Proposed Vehicular Beach Access

There is a good bit of information circulating about a potential additional vehicular beach access and we want to provide facts about this matter. The Town, acting as an agent for a property owner, applied to the Division of Coastal Management (DCM), for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit to construct and maintain a drive-over access to the beach through a gated community. This permit application, in cooperation with the property owner, is part of an effort to secure access to the beach for our pending beach nourishment project and for long-term access for surf rescue, public safety agencies, and beach management activities. The Town has not received information regarding this permit as of the date of this e-news.

The access being contemplated would have allowed the gated community the ability for their residents to drive vehicle on the beach, subject to the Town of Duck’s beach driving regulations (Section 94.06 of the Town of Duck Code of Ordinances). This would not be the first or only community to have such an access; a drive-over vehicular beach access is currently available to residents of another community in the Town of Duck.

Because we do not have a permit for the access we were hoping to establish for our beach nourishment project that is beginning within the next week, we are going to delay developing any agreement with the neighborhood with whom we have been interacting that would allow anything other than official vehicle access. We will continue in this posture pending direction from the Town Council when they discuss beach driving regulations at their annual Retreat in February. While the Town currently allows driving on the beach, and there is one point of private access that pre-dates the incorporation of the Town, we understand the desire to have the Council determine how to modify our regulations to continue to protect our beaches and all those who use it.