CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - Carolina Beach town officials announced that Freeman Park is closed to vehicular traffic until further notice after a company that owns private property in the park reportedly installed posts and rope.
In a letter posted on the Town of Carolina Beach Facebook page, Town Manager Michael Cramer said that Freeman Park was closed as of 6 p.m. Wednesday night "due to the current beach obstructions and to preserve the public safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents at night."
"Representatives from the Freeman Beach LLC, who own private property on Freeman Park, have installed posts, rope and sea oats plantings, which encroach on the area of historical public beach," Cramer said in the letter. "Town staff alerted CAMA to the situation and CAMA will be discussing the property owners interpretation of the rules and regulations that govern the North Carolina Coast. Neither the town nor CAMA was consulted on this project and we were unaware of the activity until this morning."
Carolina Beach Mayor Joe Benson said Thursday afternoon that a private landowner submitted a CAMA permit to install sand fencing along the north end of Freeman Park, but the area where they put the posts, rope and seat oats plants was not included in the permit.
"Hopefully CAMA will weigh in on behalf of the citizens and we hope that will happen in the next few days," Benson said.
One resident who lives near the access point to the beach says he has only seen the park closed during dangerous weather situations.
"As far as should this be shut down? I'm mixed on that," said David Clark. "A lot of people have paid season passes to come out here. There's people that fish this area every single day and come out here and fish all night long, so I'm sure there's going to be a huge outcry for that reason."
Cramer's full letter can be seen below: