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DENSITY LIMIT WOULD BE ONE DWELLING PER ACRE
Bird Island Zoning Proposal Set For Public Hearing
BY LYNN CARLSON
A zoning proposal scheduled to
go to public hearing in September
would limit development of Bird
Island to an estimated 30 single
family homes and possibly a com
After almost a year of drafting
and refining. Sunset Beach's plan
ning board and town council have
scheduled a hearing Sept. 13 at 7
p.m. in the town hall on a proposed
"conservation reserve zone" to in
clude the undeveloped barrier is
The zone, according to the pro
posal, would provide "etleclivc
long-term management of signifi
cant, limited or irreplaceable areas"
such as wetlands, undeveloped
shorelines and the habitats of rare
plants and animals. Low-density sin
gle-family development would be
allowed, but special permission
would be required by the town's
board of adjusunents for a commu
As proposed, the zone could not
include the restaurant, bed-and
breakfast hostel and multi-family
units featured in an earlier plan pro
posed by the island's owner.
Though agents for owner Janic
Pace Price of Greensboro have had
input into ihe zoning proposal, they
argue that it would "unreasonably
restrict" use of Price's land and
make her unable to recoup costs she
will incur constructing a mile-long
system of bridges and causeway to
liie zoning proposal seeks to lim
it development density to one sin
gle-family dwelling per acre of "to
A VISITOR looks over the undeveloped beachfront at Bird Island, a barrier island off Sunset Beach
which straddles the state line. Though Bird Island is not in the town limits, it lies within the Sunset
Beach zoning jurisdiction.
tal nci buildablc area" in the zone. A
professional planner's sludy of Bird
Island last August estimated the is
land has 32.9 acrcs of uplands which
arc outside existing city and state
Though one dwelling per acre is
the total density objective, homes
could be built on half-acre lots under
the proposed plan. "If there is an
acrc-and-a-half-acre piece of upland,
you'd be able to build three homes
there ? but that would count as three
Brunswick Paving Projects On Agenda
i nc Mate Board ot Transportation
will consider allocations totaling
$2.64 million for Brunswick County
road projects when it meets Friday
Specifically, the funding requests
?An additional SI. 75 million for
preliminary engineering on U.S. 17
at Supply to the South Carolina state
line, 21.3 miles;
?Highway Trust Fund allocations of
S43 1,500 for secondary road paving
projects: S200.000 for Benton Road
(S.R. 1502, 2.2 miles from end of
pavement to U.S. 17), which serves
Supply Elementary School; S6,(XX)
for Evans Circle (S.R. 1800) and
S.R. 1848 off N.C. 130; SI 3,500 for
Dale Street (S.R. 1466); S212.000
for Burge Drive (S.R. 1802,) Pine
Bur Circle (S.R. 1804,) Wrcnn
Drive (S.R. 1805), Melvin Drive
(S.R. 1806) and Petty Drive (S.R.
1807) in Pine Bur Acres; Carlylc
Street (S.R. 1243) and Jericho Road
(S.R. 1244) in Carlylc Acres.
?Highway Pund allocations of
S424.500 for secondary road pro
jects: $16,000, Carter Street (S.R.
1176); SI 5, (XX), Bo-Tuck Road (S.R.
1809); $47,000, Charlotte Avenue
(S.R. 1821), Lower County Street
(S.R. 1860) and Wiison Avenue
(S.R. 1227); S30.500, Gamer Street
(S.R. 1187 and S.R. 1188); S35,000,
Shoreline Drive (S.R. 1288) and
Kclford Street (S.R. 1856); $30,000,
Cumbcc Road (S.R. 1131);
SI 21. (XX), Albright Road (S.R.
1508); and SI 30,000, McKay Road
?An additional S35.000 allocation
for right-of-way signatures.
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of the total units allowed of the total
30 or so," Planning Board Chairman
Richard Good explained.
Permitted uses would include sin
gle-family residences, spoil sites,
fences, accessory buildings, swim
ming pools, bulkheads as permitted
by the slate's Coastal Area Man
agement Act, private noncommer
cial piers and docks, coastal reserves
and cstuarinc/wildlifc sanctuaries,
underwater utility crossings, bridges
and causeways permitted by CAMA
and other agencies.
Spccial uses, permissible only
with ihe consent of the board of ad
justments, would include a commu
nity center and recreational ameni
ties, such as a swimming pool, ten
nis courts and a boat dock. The com
munity ccntcr would have to be on
at least one acre of land and would
count as one of the total allowable
units. The boards agreed that the
community ccntcr could serve food
to residents but could not operate as
a public restaurant.
Additional density require men is
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C1993 THE BHUNSWtCK BEACON
?Maximum lot coverage of 30 per
cent by buildings, accessory build
ings and and impervious surfaces
such as driveways.
?Minimum required front yard
depth of 50 feet on all lots other than
occanfront. Oceanfroni homes
would be required to be built 65 feci
from the established Coastal Area
Management Act line.
?Thirty-five foot height limit.
?Maximum six bedrooms per resi
In a July 26 letter to the planning
board, mayor and town council
members. Price's attorney calls a
number of the provisions "overly re
strictive." H. Glenn Dunn of Raleigh
said Price and her son, Rees Poag of
Raleigh, "consider it unjustifiable
that Bird Island should be subjected
to much more severe restrictions
than Sunset Beach itself and adds
that many of the restrictions pro
posed exceed federal and state wet
lands regulations and septic tank re
Dunn said his clicnts are most
concerned about the proposed di
mensional requirements. "It remains
our opinion that 7,500- square- feet
lots arc adequate to accommodate
septic tanks." He adds that the pa>
posed front yard dimensions of 50
feet for non-occanfront lots and 65
feet for occanfront lots, combined
with rear yard requirements of 25
feet, "severely impact our ability to
utilize the occanfront areas of the
site and the narrower portions of the
"When the impacts of a one-acre
lot requirement arc combined with
the proposed yard dimensions, it be
comes economically impracticable
to develop the island," he said.
He argues that not allowing mulh
family development "does diminish
our design and market possibilities
and that "hostels, restricted to seven
rental rooms, (arc) an important
component of an upscale develop
He calls the six-bedroom Imm
Dunn concludes that the proposed
ordinance will limit Price's develop
ment of the island to about 25 rest
dcntial units. "This level of use js
not adequate to make it financial I \
feasible to provide access to the is
land. Consequently, we strongly tv
lieve that the proposed ordinance
prccludcs economically viable usk
of the island."
Price has applications pending be
fore the U.S. Army Corps of En
gineers for permits to build bridges
and a causeway to her properly. As
recently as four months ago. sin
said her plans were to build a l>
homesitc family compound on Uu
island, if she developed it at all.
However, a proposal presented to
the town government in March in
cluded numerous single- and multi
family homes as well as a marina,
restaurant and inn.
Family members have said the\
would consider selling the island to
a conservation group or govcrnmeni
entity, but have received no offer.
The Sunset Beach-based Bird Island
Preservation Society, sponsored b\
the N.C. Coastal Federation, contin
ues to raise funds toward a possible
purchase. Rep. David Rcdwine, D
Brunswick, has agreed to seek state
funding to help.
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