15A NCAC 07H .0304 AECS WITHIN OCEAN HAZARD AREAS
The ocean hazard AECs contain all of the following areas:
(1) Ocean Erodible Area. This is the area where there exists a substantial possibility of excessive erosion and significant shoreline fluctuation. The oceanward boundary of this area is the mean low water line. The landward extent of this area is the distance landward from the first line of stable and natural vegetation as defined in 15A NCAC 07H .0305(a)(5) to the recession line established by multiplying the long‑term annual erosion rate times 90; provided that, where there has been no long‑term erosion or the rate is less than two feet per year, this distance shall be set at 120 feet landward from the first line of stable natural vegetation. For the purposes of this Rule, the erosion rates are the long-term average based on available historical data. The current long-term average erosion rate data for each segment of the North Carolina coast is depicted on maps entitled "2011 Long-Term Average Annual Shoreline Rate Update" and approved by the Coastal Resources Commission on May 5, 2011 (except as such rates may be varied in individual contested cases or in declaratory or interpretive rulings). In all cases, the rate of shoreline change shall be no less than two feet of erosion per year. The maps are available without cost from any Local Permit Officer or the Division of Coastal Management on the internet at http://www.nccoastalmanagement.net.
(2) Inlet Hazard Area. The inlet hazard areas are natural‑hazard areas that are especially vulnerable to erosion, flooding, and other adverse effects of sand, wind, and water because of their proximity to dynamic ocean inlets. This area extends landward from the mean low water line a distance sufficient to encompass that area within which the inlet migrates, based on statistical analysis, and shall consider such factors as previous inlet territory, structurally weak areas near the inlet, and external influences such as jetties and channelization. The areas on the maps identified as suggested Inlet Hazard Areas included in the report entitled INLET HAZARD AREAS, The Final Report and Recommendations to the Coastal Resources Commission, 1978, as amended in 1981, by Loie J. Priddy and Rick Carraway are incorporated by reference and are hereby designated as Inlet Hazard Areas, except for:
(a) the Cape Fear Inlet Hazard Area as shown on the map does not extend northeast of the Bald Head Island marina entrance channel; and
(b) the former location of Mad Inlet, which closed in 1997.
In all cases, the Inlet Hazard Area shall be an extension of the adjacent ocean erodible areas and in no case shall the width of the inlet hazard area be less than the width of the adjacent ocean erodible area. This report is available for inspection at the Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Avenue, Morehead City, North Carolina or at the website referenced in Item (1) of this Rule. Photocopies are available at no charge.
(3) Unvegetated Beach Area. Beach areas within the Ocean Hazard Area where no stable natural vegetation is present may be designated as an Unvegetated Beach Area on either a permanent or temporary basis as follows:
(a) An area appropriate for permanent designation as an Unvegetated Beach Area is a dynamic area that is subject to rapid unpredictable landform change due to wind and wave action. The areas in this category shall be designated following studies by the Division of Coastal Management. These areas shall be designated on maps approved by the Coastal Resources Commission and available without cost from any Local Permit Officer or the Division of Coastal Management on the internet at the website referenced in Item (1) of this Rule.
(b) An area that is suddenly unvegetated as a result of a hurricane or other major storm event may be designated by the Coastal Resources Commission as an Unvegetated Beach Area for a specific period of time, or until the vegetation has re-established in accordance with 15A NCAC 07H .0305(a)(5). At the expiration of the time specified or the re-establishment of the vegetation, the area shall return to its pre-storm designation.
History Note: Authority G.S. 113A‑107; 113A-107.1; 113A‑113; 113A‑124;
Eff. September 9, 1977;
Amended Eff. December 1, 1993; November 1, 1988; September 1, 1986; December 1, 1985;
Temporary Amendment Eff. October 10, 1996;
Amended Eff. April 1, 1997;
Temporary Amendment Eff. October 10, 1996 Expired on July 29, 1997;
Temporary Amendment Eff. October 22, 1997;
Amended Eff. July 1, 2016; September 1, 2015; May 1, 2014; February 1, 2013; January 1, 2010; February 1, 2006; October 1, 2004; April 1, 2004; August 1, 1998.