Beaches soon could be authorized to enact smoking bans, thanks to a provision in a coastal policy bill that as of Aug. 2 still was awaiting the governor’s signature.


Beaches soon could be authorized to enact smoking bans, thanks to a provision in a coastal policy bill that as of Aug. 2 still was awaiting the governor’s signature.



Because beaches didn’t fall under the state’s definition of public ground, towns lacked the authority to enforce certain rules.



The Coastal Policy Reform Act of 2013 contains the ordinance required to grant cities the right to enforce rules on the state’s ocean beaches.



“A city may, in the interest of promoting the health, safety and welfare of the public, regulate, restrict or prohibit the ... use of equipment, personal property or debris upon the state’s ocean beaches,” the bill says.



The change is in part a response to an N.C. Court of Appeals ruling that only the state had the authority to order the removal of nuisance structures from public trust beaches. The updated law gives cities the authority to enforce ordinances in public trust areas “within or adjacent to” a city’s jurisdictional boundaries, which would include shoreline property.