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SHALLOTTE—At their October meeting, the board of aldermen discussed at length complaints of deer overpopulation in town.
Town officials discussed several options for creating an ordinance so communities within Shallotte can control deer populations.
At the meeting several residents from Rivers Edge spoke out about issues they are having with deer. They cited landscaping and property damage as well as fear of deer jumping in front of their cars.
One man said he and his wife sit on their porch and watch 20 deer walking down the cart path. He went on to say when he drives on Copas Road he drives along the center line for fear of deer running out in front of his car.
“We have had to give our roses away, and we have replaced our azaleas at our own expense. It’s a continuing expense,” a Rivers Edge homeowner said.
Residents urged the board to create an ordinance allowing communities to bring in licensed and approved hunters to help reduce the deer population.
“We have had two communities approach the town about a serious problem of an overabundance of deer,” said Mayor Sara McCullough. “We have looked into some possibilities, and I guess the basic questions we have for the board are, are you willing to tackle this issue, and how do we tackle it?”
“There are some options,” said town administrator Albert Hughes. “You can opt to do a little more investigation, opt to allow hunting in town with bows and arrows. You can opt to adopt an archery season that extends on to January through February beyond the limit of the regular hunting season or you can opt to take a deprivation permit from the state, which allows you to do it anytime. So there are several options you can do.”
“I have been approached by many people in Rivers Edge about the deer overpopulation and the destruction to landscaping,” alderman Walt Eccard said. “I think working on an ordinance and putting one in place that permits that activity if a community desires would be good.”
“I agree with Walt. We have certain areas of town where we have a problem with destruction of land,” alderman Alan Lewis said. “We need to think through this thoroughly. I know it’s been done in other areas of the county. A bow sounds good, but unless you have professionals it’s hard to bring down a deer with an arrow.”
“St. James has done it the last three years, and we have their whole package, so we have some really good models,” McCullough said. “Basically tonight we need to know from this board if you are willing to proceed knowing we will have people on the other side of the fence saying don’t shoot Bambi.”
The board reached a consensus asking town staff to look into the issue, prepare a report and draft an ordinance to serve as a basis for further discussion.
Parking ordinance changes
After a public hearing the board voted to approve a town-initiated parking text amendment intended to reduce the minimum-parking standard for restaurants from one space per 25 gross square feet to one per 125 square feet, to enable drive-thru restaurants to count certain stacking spaces as minimum required parking spaces, to reduce the space of a shopping center that can qualify for reduced minimum parking standard and to clarify that only one of two shared parking standards can be used at a time.
The board also approved a comprehensive parking plan text amendment allowing a parking plan to be reviewed and presented by an applicant who provides sufficient evidence that parking demands can be satisfied below the recommended general requirement.
Rachel Johnsonis a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.