Inlet Hazard Area Information


The following is an update to the information provided in the Town’s December newsletter regarding proposed amendments to the Inlet Hazard Area (IHA).

The Town of Ocean Isle Beach sent two (2) letters to the NC Coastal Resource Commission on Friday, 2/17/23.

CRC Letter (Dune Building)
CRC Letter (Fiscal Analysis)

On February 23, 2023 the Coastal Resource Commission (CRC) conducted their meeting in Ocean Isle Beach at the Town Hall located at 111 Causeway Drive.
At the present time the Inlet Hazard Maps and several corresponding rules have not been adopted. In discussion with Division of Coastal Management (DCM) it has been suggested that the process of final adoption may not occur until later this summer (August 2023). It is pertinent that Property Owners take advantage of submitting written comments or attend scheduled Public Hearings on this matter. (*Note – the public is welcome to attend the 2/23/23 Meeting at OIB, but it is not a Public Hearing for IHA. These will be scheduled in the future).

On November 16, 2022 the Town submitted an official letter to the CRC expressing our concerns (link included below). Staff has, and continues to, attend meetings on this issue to express our apprehension that these maps are now approximately four years old.

Please visit the following link for pertinent information regarding the Inlet Hazard Area:

March 3, 2023 - Public Workshop Request

The Town recently requested a workshop be held with NCDCM staff and the Town/Property Owners to discuss concerns and answer questions regarding these new proposed boundaries and rules.  NCDCM informed the Town today that since they are still receiving public comments and updating the fiscal analysis, they believe a better time to schedule this meeting would be after the April CRC Meeting.

In the meantime if you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Ken Richardson, Shoreline Management Specialist with the NC Division of Coastal Management at [email protected] or by phone at 252-515-5433.   The Town will continue to stay abreast of these developments and update if necessary.  

April 17, 2023 - Inlet Hazard Area Update
The agenda for the April 25-26 CRAC and CRC Meetings in Manteo can be found by using the link below:

Two important items are on the agenda.

1. Oceanfront Erosion Rate Method & Inlet Hazard Areas.  Due to the multiple requests to re-evaluate the methods used toe determine IHA boundaries and to include data collected since the 2019 study, DCM staff is recommending that the CRC consider temporarily postponing adoption of the 2019 updated IHA boundaries and issuing a new charge to the Science Panel on Coastal Hazards.  If this recommendation is adopted by the CRC, Staff would work with the Science Panel to bring back recommendations in summer 2024.

2. Exception for Lots Platted Post-1979.  This proposed amendment would allow lots platted after 1979 to be eligible for the “small structure exception”.  This would allow lots that cannot meet the required erosion rate-based construction setback but can meet a minimum 60-foot setback to construct a structure with a maximum floor area of 2,000 square feet along with other requirements.

For specific questions regarding these two items please contact Ken Richardson, Shoreline Management Specialist with the NC Division of Coastal Management at [email protected] or by phone at 252-515-5433.

April 26, 2023 CRC Meeting Update

During the CRC hearing held today, the Commission voted to accept DCM staff recommendation that the CRC temporarily postpone adoption of the 2019 update IHA boundaries.  DCM staff will work with the Science Panel to complete the Charge and provide the Commission updated IHA maps, rules, and erosion rates, along with DCM’s recommendation for corresponding IHA use standards in Summer 2024.  

DCM staff also proposed during todays meeting amendments to 07H.0309(b) to remove the 1000 square feet footprint, retain the total floor area of 2000 square feet and remove the June 1, 1979 stipulation.  This would make the .0309 exception applicable to all oceanfront and inlet areas, except for unvegetated beach areas. For those that cannot meet the minimum setback for larger structures, they could potentially utilize this exception for a structure up to 2000 square feet if the other conditions outlined above are met.  This amendment addresses the primary concern related to the earlier repeal of 07H.0104, while removing the complexity of tracking past erosion rates and recognizing the dates that lots were platted during Minor Permit review.   This request will be sent to public hearing. 

Older News (2020)

The NC Division of Coastal Management held a workshop at Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall (1/9/20) at 10:30am to review proposed Inlet Hazard Area boundary updates and associated Coastal Resource Commission rule amendments. The workshop was open to interested members of the public and town officials.

Information from the workshop is provided via the links below:

Presentation/Slide Show from Workshop - January 9, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
Proposed Amendments
Map of Inlet Hazard Area - Shallotte Inlet
Map of Inlet Hazard Area - Tubbs Inlet
Science Panel Recommendations to Coastal Resource Commission (Feb. 2019)

For questions about your specific property, please contact the Town of Ocean Isle Beach Planning and Inspections Department at (910) 579-2166 or  [email protected]