(a)  Coastal Waterfront access in the 20-county coastal area is a concern of local, state, regional and national importance. Local governments have lead responsibility for the selection of public access sites within their jurisdiction.  Access shall be based on identified needs as stated in land use plans pursuant to 15A NCAC 07B .0702(d)(3)(A) and local waterfront access plans. The Division of Coastal Management may take the lead in acquiring and improving access sites as such opportunities arise.

(b)  A local policy in a land use plan sets the community objectives for access. A local government may, through its land use plan:

(1)           identify access needs and develop local policy to pursue access funding;

(2)           develop a local access plan; and

(3)           solicit access sites through corporate assistance.

(c)  An access plan shall identify needs and opportunities, determine access and facility requirements, establish standards, and develop specific project design plans or guidelines by appropriate site.  An access plan shall consider both financial resource availability (such as grants, impact fees or hotel/motel tax revenues) and construction timing. It shall establish priorities and devise a system for annual evaluation of the plan.

(d)  Local governments may also include provisions in local ordinances that require access for waterfront developments or require payment in lieu of access for non-water dependent subdivisions.

(e)  Dedicated street ends may be acceptable for accessways.

(f)  The Division of Coastal Management has primary responsibility for administering the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program.  Subject to the availability of funds, the Division of Coastal Management shall annually solicit pre-application proposals from local governments and shall select competitive projects for full application submittal.  Projects from these final applications shall be selected for funding based on criteria in Rule .0307 of this Section.

(g)  The Division of Coastal Management may use available funds on a non-competitive basis to plan for and provide public access through acquisition of improvements.  Prior to expending funds, the Division of Coastal Management shall hold a public meeting or hearing to discuss its proposal.  Members of the public shall be invited to comment to the Coastal Resources Commission for a minimum of 60 days prior to the expenditure of non-competitive money by the Division of Coastal Management.

(h)  The Division of Coastal Management shall ensure all projects funded through the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program are making progress throughout project implementation and ensure that completed projects are operated and maintained for access purposes.


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

Eff. January 1, 1998;

Amended Eff. February 1, 2009; August 1, 2007.