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Coast Guard Arranges Tow For
Two Boats Grounded In ICW
Two pleasure boats ran aground in the Intracoastal Waterway last
week and had to be refloated by commercial salvage companies, accord
ing to a weekly report from BMCS J.D. Arndt, chief of the U.S. Coast
Guard Station Oak Island.
At about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 4, the station received a call from a vessel
reporting that a 40-foot wooden-hulled pleasure boat was aground near
ICW marker 16.
Federal guidelines discouragc the Coast Guard from towing grounded
vessels unless they are in danger or no other aid is available. Crew mem
bers may be removed if requested.
The station issued a Marine Assistance Radio Broadcast (MARB) to
give commercial salvors an opportunity to aid the boat and received an
affirmative response. The Coast Guard remained in radio contact until
the salvage operator refloated the vessel and it was safely moored, Arndt
Later that day, at about 4 o'clock, the station was called by another
vessel reporting itself aground near ICW marker 32. Again a MARB was
broadcast and a commercial salvor responded. The 33-foot pleasure craft
was refloated, with the Coast Guard remaining in contact until it was
On Nov. 5, the station was called at about 10 a.m. by 30-foot plea
sure boat reporting that a person on board had possibly suffered a heart
attack. The boat gave its position as three miles southeast of the Shallotte
Inlet sea buoy and said it was en route to Tripp's Marina at Shallotte
The station launched its 41 -foot patrol boat and contacted the Bruns
wick County Emergency Services (911) center for ambulance assistance
at that location, Arndt said. The 41 -footer was recalled after the vessel
arrived at the marina and the patient was transferred to an ambulance.
At about 1 p.m., the station received a call from a vessel reporting a
14-foot skiff disabled off Ocean Isle Beach Fishing Pier, four miles
southeast of Shallotte Inlet sea buoy.
The station contacted Brunswick County 911 and requested that the
Ocean Isle Beach Volunteer Fire Department's ocean rescue unit assist.
One of its boats arrived at the scene a short time later and took the strick
en skiff in tow. Arndt said.
The local rescue boat asked for Coast Guard assistance when the
weather began to worsen. The station launched its 41-footer and a 21
foot rigid-hulled fast-response boat.
The Ocean Isle Beach unit called back a short while later and said
they had the skiff safely in tow through Shallotte Inlet. The station's two
boats were recalled.
OIB Delays Action On Proposal
To Relax Height Limit On Homes
BY LYNN CARLSON
Ocean Isle Beach commissioners have re
turned to the town's planning board a proposal to
relax residential building height restrictions at
Ocean Isle Beach so that new two-story homes
built in flood hazard areas can conform to town
and federal regulations.
The proposal, submitted to the commission
ers Oct. 12 by the planning board, would let
property owners in the V-zone (flood hazard
area) exceed the current 36-foot height limit by
no more than four feet to allow them "two eight
foot-high ceilings on two living area floors so
long as the lowest living floor is constructed
within one foot, two inches of the required flood
plain ordinance base flood elevation."
After a public hearing Tuesday morning, the
commissioners agreed at the request of planning
board member and Commissioner-elect Ken
Proctor to return the proposal to the planning
board for "one more workshop."
Proctor said the planning board may propose
a new basis for residential height limitations us
ing "a firm starting place" so that "even when the
base flood elevation changes, every property
owner would have the same limitation."
Different towns use different starting points
for their residential height limits. Sunset Beach's
height limit on the island portion of the town is
35 feet above the crown of the roadbed in front
of a house. Holden Beach limits building heights
to 35 feet above the slab under a house. Ocean
Isle Beach currently begins measuring at the
highest point on the lot.
Ocean Isle's proposal to relax the limit would
allow homebuilders to meet federal regulations
requiring them to build on high pilings in the
I "Relaxing the building
height might open a
large can of worms.
It could mess up the
appearance of the
beach as it is now. "
? Kendall Suh, Commissioner
flood hazard zone without forcing them to have
very flat roofs in order to make it under the
town's 36-foot height rule with a two-story
Building Inspector Druied Roberson argued
against the contention that the ordinance, if
adopted, would affect only a few pieces of prop
"It would actually affect the entire beach, be
cause wl'ere you have lots in low areas, if the
homes had to be rebuilt, they wouldn't fit under
the height limitation.
"Appraisers have gotten skittish now, and
they look at every fact. If you couldn't build the
same square footage back on the same lot, they
would have to take that into consideration. That
means it could possibly affect every house from
mid-canals on the concrete side to most of the
west end, plus the condos in the R-2 (residential)
Roberson added, "I agree that the planning
board needs a well-defined starting place to mea
Commissioner Kendall Suh said relaxing the
building height might "open a large can of
worms. It could mess up the appearance of the
beach as it is now."
Suh argued that "we don't need to guarantee
anyone will be able to build a two-story home.
Some lots are better than others. It is not the re
sponsibility of the Town of Ocean Isle Beach that
every lot will give the maximum in terms of
square footage. It is our responsibility to make
sure we don't have homes (being built) out of
character with the rest of Ocean Isle Beach."
Contractor John Sutton said he'd like to see
all residential buildings limited to 40 feet instead
of 36. "They're easier to design and build, and if
some can go to 40, all should be able to."
Discussion is expected to continue at the
board's Dec. 6 meeting.
In other business, the commissioners:
?presented a plaque of appreciation to outgo
ing Commissioner Terry Barbee, who lost the
Nov. 2 election after serving eight years on the
board. Ken Proctor will assume that seat on the
board and is to be sworn in Dec. 6.
?learned from Mayor Betty Williamson that
the town saved $394,506 in the recent refunding
of $3 million in sewer bonds;
?heard the mayor briefly review the recently
completed audit for the fiscal year which ended
June 30, determining the town to be "in great fi
nancial condition" with a 99.88 percent tax col
lection rate, a tax value up $5.6 million over the
previous year, no budgets overspent and an un
designated fund balance of $597,400.
?gave a round of applause to Finance Officer
Daisy Ivey and other town employees for their
performance, which was also commended in the
Shallotte Sets Hearing
On Zoning Amendments
BY DOUG RUTTER
Shallotte Aldermen will hold a
public hearing next week on three
proposed changes in the zoning code,
two of which would relax restrictions
on existing lots and buildings that do
not meet minimum standards.
Town residents and landowners
will be invited to give their opinions
on proposed rules that would affect
how Shallotte handles non-conform
ing uses on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 7
p.m in town hall.
Among the planning board pro
posals is one to do away with a sec
tion of the town code that requires
all lots not served by a public water
or sewer system to meet minimum
lot sizes established by the county
Building Inspector Albert Hughes
said the town has its own minimum
lot sizes for properties in the town's
one-mile extraterritorial uea that are
not served by water or sewer.
Minimum standards are 15,000
square feet for the RA-15 and
RAM-15 zoning districts, which are
intended for residential and agricul
tural uses, and 20,000 square feet for
the B-2 commercial district.
Two other proposed changes deal
with "non-conforming uses," which
are land or building uses that do not
conform with the town's zoning or
One change would extend from
90 days to 180 d*vs the period in
?which non-conforming uses may be
discontinued without having to be
brought into compliance.
Hughes said the new rule would
be used in cases where a non-con
forming house or business was de
stroyed by fire. The owner would
have 180 days to start rebuilding in
stead of 90.
"Ninety days wouldn't hardly
give you enough time to settle with
the insurance company and start
construction," said Hughes, adding
that the time period used to 180 days
until it was changed a few years ago.
Also going to public hearing next
week is a proposal that would allow
the development of any lot that
doesn't m<;et minimum lot size stan
dards as long as setback require
ments are met.
Under the current code, non-con
forming lots can be developed if
they are no more than 20 percent be
low the minimum size limits and
were recorded before the zoning or
dinance took effect.
The change would allow the use
of any property as long as the owner
can meet the setbacks requirements
of 10 feet for side yards, 25 feet for
front yards and 20 feet for rear
"It still has a lot of restrictions to
it, but it doesn't say you can't use
those lots period," Hughes ex
If the new rule is approved,
Hughes said a landowner would be
permitted to request a variance from
the code if the lot is too small and
setbacks cannot be met.
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Board, Partners Differ Over 3 Subdivision Plans
BY LYNN CARLSON
Ocean Isle Partners and the
Ocean Isle Beach Board of Com
missioners Tuesday continued their
running struggle over three subdivi
sions the partners are developing
from oceanfront to soundfront just
west of the town hall.
The partners, represented on
Tuesday by engineer Jay Houston,
accused the town board of demand
ing more of the Ross and Crouse
subdivisions and Summer Place
than it has of previous develop
Town officials countered that
the partners continually change
their plans as the developments
progress, requiring additional study
and deliberation before plat and per
mit approvals can be issued.
The partners were required by
the town board to provide a public
parking lot, and later received per
mission to change its location from
the oceanfront to two 25-foot-long
strips across the street.
On Tuesday, the partners asked
for a special use permit to build a
private swimming pool adjacent to
the east edge of the parking lots to
serve the developments.
"Ocean Isle Beach needs a pool
like a hole in the head," argued
Odell Williamson, utilities and
The development's preliminary
plat, approved by the commission
ers, included a pool, said partner
"It was hidden among the topo
lines on your erosion control plan,"
countered Building Inspector
"It was not hidden," Sutton re
sponded. "It was in the required
plans, and the rules do not specify
which one it needs to be on."
The commissioners, acting as a
board of adjustment, will consider
the request at a public hearing Dec.
6 at 8:30 a.m. prior to its regular 9
The board and partners also dif
fered over whether the partners
should be allowed to cut First Street
to install sewer pipes, drain
stormwater through the public park
ing lot and move a water line.
"You guys are being singled
out," engineer Houston said.
"No kidding," replied partner
Engineer Finley Boney, hired by
the town to represent it on the water
and sewer questions, said, "I agree
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that communication between the
town and the developers could have
been better, but it's time to sit down,
stop avoiding each other and get an
approvable plan together."
The mayor appointed Boney,
Odell Williamson, Roberson, Com
missioner Debbie Fox and herself to
set a workshop with the partners "to
see if we can work things out."
Ocean Isle Beach's subdivision
ordinance is being rewritten with
the help of an out-of-town consul
tant in hopes of closing 4oopholes
and clarifying municipal standards
for development. A second draft of
the proposal was submitted to the
town's planning board two weeks
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