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Monday, May 27, 2024

Sun’s out, buns out: Carolina Beach council removes ‘buttocks’ from indecent exposure law

Should the Town of Carolina Beach be citing females wearing bathing suits that do not fully cover their backside? Well, one resident thinks so, but town leaders have different opinions (Port City Daily/File)
The Town of Carolina Beach opted to remove the word ‘buttocks’ from its public nudity laws making thong bathing suits officially allowed. (Port City Daily/File)

CAROLINA BEACH — The Town of Carolina Beach has stricken one word from its code of ordinances to remove some ambiguity and bring the town’s public nudity laws up to par with the state’s.

Citing a 1998 North Carolina Supreme Court case, the Town of Carolina Beach has amended its ‘public nudity’ ordinance to allow a little more freedom as to what beachgoers can wear — namely, thong bathing suits.

What started with a complaint from one resident regarding the amount of bare skin seen on the beaches has led to actual policy change — just not in the direction the resident had hoped for.

Related: Carolina Beach resident claims female lifeguard swimsuits constitute ‘public nudity,’ wants thong enforcement at beach

According to the complaint, the resident pointed out that the town was not enforcing its current laws on the book since the word “buttocks” was in the town’s code.

The town’s public nudity ordinance previously stated, “It shall be unlawful for any person to appear on any public beach, any public street or in any public park in a state of dress or undress so as to expose to the view of others the human male or female pubic area, pubic hair, anus, vulva or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering.”

The change made on Tuesday night might be minor in wording, simply the removal of the word buttocks, but it will help bring the town into compliance with state law, according to Town Attorney Noel Fox.

There was very little discussion on the topic during the meeting and the town council passed the amendment quickly.

Neighboring Kure Beach however explicitly bans visitors to the beach from wearing thongs and at least at the beginning of the year, had no intention of changing the wording in their ordinances.

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