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Deer hunting in Shallotte is in the crosshairs

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

SHALLOTTE—Bow and arrow hunting is a target aldermen are shooting toward.

“This is just a draft for us to start working on and talking about,” said town attorney Laura Thompson. “We took the approach that less was more, so we don’t have a lot of the regulations that some of the towns do.”

She pointed out with the town’s current ordinance a bow and arrow weren’t defined under a firearm and that some could argue that it was legal to do it now.

“Different towns do it different ways,” Thompson said.

The ordinance states “there has been a significant increase in the white tail deer population in the town of Shallotte, and, as a result there has been a substantial increase in motor vehicle accidents and damage to property caused by deer.”

The resolution calls for the town to allow hunting by bow and arrow with the limits including oversight and compliance with all federal, state and local laws, rules and ordinances regulating hunters, a valid hunting license, seasonal restrictions and more.

Landowners may hunt on their own property and on another’s property with written permission. Written permission also applies to access where hunting passes through other private land.

The ordinance requires safety with arrows fired at least 10 feet above the ground and toward the interior of the hunting parcel. Hunting is only permitted on land that is at least 2 acres in size and arrows must not be fired from, nor be propelled to, within 150 feet of any dwelling, school or other occupied building or road right-of-way.

A lengthy discussion included talk of the desire of River’s Edge to hire hunters to come and help eliminate the overpopulation issues in the neighborhood.

“I think a minimalist approach is fine. I think the way it would work better at least in River’s Edge is to have an agreement come from the Home Owners’ Association rather than the individual because the HOA speaks for all the homeowners, if we could work that into the ordinance I think that would be helpful,” said Walt Eccard.

Other modifications discussed involve the 2-acre requirement and a buffer area.

“I think the purpose of tonight was to have something written down and get us thinking about it. I like this approach and what I’d like to propose is that we ask the staff and Laura to go back and make the modifications that we talked about tonight and to schedule a public hearing for our December meeting or our January meeting that way we have the public, if they have any interest in the topic come and outline their views,” Eccard said.

The board asked town staff to modify the ordinance and to be prepared to present it to the board at the December meeting. A public hearing has yet to be announced.

In other business, aldermen:

•Accepted a withdrawal of the Master Development Plan conditional use permit approved on June 5, 2007, for the Blueberry Farm Planned Residential Development that was to be developed on about 78.83 acres on Hale Swamp Road at the intersection of Bricklanding

Road.

•Rezoned the Blueberry Farm Planned Residential Development land from highway business/multifamily residential/residential single-family residential with a planned residential development overlay to residential agricultural manufactured home.

•Approved a request by Joseph Causey of Brunswick Village Properties LLC for a conditional use permit to convert two previously commercial structures to residences at 5211 Main Street, Units 500 and 501. The property is zoned Highway Business (HB) and residences are a conditional use in the HB zoning district.

•Approved a petition for voluntary contiguous annexation of about 5.0 acres at 527 Whiteville Road.

•Passed a resolution encouraging Brunswick County to provide local matching funds required for the Grand Strand Metropolitan Planning Organization.

•Appointed Betty Ward to fill the Shallotte Tourism Development Authority vacancy.

•Discussed the town’s charitable spending policy