The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission meets Thursday, Nov. 9, in Beaufort.
The meeting is set for 9 a.m. at the Beaufort Hotel, 2440 Lennoxville Road. A public comment period is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. At the chair’s discretion, comments may be limited to 3 minutes per person.
The commission is expected to consider for adoption permit fee increases.
Commissioners are also expected to take up the state Rules Review Commission’s objections to coastal development rules and other rules including those regulating floating structures such as floating upweller systems associated with shellfish aquaculture.
“The RRC has objected to these rules on the basis that portions of the rules are either unclear, ambiguous, or lack statutory authority,” according to a memo from Division of Coastal Management Deputy Director Mike Lopazanski.
The rules panel also specifically objected to language in specific use standards for Ocean Hazard Areas adopted to include amendments related to the use of beach mats for dune crossovers and enhanced handicap access. In both cases, the objection centered on the use of the long-used term “significant adverse impact,” Lopazanski writes.
“This term has been used in your rules since the inception of the program and is a key phrase, when used by one of the review agencies in comments on a CAMA (Coastal Area Management Act) permit application, that may require alteration of a proposed development activity or a denial of the permit. The phrase has been used as a “term of art” and has been used by the General Assembly in various statutes, in other state regulations, in federal regulations, and by appellate courts to analyze negative impacts in various cases. This term has been used in your rules for decades and the RRC has approved its use repeatedly, most recently with readoption of the rule in 2020. However, the RRC now objects to “significant adverse impacts” because your rules “… provide no definition this term, provides no examples to elucidate the meaning of the term, or any other guidance that would allow the regulated public to determine whether a particular project is in compliance with this Rule and the laws undergirding it.”
The commission is also expected to hear a variance request from Brian and Susan Shugart of Oak Island regarding denial of a permit to expand their pier based on the water depth at the site. The couple seeks a variance from the commission’s rules to develop their proposed dock expansion as proposed in their permit application.
Prior to the commission meeting, the Coastal Resources Advisory Council (CRAC) meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the same location.
Both meetings are open to the public.