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CRC Sets Special Meeting on 2 Court Cases

The state Department of Transportation plans to replace the swing-span Earl C. Davis Memorial Bridge and Bridge No. 96, both of which connect the Straits township shown at top to Harkers Island. Photo: Mark Hibbs

A special meeting has been called for 11 a.m. Monday for the state Coastal Resources Commission to discuss two pending legal cases.

Officials expect to have one of those discussions in closed session.

The commission is expected to hear information on the case of Kastberg versus the Division of Coastal Management and consult with its attorney regarding Batson versus Coastal Resources Commission, the latter of which will be during closed session.

The public may join the open session of the Commission online or by phone at 415-655-0003. Use event number or access code 185 429 8377 and password 1234.

In the first case, Kure Beach property owners James and Joanne Kastberg are challenging the denial by the Coastal Area Management Act, or CAMA, local permit officer of their application to place a pool oceanward of the town’s development line. The deadline to complete discovery and file dispositive motions was Dec. 8 and a hearing on respondent’s motion for summary judgment was to be held March 8 in Bolivia, according to the Nov. 9 CRC meeting legal update.

The attorney is expected to update the commission in closed session on the Batson, Baldwin, and Batson/Baldwin Owners’ Association versus the Coastal Resources Commission, a case in Carteret County Superior Court that involves property owners on Harkers Island.

Petitioners challenged the CAMA permit issued to the state Department of Transportation for the Harkers Island replacement bridge in the Office of Administrative Hearing. NCDOT intervened in the contested case and the parties settled. As part of the settlement, NCDOT is revising development plans. Once the revised plans are permitted, the petition will be dismissed, according to the Feb. 5, 2021, legal update for the CRC.

The commission appealed in the North Carolina Court of Appeals an award of $89,444.36 in attorney fees and costs by the Superior Court after it granted a petition for judicial review, overturning the chair’s denial of requests for contested case hearings to challenge the CAMA permit issued to NCDOT for the Harkers Island replacement bridge. The record will be filed in the court on Feb. 12, 2021. The commission’s brief will be due about 30 days later.

The court recently granted the Coastal Resources Commission’s request for an extension and now the commission must file on or before May 14, according to court records.

A full meeting agenda can be found on the CRC website. Times indicated on the agenda for individual items are subject to change.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.