KDH to add restrooms at Prospect Avenue beach access, consider adding to others

The beach access at Prospect Avenue, in Kill Devil Hills, is temporarily closed while improvements are being made. Town Staff is constructing permanent restroom facilities at the access. It is anticipated that the beach access will be re-opened to the public in April 2020.

At its January 14, 2019, meeting the KDH Board of Commissioners directed Staff to survey the possibility of permanent restroom facilities at Town beach accesses. Following direction from the Board, Staff updated the Town’s Shoreline Access Plan, which included updating existing accesses and features and identifying accesses that may be able to accommodate permanent restroom facilities.

The update to the Town’s Shoreline Access Plan can be found on the Town’s website: www.kdhnc.com/DocumentCenter/View/12036/Town-of-Kill-Devil-Hills-Shoreline-Access-Plan-2019-Update

Upon completing a study of the various Town accesses, Staff provided recommendations to the Board of potential permanent locations where restroom facilities could be constructed. From the list of recommendations and further review, it was determined that the Prospect Avenue beach access would be an ideal site for permanent restroom facilities to be built.

Numerous regulatory factors were taken into consideration before selecting this access to receive improvements, such as Town regulations (which include zoning and flooding), Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) regulations, Dare County Health Department requirements, and North Carolina Building Code requirements.

Basic logistics such as design, parking, construction, and funding were also considered. Prospect Avenue’s beach access is able to accommodate permanent bathroom facilities with little to no change to its walkway and parking configuration. The beach access at Prospect Avenue is currently handicap accessible to the dune top and has 28 parking spaces.

In addition, the improvements to Prospect Avenue’s beach access are able to be completed in an expeditiously and relatively inexpensive manner. Funding for the improvements was allocated from the Town’s Shoreline Access Capital Reserve Fund, in the amount of $50,000. The Shoreline Access Capital Reserve Fund is budgeted for by the Town annually, and the funds not used in a fiscal year, carry over to the next budget cycle. Budgeting for this Fund is extremely crucial, as it ensures that the Town has money to maintain its 29 beach accesses and make future improvements to them.

The Town will continue to explore options and grant funding to implement improvements to its other beach accesses.