WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Let’s face it, not everyone who goes to the beach wants to purchase chairs or umbrellas, especially those who only visit the beach occasionally. That’s where beach equipment rental companies come into play, for a fee they will deliver and pick up items like chairs and umbrellas.
But one company is facing backlash from the Town of Wrightsville Beach for operating a beach equipment rental, seemingly against the town’s ordinances. Now, Cape Fear Beach Rentals has requested the town work with them, to allow for their services.
It all comes down to the town’s zoning ordinances that only allow beach equipment rentals (listed as Ocean Related Business Activities) by hotels and private clubs, and only immediately adjacent to their beachfront. The company has proposed an amendment that would allow other businesses to rent equipment as well.
The request will go before the Board of Aldermen on Thursday but went before the town’s Planning Board in March. It would not be a free-for-all if the amendment is approved, but it would allow more companies the ability to get a permit in order to offer services to beachgoers. Town staff is recommending three options, the first would be to deny the request, the second would be to send the amendment back to the Planning Board for review, and the third would be to discuss the request including staff modifications.
Cape Fear Beach Rentals has retained an attorney to represent them and the request when reached for comment they provided a brief statement.
“We are actively working with the Town of Wrightsville Beach to find a mutually beneficial evolution of the Town’s code that will allow Cape Fear Beach Rentals and other reputable and responsible business owners to provide valuable services to beachgoers at Wrightsville Beach, while also retaining appropriate controls for the Town,” James Todd, an attorney for the beach rental company said.
In response to the town’s ordinances, the rental company requested customers and those interested reach out to the Board of Aldermen and ask them to allow the amendment - the response has been significant.
Dozens of emails have poured into the Board of Aldermen in support of the request and while there has been opposition, the bulk of the emails are in support of allowing beach rentals.
It is important to note that the amendment if approved, would not allow companies to simply set up a shop or a kiosk on the beach, but it would allow them to deliver and set up equipment for beachgoers.
The Board of Aldermen met Thursday and sent the amendment back to the planning board for further review.