PELETIER Peletier commissioners Monday night for the second month in a row tabled action on a proposed ordinance to limit potential negative impacts of an eight-acre vegetative waste disposal site planned by Emerald Isle off Highway 58 in town.

The board met in the town hall for its regular monthly session, with town attorney Brett DeSelms present.

DeSelms praised town resident Donna Bierly for extensive work researching state laws that govern such sites and presenting it in ordinance form for consideration by commissioners. “She did a herculean job” over months, the attorney said.

However, as he also said during the commission’s February meeting, “There’s a lot of complexity … it’s going to take some time to digest.”

DeSelms reiterated his concern that the ordinance, when adopted, be understandable and enforceable in a town that has only two employees, part-time Town Clerk Bea Cunningham and part-time Code Enforcement Officer Lt. Kris Jensen who is a full-time Carteret County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

DeSelms indicated it could be several months before he’s ready to present the ordinance for adoption by the board.

“I just wanted to let you know it’s still on my plate,” he said.

The town planning board has recommended adoption of the ordinance, which it has worked on along with Commissioner Tim Quinn and resident Bierly who have consulted with officials in the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The property is part of a larger 35-acre tract owned by Coastal Environmental Partners, which operates landfills and waste transfer stations in the region. Emerald Isle is leasing eight of the acres near Highway 58’s intersection with Croatan Road. 

Emerald Isle plans to improve it, but many residents in rapidly growing Peletier are unhappy about the project, worried it could cause spontaneous fires, air pollution, groundwater contamination and heavy truck traffic on the highway. They also are concerned – despite Emerald Isle officials' assurances – that the site will not be adequately buffered from view.

Monday night, the board, also at the suggestion of DeSelms, for the second month in a row tabled action on fining the owner of Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway for allegedly violating an ordinance that regulates when drivers can practice at the track.

The ordinance states that, “During the week prior to a scheduled race, all practice shall be held on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. All lights that shine off the premises of the racetrack property shall be turned off no later than 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays.”

It adds that, “During non-race weeks, any and all practice shall be held on Wednesday of each week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and all lights that shine off the premises of the racetrack shall be turned off by 8 p.m.”

Lt. Jensen, the town code enforcement officer, in January told the board he had received three phone calls complaining about loud noise from the track during a time when practice was not allowed under the ordinance. He said he visited the track and observed the alleged violation.

Racetrack owner Bob Lowery is appealing the fine, proposed at $1,000, and is represented by attorney Steve Weeks of the Wheatly Law Firm in Beaufort.

Monday night, DeSelms told the board he has been in contact with Weeks and “the hope is to assure compliance” with the ordinance in the future. “We’re making progress on that,” he added.

The board met with DeSelms in a closed session Monday night, as allowed under state law citing attorney-client privilege.

DeSelms in open session said “that (the racetrack practice issue) is the reason the closed session.”


Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.


(4) comments


Different rules apply when you can afford to hire " the" law firm? Let's just waive the fine, compliance will be in the future. Seems to be a lot of talk in Pelletier.. precious little action.

Steven Overby

You said it Drewski.. all talk.

Steven Overby

It's going to take several months for Mr. Deselms to digest the waste site ordinance and formulate a plan to address the enforcement concerns? The town has two part-time employees that could be tasked with oversight of the debris facility, otherwise what is the purpose of having a code enforcement officer?

Peletier sent a fine to the owner of the speedway because of an alleged ordinance violation and the response is " the hope is to assure compliance" in the future? Pretty obvious that Peletier has no intention of pursuing legal action.

Peletier expects another entity to adhere to ordinance regulations when they are taking no action after an alleged violation? What's the purpose of having ordinances?


The woman who donated her time to write and research the ordinance, was not appointed to the board, the employee of dirt to dreams LLC, who has obvious connections to the county commissioners, and certainly an eye to more d2d "investments" in the western part of the county was appointed. That pretty much sums it up for me. But then I am cynical ( based on observation of CC shenanigans over the last 40 or so years)

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