January 25, 2006

More on Setbacks.

This expands on information on a previous post. This is a complicated issue.

Tideland News Letter to the Editor (1/25/06)

To the editor:

A recent report of the January Emerald Isle town board meeting by reporter Kathleen Bliley gave an incomplete report of my comments to the board about a plan to change set-backs on the east end of Emerald Isle. One of the points I made to the board was that the CAMA oceanfront setback from the ocean is 60 feet or 30 times the erosion rate of 2 feet per year. This gives buildings along the oceanfront a design life of approximately 30 years. We spent millions of dollars to save a handful of houses that were 30 years old and should be in the ocean under those regulations. When asked if I would have let those houses fall in the ocean, my answer was "Yes." A better answer would have been "That's the owner decision - not mine." There is now a proposal to move the oceanfront setbacks further forward. This will allow older structures to be replaced with larger, more expensive structures - placing them even closer to the ocean. Does placing larger, more expensive structures closer to the ocean make sense in a time of rising sea levels and increasing frequency and destructive power of hurricanes? We are ensuring, at taxpayer expense, a never-ending need for multi-million dollar nourishment projects to protect these structures and their swimming pools in an area the ocean is likely to erode.

Dorothy "Doje" Marks - Emerald Isle

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