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Sunset Sends Sand Dune
Alteration Rules Back To
Drawing Board Again
BY SUSAN USHER
Adoption of a zoning ordinance amendment that would have forbade
altering sand dunes or the vegetation growing on them stalled Monday
when at least two Sunset Beach Town Council members questioned its
The amendment, which was just revised following a board work
shop, would have banned any alteration or relocation of sand, sand dune
or natural vegetation on the beachfront south of a line 185 feet south of
the right-of-way of Main Street. Any violation would have been a misde
meanor and restoration of the area at the violator's expense would have
been required within 60 days of its discovery.
"That's inviting violations," said Mayor Pro-tem Ed Gore of the arbi
trary line. He said the debate over altering the sand dune area stemmed
from his "maintaining" an extended section outside his oceanfront resi
Property owners need to be able to trim bushes and alter the landscape,
he said, so they "would see a beach scene, not a swamp scene" created by
myrtles and "swamp willows" growing in low swales between dunes.
Councilman Cherri Cheek questioned uniform application of the rule
to all properties. She suggested allowing those who own deeper lots on
the west end be allowed to trim bushes beyond the 185-foot area if they
present a plan and receive a permit from the town. "It might allow small
er plants that hug the ground to grow and help with the mosquitos," she
said. "The myrtles seem to harbor mosquitos."
The uniform line was set at the recommendation of a consultant.
"I'm embarrassed this got this far without these objections being
raised," said Councilman Herb Klinker, as the council agreed to send the
measure back to the planning board for review and setting of a joint
workshop with council.
In other business council:
? voted, after a public hearing, to close Fairway Drive East at its in
tersection with Angel Trace Road as requested by local property owners.
? approved preliminary and final plats for the Carol Ann Moore sub
division on Schuyler Drive.
? approved an amended preliminary assessment roll for the next
phase of the town's underground utility project.
? tabled action on sidewalk construction until the December meet
ing. after receiving only one bid for the project. Council expects to have
a better idea then of how sewer line installation might affect the walk
ways and how long it might be before the island receives sewer if there
are no further delays in the project.
? subject to concurrence from DOT. voted to ban parking on the
eastern right-of-way of N.C. 179 a distance of about 52 feet from the in
tersection with Shoreline Drive, to improve visibility for motorists using
? authorized staff to advertise for bids and proceeds with plans to
KiiilH a new 4 517 square foot town hall off N.C. 179.
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Resort Plaza, Shallotte, NC 28459
Board Proposes P
BY SUSAN USHER
How much commercial develop
ment is enough?
Members of the Sunset Beach
Planning and Zoning Board have
reached the conclusion the resort
community has more than enough,
especially if it intends to retain a res
At its January 9 meeting, Sunset
Beach Town Council will hold a
public hearing on a proposed
amendment to the 1992 land use
plan that would reflect that philoso
"We have much more land zoned
commercial than is needed, at least
in the foreseeable future," Chairman
Richard Good told town council and
residents Monday. "The bottom line
is we have 115 to 220 surplus acres."
Requests for additional commer
cial zoning would be "carefully
evaluated" as to the needs of the
community for such development.
According to planning criteria
based on year-round and seasonal
population headcounts. Good said
the town should need only 122 acres
to 227 acres of commercial develop
ment by 1997.
Sunset Beach presently has 342.8
acres zoned for either beach or
mainland business, of which 310
acres are vacant. Only 32 acres (9
percent) is being used for commer
cial purposes. The 343 acTes repre
sent 12.7 percent of all developable
land in the town's planning area,
which includes the town and its ex
On the island commercial devel
opment is concentrated on and limit
ed to Sunset Boulevard. On the
mainland, 4.7 miles or 45 percent of
frontage along the main traffic corri
dor ? N.C. 904 ? is zoned for busi
In keeping with this philosophy
council last year created a new zon
ing district, mainland professional,
and adopted stricter sign and land
scaping regulations for commercial
In a related move at its meeting
Monday, council voted unanimous
ly, over the objections of one prop
erty owner and after two ycais of
delay while council and planning
board deliberated, to zone a 300-foot
wide section along N.C. 904 as
mainland residential. The zoning ex
tends from Leak Street to the south
ern edge of Sea Village subdivision.
WJ. McLamb, who owns and
plans to develop land surrounding
Sea Village subdivision, said site
preparation for a new subdivision
had been made on the premise of at
least a 200-foot strip fronting N.C.
904 being set aside for commercial
development at a later time.
Initially plans had included com
mercial development of a section
fronting Sea Village, which drew
protests from residents of the com
munity that led McLamb to revised
the proposed business area.
POA board member Judy Home
thanked the town Monday for its
consideration of residents' concerns.
In another land use plan change
not related to commercial develop
ment, Sunset Beach proposes to ex
pand efforts to accommodate/im
prove bicycle traffic.
Four Hearings Next Month
The hearing in January isn't the
only one set by council members
Council slated public hearings for
its Dec. 5 meeting on:
? the proposed rezoning of a tract
off N.C. 9()4 owned by Odcll
Williamson from business, as indi
cated on the town zoning map, to
residential, to reflect its purported
9 a request from the ojvnet of
Bird Island to change the zoning to
allow denser development on the is
land; the planning board has recom
mended no change in the existing
? " ?
conservation district zoning.
? a request for voluntary annexa
tion of the Woodstork, Barony Place
and Osprey Watch subdivisions in
Sea Trail Plantation.
? a proposed amendment to re
duce the setback requirement be
tween the building and boundary
line in a new multi-family project
that abuts an existing multi-family
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