Bath land plan gets state OK

Published 3:40 pm Saturday, July 28, 2007

By By DAN PARSONS, Special to the Daily News
Bath on Friday earned a spot in the state’s Coastal Management Program when its specially-designed coastal land-use plan was certified to fit requirements of the N.C. Coastal Area Management Act. Certified by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, the plan will be used by local, state and federal agencies in considering conservation and development issues that would affect the town.
Coastal Consortium Consulting Planners of Washington, worked with the town in developing the plan. Owner John Crew said the document is “basically an expression of local goals and desires.”
Bath’s planning board began work on its plan in fall 2004, according to Crew. He said the goals of the plan were aimed at preserving the way of life that town residents enjoy.
Town commissioners adopted the plan following a public hearing on the plan on April 30. The plan was then sent to the CRC for certification.
Crew also said the plan would hypothetically play a part in the Navy’s decision to build an outlying landing field in a location where air traffic from the pilot-training facility would affect the town. An OLF at Navy-proposed Site E in Beaufort and Craven counties would affect the town, Crew said.
CAMA provides plans for all twenty coastal counties in the state, though municipalities are free to develop plans independent of their counties. Beaufort County is in the process of developing its pan, which would include Belhaven, Chocowinity, Aurora, Washington Park and Pantego. Washington is developing a plan independent of the county which is scheduled for CRC consideration in September, according to City Planner Bobby Roberson.
City Manager James C. Smith said the plan was important in conserving the natural resources surrounding Washington.
A final public hearing on the city’s plan is scheduled for August 27, according to Roberson.