Continuing its discussion of establishing guidelines for the creation of private access easements to lots not located directly on a town street, the Wrightsville Beach Planning Board has agreed to a definition of those easements.
At its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1, planning board members voted unanimously to define a public access easement as: “A private access easement providing access to a maximum of four residential units and constructed to meet the minimum standards of design.”
The limitation of a private access easement providing access for up to four residential units came from a similar City of Wilmington ordinance. Town of Wrightsville Beach planner Eryn Moller said planning staff determined this would be a reasonable requirement because any lot that would require a private access easement is within the R-1 Residential District, which only allows for single family dwellings.
Recent buyer interest in certain undeveloped, landlocked lots located primarily between Augusta and Oxford streets stirred the need for the town’s planning staff to address private access easement requirements.
The planning board also discussed certain activities currently ongoing within the S-1 Shore Zone district, located on the Banks Channel beach along the length of Waynick Boulevard.
Activities like kayak tours, sailing, scenic boat tours and paddle boarding tours are not technically permitted within the Shore Zone, Moller said, and added that the town wanted to address the issue to make these activities legal. The main areas these activities are known to occur are located in the Shore Zone adjacent to the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, the Carolina Yacht Club and the Hanover Seaside Club, she said.
Since those activities have been ongoing at those locations for decades, Moller said planning staff suggested allowing the historic uses in those locations and for those uses to become permitted on parcels both in the Private Club District and Shore Zone or in both Commercial District IV and Shore Zone. Only the four parcels occupied by the Blockade Runner, Carolina Yacht Club and Hanover Seaside Club would then qualify for those activities in the Shore Zone.
Moller said planning board should consider what activities are currently being conducted at those locations, what uses should be permitted by right, if off-street parking should be a requirement and if the only permitted activities should be the ones already occurring.
After a brief discussion the board agreed that the stakeholders from those three establishments and the businesses operating on them should come to the board’s November meeting to discuss the issue.