Recently there has been a lot of conversation regarding the Town’s action pertaining to the property located on Causeway Drive between Gatha Lane and East Second Street. The Town initiated a condemnation lawsuit on this property October 21, 2014 and deposited $1,250,000 as its estimate of just compensation for the subject tract. As part of this condemnation process, a court-ordered mediation was undertaken. During the last two-year period, the Board of Commissioners have worked tirelessly to obtain this entire tract of property. However, based on information and advice of the Town’s attorney for this matter, the Town entered into a settlement agreement with OIP Beach, NC wherein, the tract of property was divided into two equal parcels. One parcel will remain in ownership of the Town and the other with OIP Beach, NC.
The recent meeting held by the Town was not to determine whether or not a beach club would be allowed on this property. Beach Clubs have been allowed in the commercial district since 2007. The Town does not have the ability to zone out certain uses but chose in 2007 to allow these types of uses only in the Commercial District in lieu of Residential zones.
Vested rights for this property was granted by the Board at their January 2017 meeting, which means that the current zoning regulations in effect for this particular area cannot be changed for this parcel for a period of five years, expiring 01-10-2022.
The Town will still have ownership of over 75% of the area between the Museum of Coastal Carolina and Causeway Drive. This will allow the necessary space for the continuance of our Friday night concerts. It is also our opinion that this space will continue to suffice for the annual Oyster Festival, however, that would be a decision made by the Chamber of Commerce (Sponsors of this event).
We regret we were not able to discuss the details of this lawsuit earlier, but unfortunately the Town could not until such time the agreement was finalized. The final step in this settlement agreement will be review and approval by the Court to the terms of this Agreement and of a Consent Agreement, which will be entered and recorded by the Court.
The Board feels it made the soundest financial decision regarding this lawsuit while at the same time acquiring as much of this property as possible. If you have any questions or comments, please feel to contact the Mayor at (910) 443-4801 or by email at [email protected]
Debbie Smith, Mayor
Town of Ocean Isle Beach