Crossroads

 


NEWSLETTER # 93, OCTOBER, 2001 www.carteretcrossroads.org PO BOX 155, BEAUFORT, NC 28516.Κ 252-726-6663


 


Carteret County Comprehensive Plan.

 

The process of writing a comprehensive plan for the County is in full swing. The impetus for this Comprehensive Plan came from the response of State regulators to the proposals of the Regional Wastewater Task Force (RWTF). When the RWTF requested grants from the state to continue with the planning and permitting of a regional sewer system, the state regulators told them that before any grants or permits could be considered, secondary and cumulative impacts would have to be addressed. The basis for this is that installation of central sewer treatment facilities can, and often does, lead to increased degradation of nearby waters because of increased runoff from increased development. It has been amply demonstrated that increased density of development leads to increased runoff and degradation of receiving waters. This is the basis for the EPA Phase II Stormwater Runoff Rules we discussed briefly in earlier newsletters. Thus the state requirement to address these problems before permitting a central sewer treatment system.

Another factor was the general concern over the content of the last Land Use Plan (LUP) of the County. Unlike the previous LUP update in which citizen participation was welcomed, the last update was carried out by the County Planning Board, which would not even discuss suggested changes to increase protection of our water quality. After months of discussion and the decision by the Coastal Resources Commission to rewrite the LUP rules, Crossroads agreed to accept a weak LUP update. Neither the County nor Crossroads were happy with the LUP, lending impetus to the development of a Comprehensive Plan for the County. A consultant, The Chesapeake Group, was engaged to lead the preparation of a broad plan with extensive citizen input.

A comprehensive plan includes recommendation on many facets of community development. The present plan has covered Public Safety, Transportation, Recreation, Cultural and Historic Resources, Economic Development, Environment, Education, Health and Regional Issues. Sewers and Wastewater will be finalized soon.

The committee charged with developing the plan will soon start to work on Land Use. Four subcommittees dealing with different areas of the county will start in mid-November. There has been broad citizen input into the plan and we hope this continues as the Land Use part of the plan is developed.

 

Info on the Internet.

 

We thought it might be of interest to compare web-sites. There are a lot of good sites with environmental information. One of the best sites we have found is the Carolina Health and Community Center at http://checc.sph.unc.edu/.Κ As well as having a lot of information available they have listservs which deal with a variety of environmental topics. Checcalert is for posting and discussing environmental information of general interest to NC citizens while more specialized listservs deal with Clean Air, Hogs, Lead, Risk-based Remediation, Sprawl/Smart Growth and Tar-Pamlico issues. To join any of the listservs, go to the web site and click on the listserv heading. Everyone involved in environmental matters should be on the Checcalert listserv.

If you have a favorite site and want to share it with us, send it to me at: ihooper@mail.clis.com. We will try to publish a few in each newsletter.

While we are talking Internet, we want to remind you that we are now sending out alerts, etc. to members who have e-mail addresses. If you are a member, have e-mail and did not get our recent Alert on the Land Use Planning Guidelines public hearing, please send us your e-mail address by sending a message to Irv Hooper at the address above.

 

Land Use Planning Rules.

 

Lauren Kolodij of the Coastal Federation provided the following information. As a member of the Review Team, Lauren has worked very hard on the development of the new CAMA Land Use Planning Rules. We thank her for her efforts and for keeping us informed.

The Coastal Resources Commission adopted a final set of rules at their Thursday, October 25 meeting in Wilmington.Κ The Division of Coastal Management (DCM) received numerous comments in support of the rules.Κ Groups such as Carteret County Crossroads,Κ PenderWatch and Conservancy, The New Hanover League of Women Voters, Neuse River Foundation, NC Coastal Federation,Κ the Wilmington Council of Neighborhood Association, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, Environmental Defense, and BEAT spoke in favor of the rules.Κ The Division of Marine Fisheries and several members of the Coastal Resources Advisory Council have submitted comment letters in support of the rules.

Counter to our support, some local governments, the League of Municipalities, Association of County Commissioners and Homebuilders Association opposed the rules. Some of their opposition stems from rule language that includes provisions for public participation, land suitability analysis, mapping and implementation.Κ Although the environmental community does not agree with many of their comments, we do agree that rule language should be very clear as to what is being required of a local government when preparing the CAMA plans. Citizens can view the DCM web page for the latest information at

At the October 25 CRC meeting, DCM proposed several modifications to the draft rules to address comments made by opponents of the draft rules. After lengthy discussion, the CRC adopted most of the revised language, weakening the planning requirements for local governments to some degree. Despite the weakening, the new rules represent an improvement, if the Rules Review Commission allows them to become effective. It will still be up to citizens to get involved and demand that local governments use the Land Use Plans to balance development with environmental protection to improve our water quality.

 

Citizen Involvement.

 

The Coastal Federation gave the citizens of the state a C- grade in their recent State of the Coast Report. This implies that groups such as Crossroads and the Federation deserve a failing grade, if we have not stimulated citizens to work for protection of the environment. We at Crossroads will have to do a better job of educating our members and convincing them that they must also work to maintain the quality of life that we so enjoy here. We are always happy to have your suggestions as to how we can be more effective. We would really appreciate your comments on this and any other topics related to our mission.

Of our members, 54% have indicated a willingness to write or phone public officials on matters of importance. We will try to utilize your talents more in the future. Since 41% of those willing to be active in this way have e-mail, we will probably issue more e-mail alerts since it is so much easier and cheaper than using the mail. Again we emphasize that if you have e-mail and did not receive our latest alert, please let us know your e-mail address.

 

Miscellany

 

Kayak maps of Western Carteret County are available from the tourist bureau in Morehead City, local libraries and kayak outfitters in the area. The FREE map describes paddle trails and put-ins on the White Oak River and both ends of Bear Island. The Crystal Coast Canoe and Kayak Club developed the map with assistance from the NC Division of Parks and Recreation, local outfitters and Crossroads.Κ
ΚΚΚ ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ The second map, available in the spring, will describe Bogue Banks paddles. The group plans to map the Morehead/Beaufort paddles next and then the down-east areas of the county.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ For more information or to offer help with the project, you may go to: www.ccckc.org

 

A toll-free hotline has been established for citizens to report possible violations of the NC Sedimentation Pollution Control ACT. To report problems, call 1-866-STOPMUD (786-7683)

Crossroads news.

 

ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Please check the first line of your mailing label to see if you are current in your dues.

Κ

Here is a Holiday Bonus!

 

All dues received after November 1, 2001 will be credited to 2002 dues. That makes this an especially good time to get current in your membership. Please check that first line of your label.

 

ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Board member Amanda Lail has left the area and will be resigning from the Board. We appreciate your past service, Amanda, and wish you luck and good fortune in your new position.