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Holders Committee Continues Investigation Of Beachfront Office
BY DOUG R UTTER
An investigation continues into
alleged violations of building code,
health department and coastal man
agement regulations at a Holden
Beach real estate office.
The committee formed two weeks
ago to look into complaints about
Cuaaiai Dcvciupmcui ol Rcaiiys
beachfront office hxi nol completed
its fact-finding mission as of Mon
Commissioner Jim Foumier. who
is heading up the committee, said
Tuesday he hoped to wrap up the in
vestigation soon so the town can
send a report to the N.C. Division of
The state agency requested a town
investigation after receiving a writ
ten complaint from C.H. Osbom,
who owns a home next to the real
estate ottice at 131 Ocean Blvd.
In a Feb. 28 letter to Coastal
Management's regional office in
Wilmington. Osbom alleges that the
building violates occanfront setback
9. Guiiinc drawing
10. Scottish dish
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20. Old and torn
on Page 7-Q
requirements and stale septic tanks
Osbom also claims he was not
notified prior to construction and
that neither the general contractor
nor electrical contractor who worked
on the office was licensed for com
houmier reported at Monday
night's town meeting that it's stil!
unclear whether adjacent property
owners were notified prior to con
struction of the spacious office.
The town has in its files a form
signed by Coastal Development
owner Mark Saunders stating that
adjaccnt landowners were notified
of construction plans. However,
Saunders does not have registered
mail receipts to prove that the letters
"I don't know where you put the
burden of proof," Fournier said
Tuesday. "We certainly can't prove
that he didn't send the notices."
Fournier said the committee is
still looking into allegations that part
of the septic tank system that serves
the office building has been covered
with pavement in violation of state
A recent letter from a Brunswick
County Health Department official
to Saunders says that a sign was
constructed over the septic system's
nitrification field and that pavement
was placed over the repair arcs.
Bruce Withrow, environmental
health program specialist, states in
the March 31 letter that the viola
tions must be corrected by removing
the pavement, restoring the site to its
original state and providing a physi
cal barrier between the septic system
and repair area.
However. Fournier said he has re
ceiveo mixed signals from the coun
ty health department concerning the
removal of pavement.
During a recent conversation with
Health Director Michael Rhodes,
Fournier was told the county does
not usually require property owners
to remove pavement that is placed
over septic systems.
Foumier said Rhodes told him the
county requires removal of pave
ment only in cases where the septic
"I never have seen a lot of con
crete torn up on Holdcn Beach, and
I'm sure there =?.re a lot of septic
tanks paved over." Foumier said.
"I'm sure you could stand a? Mark's
place and throw rocks on a half
dozen of them."
In his complaint to Coastal Man
agement. Osborn also staled that the
county septic tank permit was issued
for nine occupants and Coastal
Development had a staff of 13 as of
Foumier said a Feb. 10 letter from
Saunders to the health department
stafcd that a "significant portion" of
Coastal Development's employees
work in the field and not in the of
Saunders included with his letter
copies of town water bills that show
an average usage of 13# gallons per
day (gpd). The county septic tank
permit was issued for 225 gpd.
Foumier said he is waiting for
Building Inspector Claude Spellman
to gather information on the size of
the building as it relates to the
ocean front setback and the contrac
tors used during construction.
Gncc lite wiimuiiiC wmpiciu ii?
investigation, Foumier said he will
report to the full board of commis
sioners and it will send its findings
to the Division of Coastal Man
If the allegations are found to be
valid. Holden Beach must notify the
state within 30 days, correct the situ
ation and show how the town in
tends to avoid similar violations in
Saunders has declined to com
ment on the allegations until the in
vestigation is completed.
Commissioner Dwight Carroll,
who was building inspector when
the office was constructed, also has
declined to comment.
AT HOLDEN BEACH
Commissioners Approve Marker 55 Subdivision
BY DOUG RUTTER
A 16-lot subdivision featuring
tennis courts, a clubhouse, swim
ming pool and chipping and putting
green for homeowners received ap
proval Monday night from Holden
Commissioners approved the final
plat for Marker 55, a 13-acre
planned neighborhood located nor
theast of the High Point Street
Bmnswick Avenue West intersec
Holden Beach Enterprises is de
veloping the subdivision, which had
more than 60 lots when it was origi
nally platted. The property is zoned
R-i, which is reserved for iow -den
sity residential use.
Commissioners approved the new
plat even though one of the streets
will be longer than 500 feet, which
is the maximum length allowed in
the town's subdivision ordinance.
The Marker 55 street will be 655
feet long. Town officials said Mon
day they don't know the reason the
500-foot limit was established or if
it's an arbitrary figure.
Developer Harry Lockwood
pointed out that homes will only be
built on one side of the street, so it
will have less density than a 500
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foot street with homes on both sides.
The 2.2-acre recreational area will
be reserved for property owners and
will border the north side of Bruns
Town officials received a letter
from a man who owns a home near
the Marker 55 property. He raised
concerns about the possible impact
of the recreational area, especially
the noise and lighting.
Lockwood said the area will be
screened and landscaped. "1 think
he's going to be very pleasantly sur
prised." Lockwood said.
Commissioners said they're
pleased Marker 55 's developers re
duced the number of lots to 16.
Town officials also are excited about
another subdivision being planned at
the east end of the island.
While plat approval could be sev
eral months away, officials got their
first look Monday night at plans for
the Dunescape subdivision that cov
ers 119 acres of hilly terrain near
Lockwood Folly Inlet
The first phase of the subdivision,
owned by John M. Holden and Dav
id L Holden, will include 58 lots on
86.49 acres. The entrance will be off
Ocean Boulevard East al Avenue C.
The neighborhood will feature
large lots ? at least 14,000 square
feet each ? and narrow, winding
roads that may be divided in some
places if it is dictated by the terrain.
Developer Jay Holden said he
wants to retain the natural condi
tions as much as possible and that
will include saving trees and leaving
the area's huge dunes in tact.
Responding to questions from the
developer, commissioners said they
would approve a street more than
500 feet long and would not require
a second access road for Dunescape.
At least one issue remains unset
tied, whether the streets in Dune
scape will be public or private.
Since the roads will follow the
natural topography, the grade may
be too steep and curves may be too
sharp in some places to meet town
Two commissioners, Sid Swarts
and Dwight Carroll, said Monday
they would prefer the streets be pub
lic if it can be worked out.
"There's an awful lot of problems
with being a private area," said
Swarts, who lives in the private
Holden Beach West subdivision.
Planning Board Chairman Roger
Williams said. "We think Dunescape
is an excellent subdivision. You've
got more acres man io?."
Thank you for your
vote and support in the
May 3rd Primary
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