com for more info.

 Naming the Oregon Inlet Bridge – Comments End THURSDAY
At their February 4th meeting, the Dare County Board of Commissioners will consider submitting a request to NCDOT for the naming of the new bridge at Oregon Inlet.

A form is now available online at www.darenc.com that enables citizens to submit recommendations. Click here to access the form. As part of the submission, information must be included that explains why the naming is warranted; for example, significant contributions and accomplishments of the individual at the local, state, and/or national level.

View NCDOT’s policy regarding honorary designations.

All submissions must be made by Thursday, January 31 at 5 p.m.

Nags Head Beach Re-Nourishment – (INFO AT FEB 13th BIC BREAKFAST)
The Town will be conducting a beach re-nourishment project starting May 2019 and lasting possibly through the fall of this year. Plans call for sand to be placed on 10 miles of beach from the Bonnett Street public beach access at 2919 S. Virginia Dare Trail (near Mile Post 11) south to the town line with the National Park Service (near Mile Post 21).

The Town does not expect to have a schedule for the project until late April 2019 and the schedule will likely change as weather conditions and other issue arise. More than one section of the beach could be impacted during the project and the project progression will likely not be linear, meaning that it won’t start at one end of town and proceed to the other end.

For more information such as FAQs, visit the Dare County’s beach nourishment web site, MoreBeachtoLove.com. The web site is a collaborative effort between the county and its municipalities to provide a resource for information on all the area’s beach nourishment projects. Read the latest news concerning Nags Head’s project.

Nags Head Public Information Officer Roberta Thuman will be presenting information on the Town’s re-nourishment project at the first 2019 Broker-In-Charge Breakfast, scheduled for Wednesday, February 13th at 8:00 a.m. at Mako’s Beach Grille in Kill Devil Hills.

Town/County Updates
Dare County – The Dare County Board of Commissioners will conduct a public hearing to receive comments about a proposed water main extension along Leslie Lane in Avon.

The public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19th . Comments can also be made at the Dare County Administration Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo or through a video link at the Fessenden Center Annex, 47017 Buxton Back Road in Buxton.

State of the County: If you missed the Outer Banks Chamber’s STATE of the COUNTY event, you can access Dare Board Chairman Bob Woodard’s comprehensive presentation here: https://www.darenc.com/Home/ShowDocument?id=5107  The presentation includes a ton of information on what the County had done or is actively working on to improve the quality of lives of those that reside and work in Dare County.

Personal Property Tax Listings: For 2019, property must be listed between January 1- February 15. Listings must be submitted by mail or in person. Mailed listings must be postmarked by February 15 to avoid a penalty. For more information https://www.darenc.com/departments/tax-department/tax-listings-personal-property

Duck – The Planning Board meets on Wednesday, February 13th at 6:30 p.m. and will review the following Conditional Use Permit applications:

  • Application by property owner Beamon Hines to add a coffee/smoothie take-out business (eating establishment) in the Village Commercial (V-C) district in an existing unit of the Barrier Island Station Shopping Center at 1247 Duck Road.
  • Application by property owner FEG Development Company for several conditional use permits in the Loblolly Pines Shopping Center at 1187 Duck Road including the following conditional uses:
    • Conversion of a 900 square foot retail space to a post office;
    • Addition of customer seating at Tullio’s Bakery;
    • Use of the Village Commercial Development Option to reduce the number of required on-site parking spaces.

Following the Planning Board’s recommendations, Duck Town Council is expected to conduct a Public Hearing on March 6, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. to receive comments prior to its consideration of these applications.

Southern Shores – The Town’s consultants, CodeWright Planners, are holding a public forum this Thursday, January 31st from 5:30 – 7:30 for the purpose of receiving comments, questions, and concerns on the draft of the new Town Code of Ordinances. The 381-page Code of Ordinances draft has been three years in the making and can be found at https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/TOSS-Town-Code-12-31-18.pdf  All comments/concerns raised during the forum will be considering prior to submitting a final draft to the Planning Board for review. The Planning Board will then make a recommendation to the Town Council for its consideration following a Public Hearing.

Nags Head –  A public hearing was held at the last Commission meeting to consider a zoning ordinance text amendment submitted Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant and Tale of the Whale Restaurant to allow a new use, docking facilities with transient boats slips, in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District and in the Commercial-Outdoor Recreational Uses Overlay Zoning District Nags Head Board. The board tabled action to their February 6th meeting after several items were discussed:

  • Under current Town regulations, what prevents anyone from tying their transient boat up at a restaurant pier to go eat;
  • Does the proposal violate the Town’s Land Use Plan;
  • The Town’s “commercial marina” definition does not parallel to CAMA’s definition;
  • The Recreational Carrying Capacity Study was done years ago and focused on personal watercraft businesses;
  • How would redevelopment with the number of boat slips requested impact the estuarine shoreline; and
  • Clarification was made by staff that inconsistency is with the Town’s ordinance definition and not the Town’s Land Use Plan.

Upcoming Meetings
Tuesday, January 29
5:30 p.m. – Southern Shores Town Council

Wednesday, January 30
6:30 p.m. – Duck Planning Board

Monday, February 4
9:00 a.m. – Dare Board of Commissioners
6:00 p.m. – Kitty Hawk Town Council
6:00 p.m. – Currituck Board of Commissioners

Tuesday, February 5
5:30 p.m. – Southern Shores Town Council

Wednesday, February 6
9:00 a.m. – Nags Head Board of Commissioners
6:30 p.m. – Manteo Board of Commissioners
7:00 p.m. – Duck Town Council

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