Legislative Briefing ~ 2.22.18

Legislative Briefing ~ 2.22.18

Currituck Needs Second Vote on Off-Road Parking Permit

The Board of Commissioners met on Monday and voted 6-1 on a proposed ordinance that would establish a permitting system for beach parking in the four-wheel drive area of the Currituck Outer Banks beginning in May of this year. A unanimous vote was needed for the $50, 10-day pass to become effective; therefore, a second vote will be taken at the Board’s March 5th meeting. A majority vote is needed for passage of the ordinance at that meeting.
Chairman Bobby Hanig shared the following facts with OBAR and OBHBA about the issue prior to the meeting:
• There is not a DOT road on the 4×4 beach.
• By state statute the county has the right to control traffic and parking on the beach strand. There is no on-street parking allowed anywhere in Currituck County.
• All county residents and land owners will not be charged for passes. They are vehicle specific though.
• Rental properties in the 4×4 beach will be allowed 2 passes per property per year at no charge. Passes that are lost will have to be purchased by the property manager or owner.
• This is not a money making venture!!! All monies collected will be used to cover the costs associated with maintaining and patrolling the beach. This is mandated by the state.
“We are simply trying to get control of an overcrowded, unsafe situation. Folks are more than welcome to drive on our beaches and can even stop and take pictures; however, if they are going to recreate they will need to buy a pass.”
• We are the only beach in the state maybe even the east coast that does not charge to drive on our beach.

In the News:
Daily Advance Article
Outer Banks Voice Article



The NC Department of Insurance received a Dwelling insurance rate filing from the N.C. Rate Bureau on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The N.C. Rate Bureau, which is not part of the Department of Insurance, represents all companies writing property insurance in the state. The Rate Bureau requested a statewide average rate increase of 18.9 percent, varying by territory, with a requested effective date of Oct. 1, 2018. This filing includes a requested increase of 40.5 percent for extended coverage (wind) policies, but a decrease of 20.8 percent for fire polices, making the statewide average request an increase of 18.9 percent.
Dwelling insurance policies are not homeowners insurance policies. Dwelling policies are offered to non-owner-occupied residences of no more than four units, including rental properties, investment properties and other properties that are not occupied full-time by the property owner.
The Rate Bureau has also requested revisions to the current geographic rating territories. The proposed territory revisions are the same territory definitions applicable to homeowners’ policies.
The filing will be reviewed by Department of Insurance experts to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted. If NCDOI and the Rate Bureau do not initially agree on the proposed rate changes, a public hearing will be called in which both parties would present their cases to a hearing officer, who would then determine the appropriate rate level.
The filing is available for public review on the Department of Insurance websiteandthe SERFF Filing Access. Enter the SERFF Tracking Number NCRI-131370773.
Opportunity for Public Comment
People wanting to comment on the rate request may do so in one of three ways:
-In person during a public comment forum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, in the Second Floor Hearing Room at the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.
-By email sent to: 2018DwellingandFire@ncdoi.gov. Comments will be accepted through March 23, 2018.
-By mail sent to: N.C. Department of Insurance, Attn. Tricia Ford, Legal Division, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201.

OBAR and OBHBA are in the process of reviewing the filing and compiling Talking Points.
They will be distributed soon.
For more information:
Territories and Rates
2018 Dwelling Filing

NAR – On Common Ground Magazine

There has been a lot of discussion and debate on the local level regarding the regulation of accessory dwelling units and whether or not to permit them. This conversation is also taking place in other communities nationwide.
The National Association of Realtors publishes a quarterly magazine, “On Common Ground” and the most recent publication features an article on the growing housing trend of accessory dwelling units and “granny flats”. The article focuses on changing housing needs and how towns and counties are responding to them.
The magazine can be found here.

Comment on Off-Shore Oil Drilling

Similar to action by Dare County’s municipalities, the Dare Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution reflecting the Board’s long-standing opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing off North Carolina’s coast. This is the fifth resolution passed by the Dare County Board of Commissioners since 1998 because of the potential damage that could occur to our environment and tourism economy.
Governor Roy Cooper has requested an official exemption for North Carolina, similar to the exemption recently granted to Florida based on the importance of tourism to the state’s coastal economy. He has encouraged people to call the Interior Department at 202.208.3100 to share their feedback. Public comments may also be submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management through March 9 by clicking here.
Click here to read the Outer Banks Voice Article

Town/County Updates

Dare County – Jerry Jennings, NCDOT Division Engineer, gave an update on Dare County transportation projects to the Dare Board of Commissioners at their last meeting. The following was reported:
• The new Bonner Bridge should be open to traffic by the end of this year with demolition of the old bridge by late 2019.
• The Pea Island Bridge is now complete except for demobilization and was named in honor of Captain Richard Etheridge at a ceremony this week.
• The Rodanthe “jug handle bridge” is scheduled to be under construction later this year.

Southern Shores – On Tuesday March 6th from 3 to 5 p.m., Ken Newell of Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects and architect for the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. performing the design of that organization’s potential new fire station, will display his design drawings and be available for public inspection, questions, and comments in the Pitts Center at the Southern Shores Town Hall Complex.

Town Council meets at 5:30 p.m. also on Tuesday, March 6th and will hold a public hearing on a zoning text amendment on Wireless Telecommunications Sites and Towers. Adoption of the text amendment will bring the Town into compliance with recently passed state legislation on small cell wireless facilities.
The applications and related materials are available for public inspection here 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.

Nags Head – The Planning Board met on Tuesday and unanimously voted to recommend approval of a zoning ordinance text amendment that would allow for a reduced side-yard setback, from 15 ft. to 10 ft., for properties adjacent to unimproved rights-of-way within the R-2, Medium Density Residential Zoning District. Properties that may be adjacent to “paper streets” are considered corner lots and have to comply with a 15 ft. side yard setback. There are paper streets within the Town that will likely never be developed and Planning Board members agreed that it was unfair that property owners adjacent to these unimproved areas be subject to a higher setback.
The Planning Board also discussed various concerns regarding short term rentals and homestays and asked for staff to bring forth more information at their next meeting.
Planning Board members also discussed the Town’s Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual. Currently, if a property owner preserves 15% of the vegetation/trees on their property then the amount of stormwater to retain on site is reduced. Planning Director Andy Garman said this incentive is almost unattainable combined with other stormwater requirements and is hardly ever used. Planning Board members agreed to eliminate the 15% requirement and give tree preservation credits instead. Garman explained that by adopting a simpler, easy to understand credit against the built-upon-area for keeping trees, the amount of space now used for swales could be reduced.

Commissioners meet on Wednesday, the 21st and hold a Flood Map Workshop following their very brief Commission meeting to provide staff direction concerning the actions to take on the new flood maps.

Upcoming Meetings

Wednesday, February 21
9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Duck Town Council Retreat, Paul Keller Meeting Room, Town Hall
10:00 a.m. – Duck Town Council/Duck Planning Board – Paul Keller Meeting Room, Town Hall
5:30 p.m. – Nags Head Board of Commissioners

Thursday, February 22
9:00 a.m. – Duck Town Council Retreat, Paul Keller Meeting Room, Town Hall
9:00 a.m. – OBAR New Member Orientation

Tuesday, February 27
3:00 p.m. – OBHBA Board of Directors

In the News

New Bridge Dedicated to Outer Banks Hero
Currituck’s Hanig Files for House Seat
NC Honors Coast Guard Captain Who Was Born a Slave
NCDOT Making Progress on Ocracoke-Hatteras Passenger Only Ferry
Time Running Out for Latest Hatteras Inlet Dredging Project
Jockey’s Ridge most visited state park in N.C. last year
Advocacy, Legislative Briefing