welcome

to the Town of Duck

The Town of Duck, North Carolina, is a thriving coastal community. We respect and value our delicate yet dynamic barrier island environment – clean waters and beaches, maritime forests, wetlands, and dunescapes. With an eclectic mix of independent businesses and the Duck Town Park and Boardwalk, Duck Village is a source of pride and the heart of Duck. Whether you are a resident, a first-time visitor, or someone who feels that Duck is your home away from home, we welcome you to explore the Town of Duck.

Beach Access FAQs

View public comments from the June 5 Town Council meeting here.


The Town of Duck was incorporated on May 1, 2002. By that date, all oceanfront property, excluding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility, had been platted as private property. The vast majority of private oceanfront properties were developed as individual subdivisions. Many of these subdivisions were set up by the subdivision developers to be governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA).

The recorded plats for many of these subdivisions depict access points for the owners of property within the subdivision, their renters and guests, to the public beaches in Duck. Neither the Town of Duck, nor Dare County before it, own or maintain any beach access points within the Town of Duck. Of the more than 60 subdivisions that are located in the Town of Duck, only a few do not have platted beach access points associated with the subdivision.

The Town does not provide oversight or guidance as to who has the right to use a beach access point in a particular subdivision. The Town does not monitor the use of beach access points in the Town.

If you are staying in a rental home, please ask your rental agent or property manager if the house has access to a beach access point and if so, its location. When purchasing a property in Duck, please work with your real estate broker and attorney to obtain beach access information and rules for your subdivision.

No. The Town does not have any authority to settle disputes between private parties over the use of beach access points in the Town. That is because the Town does not own, maintain, supervise or monitor any beach access points within the Town. Therefore, these disputes are civil matters and must ultimately be decided by the courts.

If a call is made to the police, the police must respond to investigate the complaint. As with many disputes in which tensions arise and tempers flare, police may be called to mediate or otherwise effect a peaceful resolution to the conflict. This may include the arrest of one or more parties involved as determined by the responding officer.

Beach nourishment in the Town of Duck is funded by a combination of the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund (occupancy tax authorized for this purpose), the Town’s Municipal Service Districts (MSDs), and the Town’s General Fund revenues. Properties in Duck historically generate more occupancy tax revenue paid to Dare County than the Town receives back from the County as the Town’s share of occupancy taxes collected by the County. No ad valorem property taxes collected by Dare County are used to pay for beach nourishment in the Town of Duck.

The Town of Duck’s recent beach nourishment project cost was approximately $14,057,929. The recent project was funded through revenue derived from the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund ($7,094,929), with the remaining $6,963,000 funded through 5-year special obligation bonds (SOBs). The sources of funds for the Town’s repayment of SOBs are MSD revenues, Town General Fund appropriation, and the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund.

The Town of Duck’s annual repayment obligation for the 5-year SOBs is $1,221,390, with approximately $1 million derived from the Town MSD taxes, and the remainder derived from the Town’s General Fund.

Under State law, a portion of the 6 percent Occupancy Tax (2%) collected by Dare County is set aside by the County for the Beach Nourishment Fund. The occupancy tax is levied on gross receipts derived from the rental of rooms, lodging, campsite, or similar accommodation furnished by any hotel, motel, inn, tourist camp including private residence and cottages rented to visitors. The Beach Nourishment Fund must be used for the placement of sand, from other sand sources, the planting of vegetation, and the construction of structures that are in conformity with the North Carolina Coastal Area Management Act, such as sand fences and dunes, on beaches of the Atlantics Ocean of North Carolina for the purpose of widening the beach to benefit public recreational use and mitigating damage and erosion from storms to inland property.

The following is how the Occupancy Tax is distributed:
• 1% Room Occupancy and Tourism Development Tax (net proceeds to the Dare County Tourism Board)
• 2% Room Occupancy and Tourism Development Tax for Beach Nourishment
• 3% Room Occupancy Tax
(68 percent of net proceeds to Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Manteo, Nags Head and Southern Shores in proportion to the amount of ad valorem taxes levied by each town for the preceding fiscal year and 32 percent to Dare County)

Constructive comments and questions may be sent to clegner@townofduck.com or 252-255-1234.

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