Updated Thursday, Feb. 15: State calls actions taken at Freeman Park by property owners “unauthorized”
CAROLINA BEACH — The town of Carolina Beach has closed Freeman Park to the public after owners of private property in the area began erecting barriers around their land.
According to Town Manager Michael Cramer, “Town staff was alerted to activities on Freeman Park that have the potential to be a public safety hazard. 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.”
The private land that makes up part of the area has been historically undeveloped, although much of it has been transferred from the Freeman family to limited liability companies (LLCs). Cramer said the town was caught off-guard by the sudden activity.
“Neither the town nor CAMA was consulted on this project and we were unaware of the activity until this morning,” Cramer said.
According to Cramer, town staff contacted North Carolina’s Division of Coastal Management (CAMA), in order to discuss with Freeman park’s new LLC owners “interpretation of the rules and regulations that govern the North Carolina Coast.”
Cramer did not say if the Freeman family was involved or name any specific individuals associated with the LLC.
According to a Facebook post on the Town of Carolina Beach’s page, the closure of Freeman Park is a safety issue.
“Due to the current beach obstructions and to preserve the public safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents at night, Freeman Park will close at 6:00 pm tonight. Freeman Park will remain closed until we receive direction from CAMA officials,” Cramer said.
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