Duck delays pursuit of Barrier Island Station vehicular access; defers decision to February

By on November 4, 2022

Miriam Rollin, who started the petition opposing the beach access, addresses the Duck Town Council on Nov. 2

Citing timing and the still-pending CAMA permit, the Town of Duck announced on Nov. 1 that no beach access for anything other than official vehicles will be pursued until after the Town Council’s February retreat.

The town had applied for a CAMA permit to construct and maintain a drive-over beach access at Barrier Island Station Duck Resort, a gated community, in hopes of having two places for beach nourishment workers to access their jobsite in Duck, with this one as a permanent access for surf rescue and emergency personnel access.

With the beach nourishment project in Duck starting as soon as next week, the town will provide worker access only through the Port Trinitie neighborhood — an access that will be closed as soon as nourishment is complete.

If it becomes a reality, the Barrier Island Station access would stay open after beach nourishment was completed for emergency personnel use and would also allow Barrier Island Station community members the ability to drive on the beach through that access during the permitted months of October through April. Currently, only one private community in Duck has a beach driving access.

However, given the timing of the work and the fact the CAMA permit is still pending, town officials said they’ll delay developing any agreement with the neighborhood until after discussing beach driving more in-depth at the February Town Council retreat.

The proposed beach access at Barrier Island Station had generated vocal opposition from many Duck property owners, including a petition drive that garnered signatures from owners of more than 150 properties.

Town officials say, however, that that opposition was not responsible for the decision to table the matter until the February retreat.

“While we appreciate hearing from those we serve and the input we received will inform a broader conversation about beach driving in general, this decision is primarily driven by timing,” Senior Planner Sandy Cross said in an email to the Voice. “The desire for this point of access has not ended nor any agreement put on hold.”

“Due to a lack of access in Duck, the heavy equipment and materials related to this [beach nourishment] project will be driven up the beach from an access point in Southern Shores,” Cross said in her email. “Although there are appropriate points of access for this equipment in Duck, the Town has been denied the ability to develop and utilize these, even temporarily, for this important project.”

The petition opposing the Barrier Island Station access was started by Miriam Rollin, a property owner of the 100 block of Plover Drive, who said she will be a permanent resident as of Jan. 1.

While saying she recognized the need for town personnel driving access and noting she’d support any potential agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rollin added that “there is no proposal that would be more deeply and irretrievably damaging to the unique beautiful and fragile beach in Duck than the driving of private vehicles on the beach.”

The petition cited the potential human, environmental and wildlife harm caused by increased beach driving.

At the Nov. 2 Duck Council meeting, during public comment, several property owners shared similar concerns, and a few stated their opposition to any personal vehicles on the beach. Others stressed the importance of the town securing beach access through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Field Research Facility (FRF) so the Barrier Island Station access wouldn’t be needed.

Rollin asked the council, after its February retreat, to revise its beach driving ordinance “and, like Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores, say no to public beach driving in the Town of Duck at all —only official town vehicles permitted.”

John Klamut said the Olde Duck Beach Road owners’ association, of which he is a part, wrote to senators and congressmen about trying to secure an agreement for use of the FRF.

They had a conference call with staff from the offices of Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Greg Murphy on Monday, and “they pledged to help us…to get the Corps and town staff and councilmen together to work on the issues,” Klamut said.

 

 

 



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Comments

  • Paul

    It’s beyond me how these property owners feel entitled to their “private beach” yet continue to use public tax dollars for Beach nourishment….while another group of residents want to maintain their private vehicle access to Duck’s beach at the same time.

    Friday, Nov 4 @ 12:25 pm
  • shady

    No problem for me cause I haven’t lost anything in Duck

    Friday, Nov 4 @ 3:23 pm
  • Joe

    I would not replenish the beach there if was was in charge. Let their beach erode. I have not lost anything up there

    Friday, Nov 4 @ 7:15 pm
  • William Hoyt

    If you think meeting with some senator is going to make the Army Corps rollover to the the town of duck and allow public access .. don’t hold your breath lol

    Saturday, Nov 5 @ 9:23 am
  • Ennus Berz

    I’m pretty sure the army corps gave the town land for a fire and police station. Why does the town think they are entitled to take and take without compensating someone? Duck should take all that tax revenue and buy a lot and build a public or private beach access.

    Saturday, Nov 5 @ 9:34 am
  • Beach me

    Paul, ALL beaches in NC are public, so tax dollars pay to maintain them. It works the same way as public streets. Tax dollars fund the maintainenance of public streets but NOT the maintenance of private driveways (street accesses) that connect to them. Just as you can’t use a private driveway without permission to access a public street, you can’t use a private beach access without permission to access NC’s public beach.

    Sunday, Nov 6 @ 8:50 am
  • Steven

    On beaches regulated by Park Service, any walkway that accesses the beach is usable by the public, regardless of being private..

    Sunday, Nov 6 @ 9:38 am
  • Sandy Owens

    While I don’t usually side with Duck property owners, they’re right on this one. Timeshare owners aren’t tax paying property owners. There’s got to be a better solution for the town to secure beach access than giving 5000+ timeshare owners an exclusive beach access.

    Sunday, Nov 6 @ 10:03 pm
  • Scotty

    Re: Steven. There is no Park Service beach in Southern Shores or Duck.

    Monday, Nov 7 @ 6:28 am
  • Lisa

    Beach me, I agree all beaches in NC should be public. But once you have made beaches impossible to access by the public-Southern Shores, Duck, Currituck particularly, they are not public. Beachfront property lines should stop at the beachside of the dunes. As long as their property lines includes to the “high tide Line” and I can’t access it, it is their responsibility as the homeowner to replenish the beach. I do believe the beach belongs to everyone, then it becomes a different story.

    Wednesday, Nov 9 @ 9:47 am
  • Paul R

    Lisa, in NC the public can use the beach all the way to the foot of the dune even if it’s private property. That’s why you’ve never seen “Private Beach” signs in Southern Shores or Duck. There’s no such thing as a private beach in NC. It’s all public beach. That’s why taxes pay for beach maintenance.

    Thursday, Nov 10 @ 10:20 am