OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) – Leaders in the Town of Oak Island tackled several issues this week, before the ice storm prompted government offices to close.
Topping the list of items include the possibility of a partnership with the Community Boys and Girls Club of Brunswick County, a possible moratorium on large homes, and a change to the town's oceanfront setback regulations.
The Community Boys and Girls Club have requested to use Oak Island's facilities for their programs.
Facility issues have been a concern for the group. They've had to change locations several times since 2007 for various reasons.
As a result, eight of the nine members of the group's volunteer advisory board have resigned last year.
The group has now requested to use Oak Island's Community Center to hold their services for children in Brunswick County.
But it's not a done deal just yet, town council wants to review the compatibility of the Community Boys and Girls Club program and their facility before accepting the request.
The Community Boys and Girls Club would provide staff, supplies, and program materials. They would also be requesting to use some of the town's equipment and athletic facilities.
If accepted, the partnership would allow the group to use the facilities weekdays, Monday through Friday, after school.
Mayor Betty Wallace believes it is only a matter of time until the deal is accepted.
"I believe we will be able to work out an agreement with the Community Boys and Girls Club," said Wallace. "We are eager to allow the benefits of a program such as this."
Mayor Wallace said that town council still needs to review the specifics of the deal at its next meeting in March.
Safety concerns from the public prompted town leaders to schedule a public hearing to receive comments on a proposed moratorium for houses with 6 bedrooms or more.
In 2010, town leaders brought in an expanded waster water system, allowing larger single family residential medium density homes to be much larger since a septic tank drain field was no longer required.
Since then, there have been several rental properties constructed of 10 bedrooms or more.
Oak Island town leaders recently issued a permit for a 15 bedroom, 12 bath, 8 parking space home on the west end of town.
The town's people, staff, and council realized this would be a direct impact on the safety and welfare of everyone.
Mayor Betty Wallace explained that when you have 20-40 occupants in one rental property, police and fire departments are directly impacted and the surrounding community is impacted by the increase in traffic.
"This issue has received more communication to our council than any other issue than I remember," said Wallace.
There is also concern over the safety factor of the drain on infrastructure.
Due to those safety concerns, council has scheduled a public hearing on February 20 at 9 am to receive comments on a proposed moratorium for houses with 6 bedrooms or more.
Town council has reduced the required setback of oceanfront properties from 20 feet off the road back to 15 feet off the road.
Mayor Betty Wallace explained that many oceanfront properties that were build able 30-40 years ago have become non-build able after Hurricane Floyd and other weather events over the years.
For years, the town had a 20 foot setback rule from the road front in addition to the state's right of way.
Now, council has reduced the required setback on the road front to 15 feet.
By doing this, it affects at least 50 properties and immediately allows over 20 of them to become build able.
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