January 22, 2006

N&O Hold that line

Editorial in the N&*O makes the right point for the wrong reasons and in a pretty funny way to boot. The Coastal Resources Commission will soon consider allowing homes to be built in areas where beach nourishment has taken place and where lots that were unbuildable prior to nourishment could be be built on if (and here's the catch) the CRC changes state set back rules that maintain the pre nourishment setback line on nourished beaches. The rules should not be changed, not because as the N&O maintains it would cause a new surge in beachfront building but because the setback rules serve a good purpose, to reduce the threat to coastal construction. Allowing reduced setbacks defeats the very purpose of nourishment which is to reduce damage. Allowing building on previously unbuildable lots even if the new sand makes the beach look wide. Do not allow nourishment to become an excuse for bad development.
Now here's the funny part:
"Beyond those potential problems, changing these rules would have an immediate impact all over the coastline, where the push to renourish unstable beaches would gain steam. Either the state or beach communities would be investing no telling how many hundreds of thousands of dollars building back beaches so developers or property owners could come in and build more beach houses. Beach property along the Tar Heel coast, as buyers and sellers both know, has exploded in value in the last few years."

How much nourishment does the N&O think anyone is goinog to get for "hundreds of thousands of dollars" Try tens of millions. These guys are out of touch with reality. Also if the rule were changed it would be a minimal impact on development. There simply aren't that many lots that would be affected unless the CRC allows building on the nourished beach which it can't because that is public trust land. So once again the N&O shows its lack of understanding (ignorance is a bit too strong) of coastal issues.


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