BiACON Hit PHOIO
SUNSET HEACH opi ned a new beach access, lot I-A, en labor Day weekend. The \'.C. Supreme
Court declared the lot a public access way in a controversial legal battle.
MACON HIE PHOTO
THE TOP OF THE FERRIS WHEEL offered a ureal view of the 1991 \.C. Oyster Festival, one of
several fall events that extend the area's tourist season.
Sunset Beach Sets The Pace In
(Continued From Page 1 1 -A )
town can control growth through its
zoning anil subdivision rules.
"I look at a more as a protective
device to keep necessarily unwanted
i>r unsightl) development from com
ing into die community,"* Reeves
said at a September public hearing.
Morris Hall and Roney Cheers
were elected in November to replace
Simmons and Hewcu on the town
Holdcn Beach, Sunset Beach and
Ocean Isle Beach Holden ux>k in in
creased accommodations tax rev
enues that helped them provide the
expanded services required during
the peak summer season, as well as
attract more tourists to the area.
With Sunset Beach setting the
pace, all three "family-oriented"
communities banned nudn> in public
ureas, making topless sunbathing and
the wearing of thong swinisuits
against the law.
Holden Beach was a hotbed of ac
tivity in 19^1 as town officials com
pleted several projects including a
new public works garage and side
walk along Ocean Boulevard.
Much was accomplished during
the year, despite frequent changes in
the town's top administration post
and election ol i new ma\or and
lour nc'A u .mi board members m
Holden Beach went through three
chief administrators in 1991. includ
ing two hired on an interim basis,
before Gary Parker look over as
tow n manager in August.
Police Chief Ra>mond Simpson, a
fixture at Holden Beach, retired in
December alter 15 years with the
department. Robert Cook was pro
moted from sergeant to chief.
In the political arena, Holdcn
Beach Commissioners pushed for
state legislation in 1991 that could
allow island voters to decide any
proposed change in the town bound
The N.C. General Assembly
passed the law in July that allows the
town board to call lor a special vote
on any proposed annexation. Reg
istered voters can force a referendum
if 40 percent of them sign a petition.
The town board allocated SI 5,000
in August to establish a water rescue
team in response to five drownings
during the year. Two visitors
drowned in the surf, and three men
drowned when their boat sank off
Commissioners adopted the
town's land use plan update in De
cember after nearly two years of
work, and were still considering
changing the outside lighting ordi
nance that has been debated since it
ux)k effect last November.
Town officials also were working
on a program to manage septic tanks
and other wastewater treatment sys
Calabash, Sunset Beach and
Ocean Isle Beach investigated either
adding sewer service to their area in
place of st'ptic tanks or expanding
Ocean Isle contracted Boney and
Associates to perform a S2K,(HK)
study on the proposed expansion ol
their existing sewer lines to the east
end of the island.
By 'all. Sunset Beach and
Calabash both had separately hired
Powell Associates of North Myrtle
Beach to study the feasibility and ex
pense of installing sewer systems in
their areas, with long-range consid
eration of a regional solution to
sewage treatment and dis|?>sal.
The prospect didn't please oppo
nents of a proposed high rise bridge
at Sunset Beach resembling th<- ones
at Holden Beach and Ocean Isle.
The bridge- and the potential of a
sewer line suspended from it be
came a symbol for population
growth and density that could
change the nature ol the island.
Sunset Beach added to lis pioh
lems with disagreeing factions in its
community by annexing more than
1,2(X) acres of land into its bound
"Wo 're going to tv busy this
\ ear." said Mayor Mason Barber in
February as commissioners moved
to begin the annexation process that
would brine in more tax base.
As they approved annexation of
the Seaside Food Lion area on N.C.
'HU, a large portion of Sea Trail.
Kings Trail subdivision, and Oyster
Point I and 11 in 1W1. they heard
praise from residents who liked be
ing part of the town, but they also
heard grumbles from those who
wanted the quiet little island-domi
nated community to remain that way .
"I have less and less voting power
on the island every time the town an
nexes an area on the mainland," said
Cletus Waldmiller. president of the
Sunset Bcach Taxpayers Associa
tion. "Pretty soon we 'a- not going to
be a beach town, but a town with a
Ocean Isle had high hopes of see
ing Shallotte Inlet dredged by the
Corps of Engineers early in the year,
but the Corps announced that the
project wasn't affordable. But by
December, the town received notice
that the Corps was reconsidering its
Meanwhile, the town expected
material from routine maintenance
dredging of the Atlantic Intracoastal
Waterway to help renourish its erod
ing east end.
Growth came in the form of mod
em liehtinc to Vamamtown. when
shortly before its third birthday, al
demien had installed amber street
lights in the town limits. A healthy
budget also helped the board pay off
the remaining debt owed on its town
hall building a year ahead of sched
Calabash wrestled with errors, en
forcement and changes in their zon
ing ordinances all year. Agreements
on town ordinances were finally
reached concerning signs, yard sales,
manufactured homes, tree pruning,
abandoned structures and peddling.
The Calabash Planning Board
looked to be in jeopardy when on
August 27, the entire membership
resigned, citing lack of communica
tion and support from the commis
Eventually Pau Lewellyn, Forrest
King, Bruce Bunt and Warren
Picnack returned at the commission
ers' request, and additional new
members were found. The commis
sioners also added another represen
tative from District 1 (the old Town
of Calabash) and another from
District 2 (Carolina Shores), thus
balancing the representation to equal
that of the town board.
In municipal elections, incum
bents fared well across the South
Like Shallotte, Ocean Isle, Sunset
Beach and Vamamtown returned
their incumbcnt mayors to office ?
Bettv Williamson. Mason Barber
and Judy Galloway respectively.
Al Ocean Isle newcomers Janet
Sanders and Kendall Suh were elect
ed, while incumbent Debbie Sloane
Fox won rc-clcction.
In Calabash incumbents Jon
Sanborn (District II) and Keith
Hardee (District I) returned and
Robert Noc, former Carolina Shores
POA manger, joined the board from
Councilman Mary K. Griffith won
rc-clcction at Sunset Beach, wh.'e
Cherri Check defeated Waldmillcr
for the other available scat.
In Vamamtown, voters returned
John David Dawson to the board,
while Tonya Robbins and Fayc
Gallowav won their first terms.
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