This ocean-to-sound, coastal village is tourism-driven and has a sound-side commercial district that is unique in North Carolina. This part of the state faces challenges exacerbated by changing environmental conditions that includes increased vulnerability to erosion during storms, stormwater flooding, and potentially compromised septic systems due to rising seas. Preservation and enhancement of local character was a key element of the future land use map, partly because this town is nearly built out. The CAMA (Coastal Area Management Act) land use plan examined the interconnectedness between land uses, the environment, natural hazards, recreation, and economic sustainability.
Stewart was engaged to coordinate a CAMA land use plan and comprehensive plan update, including public engagement, visioning and goal setting, public survey, future land use mapping, and policy recommendations. Extensive GIS analysis of environmental conditions included community-identified stormwater flooding data collection and topographical hydrologic analysis.
This resort/vacation community has a strong character, built-out development pattern that relies on septic, and is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound. Stewart took all of this into account when working with Duck to develop a CAMA Land Use Plan that met state planning requirements and went on further to address citizen- and town-identified issues. Issues related to erosion, both sound-side and ocean-side, were considered, including exploring the possibility of habitat conversion/restoration to provide environmentally-responsive storm buffering landscapes.
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