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The Town of Emerald Isle is located in very close proximity to several military bases. Because of the Town's location to these facilities it is not uncommon for residents and visitors to see military aircraft flying over the Town. Many of these aircraft are conducting training at Marine Corps Auxiliary Field Bogue which is located north of the Town across Bogue Sound.
Marine Corps Auxiliary Field (MCALF) Bogue is maintained by the Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG-27) and is used by the 2nd Marine Air Wing (MAW) to practice expeditionary airfield procedures. MCALF Bogue is one of only two places in the U.S. where AV-8B Harriers can practice field carrier landings in realistic conditions. These simulations are possible because the deck lighting and simulated superstructure provide the same landing cues as if the pilot were landing on a ship. The field is also used by rotary wing aircraft.
Accident Potential Zones (APZs) are "areas immediately beyond the ends of runways and along primary flight paths and are subject to more aircraft accidents than other areas." There are several designations within an APZ. The Clear Zone (CZ) is the designated area adjacent to the runway along the flight path of approaching and departing aircraft, where the risk to humans and/or property from a an aircraft accident, if one were to occur, is the greatest. Accident Potential Zone I (APZ I) is the designated area adjacent to the Clear Zone on the side farthest from the runway along the flight path of approaching and departing aircraft, where the risk to humans and/or property from an aircraft accident, if one were to occur, is less than in the Clear Zone. Accident Potential Zone II (APZ II) is the designated area adjacent to APZ I on the side farthest from the runway along the flight path of approaching and departing aircraft, where the risk to humans and/or property from an aircraft accident, if one were to occur, is less than in the Clear Zone or APZ I. Emerald Isle is primarily in APZ II and no properties in the Town are within the Clear Zone. Residents, property owners, visitors and prospective property owners should be aware of these factors.
Since 1974, the Department of Defense has been using the Day-Night Average Sound Level (Ldn) noise descriptor. Noise Exposure Levels are classified into three levels. Noise Exposure Level N3 (75 Ldn or higher) is the area of greatest impact. Noise Exposure Level N2 (65 to 74 Ldn) is the area of moderate impact. Noise Exposure Level N1 (below 65 Ldn) is the area of least impact. Emerald Isle is primarily in the 60 to 65 Ldn zone which means properties within these areas will experience a low to moderate impact from aircraft noise. Residents, property owners, visitors and prospective property owners should be aware of these factors.
Is My Property in an Accident Potential Zone or a Noise Zone? (PDF)
In 1973, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) established the Air Installation Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) program to promote community growth which is compatible with present and future military installation operations. The program examines existing land uses, growth projections and recommends compatible growth patterns based on noise contours and accident potential zones from current and projected aircraft activities for that facility. Because the recommendations from the AICUZ studies are not binding on communities and may not be included in local planning activities, some communities and installations have begun to work together to develop a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) to help resolve the conflict that may occur between the base's mission objectives and local community growth patterns. The Eastern Carolina Joint Land Use Study (ECJLUS) is a result of communities in eastern North Carolina coming together to work with Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point to establish land use guidelines and development regulations for the properties within the AICUZ footprint affected by MCAS Cherry Point, Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue and Marine Corps Outlying Landing Field Atlantic. Craven County, Carteret County, the City of Havelock and the Towns of Emerald Isle and Bogue, as well as the State of North Carolina, jointly created the ECJLUS.
The public should refer complaints regarding MCALF Bogue to Cherry Point's Air Operations Office at 252-466-1092. The Operations Duty Officer will notify the Community Plans and Liaison Officer who will contact you regarding your complaint. All complaints are investigated.
If you have questions about the ECJLUS, you should contact the Emerald Isle Department of Planning and Inspections at 252-354-3338.
The answer is almost always. A permit is required anytime work is done on a building or structure, or the systems serving the structure (including plumbing, mechanical and electrical wiring) with a few exceptions. In general, work on a one and two-family dwelling that is structural in nature or exceeds $15,000 in value will require a permit. The $15,000 exemption is not applicable to commercial or multi-family structures.
The North Carolina State Building Code states: "No person, firm or corporation shall erect, construct, enlarge, install, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish any building, structure, or service system without first obtaining a permit for such from the Inspections Department having jurisdiction."
Replacing an existing deck, steps and/or railings.
Replacing an air conditioning/heating system
Adding a ceiling fan (where one previously did not exist)
Kitchen, bathroom and other interior renovations involving structural/wall changes
Converting a porch to a sunroom (adding windows)
Siding and window replacement (provided the total value of the work exceeds $15,000)
These are examples but you are encouraged to contact the Planning and Inspections Department with any questions you may have at 252-354-3338. Our office is open:
The checklists and instructions for the various types of permits are available on the Permits Applications & Checklists page and will give you guidance on what needs to be submitted to obtain a permit.
Applications for building permits, signs, tree removal and all construction projects are only issued after they have been reviewed and approved by the Town's Planning Department. Following initial plan review generally, two things happen:
Yes. However, if your home is a rental property (short term or long term) then you may not act as your own contractor in any capacity.
If the property owner is unable to act as their own contractor, then a licensed General Contractor is required any time the value of the work being performed exceeds $30,000. Work under $30,000 does not require a licensed General Contractor.
The cost of the permit is based on several factors. Please view the current Permit Fee Schedule (PDF).
A CAMA Minor Permit is required for all activity on the oceanfront that requires a building or land-disturbing permit. In addition, CAMA Minor Permits are required for all activity requiring a building or land-disturbing permit within 575 feet of the normal high water of Bogue Sound. CAMA Minor Permits are processed through the Town's Planning and Inspections Office.
Yes, these types of development activities require a CAMA General Permit which is issued through the Morehead City Office of the NC Division of Coastal Management and they can be reached at 252-808-2808. You must also obtain a Town building permit for these development activities which can only be issued after the CAMA General Permit has been obtained.
A grading permit is required any time a property owner is undertaking land-disturbing activity like grading and the placement of fill on a lot. In general, landscaping activities do not require a permit.
In 2022, the Town of Emerald Isle introduced a program to address the vegetation needs throughout the community: Call Before You Cut.
If you plan to prune or remove any trees or vegetation from your property, chances are you will need to secure a permit from the Emerald Isle Planning Department for tree removal in advance. Anything that has at least a 3 inch caliper, at 36 inches above grade will require a permit.
The Town's development regulations require that 35% of every residential lot remain undisturbed and in its natural state. Trees with a diameter of 3 inches or greater and located in the required natural area may only be removed under certain circumstances. Please contact the Planning and Inspections Office in order to obtain further guidance at 252-354-3338.
Any development activity within a special flood hazard area requires a flood development permit in addition to other required permits. The Planning and Inspections Office can assist you in determining whether or not your property is in a special flood hazard area.
Magnets with trash and recycling information are available in the Town Administration Building lobby.
Residential trash is collected twice per week all year long by the Town's solid waste contractor Simmons and Simmons Management, Inc.
The schedule is as follows:
Ocean-side includes all locations on the south side of NC 58 and Coast Guard Road, and The Point area. Sound-side includes all locations on the north side of NC 58 and Coast Guard Road.
Trash dumpsters at condominium complexes will continue to be emptied every Monday throughout the town, with additional collections scheduled for every Friday, only if necessary.
Recyclables are collected throughout the entire town each Wednesday. To see what is accepted, read the Accepted Recyclables List (PDF).
Another feature of the Town's contract with Simmons and Simmons is that personnel also roll-BACK trash and recycling containers approximately 30 feet from the road after collection. The initial roll-OUT is still the responsibility of the resident, property owner, and/or vacation rental company.
Garbage and/or recyclable containers may be placed adjacent to the street no earlier than noon the day before collection is scheduled and must be returned to an acceptable location by 9 am on the day after collection.
Application for Handicapped Service (PDF) - please call our office at 252-354-3424 for more information.
The regular trucks will pick up:
Regular collection will not pick up:
Carteret County offers several options for proper disposal of each of the other materials which may not be picked up curbside. Please check Carteret County's helpful website or call 252-648-7878.
Carteret County offers several area convenience locations which have the following hours of operation:
All residential units, regardless of type of residential use, will be required to provide "adequate containment" of all refuse and recyclables.
All residential units will be required to use standard 65-gallon or 90-gallon roll-out containers. Those who are physically unable to use 65-gallon or 90-gallon containers can receive authorization to use standard 40-gallon containers for residential refuse. A doctor's note or handicapped parking card is required to receive authorization to use standard 40-gallon containers. These individuals are urged to contact Town Hall for this special authorization.
All residential vacation rental units will be required to use one standard 90-gallon roll-out container per 3 bedrooms.
The Town has experienced a significant increase in the volume of recyclables collected over the past few years and has experienced more instances of overflowing recyclables.
The Town discontinued the sale of the 18-gallon open recycling bins in late 2012, and all permanent residents and second homeowners are now required to utilize a minimum of one 40-gallon (or larger) roll-out recycling container. Vacation rental units are now required to utilize a minimum of one 90-gallon roll-out recycling container for every 3 bedrooms in the vacation rental unit.
90-gallon and 40-gallon roll-out recycling containers are available for sale at Sound ACE Hardware.
The Town does not sell the containers, they should be purchased at Sound ACE Hardware, located in the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center.
You may purchase your container at any store other than Sound ACE Hardware but the container must be compatible with the style of containers pictured in order to be compatible with the truck:
Recyclables can be co-mingled in your recycling container.
Items permitted are:
You may also want to visit the Carteret County Solid Waste and Recycling webpage for more information.
Learn more about Wheels For Wishes. Wheels For Wishes is a car donation program benefiting Make-A-Wish® Eastern North Carolina. The Wheels For Wishes Program is proud to offer an easy way to recycle or donate unwanted cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, or even boats, by turning them into a wish for a local child. Visit the Wheels for Wishes website for more information.
Cars To Cure Breast Cancer accepts donated vehicles and either recycles or auctions them off. Earned proceeds from the sale of the vehicle benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. All donations help to fund breast cancer research so that we can one day see a cure for breast cancer.
Visit the Cars to Cure Breast Cancer website.
Solid waste racks will no longer be permitted in the Town's right-of-way. Solid waste racks will be permitted on private property, however, racks and containers must be permanently stored at least 30 feet from the public right-of-way or behind the front or sidewall of the structure.
Effective July 1, 2008 the Town will no longer charge a fee nor require a sticker for white goods pickup. The Town will only require that you notify Town Hall to add your white goods collection point to our list for pickup. The Town will then pick up these white goods items on the 2nd Friday of each month. Please note that you can call in the white goods collection point by dialing 252-354-3424 or requests can also be made by emailing Greg Hayes. You may also haul your own appliances to the county drop site which is located about 4.5 miles north on Hwy 58 from the bridge, then turn left on West Fire Tower Rd. You need to show identification that you are an Emerald Isle resident.
The Town's yard waste collection service utilizes two automated brush trucks that are operated by Town employees. The yard waste collection service is provided as follows:
Effective August 1, 2013, it is no longer necessary for residents and property owners to call the Town to be placed on a list for yard debris collection. Town staff will now make a continuous pass through all streets in the Town. One truck operates in the area between Lee Avenue and the Eastern limits of the town, and the other operates in the area between Lee Avenue and the Pointe. The Town's goal is to collect all yard debris within 7 days of placement at the edge of the street during the "off" season (Labor Day-Memorial Day) and within 14 days during the summers season (Memorial Day-Labor Day.)
The Town is pleased to offer these popular services to our residents and property owners. Yard debris collection services are funded exclusively by the Town's annual solid waste fee, which also funds all residential trash, recycling, and beach strand collection.
The guidelines allow for maximum 6 feet long segments with a diameter no greater than 8 inches. The automated brush truck is able to pick up the large yard waste items with no difficulty.
Please note that yard debris must be placed in neat, separate piles no larger than 10 feet long by 10 feet wide by 4 feet high at the curbside. Leaves and grass clippings should be bagged in paper, biodegradable bags.
The Town's service is available for developed lots only. The yard waste collection service is funded 100% by the Town's annual solid waste fee, and this fee is paid by the owners of developed lots only.
The Town does not collect construction debris. This type of debris can be disposed of at the West Firetower Road site (off Highway 58) or the Newport Transfer Station on Hibbs Road (between U.S. 70 and NC 24) in Newport.
If you have a medical emergency please call 911 immediately!
For all of your non-emergency medical needs there are several medical providers located in our area as noted:
The phone number for the Emerald Isle Post Office is 252-354-6677.
The phone number for the Emerald Isle Welcome Center is 252-393-2008.
View Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative's Outage Viewer.
18-inch satellite dishes are allowed in the Town.
Find garbage and recycling information, such as pickup times, types of trash picked up, container regulations, types of recycling picked up, how to dispose of appliances and yard debris on the garbage and recycling page.
The Town of Emerald Isle has several parks and water access locations for our citizens and visitors. Find locations and information.
Please note: Beach wheelchairs for physically challenged individuals are available for check out on a first-come, first-served basis from Emerald Isle Fire Station Number 1, from 8 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. Reservations are not accepted; chairs are to be obtained in person. For more information, contact the Fire Department at 252-354-2445.
Voter registration forms are available at the Town Hall, as well as in Beaufort.
Carteret County Board of Elections1702 Live Oak StreetSuite 200Beaufort, NC 28516
Hours: 8 am through 5 pm. Monday through Friday
Visit the Carteret County Board of Elections website.
Please visit the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune website for advisories and contact information regarding concerns with military operations that involve bombing, vibration, and noise in Emerald Isle. You may also call their dedicated noise abatement hotline at 910-451-9079.
No animal shall be permitted to run at large (off the premises of owner, and not restrained by leash or lead) within the town limits - please note, our leash law also applies in the water and surf zone. All animals caught running at large shall be impounded by the police and unless claimed within four days shall be disposed of as the town shall deem best.
No owner, keeper, or person in charge of the possession and/or control of any dog shall cause or allow the dog to defecate or otherwise commit any nuisance on any street, sidewalk, park, beach strand, public right-of-way, or other publicly owned area, or upon any private property without permission of the owner or occupant of the property, unless the excrement is immediately removed by said owner, keeper, or person in charge of the dog and deposited in an appropriate waste container.
Any owner, keeper, or person in charge of the possession and/or control of any dog who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be required to pay a fifty dollar ($50) civil fine in accordance with Section 1-6 of the Town Code of Emerald Isle.
Cats with a tipped ear belong to a fellow property owner, so please check with your neighbors before trying to remove the animal.
Property owners may consider contacting a not-for-profit organization in our area, such as Island Cat Allies, Inc. This volunteer organization offers assistance with a Trap-Neuter-Return/vaccination program for those willing to provide food and water to the animals.
If you have found a stray cat, and are able to transport it, you may consider the Carteret County Humane Society. Visit the Carteret County Humane Society website or call 252-247-7744.
If you have found a feral cat, and are unable to transport the cat, you may consider Carteret County Animal Control for assistance in removing the animal: Call 252-728-8585 or visit Animal Control Services.
Please note: Loose dogs and cats are apprehended and delivered to the Carteret County Animal Shelter, located on Hibbs Road in Newport for reclamation by its owner, adoption, or euthanization. The Carteret County Animal Shelter is operated by the Carteret County Humane Society, under contract with the county.
Wild animals abound on most barrier islands, and Emerald Isle is no exception. The Town is home to raccoons, opossums, foxes, squirrels, deer and an occasional bear and alligator. We do not have an animal control officer.
View a listing of authorized Wildlife Damage Control Agents for Carteret County.
Property owners can also visit the NC Wildlife Resources Commission website for information about wild animals.
The Town does not provide any nutria removal services, however, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission recommends the use of authorized Wildlife Damage Control Agents.
Pricing varies for the trapping and removal of nutria, and can range from $150 to $300, depending on the severity of the problem.
Property owners can also visit the NC Wildlife Resources website for more information.
The Town license tag for the front of vehicles is optional. If you'd like to have one, they are available at Town Hall for $10 each.
The Town of Emerald Isle has stringent regulations on these activities. "Itinerant merchants" (such as street vendors or mobile vendors) are not allowed at all in the Town of Emerald Isle on any public streets, beaches, or other areas. We do allow what we call "satellite merchants" (such as street vendors or mobile vendors) to set up at a limited number of private business locations. Satellite merchants are only allowed on the private property of an ocean fishing pier, hotel, motel, campground, recreational vehicle park, or condominium complex having frontage on the Atlantic Ocean in Emerald Isle, and must be located completely on the private property - they are not allowed on the beach strand. Permission from the private property owner is required, and you must also register with the Town (there is no fee). The eligible private properties in Emerald Isle where 'satellite merchants' may be allowed with the required permission granted by the private property owner and the Town are as follows: Holiday Trav-L Park, The Islander Hotel and Resort, Boardwalk RV Park, Beachfront RV Park, Camp Ocean Forest, Bogue Inlet Pier, and oceanfront condominium complexes. Please call 252-354-3424 with questions."
We do, occasionally, have a hurricane threaten our community. We sometimes have to evacuate the island during these storm events. There is not a community evacuation shelter in Emerald Isle but there is a County shelter located in Newport, approximately 15 miles east of the bridge to Emerald Isle.
The island is closed to the public immediately after a storm for which a public evacuation was ordered. Once an assessment is made that the roads can be safely traveled, the Town is re-opened. If damage is minimal, the Town will be re-opened to everyone at the same time. If damage is more significant, the Town may initially only be re-opened to residents and property owners. Disaster Re-Entry Permits are required if the Town has re-opened the bridge to residents and property owners only. Disaster Re-Entry Permits are permanent permits, and have previously been issued free of charge to all property owners. Additional and/or replacement permits can be obtained from Town Hall for a fee. Permits are not issued within 24 hours of projected landfall. You should get your permit prior to hurricane season. When you get your permit, put it in the glove compartment of your car.
The best source for Emerald Isle specific information during a weather emergency is on the home page of this site. Hurricane information is updated on this site. As long as telephone service is operational, this site will be operating and frequently updated with the latest conditions and announcements. Periodic updates are also emailed to subscribers to the Town's email newsletter.
Horses shall only be allowed on the beach strand between September 15 and April 30 of each year;
Horses are not permitted on the beach strand from April 15 through April 22, 2022.
(All times coincide with beach driving.)
Permits can only be obtained at the Police Department during normal work hours.
View full information and download the permit.
Permits available August 1st (online) and September 1st (in-person)
All beach driving permit applicants must now watch a short educational video and complete a 10 question quiz prior to applying for their permit. Quiz results will be required along with permit application.
A beach driving permit may be purchased online by visiting the Beach Driving page or at the Emerald Isle Police Department, at 7500 Emerald Drive, from 9 am until 8 pm. Sunday through Thursday, and from 9 am until 10 pm. Friday through Saturday, starting in September.
August 1 through 31, 2021: Beach Driving Permits are on sale online only, starting August 1, 2021.
September 1, 2020: Beach Driving Permits will be available for online and/or in-person purchase at the EIPD office. For everyone's safety, no more than 2 customers at a time are permitted inside the EIPD waiting area.
Authorized beach access ramps are located at the Ocean Drive "dog-leg" (near mile marker 15 on NC 58), at the end of Black Skimmer Drive (across from Police Department), and at The Point (at the terminus of Inlet Drive at Bogue Inlet). Driving on primary dunes, as well as other vegetated areas, remains strictly prohibited.
Beach Driving Period: The period for Beach Driving is scheduled to occur from September 15 to April 30, with the exception of the 10-day period near Easter.
Highly Important Disclaimer: By purchasing a 2021-2022 beach driving permit, permit holders understand that there will be no refunds or discounts provided due to beach closures of any kind. Closures may be caused by nourishment activities, beach conditions, and/or other unavoidable events.
For more information, contact the Emerald Isle Police Department at 252-354-2021.
Find the full list of application fees.
Assuming the person is of age and not intoxicated, beer and wine are allowed on the beach strand. Liquor drinks are not allowed on the beach strand according to NC State law. Glass containers are permitted but please obey our litter ordinances and dispose of your trash appropriately.
Please visit the website of the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management for the most current state guidelines regarding the installation of sand fences. You can also watch a video by the Town of Emerald Isle concerning sand fencing and the permit process.
The Town's public parks and accesses are for use by the general public and are used on a first-come, first-served basis. You may not reserve our parks and accesses for any type of use. Wedding tents are not allowed at any of the public parks or accesses and overnight parking is not permitted. There is a daily fee of $2-$4/hour at our Eastern Ocean Regional Access and our Western Ocean Regional Access, from April-September. Paid parking runs from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., and the maximum paid per day is up to $16, even if you stay all day.
Please visit the Crystal Coast Tourism Association website for helpful information concerning locations, marriage licenses, catering, florists, rentals, photographers, ministers, planners, receptions and entertainment! Emerald Isle does not require permits for a beach wedding. The Town does ask that chairs and other accessories be assembled so as not to obstruct the public or vehicles on the beach. Wedding tents are not allowed at any of the public parks or accesses and overnight parking is not permitted. Smaller tents may be used on the beach strand itself but may not be left unattended past 7 pm. You will also want to keep in mind when you are planning your beach wedding that vehicles are allowed on the beach from September 15 through April 30. Emergency vehicles must have full access in the event of emergency situations. For questions about parking or park hours please call our Police Department at 252-354-2021.
Please visit the Crystal Coast Tourism Association website for helpful information about a variety of available types of transportation.
Channel Dr Access
Total spaces as of May 25, 2020
Effective January 1, 2011, the Town of Emerald Isle will begin permitting golf carts that are registered with the Town and that meet certain safety equipment requirements to be operated on all public streets in the Town, except for NC 58 (Emerald Drive) and Coast Guard Road. Visit our Golf Cart registration page for information about registering your golf cart.
You can view our current jobs postings online at www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Jobs.aspx. Check back often for full-time, part-time and seasonal positions.
The Town of Emerald Isle does not require a permit for a garage sale.
You can view the agenda for an upcoming Board of Commissioners Meeting under the Agenda Center on the website homepage. Agendas are posted online the first Friday of the month. The Board meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.
Absolutely! It is perfectly acceptable for people to set up tents on the beach strand during the day. The Town is simply requiring that people take them down each night. They are welcome to set them up again the next day!
Oceanfront property owners are eligible for up to 2 special exception stickers to enable them to leave equipment out overnight if desired. The stickers are for oceanfront owners only and will not be issued to guests. Oceanfront owners may secure the stickers and place on a tent or other equipment offered as part of the total vacation rental package for multiple guests to use throughout the summer. Oceanfront owners should contact Town Admin staff at 252-354-3424 for details.
History - This is not a new issue for the Town. The number of unattended beach tents, canopies, etc left on the beach overnight has grown significantly in recent years. Town staff counted as many as 300 tents left out overnight during the summer of 2009. There have been many requests from residents and visitors for the Town to adopt regulations over the past few years, and the Board finally decided to adopt regulations earlier this year to take effect in Summer 2010. The new regulations were unanimously supported by the vacation rental companies.
Several reasons, including:
Penalty - Violators may receive a warning for the first violation, but Town staff have the authority to confiscate unattended beach equipment left out between 8 pm and 8 am.
Several NC beach towns have adopted similar regulations in recent years. Some are even more stringent than Emerald Isle. One town does not allow tents on the beach at any time!