Seashore to Hold Public Meetings on Commercial Services And Cape Village Historic Structures Reuse
Contact: Wouter Ketel, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3005
Harkers Island, North Carolina. Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Bob Vogel announces that the public is invited to meetings that will present both the preferred alternative for the Cape Village Historic Structure Reuse Plan and the preliminary alternatives for the Commercial Services Plan for the national seashore.
Both topics will be covered on each date. The public meetings will be held:
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Comments on either plan can be submitted: in-person at the meeting, by using comment cards at the meetings, by writing the park Superintendent at 131 Charles Street, Harkers Island, North Carolina 28531, or by taking the written comments to the park headquarters on Harkers Island. Please make sure to identify which plan you are commenting on.
Cape Village Historic Structure Reuse Plan
One goal of the March 7 and March 8, 2007, meetings/workshops is to present the Draft Cape Lookout Village Historic Structure Reuse Implementation Plan: Environmental Assessment/Assessment of Effect and to solicit public comments on the park service preferred alternative.
The draft plan and information about the planning process is available at the following website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Once at the web site, press links for “Choose a park,” then pick “Cape Lookout NS,” from the drop down list and then click on “Go.” You will get a list of Cape Lookout projects and then choose “Cape Lookout Village Historic Structure Reuse Implementation Plan.”
Planning for reuse of historic structures within the Cape Village Historic District was initiated with public scoping meetings in April 2004. In January of 2005, the seashore held public meetings to present preliminary alternatives. Since that time, the NPS has performed a feasibility study to determine the commercial viability of using some of the structures as overnight accommodations.
There are 58 structures, both large and small, in the historic district. These structures tell the stories of commercial fishing by local families, the efforts to prevent shipwrecks and rescue passengers and crew, military defense of the coast during World War II and growing recreational use of the islands.
Commercial Services Plan
A second goal for the March 7 and March 8, 2007, public meetings/workshops is to present for public comment the preliminary alternatives that have been prepared for the seashore Commercial Services Plan.
Information on the Commercial Services Plan and the planning process can be found at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Once at the web site, press links for “Choose a park,” then pick “Cape Lookout NS” from the drop down list and then click on “Go.” You will get a list of Cape Lookout projects and then choose: “Commercial Services Plan.”
Initial public “scoping” meetings for the Commercial Services Plan were held on May 17 -18, 2006. During these scoping meetings, seashore staff explained the process and the regulations under which the park service manages commercial services offered at parks. Park staff solicited initial suggestions and comments from the public on the present and potential commercial services that they thought might be desirable.
The types of commercial services currently offered at the seashore include: concessions at Long Point on North Core Banks and at Great Island on South Core Banks that provide vehicle and passenger ferry services, cabin rentals, gasoline and ice sales; passenger ferry services from Ocracoke, Harkers Island, Beaufort and Morehead City arriving at Portsmouth Village, the Cape and Shackleford Banks; island transportation, ATV rentals/tours, and other tour and guide services.
Commercial services proposed in the final plan must be consistent with the park's enabling legislation, support the purpose and significance of the seashore, and help achieve desired visitor experience objectives. The commercial services plan will determine whether a proposed or existing commercial service is necessary and appropriate. Its companion document, an environmental assessment, will analyze the impacts of alternatives on seashore visitors, the local economy, cultural and natural resources and operations within the seashore.