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PLAN TO SPEND OVER $50.000
Ho/den Beach A waits
Approval Of Dune Project
BY DOUG Kirn EK
Holden Beach Commissioners
should know within the next few
weeks whether their plan for spend
ing over $50,000 in federal money
to rebuild oceanfront sand dunes is
Town board members last week
reviewed the report that Town
Manager Gus Ulrich has sent to the
Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) explaining the
Ulrich said the town has selected
approximately 33 lots that need
dune renourishment worse than oth
ers. They are scattered from the east
end of the island to the 900 block of
Ocean Boulevard West.
The town also hopes FEMA will
approve using some of the money to
rebuild the dune along Hillside
Drive, an oceanfront street that is se
riously threatened by erosion.
FEMA awarded $57,150 for dune
restoration to Holden Beach follow
ing a hurricane-like winter storm
last March. The storm eroded dunes,
flooded homes and caused an esti
mated SS million on the island.
Mayor Wally Ausley said at last
Wednesday's town meeting that offi
cials had a hard time deciding where
the town should spend the federal
money because a lot of areas could
use dune improvements.
The town will notify property
owners if renourishment is planned
adjacent to their lots. Holden Beach
will need each landowner's permis
sion before proceeding with the
Although the town will not pay
for dune renourishment along the
entire beachfront, Ausley said it will
act as a "broker" for homeowners
interested in protecting their proper
ty. He said the town will try to find
contractors who can do the work at
the lowest price.
Ulrich said the town will need
about 1 2.000 cubic yards of sand to
complete the work it has planned.
The proposed project also includes
planting beach grass and using sand
fence to help stabilize the dunes.
In addition to the federal money,
the town may spend all or most of
its own $44,000 erosion control
fund. Ulrich said the total cost will
be about $102,000.
Work on the strand cannot begin
until the sea turtle nesting and hatch
ing season ends in December. Ulrich
said the town will have until the end
of March to complete the project.
Town commissioners will consid
er opening Delaney Street from
Brunswick Avenue to Ocean Boule
vard West to improve access for
homeowners in Yacht Watch subdi
STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG HUTTEK
HILLSIDE DRIVE is one of the areas where Holden Reach officials hope to use federal money to re
build oceanfront dunes.
"!"he street was platted years ago
but it was never opened. It is mainly
used as a path to the beach from
Yacht Watch, a neighborhood on the
north side of Brunswick Avenue.
Resident Lyde Blanton said 53 of
the 55 property owners in the area
who responded to a recent poll indi
cated they are in favor of improving
the unopened portion of Delaney.
Blanton said a road would pro
vide quicker access to Ocean
Boulevard and the bridge and easier
access to the beach.
"I think an asphalt street would be
the most desirable." he said. "I think
any type of improvement would be
better than it is."
Commissioners asked Ulrich and
Town Attorney Ken Campbell to get
more information on the street and
present it to the board at a future
In other business last week, com
?AlUxrated $5,320 to the newly
formed Holden Beach Beautification
Club. The club, which replaces the
beautification committee, must get
town approval before spending more
than $1,000 on any single project.
?Adopted an ordinance that
makes it illegal for town refuse con
tainers such as trash cans at beach
accessways and public parking areas
to be used for disposal of garbage
that is generated outside the town.
?Voted 4-1 to ask the planning
and zoning board to study changing
the right of way width along sec
tions of Ocean Boulevard East from
100 feet to 60 feet. Gay Atkins vot
ed against the motion.
Holden Permit Activity Booms As Builders Rush To Beat Fees
BY DOUG RUTTER applies for a building permit starting this Although building activity is typically McSwain said construction must start within rnmmi?in?rt -.-o., ik- ? * ...:n ?
Holden Beach's buildinc insnections wci-v will cn ? ? ? ?
BY DOUG RUTTER
Holden Beach's building inspections
department was busier than ever last week
as contractors and property owners rushed
to apply for building permits and avoid pay
ing hefty impact fees that took effect
Inspector Jim McSwain *said 28 build
ing permit applications were submitted be
tween last Monday and Friday, which was
the last day people could apply without be
ing charged sewer/ stormwater impact fees.
The fees, intended to raise money to
help pay for sewer and stormwater runoff
systems in the future, include a minimum
charge of SI, 000 for each new home and
$2,000 for each new business.
Under the fee schedule town commis
sioners approved in September, anyone who
applies for a building permit starting this
week will be charged 50 cents per heated
square foot for residences and SI per square
fool for businesses.
Residential fees also apply to additions
on existing homes and homes that are
moved to Holden Beach from outside the
town limits. The town is charging 50 cents
per square foot for paved driveways and
Holden Beach Commissioners adopted
the impact fee ordinance Sept. 22 and gave
30 days' notice to property owners and
builders. McSwain said most waited until
the final week to seek permits.
"We really had the big rush from last
Monday on," he said. "We had a few before
then but most people waited until the very
Although building activity is typically
greater in the spring and fall. McSwain said
the building inspections office usually sees
about one permit per week for new houses.
With the 28 permit applications re
ceived last week, McSwain said the town
will probably end up with 65 to 70 permit
ted homes for the year.
In the long run, McSwain said he
doesn't expect the fees to affect the average
of 50 new homes per year at Holden Beach.
"1 don't think that's going to change. I just
think we got a whole lot of permits ahead of
In addition to the flood of building per
mits, McSwain said he received five drive
way permit applications on Friday and
about 20 last week.
After the building permits are issued.
McSwain said construction must start within
six months. There is no time limit on com
pletion, but there must be steady progress.
"I'm fully assured that all of these
homes will be started and finished within a
year," McSwain said. "Ninety percent of
the permits are for builders, and they don't
get paid until they finish."
McSwain said he doesn't expect the
town to issue many more building permits
"It's been very quiet." he said Monday.
"I expect it to be quiet. I don't expect there
will be much at all before the first of the
Holden Beach officials established the
fees so the property owners who help create
the need for sewer and stormwater systems
will help foot the bill.
Commissioners say the island will need
the systems in the future because rapid
growth has resulted in increased septic sys
tem waste and runoff, which can pollute
All impact fees collected will be placed
in a special fund, and they will be refunded if
the town hasn't committed to building a sew
er or stormwater system by the year 2003.
Town Manager Gus Ulrich said
Tuesday he is searching for a replacement
for McSwain, who announced his intentions
to resign earlier this month.
Ulrich received 18 job applications and
planned to schedule interviews over the
next two weeks.
"I would hope there would be a deci
sion by the second week of November." he
cni'l "Th'it ***.??< U, . "
Book Remembers Holden
Beach Before Hazel
BY LYNN CARLSON
A retired Richmond, Va., school
teacher with a lifelong love for
Holden Beach has self-published a
book lovingly detailing the commu
nity's history until 1954 ? the year
Hurricane Hazel struck.
Franda Dobson Pedlow's Sand
and Sea Fever culminates the au
thor's eight-year quest to gather in
formation about the early days of
Holden Beach and to capture the
look and feel of the beach when she
tlrst came there in the 1940's.
Pedlow, whose family has owned
a cottage on Holden Beach since
1946, has fond memories of earlier
days there ? even the interminable
wait in line to board the old two-car
ferry prior to construction of the first
"I got really interested in hearing
stories about peoples' experiences
on the beach before (Hurricane)
Hazel," she said in a telephone inter
view from her Richmond home.
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"They were fun stories, interesting
things I wish my children had been
able to experience.
"I decided they should be written
down, so I got my tape recorder and
started calling on people, asking
what they remember. Some have
died since I started, so I'm glad I
kept going. It was so much fun."
Despite Pedlow's long history of
visiting Holden Beach, her book ac
quainted her with people she had
somehow never met over the years.
"I was young when I first came here,
and we weren't in a section where a
lot of people were ? plus there was
just not the transportation around
and off the island."
Pedlow doesn't pretend to attempt
a definitive history. She lets the peo
ple she interviews tell the tale,
aware, as she says in her introduc
tion, that different people remember
things differently and that tales
change with generations of telling.
"Accuracy will be important but
not perfect," she writes. "The flavor,
the essence and the enjoyment are
the top priorities."
In the book's first chapter, native
Norman Bellamy tells about the
two-room school at Boone's Neck
which took children through the
fifth grade until a consolidated
Holden Beach Voters
school was built in 1927. He and
Christine Hewett were the only two
sixth-graders in their class that year,
many others having left school after
fifth grade to work at home in the
fields. He remembers this:
"The stale was improving Route
1 7. There were teams of mules and
men with hand scoops trying to fill
in the soggy places so thai it could
be traveled. There weren't no
equipment. The road was so bad
that the teams of mules were used
to pull the school bus through the
worst places ! This was Route 17,
the major road , and it was clay.
After 15 days of this, they stopped
our efforts and we went back to
have another year in the fifth
grade. 1 finally got to the Sliallotte
school in 1928 and finished the
tenth grade there. Then 1 got mar
ried and that was the end of my
Longtime residents of Brunswick
County will know before they read it
that Norman Bellamy became chair
man of the Brunswick County
school board and guided the system
through desegration without major
Newcomers who have known no
other access to Holden Beach except
the current high-rise bridge will be
fascinated by Winston McDonald's
remembrance of working on the old
ferry from 1946-49:
"We used to run that old ferry,
and I used to set them across there
especially on a holiday and on a
Sunday evening. They 'd be lined up
way back up the hill on both sides.
One time in an eight-hour shift I
carried 98 cars.
"I would drive the ferry into the
chute until the apron was up the
ramp enough to drive across. There
was a chain across the ferry in
front of the first car to keep it from
rolling off. I would drop that chain,
then wrap a smaller chain around a
piling to hold the ferry, walk up the
ramp to raise the flag, let two cars
off and two cars on, drop the flag,
walk back down the ramp, unhook
the chain, put the other chain up
behind the second car where it
couldn 't go backwards, and go
Pedlow goes on to tell about early
cottage owners, the beach in World
War II, and even interesting details
of daily life in the beach communi
ty's budding days ? like where and
how folks got their groceries and
who picked i p the garbage, and the
early signs of traditional tourism de
Her book is chock full of
names ? of Holden Beach area na
tives as well as longtime property
owners ? a fact she hopes won't
seem tedious to newcomers. "I just
think it's important for those things
to be recorded," she said.
Her first foray into publishing,
Sand and Sea Fever will probably
tie her last, Pedlow said. "I had the
urge to do this because I could han
dle it, but it was hard. I thought
when you wrote a book, you just
wrote a book."
Then she learned about deadlines
and publishers and printers and
word processors and a thousand oth
er unforeseen details.
She's not sorry, though. "1 just felt
it ought to be kept."
Sand and Sea Fever will be avail
able at several Holden Beach loca
tions during the Festival by the Sea
and afterward, Pedlow said. The
book sells for $10.
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RICHARD AND BARBARA KELLY
The Authors of
BUG HUNTERS AND BOAT BUILDERS
Little Professor Book Center
River Run Shopping Center, Southport
y j 6:00 to 7:00 P.M.
? ? Wednesday, November 3 ? (919)457-9653