Kitty Hawk outlines proposed taxing areas for beach widening

By on February 4, 2014


Flooding crossed the bypass during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Kitty Hawk is still many months from a possible beach widening project, but municipal service districts that might help pay for it are coming into focus.

A proposed map depicting three districts was presented to the Town Council Monday night as the town considers whether and where it will levy additional taxes to help pay for pumping sand onto the beach.

Town Manager John Stockton emphasized that the map is not official until every property owner is notified, a public hearing is advertised and the council passes a resolution adopting the map.

It could be changed during that process. A public hearing is possible by the fall, Stockton said.

So far, the town is working with the county and the towns of Duck and Kill Devil Hills to explore where sand would come from, how much would be affordable and the permitting process. The county provided Kitty Hawk with the money from its Shoreline Management Fund.

“Phase two is when the town starts obligating money in addition to what the county has,” said Mayor Gary Perry. “And at that point, we’re going to have to have the municipal districts set up and taxing for this project. We’ll have a better idea how much we need to tax.”

A probable scenario is that districts will pay additional taxes according to their risk to ocean overwash and flooding.


Click for a larger image »

The preliminary map shows District A running from the oceanfront to U.S. 158 and including commercial properties. District B would include what is being called the ridge area and District C is the village to the sound.

Under a plan outlined in October, the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund would provide Kitty Hawk with $13.2 million of the roughy $17 million it needs to pump sand onto its severely eroded beaches.

The Town Council has already approved an interlocal agreement, which basically declares that it wants to participate in a financing plan involving multiple towns and the county.

Duck and Kill Devil Hills are also planning to widen their beaches after seeing Nags Head’s 10-mile project appear to be holding up two years after it was completed. The county is developing its own project on Hatteras Island.

The preliminary financing plan calls for the county fund to provide Kitty Hawk $10.3 million up front and another $3 million to help pay off a six-year bond. The beach nourishment fund is made up of a portion of occupancy taxes paid by visiting renters.

Kitty Hawk’s share of debt service would be $3.9 million, which would be financed by an average property tax increase of 7.82 cents per $100 of value. Kitty Hawk’s payments after the first year would be $765,977 annually.

Some property owners would pay more, some less depending on where they live based on a final municipal service map.

Towns could see savings of up to 17 percent if their plans allow simultaneous use of dredging equipment and offshore borrow areas, town and county officials believe.

Towns are also seeking legislation that would give them condemnation power in the event that easements for placing sand cannot be obtained.

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February 8, 2014 1:24 pm

Something has to be done or we will lose all our main tax revenue when the people don’t come here anymore. KittyHawk is in particular trouble when you can’t put down a beach towel and not have one in dipping in the water. I don’t know if this is a long or short term solution but unless somebody comes up with a better idea I don’t see any alternative.

Mark Williamson

February 8, 2014 12:03 pm

Our winter weather of brutal NE winds simply is to strong for sand to stay in one place. The tree stumps in Carova, [and I have seen them in the S curves also], will let you know how far away the ocean once was. For a forest of trees of that size, to live and not be killed by the salt spray, it truly was along way from the surf zone, IMHO. This whole place is only temporary with the erosion on both sound and ocean fronts. I am only 53, and alot has been lost. Sure it worked at MIAMI beach, but the waves are about 6 inches most days.


February 8, 2014 7:23 am

Worse yet, the Town of Kitty Hawk taxpayers will be paying for no more than an extra 40 feet of beach width, less than the width of one high tide. In Nags Head, from Jennette’s Pier south, the beach was widen by 200+ feet. North of the pier it was less and 90+% of that added width is now gone. A little sand does remain up on the high dune line on private properties, but that’s about it.

Mark Williamson

February 7, 2014 4:47 pm

Sand is considered in the project area in and up to 29 feet of water. Thats why they say there is no net loss. But having a chance to come back ashore , and actually being there are totally different. Total waste of money in my opinion. The sound side shore is eroding also. They gonna pump sand there also?


February 5, 2014 1:48 pm

Thanks Rob, that is better. Not a very clear map, but you made it stay large enough to figure out.

Ray needs to realize that SNH had some areas with an average erosion rate of 7 ft per year on average, one of the highest on the Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk has an average rate of 2 feet per year and so one would think the sand would last even longer in Kitty Hawk after a renourishment than it did in parts of Nags Head.

Rob Morris

February 5, 2014 10:56 am

Dandy — Try it now. You can make it another step larger by clicking on the button with the cross on the top right.


February 5, 2014 9:31 am

I sure wish you could click that map and make it big and have it stay big so I could read it. When it is big it only stays big for seconds which is very aggravating.


February 5, 2014 9:15 am

Taxpayers in Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills would do well to closely examine that portion of Nags Head’s beach project which extends from Jennette’s Pier northward. That portion of the project, which has a higher profile, like KH and KDH, has not held up well, and, in fact, the beach there is no wider than pre-project years. Nags Head officials and property owners in south NH know this, but won’t admit it, instead preferring to point to the southern portion of the project which received much, much more sand per linear foot than KDH and KH can expect to receive. I am confident that once nourishment is done in KH and KDH, the end results will effectively kill any future projects here. Money can’t cure everything.

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