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Say Town's Responsible For Dunes
BY DOUG RUTTKR
Holden Bcach Property Owners Association mem
bers wanl the town board to rcconsider its recent deci
sion to leave needed dune repairs in the hands of ocean
Nearly all of the hundred people who packed town
hall for the group's Easter weekend meeting Saturday
voted in favor of a motion that commissioners accept re
sponsibility for rebuilding protective bcrms damaged
"It seems like you're passing the buck to the proper
ty owner," said Harold Bender, a member of the organi
zation's board of directors. "To me that seems somewhat
Most HBPOA members at Saturday morning's meet
ing agreed the town should take a more active role in
fixing beachfront dunes that arc needed to protect the
entire island. The group didn't ask that the town pay for
dune repair, only that commissioners take responsibility
for seeing the work is done.
Holdcn Beach's dunes suffered serious erosion dur
ing a severe winter storm March 13. More sand dunes
were lost last week in another, less-severe storm.
Homeowner Linda Silber said the town needs to get
involved. If a property owner decides not to rebuild his
dune, she said other properties nearby will be in danger
if there's another storm.
Commissioners agreed at a meeting April 6 that in
dividual lot owners should decide if they want to rebuild
the dune to protect their property from the ocean.
haul in sand."
"It seems like you re Parker said five truck loads of sand dumped on a lot
would cost S500 at the most. Five loads would be
passing tfie blic/c to the enough to build adune nine feet deep and three feet high
nVilT7Pt't\) nW)nPV 7/0 VHP Holden Beach is waiting for the state to issue a ma
r 1J U III**-- Jor CAMA permit that will allow property owners to
tlis* t n/i/i *vi a csif dump compatible sand on tlieii dunes. Officials nope it
IflUl SeeiTlS SOrrieWrlQl will be issued this week or next.
Homes that arc within 20 feet of the escarpment, and
therefore considered immincnUy threatened, can receive
ii , , r, , Iir, * j ? 30 exemption from the permit requirement from the town.
Harold bender, HBPOA director Mayor Wally Auslcy said whatever is done to re
build the dunes would only be temporary. Dunes built
Town officials said it would be difficult to determine after Hugo in 1989 have washed away.
which lots need sand dunes rebuilt and where the dune "Erosion is as sure as life, death, taxes, those kinds
should be located. In some spots, the ocean washes un- of things," Ausley said. "Whatever we're talking about
dcr homes on a normal high tide. doing is temporary."
"It's a difficult issue," Town Manager Gary Parker Buck To Retire
told property owners Saturday. "The theory there is you HBPOA President Bob Lincbcrgcr is expected to ap
know best what needs to be done at your lot." point a search committee soon to find a replacement for
But several property owners said they don't know executive secretary Bob Buck, who is retiring from the
what to do and want the town's assistance. post July 1.
Town officials have sought expert help in dctcrmin- "I hope someone can be found soon," said Buck,
ing the best way to rebuild the dunes. Coastal engineers who has travel plans. "I am very, very anxious for the
don't recommend using a bulldozer on the strand lo board to find a replacement so we can work together for
form dunes or dredging sand from offshore a while."
"Pushing sand turned out to be a mistake," Parker Buck reported Saturday that the organization has
said of the town's S350.000 dune-building project fol- S7.232 in the bank. HBPOA membership currently to
lowing Hurricane Hugo. "The best way we think is to tals 778, which is down from 828 last Easter and 882 at
ihe end of 1992.
The homeowners' group will send a Idler to Bruns
wick Electric Membership Corp. asking for a schedule
on the ongoing underground wiring project at Holdcn
Also in the letter, Dwight Carroll suggested the
group ask why BEMC employees who live at Holdcn
Beach can get underground wiring at their homes ahead
HBPOA directors approved a S240 contribuuon to
the town Saturday to pay for community watch signs.
Directors also discussed the overcrowding of rental
homes. A motion to ask town commissioners to consider
an ordinance requiring that sepuc tanks be pumped out
every four years was defeated.
Water Pressure May Fluctuate
Holden Beach residents may notice sonic fluctuation
in water pressure for the next month while the water
tank is given a fresh coat of paint.
Starting Monday, the water tank will be shut down
for approximately one month while the interior and exte
rior arc painted.
Holdcn Beach secretary Joyce Shore said the town
will be fed off water pumps for the duration of the pro
ject. Southern Corrosion of Roanoke Rapids is doing the
work at an approximate cost of S41,800.
Holdcn Beach will pay S23.580 of the cost. Vision
Cable, which has some equipment attached to the water
tank, will chip in S18.220.
SECOND VOTE NEXT WEEK
Commission Split Over Definition Of Ground Level
BY DUUti RUTTER Holdcn Bcach currently measures
A sticky zoning definition needed building height from the lowest fin
to conform with the state law limit- ished grade?such as a concrete pad
ing Holdcn Beach's building height under the house?to the mean level
to 35 feet will come before the town of the slope of the roof.
board for a second vote next week. Under that policy, property own
Commissioners were oivided over ers often pile mounds of dirt on their
the definition of "ground level" at lots before building in order to com
their April 5 meeting, voting 3-2 in ply with federal flood regulations
favor. Since the definition wasn't and the 35-foot height limit.
approved by four-fifths of the board. The net effect is rooftops have be
a second vote is required for pas- getting higher in recent years and
sage. the mounds of dirt have been crcat
Board members Gil Bass, Sid ingdrairuge problems.
Swans and Jim Foumicr voted in fa- J*0.slalc rct*ucslcd ** l"w"
vor of the proposal last week. David ofn,,C'a* lo back
Sandifcr and Gav Atkins onmscd it up 11,0 hc,Shl llmi1 hwmcs can 1
^ ^ be more than 35 feet above ground
The measure could be approved . . . . . . . ?
with another 3-2 vote a. next . but the town doesn t have a
Wednesday's meeting. defin.uon for ground level.
' After several submissions by the
However, Bass has suggested he planning board, the definition now
may reverse his vote when the issue under consideration was drafted by
comes up April 21. "Your fears are Richard D. Ducker, assistant dircc
well-foundcd," Bass told Swarts last tor of the N.C. Institute of Govcrn
week after Swarts mentioned he was mcnt in Chapel Hill.
afraid the new definition wouldn't It defines ground level as the av
pass. erage of the highest and lowest cle
vations measured along the edge of
the building footprint. For lots filled
witli dirt, ground level could not be
more than 12 inches above the cen
ter crown of the street in front of the
Sandifcr said last week the new
definition would prevent property
owners from building two-story
homes in certain sections of the is
land where flood regulations are the
The proposal isn't fair, he said,
bccause it would allow some people
to build two-story houses but pro
hibit others from doing the same.
"What we're doing is punishing
people who want to build their
dream home on Holdcn Beach."
Foumicr said he didn't see a prob
lem with the definition. "I don't
think it's the town's business to
guarantee (property owners) can do
anything...All we're talking about is
conforming to state law."
Sandifer presented a proposal last
week that would change the way the
town measures building height in
the "V-Zone," which has the strictest
flood elevation rules.
Instead of limiting homes to 35
feet, the proposal would restrict
owners to two habitable floors.
Houses couldn't be any larger than
27 feet from the bottom of the struc
ture to the top of the roof.
"It's a bad measurement we're
working off of," Sandifcr said in
support of his plan, "if we're trying
to measure the size of the house let's
measure the house."
Before the new plan could be im- a referendum on the issue, it most
plcmcntcd, Holdcn Beach voters likely will be held at the same time
would have to approve it in a refer- as the general election in November,
endum since it would change the ex- when residents will elect a mayor
isting state law. and five commissioners.
Sandifer said the original intent of Besides the ground level issue,
the 35-foot rule was to limit houses commissioners will hold public
to two habitable floors and leave hearings on dredging assessments
room for parking underneath the for lot owners in Holdcn Beach
homes. "This would accomplish the Harbor and Heritage Harbor at their
same thing the 35-foot rule did when meeting next Wednesday at 7 p.m.
it was put in." The board also will discuss a pro
If the town board decides to hold posed ethics code for town officials.
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