Rules change will allow more leeway to move shifting sand

Changes to state sand dune rules adopted in late 2018 and now awaiting final state approval would allow oceanfront land owners greater flexibility to relocate wind- and storm-driven sand on their property.

Also, beach access ways may now be built 6 feet beyond the vegetation line, which previously had not been allowed. Officials said that the change allowing a longer, less severe slope for Hatteras ramps, a common term for a type of beach access way, will be less destructive to dunes and improve accessibility.

The state Coastal Resources Commission adopted the changes during its most recent meeting held Nov. 28 at Brick Landing Plantation in Ocean Isle Beach. The adopted rules now go to the state Rules Review Commission for review and approval later this month. If approved, the rules become effective Feb. 1.

“The commission is pleased that the amendments to dune rules add more flexibility by addressing the redistribution of sand following storms and Hatteras ramps,” said Renee Cahoon, CRC chair. “The changes to walkovers and ramps should reduce the number of required switchbacks (or zig-zags) and reduce the slope of access ways, which can help with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.”

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