15A NCAC 07M .0302     DEFINITIONS

As used in this Section: the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program is to provide public access to the public trust beaches and waters in the 20 coastal counties.

(1)           "Ocean Beach Access" includes the acquisition and improvement of properties adjacent or proximate to the Atlantic Ocean for parking and public passage to the oceanfront.

(2)           "Coastal Waterfront Access" includes the acquisition and improvement of properties located in the 20 county area under the Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) jurisdiction that are adjacent or proximate to coastal waterways to which the public has rights of access or public trust rights.

(3)           "Inlet Beach Access" includes the acquisition and improvement of properties located within Inlet Hazard Areas as defined in 15A NCAC 07H .0304(3). 

(4)           "Public Trust Waters" is defined in 15A NCAC 07H .0207(a).

(5)           "Beach" is defined as an area adjacent to the ocean extending landward from the mean low water line to a point where either the growth of vegetation occurs or a distinct change in slope or elevation alters the configuration of the landform, whichever is farther landward, or riparian owners have specifically and legally restricted access above the mean high water line.  This definition is intended to describe those shorefront areas customarily freely used by the public.

(6)           "Local Access Sites" include those public access points which offer minimal or no facilities.  Generally, these accessways provide only a dune crossover or pier, if needed, litter receptacles and public access signs.  Vehicle parking is generally not available at these access sites.  However, bicycle racks may be provided.

(7)           "Neighborhood Access Sites" includes those public access areas offering parking, usually for 5 to 25 vehicles, a dune crossover or pier, litter receptacles and public access signs.  Restroom facilities may be installed.

(8)           "Regional Access Sites" are of such size and offer such facilities that they serve the public from throughout an island or community including day visitors.  These sites normally provide parking for 25 to 80 vehicles, restrooms, a dune crossover, pier, foot showers, litter receptacles and public access signs. 

(9)           "Multi‑regional Access Sites" are generally larger than regional accessways but smaller than state parks.  Such facilities may be undertaken and constructed with the involvement and support of state and local government agencies.  Multi‑regional accessways provide parking for a minimum of 80 vehicles, restrooms with indoor showers and changing rooms, and concession stands. 

(10)         "Urban Waterfront Access Projects" improve public access to deteriorating or under utilized urban waterfronts.  Such projects include the establishment or rehabilitation of boardwalk areas, shoreline stabilization measures such as the installation or rehabilitation of bulkheads, and the placement or removal of pilings for the purpose of public safety and increased access and use of the urban waterfront.

(11)         "Improvements" are facilities that are added to promote public access at a designated access site.  The most common improvements include dune crossovers, piers, boardwalks, litter receptacles, parking areas, restrooms, gazebos, boat ramps, canoe/kayak launches, bicycle racks and foot showers.

(12)         "Maintenance" is the upkeep and repair of public access sites and their facilities in such a manner that public health and safety is ensured.  Where the local government uses or has used access funds administered by the North Carolina Coastal Management Program (NCCMP), the local government shall provide operation and maintenance of the facility for the useful life of that facility.  The useful life of a facility shall be defined in the individual grant contract.

(13)         "Handicapped Accessible" is defined as meeting the standards of the State Building Code for handicapped accessibility. 


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑124; 113A‑134.3;

Eff. March 1, 1979;

Amended Eff. February 1, 2009; January 1, 1998; March 1, 1988; March 1, 1985; July 1, 1982.