Town mulls proposed property ordinance

Published 1:11 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Staff Writer

BELHAVEN — Town officials are moving forward with a proposed ordinance concerning the raising of lots, as well as shepherding the town’s application for grant funds for a dock project.
Ron Medlin, chairman of the Belhaven Planning Board, submitted a rough draft of a proposed ordinance concerning lot fill. Seeking the council’s guidance and any suggestions it may have, Medlin said before the item could be enacted as an ordinance it would need to be presented in the form of an ordinance and a public hearing conducted.
Medlin said, “Fill on any lot shall be limited to the regulatory flood-plain level.”
According to Medlin, a licensed North Carolina engineer stamped drawing shall be submitted to the code-enforcement office showing elevation and drainage of the lot to prevent stormwater runoff from going onto neighboring properties, including town properties.
“All stormwater must run into town storm drains,” he said. “Incurred cost for proper drainage is to be the responsibility of the property owner.”
He said that during construction, a lot perimeter shall be maintained with a silt-reduction fence installed according to state specifications.
“The lot must be seeded within 30 days after completed fill, and streets must be kept clean at all times,” Medlin said.
Mayor Adam W. O’Neal said the issue of raising lots has come up in the town because of flooding and residents wanting to raise their properties to prevent flood-related damage.
“We have residents who’ve raised their lots up, and the runoff will go into their neighbors’ land,” O’Neal said. “And this is just an attempt to stop that; so if someone does elevate their lot, the runoff won’t affect their neighbors.”
O’Neal added he would like the council to consider the proposed ordinance as a way to prevent runoff from one lot affecting other lots.
Councilman Steve W. Carawan made a motion for Medlin to move forward on crafting the ordinance. Councilman Howard D. Moore seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Councilman McKee “Mac” Pigott Jr. was absent from the meeting. 
In other business, the council:
• Conducted a public hearing to hear concerns regarding the towns’s application to the North Carolina Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program for a $200,000 grant to buy the Cooperage property on West Main Street. No one spoke at the hearing. The council voted to continue to seek the grant and obtain any permits needed for the Wynne’s Gut dock project, which carries a cost estimated at $610,000.
• The council decided that Halloween will be observed in Belhaven from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, not Sunday.