While the landscape on the south end of Dogwood Trail is being decimated, the landscape on the north end of the wooded trail is blooming (see above). Both trends strike The Beacon as disturbing.
The old growth on South Dogwood Trail that has been destroyed will never be replaced. On the north end, however, more flowers, seduced by the unseasonable warmth, may soon burst forth. Temperatures today through Thursday are forecasted to be in the mid- to high-60s.
The sidewalk construction is well under way. The Beacon has heard from one homeowner that an eight-foot-tall camellia bush in his South Dogwood Trail yard was removed, contrary to sidewalk-design plans he had seen and without any notice to him. Upon complaining to the Town, the homeowner was referred to “Town Engineer” Joe Anlauf, who was less than sympathetic.
In its motion to approve the plans for the South Dogwood Trail sidewalk, the Town Council specifically designated the “Town Manager” to do construction oversight. That person now would be Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett. The Beacon believes that Mr. Haskett should be receiving, investigating, and resolving all homeowner complaints. No homeowner should have to speak directly with Mr. Anlauf, whose public demeanor is often brusque.
The Beacon would like to hear from any South Dogwood Trail homeowners who have concerns or complaints about the sidewalk construction project. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have contacted the Town about your concern(s), please include the names of the people with whom you spoke and how they handled the matter.
The Beacon would advise anyone who has an issue with the sidewalk construction to contact all members of the Town Council at their collective email address of email@example.com. Mr. Anlauf is a working partner of the engineering firm with which the Town has independently contracted. He does not represent Southern Shores homeowners.
PUBLIC FORUM ON BEACH NOURISHMENT ALSO SCHEDULED JAN. 21
The Town announced yesterday that a public forum on a potential beach nourishment project in Southern Shores will be held at the Council’s Jan. 21 workshop meeting, which starts at 9 a.m., immediately after two presentations:
The first by Ken Willson, of APTIM Coastal Planning and Engineering of N.C., about the modifications that the Council requested to its “Beach Management Plan,” and the second by financial consultant, DEC Associates, Inc., which has advised other Dare County beach towns about how to distribute the tax-increase burden on property owners to pay for their nourishment projects.
The Beacon will preview these two presentations as much as is possible based on documents posted on the Town website.
We are very disappointed that the Town Council is asking property owners either to give up/rearrange a busy week-day morning of work, child care, and other activities in order to comment in an important public forum, whose time will not be determined until just before it begins, or else to inform themselves by reading documents online before Jan. 21 and sending written comments to the Town. We will try to ease your burden with an assessment/analysis beforehand.
At the very least, the Town Council should indicate in its Jan. 21 agenda whether it will be making any decisions at its so-called workshop. Workshops are commonly understood to be for study and discussion, not for votes on major decisions.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 1/11/20