Jockey’s Ridge bill stuck in House

By on July 1, 2024

By Ray Gronberg | NC Tribune

State Senator Bobby Hanig

The Senate’s attempt to write some long-standing protections for Jockey’s Ridge stalled in the House at the last minute, along with the rest of Senate Bill 426.

On a 106-0 vote, House members declined to concur with the changes the Senate made to the bill, which originally dealt only with fish farming.

SB426 in early May became the Senate’s chosen vehicle for addressing what’s become a multi-year quarrel between the state’s Coastal Resources and Rules Review commissions.

Per state law, Rules Review subjected many of the Coastal Resources Commission’s existing regulations to a periodic review, and declined to approve many of them.

The Jockey’s Ridge rule labels the famous Nags Head sand dune an “area of environmental concern.”

It requires a state permit to develop there, and requires people to put back into Jockey’s Ridge State Park any sand they take from the dune.

Lawyers for Rules Review Commission have said they believe the rule’s vague and unauthorized by law, and the full commission has agreed with them.

Coastal Resources has tried re-writing the rule to address those objections, and at the behest of Sen. Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck, the Senate agreed to write its new draft into state statute.

Obviously, that would forestall any further contretemps on the issue between the CRC and Rules Review.

But SB426 is another omnibus sort of bill that includes multiple unrelated provisions.

Another section would require the state’s Department of Administration to hold a public hearing before granting someone the right to dump dredge spoil on state land.

A third would exempt slatted decks, the “water area” of swimming pools, some types of stone surfaces, porous-paved trails, some uses of mulch and other landscaping materials, and some types of artificial turf from state and local impervious-surface restrictions.

House leaders indicated that they want a conference committee to craft a final version of the bill. Rep. Karl Gillespie, R-Macon, would lead their negotiators.

But Senate leader Phil Berger has yet to appoint conferees from his chamber.

The rules set out by the chambers’ adjournment resolution allow legislators to vote on conference reports at any of their limited-purpose sessions in July, September, October and December.

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See what people are saying:

  • Greg

    There it is. Even a conservative like Bobby Hanig who knows the value of visitors to NC cannot get a sensible rule about a unique State Park codified by our legislature that is populated by people who are there just to say they are legislators. Lawmakers? Hardly. The Rules committee codifier is the daughter of Senator Phil Berger, the president pro tem of the NC Senate. He is the worst thing to come along in the NCGA in quite some time.

    Wednesday, Jul 3 @ 1:51 pm
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