March 10, 2006

OB Sentinel Shoreline Access / Paradox

Good piece in The Outer Banks Sentinel about growing concerns over the loss of public access to the shoreline (not just beach but all public waters). The problem is real. It is almost impossible for local governments to afford to buy oceanfront property for access without help from the state and sound and riverfront property is nearly as dear inland. The piece cites a Winston-Salem paper with this lovely quote:
When the Long Beach pier on Oak Island closed, The Winston-Salem Journal wrote, "With each closing, the coast becomes less a shared resource for all and more a private enclave for the wealthy."
I don't know the context in the original piece but given the context in this piece it would seem to imply that using piers for public access is a good thing. Which brings us to the paradox. The Sentinel strongly objected to the purchase of Jennette's Pier using state and local funds even though public ownership would guarantee public access.
Maybe as the debate over shoreline access moves forward the Sentinel will let us know what their position on public access is, until then we will have to wonder if this article is just news or reflects a genuine concern.


At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You asked what the Sentinel's views on "public access" might be.
I would like you to ask your former town council and current council and mayor what "their views" on "public access" are; especially considering they are not willing to "do battle" with the property owners in the "historic district" and force them to give-way to providing public crossovers in that area of the beach. Wasn't it you that "side-stepped" this issue before leaving office? Don't make us pull your quotes from the taped minutes; cause it's there. :)

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please find me a town that has more public access to the water than Nags Head. Perhaps there is a town in some other state, but there is nowhere in North Carolina that provides more access to the water than Nags Head.

Local comparisons are easy - do you even need one hand to count S.S. public accesses?

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, S.S. and Duck should have (and be required to have) more beach accesses. Those beaches belong to everyone, including residents of Nags Head.
Now, back to the issue at hand.
Why did our former mayor (and, presumably our current mayor)tip-toe around the need (requrement) to provide public access in the historic area of the town?
Oh, you say, a parking lot (accross the road) within,long walking distace (with beach paraphernalia) is ok, as long as you don't trample across private property. Or, perhaps, a taxpayer paid trolley to carry beach visitors around this important area?
Can you get Mayor's Muller and Cahoon on here to answer that question?

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Mayor Muller addressed this issue by stating that if a federal nourishment project was done, access would be added as needed in the Historic District. Most of Nags Head's beach accesses are the eastern end of paper streets. There are no paper streets in the Historic District, so any access would require condemnation or a voluntary easement.

There is an additional concern that more access to this area would make it less attractive to the families who have been there for years, and could possibly tip them to the sale of the property, and redevelopment of historic structures. I think the Mayor was wise to be aware of possible unintended consequences.

But I thought the topic was beach access, and I think you need to get rid of the log in your eye before worrying about the twig in Nags Head's eye.


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