Federal hearing on North Topsail CBRA designation set

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM.

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH — An effort to correct a long-standing mistake that affects nearly all of the property within North Topsail Beach is moving forward in Congress.

A subcommittee hearing will be held next month in Washington, D.C. on legislation introduced to fix a decades-old federal mapping error that has kept a large portion of the town from participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The April 8 hearing is the next step to bring H.R. 187 to the House floor for a vote and move the legislation forward.

“This is the most significant step since the introduction of the bill to correct a technical error to a 1982 map, and we are still hopeful we’ll achieve our final goal of correcting the error. It will be beneficial to the town from the governmental perspective and to the citizens,” Town Manager Stuart Turille said.

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) was enacted in 1982 to discourage development of previously undeveloped coastal area. At that time, a large part of North Topsail Beach was mistakenly classified as undeveloped though the town has said the area designated as a CBRA zone was already under development, was zoned for residential development and had infrastructure in the ground.

The town has fought for a number of years to have the CBRA changed and is now seeking a resolution by legislative means in Congress.

Rep. Walter Jones introduced H.R. 187 in January 2013 and a similar bill was introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan in the Senate the following March.

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