PKS planners recommend protection of oceanfront vegetation

Oceanfront vegetation covers the dunes on the beach in Pine Knoll Shores recently. (Mike Shutak photo)

PINE KNOLL SHORES — Protective measures for oceanfront vegetation are on their way back to the Pine Knoll Shores Board of Commissioners with a recommendation from the town planning board.

The planning board met Tuesday in the town hall boardroom and online via webinar. During the meeting, the board unanimously recommended approval to the board of commissioners for an ordinance amendment to protect oceanfront vegetation. The amendment was recommended for approval by the planning board at its June 23 meeting, but town attorney Neil Whitford recommended several changes, so the board of commissioners, at its July 8 meeting, sent the amendment back to the planning board.

Town Planner Kevin Reed said at Tuesday’s planning board meeting the changes Mr. Whitford proposed would ensure the protection of oceanfront vegetation beyond trees.

“That other stuff is important to the dunes,” he said.

Mr. Whitford added to the amended language defining the term “oceanfront parcel” as the entirety of a lot or parcel of land adjacent to the ocean or the public trust ocean beach. For condominiums, this includes the entirety of all common areas adjacent to the ocean or public trust ocean beach.

Mr. Whitford also added language defining “oceanfront vegetation” as all trees and shrubs growing on an oceanfront parcel with diameters less than regulated trees. The definition also includes all indigenous vegetation growing on an oceanfront parcel not considered a tree or shrub, with the exception of lawn grass, shrubs within 10 feet of a house’s exterior wall, planted flowers, planted vegetables and poison ivy.

The amendment will now go back before commissioners for consideration. The next regular commissioner’s meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12.

In other news at Tuesday’s planning board meeting, Mr. Reed said he’s been meeting with consulting firms which have bid on a contract to help create a unified development ordinance for the town.  Mr. Reed said he hopes to have a draft contract with one of the firms to present to the board by August.

“It will be up to us (the town planner and planning board) to decide how to reach out to the HOAs (homeowners associations),” Mr. Reed said. “The planning board will be the steering committee on this process.”


Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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