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Holden Board Considers
Fees For New Homes , Businesses
BY DOUG RL'TTF.R
Holdcn Beach officials hope to move quickly on a
proposal to establish building impact fees that would
raise money for future development of sewer and
stormwater runoff systems.
Under a fee structure proposed last week, the town
would collect at least $1,000 for cach new house and
$2,000 for cach new business. Building additions also
would raise money for the special reserve fund.
Proposed fees arc 50 cents per heated square foot for
residences and $1 per heated square fool for businesses.
Minimum fees would be $1,000 for homes and S2,0(X)
for commercial uses.
Owners of existing homes and businesses would not
have to pay the impact fee. Town officials also plan to
exempt buildings that are moved from one lot to another
lot on the island.
Commissioner Jim Foumier, who is opposed to a
sewer system at Holden Beach, is one of the board
members who initiated the proposal.
"1 just see the justice for the people who are creating
the need to pay the bill," he said Monday. "1 just felt all
these people hollering for sewers should put their money
where their mouth is."
Commissioner David Sandifer, who worked with
Foumier on the proposal, said town officials have been
considering impact fees for about a year. "It's done in
many other towns. There's plenty of precedent for it."
Sandifer said the fees should raise between S100,0(X)
and SI 50,000 per year. "It won't pay for a sewer system,
but if you figure we build between 80 and 100 houses
per year that will give us a good down payment on one.
We've got to start somewhere."
Mayor Wally Auslcy said the fees arc comparable
with those in other North Carolina cities. "I think the
thousand dollars puts us right in line with residences."
Town Attorney Ken Campbell has been instructed to
draft a resolution regarding impact fees. The board will
have to pass an ordinance before it can start collecting
Commissioners arc anxious to get the fees in place. "I
feel like every day we wait we lose money," Sandifer
Added Fournicr, "Tomorrow would be late."
Under the original proposal put forth by Foumier and
Sandifer, the charge for residences would have been
S250 per bedroom.
Commissioner Sid Swarts suggested the town charge
according to square footage. "You know what a heated
square foot is. It's cut and dried. Look at the turmoil
we've gone through over what is a bedroom."
Town Manager Gary Parker said last week an official
at the N.C. Institute of Government told him the impact
fee proposal could be challenged in court, based on ex
isting case law.
The institute recommends the town board adopt a res
olution documenting that it is planning for sewer and
stormwater runoff systems. Applying for state or federal
funds for those projects also were suggested.
Sandifer said no other communities have tried to do
exactly what Holdcn Beach is proposing. "I for one
don't mind being the leader of the pack as far as estab
lishing new case law."
Foumier agreed. "This is worth doing and I'm not go
ing to lei some bureaucrat tell me it might be controver
Sandifcr said the town needs better control over
stormwater runoff to cut down on pollution of marshes
and canals. "That needs to be part of what we're doing
in the future."
Eventually, Sandifcr said he would like the town to
require a stormwater runoff plan with every building
permit application. "I think it's ncccssary for people
who arc building to be very conscious of runoff."
Although he opposes a sewer system, Fournicr said
it's inevitable. "I don't carc if we never have a sewer
system on Holdcn Beach. ..but I'm realistic enough to re
alize we're going to have one. There's too many people
going the other way."
When the ordinance setting the impact fees is adopt
ed, Sandifcr said he would like to have a 30-day grace
period so builders who already have bids out won't lose
Town officials say homeowners will ultimately pay
the impact fees. "Anybody who thinks the builder is go
ing to pay this is sadly mistaken," Sandifcr said.
Calabash Sign Workshop ^
Draws Few Business Owners k
BY KRIC CARLSON
Restaurateurs and merchants have
complained about the Calabash sign
ordinance since the town began en
forcing it. Some have ignored the
law and gone to court over it. Many
have cited the sign conflict as evi
dence that downtown Calabash and
residential areas should be split into
So members of the Calabash
Planning and Zoning Board were
surprised when only a handful of
business people showed up Monday
night at a special meeting called to
hear suggestions on how the ordi
nance might be improved.
Chairman A1 Smith said he was
pleased that several of those who at
tended the meeting spoke in favor of
the sign ordinance. He said that al
though the board is not planning any
immediate revisions of the law,
members to discuss the points raised
at future planning board meetings.
Earl Benton and his daughter
Linda Chappcll, co-owners of a bou
tique and beauty shop off N.C. 179,
complained that their business was
being hurt by the law's prohibition
of off-premises signs. They said
their location is outside the normal
traffic flow and insisted that direc
tional signs on the main road are es
sential to their business.
"If you put a man out in the
woods with no sign to get there, he
won't get no business," Benton said.
"Local people know where we are,
but we couldn't stay in business
without some of the tourists. If you
"I don't want to
or hurt anyone in
any manner. But 1
don't believe it's
asking too much
to let me stay in
? Earl Benton
make us take down our sign, you'll
put ijS out of business."
Benton said the town had filed
suit against him for failing to re
move two small off-premises signs
indicating the location of his shops.
"1 don't want to degrade anything.
I don't want to obstruct anybody's
vision or hurt anyone in any man
ner," Benton said. "But I don't be
lieve it's asking too much to let me
stay in business."
Chappell said she had collected a
list of signatures from customers
who said they found the shops by
following the signs. She said that at
the time the shops were built.
Calabash wasn't strictly enforcing
its sign ordinance.
"We had no way to foresee that
this would happen," she said. "If we
knew, we would never have built it"
Debra Mawji, co-owner of Mama
Brava's Pizza, said town ought to al
low restaurants in shopping plazas
to have more advertising space than
the small group signs currently al
lowed in the ordinance.
Smith cautioned Mawji, who is
involved in a civil suit with the
town, not to discuss "matters that
might be the subject of litigation."
At that, Holden Beach lawyer
Benedict Del Re rose to his feet and
walked out of the meeting. He has
filed a lawsuit against the town
building inspector Edward Schaack
over his enforcement of town ordi
"If you exclude everybody who's
in litigation, you exclude everybody
in town," Del Re said.
Retail business owners Victoria
Jones and Clark Callahan both
spoke in favor of the sign ordinance
and its effect on the appearance of
"You can't please everybody all
the time, but we have no complaint,"
Jones said. "Signs can gel out of
hand. If we want to establish a quali
ty atmosphere, we need to create
that ambiance. Otherwise it's going
to look like Myrtle Beach."
Board member Forrest King sug
gested that few business owners
showed up at the meeting because
"a lot of these people work for a liv
ing." He said the town needs to con
sider permitting off-premises direc
tional signs to direct visitors toward
businesses located off the main road.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Shelley Lancaster Wins Davis
Scholarship At UNC-Wilmingfon
Shelley D. Lancaster, a junior at
the University of North Carolina at
Wilmington, has been awarded the
Champion McDowell Davis scholar
The scholarship, the largest of its
kind for graduate students at
UNCW, entitles Lancaster to an
award equal to in-state tuition and
fees plus a stipend that is determined
by the student's academic excellence
Lancaster, the daughter of the
Rev. and Mrs. Landis Lancaster of
Shallotte, was chosen for the award
for her academic achievement at
UNC-W. She is active in the hospital
auxiliary and Phi Eta Sigma Honor
Society. She has received the Chan
cellor's Achievement Award. She
has also made the dean's list every
semester. She plans to enter the
The Champion McDowell Davis
Scholarship is awarded annually lo a
UNC-W student with preference
given lo a graduate student from
North Carolina. It is renewable if
academic requirements are main
The scholarship is made possible
through an endowment given by the
Davis Foundation as a result of a be
quest of Champion McDowell Dav
is. Davis, a former president of
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and a
trustee for Wilmington College,
played an important role in UNCW
history when the institution was
moved to its present location in
Carrier Visits NYC
Navy Lt. William D. Bunch, son
of Barbara D. Bunch of Ocean Isle
Beach, recently visited New York
City aboard the aircraft carrier USS
John F. Kennedy, homcponed in
Norfolk, Va., for "Fleet Week '93,"
an annual event comprising ships of
the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and the Rus
Fleet Week offered the Kennedy
crew an opportunity to showcase the
1 ,052-foot carrier and to compete in
intra-ship athletic events, play golf
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Immen Award Winner
Shallottc Middle School student
has been recog
nized for acade
ment by the
As a National
her photograph IMMEN
and biography will appear in the
Melissa is the daughter of Bill
and Lynn Immen. She is the grand
daughter of Donald and Helen
Miller of Shallottc and Arthur and
Lucille Immen of Supply.
Bunch joined the Navy in Feb
ruary 1990. He is a 1990 graduate of
the University of Virginia, Char
lottesville, with a J.D. dctrrec.
STAfF PHOTO BY f?IC CAKlSOh
ROAD SIGNS of all kinds line the sides of N.C. 179 in Calabash, where strict enforcement of outdoor
advertising regulations has sparked controversy in the town.
Tanker Driver's Condition Critical
After Accident Near Town Creek
A driver whose tanker rig
crashed north of Town Creek on
U.S. 17 last Wednesday night, July
21, remained in critical condition
Tuesday in New Hanover Regional
Medical Center in Wilmington, said
hospital spokeswoman Iris Baker.
Henry Benjamin Tilton, 63,
North Charleston, S.C., was driving
a truck-tractor with tank owned by
Central Transport of High Point, ac
cording to the N.C. Highway Patrol
office in Wilmington. Tilton was
traveling north on U.S. 17 at 11:30
p.m. July 21 when the truck ran off
the road on the left side into the me
dian, struck a ditchbank and crossed
the southbound lanes of U.S. 17, re
ported Trooper R.L. Murray. The
u uck then fan off the road en the left
again and struck numerous trees. It
traveled 4,600 feet from the median
before coming to rest.
According to Murray's report, a
Brunswick County sheriff's deputy
traveling behind Tilton had observed
the truck driver had a problem and
activated his squad car's blue lights
No charges have been filed and
the investigation is continuing.
A Leland man received minor
injuries in a one-vehicle accident
that occurred Saturday, July 24, at
2:15 p.m. on N.C. 133 near Belville.
Driver David Allen Copeland
Jr., 17, of Leland, was charged with
driving left of center.
According to Trooper D.B.
Harvell's report, Copeland 's 1976
Dodge sedan ran off on the right
side of the roadway. He lost control
of the vehicle, crossed the center
line, ran off the roadway on the left,
struck and ditch bank and over
turned. Damages to the vehicle were
estimated at S2.000.
One driver was transported to
Dosher Memorial Hospital in
Southport with serious injuries fol
lowing a 9:30 a.m. iwo-vchiclc acci
dent at the intersection of Oak Crest
Drive (S.R. 1218) and Second Street
(S.R. 1222) in Sea Pines subdivision
off Long Beach Road.
Juanita Smith Miller, 66,
Southpon, was injured, while the
second driver. Shannon Lee
Hensley, 21, of Southport, was not
Miller was traveling cast on Oak
Crest Drive, driving a 1988 Ford car.
Hensley was traveling south on
Second Street, driving a 1987
Nissan van, and failed to yield the
right of way to Miller, according to
the report filed by Trooper W.H.
Hensley was charged with a
yield violation and driving while his
licensed was revoked.
Damages were estimated at
S1,8(X) to Miller's Ford and S2.800
to Hensley 's Nissan.
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