Local News

Battle brewing over Topsail dunes

Posted July 8, 2015

— Jeff James is building a new home for Bill and Francis Moore on Topsail Beach.

The Moores had a beach house sitting on the exact spot when it was wiped out by storms in the 1980s. For more than three decades, the family has paid their property taxes and waited patiently for the beach to return to a build-able condition.

"They want their house back, and there's no reason why they can't have their house back, and I'm going to make sure they get their house back," James said.

James has all the proper permits, however the town is considering changing some rules to limit further development.

Commissioners will meet on Wednesday night to discuss changing driveway and parking requirements for new homes in the area, and adding a requirement that builders not flatten dunes under the homes for parking.

Landowners like the Moores feel betrayed, but others agree with the change.

"It's a very precarious piece of land," said homeowner Randy Avrem, of Durham. "When you start messing with it, it becomes more precarious."

"If I could stop it, it would have already been stopped," Topsail Beach commissioner, Julian Bone said.

Bone said about 30 lots along a thin strip of dunes have turned into a target for builders.

"The last six years we have spent $24 million on our beach," he said. "Why do we want someone to haul it off in dump trucks? It is just crazy."


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  • Gary Hutson Jul 10, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    But the land currently doesn't
    belong to the state. It's private property. They would have to sat the very least give the owner fair market value for it.

  • Steven Cousler Jul 9, 2015
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    Beachfront homeowners have already claimed far too much close beachfront property in Carolina Beach, Surf City, and Atlantic Beach. Only Emerald Isle appears to enforce the "behind the dunes ordinances".

    The beach front is not first come first served or the domain of the wealthy. It is a shared public resource and the dunes that protect the coast need to be preserved. I don't want any higher homeowner's insurance or taxes to fund buildings too close to the ocean.

    The houses already there should be bulldozed and the state should reclaim that fragile land, not rebuild it to suit a few.

  • John Watkins Jul 9, 2015
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    Brian, what led you to that conclusion? I got the impression that Mr. Ravram is sincerely concerned about what is best for the beach.

  • Brian Grier Jul 9, 2015
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    Agreed, but after watching the video I get the feeling that the person across the street is most miffed because his view of the ocean will be obstructed .

  • Mannin Black Jul 9, 2015
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    Build a house. Hurricane destroys house. Rebuild, rinse and repeat.