KURE BEACH — Despite their close proximity in New Hanover County, the three beach towns have taken fairly different approaches to reopen their towns in the wake of Covid-19.
While Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach both announced they would be loosening restrictions, Kure Beach is taking a more strict stance and extending theirs.
Restrictions have been in place to limit the number of visitors to the beach towns, like banning short-term rentals, hotels, and stationary activities on the beaches.
Other towns in the region have reopened their rentals but Kure Beach’s decision not to has to do with its high population of ‘high-risk’ residents as well as staying in accordance with the Governor’s stay-home order, according to the town.
“In accordance with Council’s understanding of the Governor’s continued Stay at Home order and the fact that more than 30% of Kure Beach residents are in the high-risk groups, Council did not open Short Term Rentals as adjacent communities did. Council formally announced that Short Term Rentals would open in conjunction with the timing of the Governor’s Phase II timeline on May 22, 2020,” Emergency Manager David Heglar wrote.
The extension of the rental ban will leave homeowners, many of whom rely on rental income to help pay their mortgage, with financial difficulties. The town’s response to this?
Turn to the federal government for assistance.
“The Council recognizes that this continues to place a significant financial challenge to many of our property owners and encourage them to investigate the many federal and state protections being provided during the Pandemic. I refer them, and any property owner who is experiencing financial issues with meeting their mortgage requirements to https://www.consumerfinance.gov,” Heglar said.
There will be some restrictions loosened though. Visitors will be permitted to use the beaches for normal activities as long as they do so in groups less than 10. Also, one of the biggest issues has been the closing of all parking, effectively meaning unless you live in Kure Beach, you couldn’t access the beaches, has been loosened.
“The Council continued the process of relaxing restrictions by opening the beach to normal activities (with the Governor’s directed 10 group maximum and social distancing requirements) and limited open parking along Fort Fisher Blvd effective May 8th at 5 pm. This continues Kure Beach on the path to returning to open operations,” according to Heglar.