A view of the shoreline near the Avon Pier.

From Wobx.com

The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission is scheduled to meet Thursday in Beaufort, where among other agenda items they are expected to vote on raising the price of many Coastal Area Management Act permits.

The commission is expected to consider raising the price of major CAMA permits from $200 to $400. Major permit extensions, modifications, and transfers would also increase to $400 under the proposal that was the subject of a public hearing in September where no one spoke.

Minor permits issued by the Division of Coastal Management would go up to $200, while the same permits issued by a local government that participates in the division’s implementation and enforcement program will remain at $100.

Other fees that would double to $400 include permits for certain types of riprap, and excavation of up to 1,000 yards of material.

Coastal Review reports that 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.

The post Coastal Resources Commission to vote Thursday on raising CAMA permit prices appeared first on Island Free Press.

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