June 27, 2011

Nourishment Funding and Beach Access

I have long been a critic of communities that do not provide public beach access, particularly Southern Shores. When I saw this article on the Outer Banks Voice about the relationship between beach nourishment funding and public access I decided to see if I could develop a model policy that met the needs of all the county's communities.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy.  

Beach Access Policy A Proposal

Dare County needs a public access policy. When Dare County provides public dollars to help rebuild and maintain shoreline, that shoreline should be accessible to the public. We don’t use public dollars to build private roads and we shouldn’t use public dollars to build private beaches. Public access by definition means access open and available to any member of the public without restriction

In developing this policy the County needs to recognize currently access varies widely from no public access to access that meets the rigorous federal standards[see note below] in Kill Devil Hills and most of Nags Head. Access policy must reflect this difference and encourage access where none exists while still enabling necessary investments in our key economic infrastructure, our beaches.


First the county policy should fund planning for projects without regard to access. Restricting planning funds for inaccessible beaches means those beaches will never be nourished and never be able to develop public access.


Secondly the county should require if a nourishment project does not meet a basic standard for access then 5% of the total project cost must be spent improving access. The basic standard might be 10 parking spaces for each mile of beach in the project within a quarter mile of an improved public beach crosswalk. The required access could be in one central location or spread throughout the project. If this basic standard is not met then the nourishment project would have to demonstrate that 5% of the total cost of the project is being used to improve access. This could be in the form of acquiring access easements, constructing parking or other improvements but there must be more access when the project is completed than before it started.


Funding for the access improvements need not be taken from nourishment funds. Money is available from CAMA and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau to help with access projects. Several beach towns have successfully completed access projects by combining CAMA and OBVB funds with not local cash involved.


This approach, no access requirement for planning and a required investment for nourishment projects, allows all communities to use County funds to protect their beaches and the provides the opportunity to improve public access without penalizing those who have developed without extensive public access.



Note: The Corps regulations and guidance concerning this issue stipulate that an access shall be located every half mile with adequate parking associated with each access. In general, adequate parking has been designated as ten spaces located within a quarter mile of each access. (source Carteret County Shore Protection Office))

February 11, 2011

Response to Russ Lay in the Outer Banks Voice.

The Outer Banks Voice published my response to Russ Lay;s critique of the Nags Head Board of Commissioner's decision regarding a proposed development in Nags Head Woods.

February 8, 2011

Full text of Nags Head Code for Response to Russ Lay

Section 44-63 governs when development is not required to connect to Town water.
Secttion 48-442 The first entry the section on Residential Clusters.  This is followed by the full SED 80 district regulations including Residential Clusters.
        
Sec. 44-63. - Connection to town system required; exception
All new development shall be connected to the town water system, in accordance with standards and specifications then in effect, for water supply, with the exception of a single-family residence that meets all of the following requirements:
(1)  The structure is proposed for a lot of at least 40,000 square feet in size, or is an existing lot of record that does not front on a dedicated right-of-way, or a lot that has been previously developed without benefit of a water tap;
(2)  The lot is located in excess of 500 feet from an existing water main;
(3)  The lot is recorded at the county registry and met all subdivision and zoning requirements at the time of its creation; and
(4)  The developer obtains all necessary approvals from the appropriate regulatory agencies.
Sec. 48-7. - Definitions of specific words and terms
Residential cluster means the grouping of attached or detached single-family dwellings, whether for one or more families, on a single lot meeting the dimensional requirements for the zoning district for the number of residential units, in an arrangement in which the side yards or distance between units may be less than that required in the zoning district. Residential clusters may normally have the appearance of one structure, and the individual residential units may be connected by common porches, walkways, patios or garages.

Sec. 48-442. - SED-80 special environmental district. (Residential Clusters)

Conditional uses. The following uses shall be permitted subject to the requirements of this SED-80 district and additional regulations and requirements imposed by the board of commissioners as provided in article XIV of this chapter:

(1)  Residential cluster housing, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.  Residential clusters shall be on single parcels of which at least 50 percent of the parcel is net buildable land.
b.  No unit in a residential cluster shall be located within 50 feet of a property line.
c. Residential clusters shall be limited to a maximum of four dwelling units per lot.
d.  Area requirements for residential clusters shall be 80,000 square feet of lot per unit.
e. The minimum separation between detached units in a cluster shall be 20 feet.

Sec. 48-442. - SED-80 special environmental district (Complete)


(a)
Basis and purpose. The Nags Head Woods is an irreplaceable maritime forest occupying the northwest corner of the town. Nags Head Woods was the home of the first settlers. Nags Head Woods is one of a few remaining maritime forests in the state and consists of ecologically important marshlands, pine hammocks, bay forest, the ridge forest, hardwood and pine forests, ponds and dunes. Each part of this natural system is important to the survival of the whole system. The least adverse environmental impacts would result from development in the bay and hardwood forests and away from the ponds and marshes. The Woods is also environmentally significant because of its natural role in the integrity of the coastal region, and in 1974, Nags Head Woods was designated by the United States Congress as a National Natural Landmark.
(b)
Intent. This SED-80 district is created to permit development that is compatible with the environmentally sensitive nature of Nags Head Woods and to preserve land in a natural state where such land is considered to be a vital link in the groundwater replenishment cycle of the outer banks and where the destruction of natural vegetation would have a harmful effect on the stability of the soil and its resistance to erosion. More specifically, the SED-80 district is designed to:
(1)
Provide for the paramount public concern for these natural resources in the interest of health, safety and general welfare of the residents of and visitors to the town.
(2)
Preserve the natural features and functions of the area necessary for safe and compatible development on the entire outer banks. Such features include, but are not limited to, the following:
a.
The components of the groundwater storage and recharge system which are necessary for the growth and maintenance of the maritime forest vegetation. Such components include ponds, lowlands, marshes, bay forests and wetlands.
b.
Vegetation acting as soil stabilizers or which provide significant protection from storm or salt intrusion, including the dune ridge plant communities and scrub forest.
(3)
Protect the fragile ecosystems of Nags Head Woods from the effects of fire, storms, flooding and other natural and manmade disasters.
(4)
Prevent pollution of the estuary and the sound which might otherwise adversely affect the biological productivity of the sound.
(5)
Permit low-density residential development of those portions of the SED-80 district suitable for residential use and to encourage open space and limited passive recreational use of portions not suitable for residential use.
(6)
Prohibit commercial and industrial use of the land and any other use not compatible with the ecological carrying capacity of the area.
(7)
Preserve the cultural heritage, features and integrity of Nags Head Woods as a maritime forest.
(c)
Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Building site means the maximum area within a lot of disturbed land and vegetation required for placement of principal structures (exclusive of decks) and accessory structures, its accessways and utilities, including areas disturbed for parking lots, power lines, driveways, septic tank nitrification fields, cemeteries and hiking trails.
Cemetery means land used or intended to be used for the burial of the human dead and dedicated for cemetery purposes, and specifically excluding crematories, mausoleums and mortuaries.
Estuarine frontal dunes means the dunes which are the first mounds of sand located landward of the estuarine waters of the Roanoke Sound and having a minimum elevation equal to or greater than the mean flood level plus six feet (nine feet plus six feet). For the purpose of this article, estuarine frontal dunes occur in the area southerly of the northwest boundary of Parcel 13, Tax Map 185, as shown on Tax Maps 185 and 186. The estuarine frontal dunes extend southward and terminate at the southwest boundary of the SED-80 district.
Forest canopy means (collectively) the light-intercepting layer formed by all of the tree tops and ultimate leaf bearing branches in a forest; the uppermost layer of vegetation in a forest. In the Nags Head Woods, the forest canopy may be kept to near constant height by the pruning effect of salt mist nearer the ocean or it may become irregular in height where salt impact is less.
Forest subcanopy means a light-intercepting understory layer formed by shade-tolerant saplings, shrubs and small trees beneath the canopy of a forest. The Nags Head Woods subcanopy species include dogwood, muscle wood, hop hornbeam and holly.
Groundwater recharge area means a catchment basin or watershed underlain by layers of alternating permeable and impermeable strata such that excess rainfall not lost by evapotranspiration or runoff is retained and stored in subterranean porous layers of soil. Essentially the entire Nags Head Woods acts as a groundwater recharge area since porous sandy soils permit little runoff of excess precipitation. For the purposes of this chapter, components of this system include ponds, wetland swales, bay forests, dunes and marsh.
Migrating dune means an area of unstabilized sand subject to movement under the influence of winds. Migrating dunes occur in the Nags Head Woods along the eastern boundary of the dune ridge maritime forest.
Net buildable land means that portion of any lot that does not include estuarine marsh, fresh water marsh, ponds, wetland swales or streams (as determined or defined by CAMA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).
Pond means a small body of standing water with rooted plants growing across it (or at least capable of supporting plants all the way across). In Nags Head Woods, ponds often exhibit moderate seasonal variations in water depth.
Public water supply well field means a well or series of wells operated by a governmental entity to provide water for its citizens.
Ridge line forest means a type of maritime forest in which the pruning effect of salt mist is moderated by distance from the ocean source. The forest canopy is dominated by various evergreen oaks (live, laurel, water) and an understory subcanopy of dogwood, muscle wood, hop hornbeam and holly. In the Nags Head Woods, the dune ridge maritime forest typically occupies the highest dunes along a major north-south oriented dune ridge near the eastern boundary of the district.
Roanoke Sound dune ridge means the western ridges of the westernmost north-to-south oriented dune. This dune ridge forms a natural barrier between the high ground of the dune ridge and the lower terrain to the west. For the purpose of this section, the Roanoke Sound dune ridge is located in the area northward of the northwest boundary of Parcel 13, Tax Map 186, as shown on Tax Map 185 and 186, and generally west of the Nags Head Woods Road, and extends northward to the town's northern limits.
Salt marsh means a flat bed of salt-resistant grasses, sedges and/or rushes that is periodically flooded by salt or brackish water. In Nags Head Woods, salt marsh extends in an irregular band along the foot of the westernmost forested dunes westerly to the edge of the estuary. Characteristic plants include: cattails, giant cordgrass and black needle rush.
Site plan means a map and accompanying report detailing existing vegetation and topography (pursuant to the requirements of subsection (g) of this section), which must be submitted to develop any subdivision or building site.
Soil erosion and sedimentation control plan means a plan designed by the Soil Conservation Service or a comparable organization that will ensure the stabilization and subsequent revegetation of all areas that have been disturbed to the extent that bare land has become exposed.
Surficial groundwater means groundwater stored between the geographical surface and the first confining impermeable subsurface strata.
Tree means any woody plant of multiple or single trunk with a caliper of four inches or more at one foot above the ground.
Tree removal means removal of a tree means any act which causes a tree to die within a period of two years including, but not limited to, damage inflicted upon the root system by machinery, storage of materials and soil compaction; changing the natural grade above the root system or around the trunk; damage inflicted on the tree permitting infection or pest infestation; excessive pruning; or paving with concrete, asphalt or other impervious material within such proximity as to be harmful to the tree.
Wetland swales means seasonally flooded or water-saturated depressions located between drier adjacent dune ridges. The vegetation cover includes a tree canopy. The general aspect of a swale greatly resembles that of a forested swamp, of which it may be considered a subunit. In the Nags Head Woods, dominant wetland swale vegetation includes sweet gum, black gum, red maple, buttonbush and cattails. Swales may become flooded seasonally or following heavy rainfall.
(d)
Permitted uses. The following uses shall be permitted by right in the SED-80 district:
(1)
Detached single-family dwellings, each on its own individual lot. Single-family dwellings containing five bedrooms shall be subject to the applicable requirements specified in section 48-370.
(2)
Watershed conservation areas.
(3)
Nonprofit wildlife and ecological preserves.
(4)
Hiking trails.
(5)
Municipal estuarine access facilities.
(6)
Private docks, as permitted by CAMA, and storage buildings, not to exceed 300 square feet.
(7)
Estuarine bulkheads.
(8)
Accessory uses and structures limited to private swimming pool, private tennis court, detached garage, storage building, roof top wind energy facilities and private dock. Any accessory use or structure shall meet the front, rear and side setbacks required for principal structures, except for water-dependent structures, which may be excluded from water-side setback only.
(9)
Boardinghouse, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
Boardinghouses may not exceed two rooms, which are intended to be rented.
b.
Occupancy by tenants shall not exceed more than two persons per bedroom and shall be for durations of generally greater than one week.
c.
Individual rooms shall not contain independent cooking facilities; this however shall not prohibit the serving of meals to tenants or the use of a single kitchen by tenants.
d.
Boardinghouses shall be owner occupied and serve as the primary residence of the owner.
(10)
Large residential dwellings, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that all the conditions are met specified in section 48-370.
(e)
Conditional uses. The following uses shall be permitted subject to the requirements of this SED-80 district and additional regulations and requirements imposed by the board of commissioners as provided in article XIV of this chapter:
(1)
Residential cluster housing, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
Residential clusters shall be on single parcels of which at least 50 percent of the parcel is net buildable land.
b.
No unit in a residential cluster shall be located within 50 feet of a property line.
c.
Residential clusters shall be limited to a maximum of four dwelling units per lot.
d.
Area requirements for residential clusters shall be 80,000 square feet of lot per unit.
e.
The minimum separation between detached units in a cluster shall be 20 feet.
(2)
Cemeteries, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
All cemeteries shall have perpetual care.
b.
All graves or burial plots shall be set back not less than 30 feet from any public right-of-way and be not less than 50 feet from any lot line.
c.
When a cemetery abuts a residential use, a 25-foot-wide undisturbed area of natural vegetation shall buffer the cemetery from the residential development.
d.
The site shall be approved by all necessary regulatory agencies including, but not limited to, the county department of environmental health and the state cemetery commission.
(3)
Nonprofit, special "environmental awareness" areas of low-intensity use, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
When an environmental awareness area abuts a residential use, a 25-foot-wide undisturbed area of natural vegetation shall buffer the environmental awareness area from the residential development.
b.
Lighting shall be prohibited.
(4)
Municipal government passive recreational uses, specifically excluding motorized recreational activities, horse stables and riding trails, lighted ball fields, amusement parks, miniature golf courses, race and go-cart tracks, theaters of all kinds and similar uses which would tend to create a high concentration of activity and associated light, noise, dust, stormwater runoff, erosion, vegetation damage, or which would cause other similar adverse environmental effects, subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
When a passive recreational use abuts a residential use, a 25-foot-wide undisturbed area of natural vegetation shall buffer the passive recreational use from the residential development.
b.
Lighting shall be prohibited except for minimum lighting that may be required for security purposes and shall be in accordance with article IX of this chapter.
(5)
Municipal government facilities owned and operated by the town shall be limited to police firing range, public safety and governmental offices subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
Lighting shall be the minimum amount that may be required for security purposes and shall be in accordance with article IX of this chapter.
b.
A police firing range shall be located a minimum distance of 500 feet from any residential use.
c.
Public safety and governmental office facilities may have a municipal heliport as an accessory use subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following conditions are met:
1.
Compliance with and evidence of compliance with any applicable requirements of the department of transportation, division of aviation, the Federal Aviation Association, and any other federal, state or local agency having jurisdiction over operation of helicopter flights, landings, and the environmental impact thereof.
2.
Submission of a conditional use application with the town planning and development department, in addition to the following materials:
i.
A site plan prepared in accordance with the applicable section provisions of 48-525, including a map showing the locations, height and first floor elevations or foundation elevations above mean sea level of all structures, utility and street rights-of-way, existing power lines, towers, undeveloped residential lots, and other similar uses within the approach and protection area described in this section or within 500 feet of the center of the helicopter landing pad, whichever is the greater distance. The names and addresses of all property owners within this area shall be provided by the applicant.
ii.
The applicant shall provide an environmental assessment in accordance with G.S. 113A-1—113A-10 consisting of an analysis of the impact of noise within 500 feet of the heliport performed by a qualified audio engineer or other appropriate professional; an analysis of the socioeconomic issues relating to the heliport; and viable site alternatives both within the site and within the town. The analysis is to be submitted not later than 20 days prior to the regular meeting of the planning board at which the application is to be considered.
iii.
A proposed heliport lighting plan demonstrating the technology and technique for retaining light on the site and prevention of light or light glare from affecting traffic using streets and highways in the area. Lighting of the helipad or final approach and takeoff areas shall comply with FAA regulations but shall be ground-level based using cutoff or restrictive features to minimize overspill of light from the activity area itself.
iv.
Proposed approach and departing flight paths shall be shown on the site plan required in subsection (e)(5)a.2.i of this section.
v.
The applicant shall protect the approach and departure protection areas, as defined in chapter 3, section 25, Heliport Design Advisory Circular 150/5390-2, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, dated January 4, 1988, as amended, by acquiring fee simple title to the property.
3.
The heliport shall be ground-based only. No rooftop facility shall be permitted.
4.
The heliport shall comply with the latest edition of the FAA regulations in its design, size and use.
5.
No fixed based operations or refueling facilities shall be permitted on the municipal heliport site.
6.
Property line setbacks for the helipad or final approach and takeoff areas shall be at a minimum the same as for any other principal building. The full takeoff and landing area, as defined by the FAA and determined by the size of the helicopter, shall fall within the property lines of the lot of the municipal heliport.
7.
Fire protection and safety measures shall be in accordance with NFPA guidelines and shall include one readily accessible fire hydrant capable of delivering 1,000 GPM. The location of the fire hydrant shall be determined by the town's fire chief.
8.
The use of sound buffers, proper facility siting, separation distances or other natural or manmade barriers as identified in FAA Heliport Design Advisory Circular 150/5390 2, Aviation Noise Effects, FAA-EE-85-2; Noise Control and Compatibility Planning for Airports, FAA AC 150/5020-1; and Airport Noise Compatibility Planning 14 CFR Part 150, Revised January 18, 1985, shall be made a part of the municipal heliport approval process.
(6)
Medical offices, nursing homes, and convalescent homes, provided that all such uses shall be located in that area as is now designated or may hereafter be designated for such uses by the town pursuant to chapter 1160 of the Session Laws of 1973 of the North Carolina General Assembly, as amended, subject to the following:
a.
A minimum lot area of 80,000 square feet shall be required for each principal building on the site.
b.
Lighting shall be the minimum amount that may be required for security purposes and shall be in accordance with article IX of this chapter.
c.
Along the side and rear property lines, a 25-foot-wide undisturbed area of natural vegetation shall be provided.
d.
An evacuation plan shall be provided and shall be subject to review by the town.
(7)
Medical office. Medical offices shall be located in that area as is now designated or may hereafter be designated for such uses by the town pursuant to chapter 1160 of the Session Laws of 1973 of the North Carolina General Assembly, as amended, subject to the following:
a.
Lighting shall be the minimum amount that may be required for security purposes and shall be in accordance with article IX of this chapter.
b.
Along the side and rear property lines, a 25-foot-wide undisturbed area of natural vegetation shall be provided.
(8)
Public water supply well fields, provided that the following conditions are met:
a.
Land clearing and grade changes around individual well point sites shall be limited to the least amount necessary to provide access for installation and maintenance of the well and pumps. In no case shall clearing and grading exceed a 30-foot radius around the well point.
b.
Water line placement shall be accomplished in a manner that reduces the need to remove vegetation and shall be placed, where feasible, along existing roads or pathways.
c.
When feasible, access to well sites shall be provided along established roadways or along existing pathways which can be improved to accommodate service vehicles.
d.
All utilities shall be placed underground.
e.
All development shall be in accordance with subsection (g)(2) of this section.
(f)
Dimensional requirements. Within the SED-80 district, the following dimensional and setback requirements shall be in effect:
(1)
For single-family detached dwellings and all principal nonresidential buildings on an individual lot, unless otherwise specified:
a.
A minimum lot area of 80,000 square feet is required for each principal building on a site.
b.
The minimum required front yard is 30 feet, subject to the provisions of this section and subsection (g)(3) of this section.
c.
The minimum required side yard is 20 feet, subject to the provisions of this section and subsection (g)(3) of this section.
d.
The minimum required rear yard is 20 feet, subject to the provisions of this section and subsection (g)(3) of this section.
(2)
For all single-family detached dwellings, all residential clusters and all principal buildings:
a.
The minimum required lot width as measured at the building line is 200 feet.
b.
No structure or parking lot shall be located closer than 50 feet to any pond, stream, marsh or other wetlands.
c.
No structure or parking lot shall be located closer than 130 feet of the eastern boundary of the ridge line forest, and no removal of vegetation shall be permitted within 100 feet of the eastern boundary of the ridge line forest.
d.
Principal and accessory structures shall meet all requirements of subsection (g)(2) of this section.
e.
Maximum building height is 35 feet. However, the height of a structure meeting the minimum roof pitch requirements of section 48-370 (d) shall be allowed a maximum total height of 42 feet. The provisions of section 48-81, structures excluded from height limitations, shall not apply to the SED-80 district, except flagpoles and chimneys may exceed 35 feet in height.
f.
The lot coverage shall not exceed 15 percent. In the case of lots abutting estuarine waters (as defined by Division of Marine Fisheries and used by CAMA), lot coverage shall be in accordance with the standards listed above, except that in the area waterward of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 fill line, lot coverage shall not exceed 15 percent. If the Corps of Engineers 404 fill line is not evident or located within the estuarine AEC, as defined by CAMA, lot coverage within the estuarine AEC shall not exceed 15 percent. Lot coverage allowances shall not be transferred from one portion of the lot to another. The area necessary for shared accessways in accordance with section 48-90(a) shall be excluded from the total lot coverage allowance for an individual lot.
g.
In those instances where a Roanoke Sound dune ridge is not evident, no principal structure may be placed closer than 70 feet of the mean high water line. In those instances where an estuarine frontal dune is not evident, no principal structure may be placed closer than 50 feet of the mean high water line.
(g)
Special development standards, conditions and requirements.
(1)
Site plan requirements. Development of a building site for any lawful use as authorized by this chapter shall require the submission of a site plan with proposed improvements for review and approval. This site plan shall be in addition to the requirement for a building permit.
a.
The site plan shall be drawn to at least a one inch to 40 feet scale and include at least the following minimum requirements:
1.
Existing topographical conditions of the lot showing at least two-foot contour intervals.
2.
Components of the groundwater recharge system including streams, ponds, marshes, dunes and lowlands, bay forests and wetland swales.
3.
Location and slope of any dunes with greater than 40 percent slope and height greater than eight feet.
4.
Direction of movement and location of any migrating dunes on or near the lot.
5.
Proposed building sites.
6.
All existing trees which are at least a 16-inch caliper at one foot above the ground within the proposed building site and within a 20-foot perimeter around the building site and within a five-foot perimeter around required accessways, parking areas, utility installation sites, cemeteries, hiking trails and accessory buildings.
7.
Areas where trees are to be removed.
8.
Specifications for the protection of existing trees during construction.
9.
Grade changes or other land disturbing activities or construction activities adjacent to trees which could adversely affect the health of the trees, with specifications on how the grade, drainage and aeration will be maintained around the trees.
10.
North arrow, scale, existing rights-of-way and easements.
11.
If required, an approved soil erosion and sedimentation control plan.
12.
Proposed location of septic tanks and drainfields.
b.
The proposed building site shall be staked on the lot.
c.
All trees which are to be removed shall be clearly marked on-site with tape, paint, ribbon or other appropriate means.
(2)
Site design. The following design criteria shall be satisfied, except where the board of commissioners finds an alternative design scheme which provides equal or better performance standards regarding the intent of this chapter and to protect the natural features of the SED-80 district protected under this section:
a.
The filling or dredging of ponds or marshes or streams or wetland swales is prohibited unless permitted by CAMA or the Corps of Engineers.
b.
The grading or other alteration of dunes with greater than 40 percent slope and height greater than eight feet is prohibited.
c.
The removal of any tree with a caliper 16 inches or greater is prohibited, whether or not they fall within any building site, septic area, driveway, road or utility easement, except as provided in subsection (3)a.3 of this section.
d.
The removal of any tree with a caliper greater than four inches measured at one foot above the ground is prohibited except for those trees which are exempt under subsection (3)a.3 of this section, or those trees that are:
1.
Within the principal building site, exclusive of decks, and within a 20-foot perimeter around the principal building.
2.
Within a required accessway, parking lot, driveway, utility installation sites, cemeteries, hiking trails and accessory buildings and a five-foot perimeter around these areas.
3.
Within the septic tank nitrification field and an area around such field as determined by the county department of environmental health as to ensure proper functioning of the septic system.
e.
Trees less than four inches in caliper and weeds, vines, bushes and similar ground vegetation may be removed, provided that no land disturbing activity occurs and that the leaf litter, mulch, topsoil and similar materials are left undisturbed. However, no vegetation shall be removed from the western slope of the Roanoke Sound dunes ridge or the western slope of the estuarine dune ridge.
f.
The sewage septic tank and other utilities shall be located to the maximum extent feasible on the edges of areas that have been cleared for access and building purposes and shall satisfy the legal requirement of county, state and federal authorities.
g.
The draw-down of groundwater, except for on-site wells designed to serve buildings on individual lots, and the alteration of natural drainage patterns are prohibited.
h.
No building, vegetation removal or land disturbing activity shall occur on the western slope of the Roanoke Sound dune ridge. No building shall be permitted within 70 feet and no vegetation shall be removed or land disturbing activity shall occur within an area 50 feet easterly of the western ridge of the Roanoke Sound dune ridge. No building shall be permitted within 70 feet and no vegetation shall be removed and no land disturbing activity shall occur within 50 feet westerly of the toe of the western slope of the Roanoke Sound dune ridge.
i.
On lots which are adjacent to the Roanoke Sound and where the elevation of the estuarine frontal dunes exceeds 15 feet above mean sea level, the topography of the dune may be altered as follows:
1.
The area graded shall be of minimum size necessary for the placement of a principal structure on a building site.
2.
Finished graded height of the dune shall be equal to or greater than 15 feet mean sea level.
3.
Vegetation may be removed from the top and eastern slope of the dune.
4.
No grade alteration, land disturbing activity or vegetation removal will be permitted on the western slope of the dune.
5.
Any sand removed shall be relocated in such a manner as not to damage existing trees greater than four inches in caliper.
6.
The finished topography shall be aligned with and graded with existing neighboring dunes in such a manner as to minimize erosion.
7.
All principal structures shall be set back 50 feet from the western toe of the estuarine frontal dunes.
8.
Areas where land disturbing activity has occurred shall be stabilized with appropriate erosion control measures within 30 days of the beginning of land disturbing activity.
9.
All pedestrian accessways from the top of the dunes to the Sound shoreline shall be raised on pilings and shall be no more than six feet wide.
j.
All structures shall be located at least 130 feet westerly of the eastern boundary of the ridge line forest vegetation. The removal of any vegetation within 100 feet westerly of the ridge line forest shall be prohibited except as provided by this chapter.
k.
The clearing of land to provide access to the building site shall be minimized; including the clearing of the forest under story. The use of shared driveways is encouraged. Driveways shall be a maximum width of 12 feet which will allow for access by one vehicle, however when serving three or more residences the driveway width may be increased up to 20 feet. Driveways shall follow the natural contour lines of the land insofar as possible and shall be clay, gravel, porous asphalt or like-porous surface.
l.
Uncovered decks may extend into the 20-foot perimeter around principal structures and to any area which does not require the removal of trees greater than four inches in caliper and/or any areas which do not require grade changes or land disturbing activity. Decks shall not extend beyond the point of beginning of the western slope of either the Roanoke Sound dune ridges or the estuarine frontal dunes.
m.
The board of commissioners may permit the removal of vegetation and may permit land disturbing activity through the Roanoke Sound dune ridge area or the ridge line forest area as regulated in this section to allow reasonable access to a principal building sites. In granting such access, the board of commissioners may require additional environmental protection measures to secure the basis and purpose and intent of this chapter.
n.
All parts of all principal structures within a residential cluster of three or four units shall be located within 250 feet of a fire hydrant. Existing lots and parcels shall have no fire hydrant requirement unless to be developed as clusters of three or four units. Lots and parcels created after the effective date of this chapter, August 4, 1993, except those to be developed as clusters of three or four units, shall have fire hydrants spaced in accordance with the requirements of chapter 38, subdivisions, of this Code.
(3)
Standards of review and approval procedure; intent and purpose. When selecting the building site, the applicant shall adhere to the following standards and to the intent and purpose of this section:
a.
Building site selection. The board of commissioners or planning and development staff, whichever the case may be as described in subsection (g)(3)b of this section, shall review and may approve the proposed improvements site plan indicating the proposed building sites before a building permit can be issued. The most suitable building sites are those areas that require the absolute minimum alterations of the natural vegetation, topography and groundwater systems. Evaluation of site suitability shall use the following additional criteria:
1.
Existing unforested land areas shall be considered as the most suitable building sites, unless such a selection would threaten the health of the vegetation by stimulating dune migration or cause extensive salt mist intrusion into the Woods or would involve alterations or development prohibited elsewhere in this section.
2.
Where vegetation must be removed for the building sites, the most suitable sites will be the sites which disturb the minimum number of healthy trees and vegetation. In approving the building sites, the board shall consider the density, height and variety of the vegetation to be removed, so as to preserve those forest stands which provide the most protection from storm and salt spray and maintain the unique natural diversity of the plant species in the Woods.
3.
The planning and development department may approve the removal of any tree which:
i.
Poses a safety hazard to pedestrians or vehicular traffic or threatens to cause disruption of public service;
ii.
Poses a safety hazard to a building; or
iii.
Is diseased or weakened by age, so as to pose a safety hazard.
4.
The board of commissioners shall review and may approve the removal of any tree greater than four inches in caliper where:
i.
The board of commissioners find in their opinion no reasonable alternative building site and/or supporting facilities can be located on a lot; or
ii.
The removal is necessary to construct proposed improvements as a result of: need for access around the proposed structure for construction equipment; need for access to the building site for construction equipment; essential grade changes; surface water drainage and utility installations. However, removal of trees greater than 16 inches in caliper is prohibited unless subsection (g)(3)a.3.i, ii, iii or subsection (g)(3)a.4.i of this section apply.
5.
The topography of the site shall be evaluated for overall development suitability so that all structures shall be constructed below the canopy of existing tree cover.
b.
Site plan approval process.
1.
Single-family and clusters of two units. Site plans for single-family and clusters of two dwelling units shall be reviewed by the planning and development department. The planning and development department may approve site plans when the dimensional requirements and standards of this chapter are met and when no trees 16 inches or greater are requested to be removed.
2.
Clusters of three or four units and all other development. The planning and development department shall review the proposed site plan and forward the site plan to the planning board and board of commissioners for review and approval. In granting approval, the board of commissioners shall consider, in addition to this article, article XIV of this chapter and all other applicable town codes and ordinances.
3.
Subdivisions. Subdivisions shall be as provided for in chapter 38 of this Code.
(h)
Mitigation requirements. In order to protect and reestablish natural vegetation during and after construction, the following mitigation actions are required:
(1)
The approved soil erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be in effect within 30 days following completion of land disturbing activity and vegetation removal. Suitable native vegetative cover shall be established within the next growing season. Prior to the issuance of any required building permit, a soil erosion and sedimentation control plan shall be approved by the town.
(2)
The developer or his agent of the property for which a site plan has been approved shall notify the planning and development department before any vegetation is removed. The notification shall indicate when the vegetation will be removed, and the building inspector shall conduct the necessary inspections to ensure that the vegetation removal is in accordance with the approved soil erosion and sedimentation control plan and that the approved soil erosion and sedimentation control plan is properly in effect.
(3)
To eliminate pest and disease damage to vegetation, any pruning or damage done to trees during construction should be properly attended to using accepted silviculture practices.
(4)
Tree damage: Any tree damaged during construction, or damage occurring as a result of such construction, shall be dressed and patched according to accepted arboriculture and silviculture practices. Tree damage shall be repaired prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
(5)
Site plan: Prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the development site, the planning and development director or his designee shall inspect the site for the purpose of certifying compliance with the requirements of the site plan. Posting surety in lieu of actual compliance with an approved site plan may be permitted, provided that compliance with the approved site plan shall be obtained within 180 days.
(i)
Enforcement. Enforcement in the SED-80 district shall be as follows:
(1)
Failure to comply with the requirements of the approved site plan shall be considered a violation and shall be subject to the immediate issuance of a stop work order by the building inspector and to the other procedures and remedies of this section, this chapter and this Code which may apply.
(2)
Any sand, soil, dirt or earth which has been removed, relocated, graded, excavated, added to, filled or disturbed in violation of this chapter or any applicable town ordinance, and any naturally occurring trees, shrubbery, grass or other naturally occurring vegetation which has been killed, damaged, destroyed or removed in violation of this chapter shall be restored or replaced within 60 days of notice from the building inspector. All replacement trees shall be at least ten feet in height or have a caliper of not less than two inches. Each day after the 60-day period that the violator fails to perform such restoration or replacement shall constitute a new and separate violation.
(3)
Additional remedies: In addition to the criminal penalties provided by this article and section 1-6, the town may initiate proceedings before a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain enforcement of any provision of this article by prohibitory injunction, mandamus, affirmative injunction or order of abatement, as provided by G.S. 160A-175. Enforcement may be by one, all or a combination of such remedies.
(Code 1990, § 22-352; Ord. No. 03-08-040, §§ 19, 20, 38, 8-20-2003; Ord. No. 03-10-046, § 7, 10-1-2003; Ord. No. 05-12-050, § I, 12-7-2005; Ord. No. 08-02-008, § XI, 2-6-2008)