Sea-level rise policy top priority for coastal regulators

COASTAL N.C. | After political support eroded the first time around, North Carolina’s coastal regulators are again trying to develop a sea-level rise policy that can navigate the choppy waters between science and skepticism. Whether this latest attempt leads to the implementation of adaptation measures, such as limiting development in vulnerable coastal areas or increasing

Holden Beach Clarifies “Building Height”

As many of you know, each municipality has a different/unique/confusing method of measuring building height. With the recent release of flood maps in our counties and the hubbub around flood insurance increases, the definition of building height has become very important for everyone. Measuring height to enable flood insurance savings and architectural features has become

DENR announces leadership changes

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart announced today the appointment of Tom Reeder as assistant secretary for the environment and Mary Joan Pugh as interim assistant secretary for natural resources. Reeder succeeds Mitch Gillespie, who will serve as a department liaison in the Asheville regional

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TAKING ACTION ON FLOOD MAPS

In January, Wrightsville Beach voted to hire a firm to begin the process of challenging the new flood maps, specifically for Harbor Island.   According to the Lumina News, the Board of Aldermen are concerned about “illogically high-risk flood zones for much of Harbor Island” and have been carefully and thoroughly exploring the possibility of an

COASTAL RESOURCES COMMISSION DISCUSSES LAND USE PLANNING CHANGES

At the October and December Coastal Resources Commission meetings, DCM Staff presented proposed amendments to the 7B CAMA Land Use Planning Requirements and 7L Local Planning and Management Grants. The draft language was the result of comments and input gathered at two regional workshops held during the previous year in which input on the CAMA

REMINDER: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO SET NEW HOT WATER HEATER STANDARDS

The Department of Energy has made amendments to energy conservation standards on residential water heaters to go into effect on April 16, 2015.   Energy output of water heaters are measured by an Energy Factor (EF) rating calculated by the DOE.  The higher the EF, the more efficient the heater. The standards for EF ratings have

BRUNSWICK COUNTY AMENDS UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

After months of discussion, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved a number of changes to the Unified Development Ordinance. Adopted in 2007, the County’s UDO was amended to make a number of changes that will facilitate investment in the County. The changes are specifically aimed to encourage economic development, allow flexibility of design and

BUILDING CODE CHANGES IMPACT SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE

The North Carolina Code making process is an ongoing process regardless of the adoption dates of the current NC Codes. The NC Building Code Council continually adopts changes to the Codes between code cycles that are not in the printed volumes of the various codes. As part of the Rulemaking process, the Council assigns effective

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM UPDATE

Prior to the holidays, FEMA announced the launch of the Interim Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate, which was required by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. The Interim Office will begin work on specialized assistance to citizens and policyholders on NFIP issues; as well as regional mapping outreach and education support. You can read

BASE PANEL UPDATES NORTH CAROLINA BEACH, INLET & WATERWAY ASSOCIATION ON WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES

Thank you to BASE members Matt Hanchey (Hunton & Williams) and Jim Spangler (Spangler Environmental) for serving on a panel with BASE staff at the North Carolina Beach Inlet and Waterway (NCBIWA) Annual Meeting at Wrightsville Beach. The panel gave an update on Waters of the United States to crowd of 200 from around coastal