Even if ordinances are changed, controversial barge would be allowed to stay in Carolina Beach

Even if ordinances are changed, controversial barge would be allowed to stay in Carolina Beach
Residents are pushing back against floating homes in Carolina Beach. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Although planning staff in Carolina Beach have recommended a change to town zoning ordinances which would prohibit floating structures, the removal of a vessel at the Carolina Beach Yacht Club and Marina (which prompted the request) would not be required.

When residents of Oceana first saw what they considered to a be a floating home, they filed complaints with the Town of Carolina Beach. Since floating homes are prohibited in the town residents believed the structure would be required to be moved.

However, town code currently defines a floating home as a structure without propulsion, and the vessel in Carolina Beach had two outboard motors making it technically a vessel.

In response to the town’s official decision ruling it a vessel neighbors applied for a text amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance that would further define floating structures and prohibit them in the town. The item has been a topic of discussion for some time and in August the Town Council voted to postpone a public hearing and vote on the request.

On Thursday, Sept. 10 the town’s Planning and Zoning Board discussed the proposed changes but board members were not in agreement on what action they should take, if any, on the request.

Ultimately, they asked that town staff return to the drawing board and come up with more clear definitions after an hour-long debate on the topic.

However, regardless of any definition changes the vessel would be allowed to stay since it would be grandfathered into the old zoning ordinance, according to planning staff.

The Town Council had previously agreed to set a public hearing to discuss the request on October 13. The Planning and Zoning Board meet on October 8 meaning it is possible Town Council will have a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board in time for that meeting.

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