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Development Line

The Town of Oak Island, by adoption of local ordinance and with approval from the Coastal Resource Commission, has a “Development Line” for the purpose of oceanfront development.
The development line is the most seaward point that a principal structure (house or a building) can be placed for oceanfront development.

The Town of Oak Island’s 1998 static vegetation line will no longer be used for CAMA (Coastal Area Management Act) setback purposes. CAMA setbacks will be measured 60 feet landward from the first line of stable and natural vegetation (FLOV) as it exists at the time of development, and the principal structure must meet the more restrictive of the two lines; the FLOV setback line or the newly adopted development line. This means that no principal structure can be placed seaward of the development line, including structure overhangs, or be seaward of the required setback from the FLOV.

How to determine if an oceanfront lot is buildable or if an existing structure is compliant:
The first step is to submit a request to the Town’s CAMA Local Permitting Officer (LPO) to flag the FLOV. After the FLOV has been flagged, a surveyor must prepare a survey that shows: FLOV as located by the LPO, 60’ setback from the FLOV, development line, Oak Island’s 1998 Static Vegetation Line, USACE 2000 MHW Line, any existing structures, sand dune topography, and all other building setbacks (side yard/front yard/easement/etc…). Once this survey has been prepared, it must be submitted to the Town LPO for review and determination of the build-ability of the property.

Click here for a map of the Development Line.

* Please note, that the FLOV is subject to erosion and that the survey represents the site conditions as they existed on the date of the survey and will need to be re-certified prior to the issuance of any development permits.