(a)  Inlet areas as defined by Rule .0304 of this Section are subject to inlet migration, rapid and severe changes in watercourses, flooding and strong tides.  Due to this extremely hazardous nature of the Inlet Hazard Areas, all development within these areas shall be permitted in accordance with the following standards:

(1)           All development in the inlet hazard area shall be set back from the first line of stable natural vegetation a distance equal to the setback required in the adjacent ocean hazard area;

(2)           Permanent structures shall be permitted at a density of no more than one commercial or residential unit per 15,000 square feet of land area on lots subdivided or created after July 23, 1981;

(3)           Only residential structures of four units or less or non‑residential structures of less than 5,000 square feet total floor area shall be allowed within the inlet hazard area, except that access roads to those areas and maintenance and replacement of existing bridges shall be allowed;

(4)           Established common‑law and statutory public rights of access to the public trust lands and waters in Inlet Hazard Areas shall not be eliminated or restricted.  Development shall not encroach upon public accessways nor shall it limit the intended use of the accessways;

(5)           All other rules in this Subchapter pertaining to development in the ocean hazard areas shall be applied to development within the Inlet Hazard Areas.

(b)  The inlet hazard area setback requirements shall not apply to the types of development exempted from the ocean setback rules in 15A NCAC 7H .0309(a), nor, to the types of development listed in 15A NCAC 7H .0309(c).

(c)  In addition to the types of development excepted under Rule .0309 of this Section, small scale, non-essential development that does not induce further growth in the Inlet Hazard Area, such as the construction of single-family piers and small scale erosion control measures that do not interfere with natural inlet movement, may be permitted on those portions of shoreline within a designated Inlet Hazard Area that exhibit features characteristic of Estuarine Shoreline.  Such features include the presence of wetland vegetation, lower wave energy, and lower erosion rates than in the adjoining Ocean Erodible Area.  Such development shall be permitted under the standards set out in Rule .0208 of this Subchapter.  For the purpose of this Rule, small scale is defined as those projects which are eligible for authorization under 15A NCAC 7H .1100, .1200 and 7K .0203.


History Note:        Filed as a Temporary Amendment Eff. October 30, 1981, for a period of 70 days to expire on

January 8, 1982;

Filed as an Emergency Rule Eff. September 11, 1981, for a period of 120 days to expire on

January 8, 1982;

Authority G.S. 113A‑107; 113A‑113(b); 113A‑124;

Eff. December 1, 1981;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1999; April 1, 1996; December 1, 1992; December 1, 1991;

March 1, 1988.