NO CANOPIES AT OIB????? are you serio...

NO CANOPIES AT OIB????? are you serious!!!!!

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United States

#1 Dec 5, 2007
I have been coming to OIB for 20 years with my entire family (20-30 people). This ban is ridiculous! What genius came up with this idea?? "Lets give vacationers a reason to go somewhere else, like Hilton Head or Sunset. We are tired of all the revenue they bring to our vacation town". We are planning on canceling our 08 reservations for 5 condo rentals on OIB for this reason. Thats about $8500 + incidental spending that will not be going into OIB this year . Congratulations OIB! A few more bright ideas like this and you will be the next Flint, MI.
Shade Seeketr

Kingsport, TN

#2 Jun 25, 2008
I just caught up with this news...and I can't beleive it. My wife has had melanoma, and my mother has had 3 hip replacements, so crawling under a beach umbrella is not a option for us. It's my last year also at OIB. Btw, I sent emails to the mayor and all the town council, but never got a response, let along a rational response.
Beach Lover

Kingsport, TN

#3 Jun 25, 2008
I just got this news from my friend in Kingsport. OIB just lost my business also. From someone local....are the beach police enforcing these ordinances?

Jacksonville, NC

#4 Jun 27, 2008
I am a resident on the Island. We strongly fought against this ban. Yes, police, ARMED police, are going up and down the beach having people remove cabanas.
Contacts for complaints:
call town hall (the site will not allow me to post the number) Mayor Debbie Smith
NJ Bill

Glenside, PA

#5 Jun 28, 2008
You guy's have it all wrong. First,lets think who would want this ban? It's the full time locals. They don't want out of towners in there beach community. They want it all for themselves. The folks that own rental properties most likely never saw this coming and were not involved. So go ahead and go somewhere else, OIB residents will be tickled pink.
G Need

Brentwood, TN

#6 Jun 30, 2008
The SEVERE erosion was a concern going into this season but now with the canopy ban, that sends us to another beach next year. Our three families combined spend over $10K there each year. The ban is just another example of government not working to an amicable solution. My prediction, a rental agency will be used to manage canopies in the future.

United States

#7 Jul 5, 2008
I was shocked when we arrived in May and found the Town had enacted a ridiculous ordinance prohibiting the use of cabanas. As a melanoma cancer survivor, I think no one on your council has given consideration to families who want to protect themselves from the sun. You mistake is failure to make allowances for individuals or families who have medical needs (sun protection) that can’t easily be accomplished with umbrellas.
I certainly would have no objection to removing our cabana each evening, or even purchasing a weekly cabana permit to ensure responsible use of a cabana.
Finally, I understand that in North Carolina, the states own the portion of the beach that lies between low and high water marks; the so-called "wet sand" is thus open to anyone. How is it that the town has decided to encumber the use of this portion of state property?
I guess we can add Ocean Isle to the list of beaches not open to all. In fact, maybe the town should boast beach laws that effectively bar anyone but a resident turtle, that’s clearly the attitude.
Jimmy - UNC

Kernersville, NC

#8 Jul 5, 2008
What I find interesting is that Mayor Smith earns her living from real estate and rentals. Obviously the tourist and beach vistor trade has benefitted her greatly. However, she has embraced "extreme government" by forcing a ridiculous "NO CABANA" ordinance down everyone's throat. She has tried to mislead everyone by suggesting that this is for the turtles, thats BS. If that was the case then the ordinance should have said nothing can be left on the beach at night.
Cabana vs Umbrella

Washington, DC

#9 Jul 8, 2008
Interesting discussion and ordinance.

It is fascinating how local governments work. I imagine the OIB council was well-intentioned, but their laughable solution would have me rolling on the floor if it wasn't for the fact that I've already paid my deposit for a house this season. Next year's a different story.

Answer me this though, how is an umbrella different from a cabana? Yes, I got the four vs. one pole bit, but if I use four umbrellas and put them together, then that's okay?? Somehow the turtles have trouble navigating around cabana poles, but not so much with umbrella poles?

Does the OIB council own stock in umbrella-rental companies?

So many questions, so little time ...
Cabana vs Umbrella

Washington, DC

#10 Jul 9, 2008
I did look up the ordinance recommended on the post by "local." Here are a few tidbits:
Mission Statement
It is the goal of the Town of Ocean Isle Beach to provide for the professional delivery of public services to all citizens, while being good stewards of public resources, in order to enhance the quality of life in Ocean Isle Beach and Eastern North Carolina.
Summary of Ordinance
In order to provide for the safety of our guests, to allow police and fire personnel to respond to emergency calls and to adhere to Federal laws regarding our classification as a Sea Turtle Sanctuary, please comply with the following Town ordinance regarding the placement of items on the beach.
1) Absolutely no cabanas, canopies, tents or awnings are allowed on the beach at any time.
2) Umbrellas are permissible but must be removed from the beach on a daily basis as outlined below.
3) All personal items and beach equipment must be removed from the beach by its owner or permitted user on a daily basis.
4) All personal items and beach equipment unattended and remaining on the beach between the hours of 7:00 pm through 7:30 am will be classified as abandoned property and will be removed and disposed of by the Town.
5) All beach equipment shall be set at least ten feet from any sea turtle nest or dune vegetation and can not be placed seaward of the nest.
6) Failure to comply with these regulations will result in a civil penalty of $50 for each offense. Each day a person is in violation of this ordinance shall constitute a separate offense.
We appreciate your cooperation in assisting us to maintain our “family beach” atmosphere while keeping our public beach safe, clean and for the enjoyment of all our guests. Thank you and enjoy your vacation!
What was also interesting was that there are 425 local residents and 25,000 tourists.
These guys clearly have some hidden agenda. Why would cabanas be banned during the day? This is in direct contradiction to the "family beach" atmosphere they are trying to promote. Cabanas clearly provide the best safety (on windy days, an uprooted umbrella is downright dangerous), shade for children and those with sun sensitivity, and an area where two or more people (i.e a "family") can sit together and converse or play games.
Tell me again how this ordinance is in line with OIB's mission statement ....
This is clearly the motivation of a handful of myopic zealots with a misplaced and selfish sense of public stewardship.

Abingdon, VA

#11 Jul 9, 2008
I'm 22 years old and have been going to OIB with my family since I was born. Not only that, but we share a house with my cousins, and meet up with 4-6 other families down there. This vacation has been our favorite part of the year for as long as I can remember, but now all the parents in our group are talking about going somewhere else. My dad has family in VA Beach, so we could go there for cheaper anyways, but it'd be harder to stay nearby all of our friends that we normally meet up with. The house that we rent is 3 grand (approx.) per week. Our families combined spend probably 15 grand on housing. Then, think about all the shopping we do down there - putt putt, go carts, new bathing suits, GROCERIES, a new chair or towel - all that stuff adds up. The point is, without tourism, OIB will turn into a really worthless, poor area. We support the locals during the summer so they can live there the rest of the year. Now nobody is interested in coming back. I say if turtles can't navigate cabana poles, they deserve to get their eyes pecked out by seagulls. I mean, come on, this ordinance is ridiculous. In the wild, 90% of turtles die before they make it to the ocean, and then of the remaining 10%, 90% die in the ocean (check out Planet Earth). At OIB, the turtle nazis pick them up in coolers and dump them in the water anyways, so how are the cabana poles in the way? My family doesn't want to say no to OIB, but we're going to after this year if this incredibly ill thought-out ordinance isn't repealed or amended. What's wrong with the compromise of letting us use cabanas during the day, but taking them down at night? How about we agree to carefully move the pole out of the way should we see a turtle approaching? Besides, cabana poles are thinner than umbrella poles. Umbrella poles leave big holes in the ground. Cabana poles sit on top. We're planning on bringing tons of obscenely huge umbrellas this year just to make a point. Come on OIB, one of these posts even says the locals didn't want it. So if they didn't want it, and we don't want it, how the hell did it get passed? There's some shady business in OIB, and it's going to lead to a ton of lost revenue.

On a side note, I encourage everyone to send letters to the mayor and town council. Don't email - those are too easy to delete. Just send letters over and over until you get some form of response. There's only one way to deal with this monkey business, and it's to really make our voices heard in a meaningful way.

Lawrenceburg, IN

#12 Jul 9, 2008
Great post ASP. You are one smart young person. I couldn't believe the cooler thing either. Don't these people understand survival of the fittest? Are they going to don scuba gear and "babysit" the turtles in the ocean until they reach full size? Good idea on sending letters to the mayor. I wonder if she's reading this blog and the other on this site?? They have ticked off a lot of tourists, plus their vacancy rates for next year are sky-rocketing...

Lawrenceburg, IN

#13 Jul 9, 2008
Contact info for Mayor Debbie Smith:

Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall
Three West Third Street
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Email, call, write letters, etc. Don't let them off the hook too easily with this dumb new ordinance.
Another one gone

Hyattsville, MD

#14 Jul 9, 2008
Well, if the fine is $50 per offense and each day you are in violation is a separate offense, just throw up your cabana and add $350 to your annual rental accepting the fact that you'll be ticketed each day.

Anyone tried that?

Washington, DC

#15 Jul 9, 2008
Another one gone wrote:
Well, if the fine is $50 per offense and each day you are in violation is a separate offense, just throw up your cabana and add $350 to your annual rental accepting the fact that you'll be ticketed each day.
Anyone tried that?
Interesting idea, but you could also have your cabana confiscated to add to your tab. Plus, all you're doing is supporting the [increasingly] ridiculous OIB infrastructure.

How about this? What if you donate your cabana to OIB (say Mayor Debbie Smith) at the beginning of your stay ... and then have her fined?

Besides, how can they fine you? I don't carry my ID to the Beach ...

All good fun -- at least for you guys that are still going there. I'll have my jollies elsewhere. Tim will be happy at least.
john gso

Winston Salem, NC

#16 Jul 11, 2008
oib was nice for 16 years,..when our group of 18 found out about cabana ban prior to confirming our yearly reservation, we chose to go to emerald isle this year as they welcome cabanas and our tourist $. Vote with your feet and vacation elsewhere if you want to send a message to OIB. Of course, now that we like Emerald Isle, we probably will be loyal and return unless their town council does something equally as foolish as the cabana ban.

Lawrenceburg, IN

#17 Jul 11, 2008
Cabana vs Umbrella wrote:
These guys clearly have some hidden agenda. Why would cabanas be banned during the day? This is in direct contradiction to the "family beach" atmosphere they are trying to promote. Cabanas clearly provide the best safety (on windy days, an uprooted umbrella is downright dangerous), shade for children and those with sun sensitivity, and an area where two or more people (i.e a "family") can sit together and converse or play games.
Tell me again how this ordinance is in line with OIB's mission statement ....
This is clearly the motivation of a handful of myopic zealots with a misplaced and selfish sense of public stewardship.
Good post Cabana. It does seem pretty silly. I'm racking my brain as to how to justify no cabanas on the basis of turtles and "family atmosphere." The only think I can come up with is there's a problem with the council....

Also, great suggestion from john. I've been to Emerald Isle, but haven't checked out rentals. I'll give that a try. It's a nice place too.
ASP smells

Abingdon, VA

#18 Jul 13, 2008
I'm going to poop in a turtle nest because of this ordinance. Every single time I need to defecate on our beach trip this summer I'm going to head down to the beach and unload on some turtle eggs. What do you think the fine is for that?

Charlotte, NC

#19 Jul 15, 2008
The explanation by the town board is very interesting, protect the turtles, enhance the family atmosphere, PLEASE!! At the same time an article comes out on 07/09/08 that has the local govt. considering approving a 150 foot cell phone tower. I wonder how that will protect the turtles and promote family atmosphere?? The best part is Mayor Smith is right in the middle of this one giving the idea her utmost endorsement. You can read the article titled "Ocean Isle Beach board to negotiate possible wireless tower" at Ocean Isle Beach Topix. I think one word sums up the whole problem, "ignorance". Sunset Beach is so pretty this time of year, forget OIB!!

Gray Court, SC

#20 Jul 16, 2008
I've been coming with my family to OIB since I was a small child, beginning around 1971. I've seen this beach grow and change, was frustrated when the high rise went up at the west end, but loved the new bridge. However, never in a million years could I have imagined OIB would enact an ordinance that vitually kills the beach. They may as well have erected a sign reading "Tourists stay away--Sea turtle sanctuary". Does the town council not realize which side of the bread their toast is buttered on?

We, the tourists, have supported the local OIB economy for years and years. The thanks we get is a no-notice new town ordinance promoting the sanctity of the sea turtle over the health and welfare of the many thousands of faithful beach patrons.

Worse still is that I have not seen ANY statistics showing how many sea turtles have been tripped by canopy guide wires specifically at OIB or how many hatchlings never made it to the ocean due to canopy obstruction. Further, I haven't seen cited anywhere how many OIB emergency vehicles were not able to reach their destination due to being obstructed by renegade canopies.

If saving the sea turtle was the intent of the ordinance, I wonder if the council considered erecting beach signage disallowing canopies in front of sea turtle nests and enacting zoning ordinances restricting the area of the beach where canopies could be allowed to be erected.

What happened was a knee-jerk reaction by a minority of town residents to loud vocalization of the local environmentalists. I wonder if the beach property owners were invited to raise their concerns before this measure was passed. I'm certain they would have been louder and more vocal than any environmentalist. The town council has assured the property owners of significant loss of income next year and the ensuing years, which also means losses for the rental agencies, the restauranteurs, shop owners, and on and on.

I think a little trepidation into these waters was called for. Let's all hope the town council comes to its collective senses and repeals this ordinance before this beach shuts down altogether.
If it doesn't, get your reservations early for Sunset.

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