Virtual meeting on proposed Avon beach nourishment project set for Feb. 24

The Dare County Board of Commissioners will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss the proposed Avon beach nourishment project at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2021.

During the meeting, a presentation of the Avon Beach Nourishment Project will be provided, and the Board will give affected property owners an opportunity to share their input.

Avon Beach south of the Avon Pier on September 22, 2020

The meeting will be held virtually, and available for viewing online at www.youtube.com/darecounty. The video will also be available for viewing after the meeting for folks who are unable to attend live.

An overview of the proposed project from the county, (as well as a synopsis of the recurring issues that led to the proposal of a beach nourishment project for Avon), is below, and can also be found online at https://www.darenc.com/government/avon-beach-nourishment.

For the last several years, the rate of erosion along the beaches of Avon has accelerated dramatically. The sand dunes along much of the beach have been washed away, allowing the ocean to wash over and flood Highway 12, as well as the properties on the ocean side of Highway 12. This occurs not only in named storms but also in common nor’easters and hard blows. 

The overwash has impeded, and at times prevented, first responders from responding to emergencies; sanitation workers from picking up trash; the citizens of Avon from performing normal daily tasks, such as attending doctor appointments,  buying groceries, attending community events, and the list goes on. In addition to the safety issues, there has been flood damage to homes and businesses, and it has negatively affected our tourism economy. 

About two years ago, a number of people from Avon came to the county seeking help to solve these problems. In response, the county retained Coastal Science and Engineering to study the area, to make recommendations to help solve these problems and to give cost estimates for the proposed solutions. That study was completed in late 2020 and recommends a beach nourishment project at a cost of $11 million to $14 million.

The proposed project will place over 1 million cubic yards of sand along the beaches of Avon from about 3,000 feet north of the Avon Pier at Due East Road to Askins Creek North Drive near the southern boundary of Avon—approximately 2.2 miles of oceanfront.

As proposed, funding for the beach nourishment project will come from Dare County’s Beach Nourishment Fund and Avon property owners, with each contributing approximately 50 percent of the costs. This funding is similar to that used by the local towns for their beach nourishment projects.

To generate the necessary revenue, Dare County proposes to tax the properties east of Highway 12 from Due East Road to the southern boundary of Avon at a rate of 40 cents per $100 dollars of value (this is the area receiving the greatest benefit from the project) and to tax all remaining parcels in Avon at a rate of 10 cents per $100 dollars in value.

For example, for a parcel valued at $500,000 the 40 cents tax would be $2,000 per year. For a parcel valued at $500,000 the 10 cents tax would be $500 per year.

If the Avon beach nourishment project is approved, it will be bid in conjunction with the beach nourishment projects planned in Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Buxton, which are all scheduled for construction in 2022.

No final decision has been made. A decision will not be made until after a public meeting is held to give property owners the opportunity to share their input. This public meeting has been set for February 24 at 6 p.m. It will be a virtual meeting and will be available for viewing online at www.YouTube.com/DareCounty. If you are unable to watch it live, the video will also be available for viewing following the meeting.

Those who would like to submit comments or questions about the project can email them to DareCountyPR@DareNC.com prior to February 24. Please write “Avon Beach Nourishment” in the subject line of your email.

If you would like to participate in the public meeting on February 24, you will need to register online at www.DareNC.com/AvonBN. After registering online, you will receive a response that confirms your registration and provides information about how to access the virtual meeting. In addition, the webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions about the proposed beach nourishment project.