8/12/19: SSCA TO DEDICATE BEACH ACCESS RAMP AT HILLCREST BEACH AUG. 22: And Notes on Sea Turtle Nests, Unattended Items on Beach, Roadside Trash, and More

Hillcrest Dedication Photo
The new Hillcrest Beach access ramp (Photo courtesy of the SSCA)

Mobility-challenged people have an access ramp to Hillcrest Beach, thanks to dedicated volunteers and partners of the Southern Shores Civic Assn.

The SSCA will officially dedicate the ramp, which opened in June, on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

According to SSCA president Rod McCaughey, the Mayor, Town Council members, members of the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Dept., and Town staff have been invited to the event. Refreshments will be served.

SSCA Properties Director Joel Newton oversaw the ramp project. In a June email to association members, he said the project involved 150 hours of labor by nine volunteers.

I have not had a chance yet to see the ramp, but I look forward to taking my mother out on it for a view of the ocean, the gulls, and porpoises after the crowds disperse. Like so many older people, she walks with a walker over short distances, but needs a wheelchair to traverse long distances.

Hats off to the SSCA for this beautiful achievement.


Turtle nest watch: There is still no word from the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) about a hatch of Southern Shores’ first sea-turtle nest of the season, which “parent” volunteers have been monitoring since the week of July 29.

The eggs in this nest, the first of three so far on our oceanfront, were laid on June 5. Subsequently, female sea turtles created nests in Southern Shores on July 26 and Aug. 2, making the hatchlings’ due dates in September. The eggs’ incubation time is about 60 days.

This past Saturday, “a turtle mom crawled all the way up to the dune line in Swan Beach,” which is in the four-wheel drive area north of Corolla, according to N.E.S.T., and laid the Outer Banks’ 27th nest of the season.

Sea turtles deposit their eggs on our beaches between May 1st and Sept. 1st, so more turtle moms may yet emerge.

Unattended items on the beach: Over the weekend, a reader contacted The Beacon about beach chairs left throughout the day and night on a section of the beach near an SSCA access. Vacationers sometimes seek to “reserve” a space on the oceanfront by leaving beach furniture and personal items out overnight. Other times, they just tire of hauling things.

Section 34-55(b)(2) of the Southern Shores Town Code prohibits leaving “unattended personal articles” on the beach between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. Such items, Deputy Town Manager/Planning Director Wes Haskett informed The Beacon, “are subject to removal and disposal.”

According to the ordinance, these items “may include, but shall not be limited to, volleyball nets, badminton nets, poles, tents, chairs, cabanas, sunshades, horseshoe stakes, croquet courses, umbrellas or any other personal property articles.”

“The Town’s community resource officer and the Town’s contracted lifeguard service typically tag items left on the beach during the prohibited hours early in the week and will remove them if they do not comply by the middle of the week,” Mr. Haskett told The Beacon in a prompt reply to our email inquiry today.  If you have an issue with abandoned personal property on the beach, please contact the Town.

Roadside trash removal: Speaking of removal, we often see large items left on the side of the road, next to trash and recycling receptacles. Sometimes we see excess trash in boxes or bags that simply will not fit in already overflowing receptacles.

Anything left outside of a trash receptacle is the same as litter. Our trash collector, Bay Disposal, will not pick up these large items, boxes, bags, etc.—but vacationers do not know this. I can tell you as a rental-cottage owner that every turnover Saturday, I haul away something inappropriate that my guests left next to the roadside trash can. This past weekend I found an enormous box that a beach tent came in and a broken beach chair.

Here again, you can contact the Town about this roadside refuse, or you can do what I do, haul away what you can and store the large items for the bulk-trash pickup in October. In my experience, the Town is very prompt in responding to reports of roadside refuse that Bay Disposal will not pick up.

Planning Board meeting Aug. 19: The Town Planning Board will meet for its regular monthly meeting next Monday, 5:30 p.m., in the Pitts Center. On its agenda are continued discussions about Town Code building height and fill requirements and possible restrictions on special events in vacation cottages. In light of the Town Council’s decision to hold a public hearing Sept. 10 on the latest proposed nonconforming lots amendment, ZTA 19-01PB, the Planning Board will likely address nonconforming lots, as well.

And finally, The Beacon apologizes for not publishing last week the promised article on how salaries paid to key Town staff members in other Dare County beach towns compare to those paid by Southern Shores. We have received most, but not all, of the necessary data.

Have a great week, everyone.

Ann, 8/12/19

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