CAROLINA BEACH — Efforts to better regulate mariners in Carolina Beach are underway in the town as staff continue to move forward with the creation of a new harbor ordinance. While it has been a topic of conversation for some time, the town has finally offered a first look at the draft plan.
One of the biggest changes to the town code would limit the length of time boaters can remain in town waters, just 30 days every six months.
Code enforcement, in general, is more difficult in the town’s waterways and the town has had a number of problems with boaters not adhering to town regulations. Some of these issues include:
- Abandoned vessels
- ‘Live-aboards’ both anchored and in marinas
- Regulating waste being dumped into the waterways
- Breaking anchor
- Dangerous anchorage
- Unauthorized use of public property
- Managing public resources
- Communicating with the boating community
For Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin, one of the biggest concerns is the growing number of abandoned boats in town waters.
The addition of a 30/180 rule, that is, no boat can anchor in town waters for more than 30 days every 180 days is not carte blanche, it is a privilege that can be revoked.
According to Parvin, the 30 days rule can be revoked if boaters fail to meet town requirements like legal registration, failure to attend to the vessel, and living aboard without adequate waste holding tanks.
One of the reasons for the new ordinance, as stated before, is to help regulate the amount of waste dumped into the public waters. If the ordinance is passed as written, boaters mooring in the town waters will have to provide weekly pump-out receipts proving they are not just releasing waste into the sound.
The new ordinance has not yet been approved but it will likely be voted on at the upcoming Nov. 12 Town Council meeting.
The entire proposed ordinance can be found below.