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Legislative Affairs

BASE Governmental Affairs Directors act as advocates for the development industry and closely monitor activity at the state, regional and local level from the North Carolina General Assembly to city and county meetings - anything that affects the growth and development industry.

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Development Industry

Credibility, Leadership, Expertise..... BASE has a single mission to promote public policies which encourage economic growth, job creation and a healthy real estate, homebuilding, land use and development industry.

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"Unbelievable! BASE was there for us at the beginning, middle, and end providing us with key information and foresight…It's great to see there are organizations like BASE out there that are willing to go the extra mile to satisfy their members." - Jon Vincent, JTV Business & Management Consultant

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 "Well worth the money! I’ve been working in this industry well over 20 years, and this is the lowest cost, highest value work I have ever seen. I always knew the regulatory pressures that our industry faced, but at least now I know that there is an organization fighting and winning on our behalf." - Kevin Hine, Duplin Land Development, LLC, Exec. VP/GM River Landing

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“BASE has been one of the best business decisions I have made!  There is no other organization like BASE that covers such a broad area of issues that affect both residential and commercial interests.” - Steve Niemeyer, CEO Wrightsville Builders

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Want To Be Confused? Try To Explain Coastal Building Height PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 09:46
With the discussion about flood insurance and properly protecting houses from flood perils, talk inevitably turns to raising buildings. This certainly seems to be the logical method of 1) reducing flood risk and 2)enabling homeowner savings by reducing flood insurance premiums. HOWEVER, in some jurisdictions, these proactive efforts may be frustrated by legislatively mandated caps on building height. Many of our beach towns have 35’ height limits for residential uses. If you keep a cap on height and increase elevation without acommodation, the building envelope gets increasingly smaller and the roof gets more flat. Is that what we want? 
 
Both Sunset Beach and Holden Beach are contemplating changing their definition of building height to accommodate flood savings. As illustrated below, defining "building height" is infinitely more complicated than you would imagine. For example...
 
Sunset Beach
Height, Building/Structure: As applied to a building, means the vertical distance from finished ground level to the highest part of the building or any structure attached to the building excluding chimneys, flag poles, antennas, church spires, and necessary mechanical devices.
 
Holden Beach
The vertical distance measured from ground level to the highest point of the structure
GROUND LEVEL:
A measuring point per the following:
(1) FEMA flood area "AE": measuring point is minus 10 ft. from the base flood elevation.
(2) FEMA flood area "VE": measuring point is minus 8 ft. from the base flood elevation.
(3) FEMA flood area "AE" and "VE": where the minus 10 ft. and minus 8 ft. respectively from the base flood elevation is below undisturbed soil: measuring point is the lowest original soil under the structure after the undisturbed soil has been balanced.
(4) FEMA flood area "X": measuring point to be the lowest original soil under the structure after the undisturbed soil has been balanced.
 
Ocean Isle 
The maximum height of structures for other than utility purposes shall be measured such as to allow for the construction of two floors, limited to 31 feet measured from the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member to the highest point of the structure.
 
North Topsail
No building may be constructed in North Topsail Beach with a height exceeding forty-five (45) feet as measured from the lowest adjacent grade of the property as established by a recent (sixty days (60)) elevation certificate to the peak of the roof.
 
Wrightsville Beach
Principal Building Height: No building shall exceed 40 feet in height. Church spires, antennas, chimneys, and similar accessories to buildings are exempt from this limitation provided that building height shall be defined below:

The vertical distance measured from a point in the center line of the street (whether public or private) adjoining the front of the lot on which a structure is to be built or improved that is an equal distance from the side lines extended to the center line of the adjoining street to the highest point of the coping of a flat roof, to the ridge line of a mansard roof, to the ridge of a gable, hip or gambrel roof, or to the highest point of a roof deck or hand rail. Elevator penthouses and necessary mechanical service equipment are
exempt from this height limitation provided they are properly screened. Also exempt are chimneys, solar panels, and church steeples. For corner lots adjoining two streets or for those lots that do not adjoin a street, the adjoining street for the purposes of this definition shall be the street which is the address of the lot. Features which increase the height of the street at its center above its average grade, such as speed bumps, shall be omitted in determining building height
 
Oak Island
Building,height of, means the vertical distance from the average finished grade at the four corners of the structure four corners to the highest point of the structure.
 
After reading all these definitions and methods of defining building height, BASE has determined that a more streamlined approach is needed. We are contemplating options on how to simplify what should be fairly straightforward. Have a suggestion? Give us a call at 799-2611.
 
 
Sunset Beach: Capping Impervious at 30%? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 08:37
The Sunset Beach Town Council will meet on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 for a scheduled Work Session. The Planning Board will be in attendance during the Work Session to discuss with Council their UDO Amendment recommendations that they presented to the Council during the April 7, 2014 Regular Meeting.

The UDO recommendations from the Planning Board include ADDING a 30% cap on impervious coverage on lots in the majority of town zoning districts: Mainland Business 1, Mainland Business 2, Beach Residential 1, Beach Residential 2, Beach Business 1, Manufactured Home 1, Manufactured Home 2, and Recreational-Institutional 1.
 
For a 4,500 square foot lot at the beach (BR2), the maximum footprint would now be 1,350 square feet. This would have an exceptionally negative impact on future investment in Sunset Beach. Interestingly, the changes proposed would also potentially impact existing residences in the town. For example, if a hurricane damaged an existing home in the BR2 zoning area “to an extent exceeding fifty percent (50%) of its reproducible value,” it could only be built back under the new square footage guidelines.
 
The proposed 30% cap would also apply to commercial zoned areas of the town and recreational-institutional uses like churches and government buildings. 
 
Specific proposed language to be added to multiple zoning districts:
“Not more than 30% of total lot area may be covered by the main building, accessory structures, and impervious surfaces. This percentage may be exceeded with a solution approved by the Inspection Department. No landscaping using impervious materials such as solid plastic and vinyl will be permitted”

It should be noted that the town currently has a 30% cap on three zoning districts: Mainland Residential 1, Mainland Residential 2 and Mainland Multifamily Residential. The difference is that these lot sizes range from 10,000-40,000 square feet—not the 4,500 for beach lots. And not putting a significant obstacle in front of future commercial development in the town. 
 
To review the UDO Amendment recommendations, CLICK HERECLICK HERE
 
 
US Fish & Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period on Red Knot, Hearing In Morehead City May 6 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 April 2014 09:20
 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the comment period on its proposal to list the red knot as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service proposed to list the knot on September 30, 2013, following an analysis of the best available data in more than 1,400 scientific documents. The public can provide comments on the proposed rule for 45 days through May 19, 2014.
 
The rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), a robin-sized shorebird that visits the U.S. on its annual journey between the tips of the Americas. According to US Fish & Wildlife, it is “in trouble.”
 
During the initial comment period, the Service received more than 560 individual comments and 19,000 form letters. Public hearings, preceded by information sessions and opportunities to ask questions to Service biologists, will be held May 6, 2014, in Morehead City, N.C., and in Corpus Christi, Texas. 
 
The Service expects to take final action on the listing rule by the end of September 2014. As required by the ESA, the Service is also reviewing the U.S. range of the knot to identify areas that are essential for its conservation, called critical habitat. Critical habitat focuses the coordination of federal agencies, which are directed by the ESA to aid in the conservation of listed species. Examples of factors for determining species’ critical habitat include where it occurs and how often, and the most important defined areas that support its biological needs such as feeding or resting. For the knot, these elements may include sand dunes and wide, open beaches for roosting and habitat supporting prey like small clams. The Service expects to publish a separate rule proposing critical habitat in 2014.
 
For more information click hereclick here
 
 
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