Mayor has facts wrong on swimming pool issue

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To the editor:

Sunset Beach Mayor Ron Watts has his facts wrong on swimming pools in Palm Cove. No zoning applied to Palm Cove ever permitted swimming pools.

In 1992 the owner of Bird Island proposed to develop the island. The Sunset Beach Planning Board created a special zoning district, CR-1, to accommodate the owner’s wishes. This zoning allowed clubhouses, parking lots, swimming pools, private beach accesses, etc. 

In 1998 the Coastal Resources Commission required Sunset Beach, in the Land Use Plan, to change the Land Use category of the area now known as Palm Cove and the area at Mad Inlet from Urban Transitional to Conservation. The late Ed Gore misinterpreted this to mean zoning. He proposed a parking lot and clubhouse for his Ocean Ridge mainland development in what is now Palm Cove. On learning of his error, he dropped the issue.

In 2006, the owners of what became Palm Cove decided to develop. Councilmen Len Steiner and Lou DeVita revised the Bird Island CR-1 zoning and stripped it of clubhouses, parking lots, swimming pools, limited private beach access, etc. For the first time, Palm Cove and the Mad Inlet area were then zoned by town council with the revised CR-1 zoning. Palm Cove was never permitted swimming pools. 

The island owes Steiner and DeVita a huge thanks.


Sue Weddle

Sunset Beach