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Town of North Topsail Beach

North Carolina
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The Town strives to provide its citizens with the highest inspection standards consistent with the adopted codes and regulations. This is accomplished through the consistent and equitable application of regulations in the built and natural environment through plans review, inspections, enforcement and the issuance of permits and licenses.

All buildings constructed within the Town of North Topsail Beach shall comply with the North Carolina Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) regulations, the Town’s CAMA Land Use Plan, Town Code Chapter 7 Planning & Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 8 Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and the North Carolina Building Code. Effective 7/1/2011 all CAMA permits will be issued through the Wilmington Division of Coastal Management office (please scroll down to the CAMA section of this page for DCM's contact information).

The Town has adopted regulations, which exceed the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as indicated in 44 CFR Parts 59–General Provisions and 60–Criteria for Land Management and Use. If any provisions of the North Carolina Building Code or Town Code are inconsistent with any of the AEC standards, the more restrictive provision shall control. For more information regarding your property and these regulations, please contact the Town's Planning Department(910) 328-1349 ext. 27.

Before you submit your development application, you may contact the Permit Techto schedule a pre-application meeting to discuss your project with staff.


The Planning Department guides the physical development of the Town.  Examples of the department's work include implementation of the CAMA Land Use Plan; Hurricane, Storm, and Flood Preparedness Plan, administration and updating of the Zoning Ordinance and Official Zoning Map; processing of rezoning, conditional use and variance requests; review and processing of subdivisions; and support of the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment


The Zoning Administrator is charged with the enforcement of the zoning ordinance.

A valid zoning permit shall be presented with any application for a CAMA permit. No building permit shall be issued for any activity in a zoned area until such zoning permit is presented. Contact the Town's Planning Department to schedule a pre-application meeting to discuss your Zoning Permit Application.

Appeal applications are heard by the Board of Adjustment as a quasijudicial public hearing.


The Coastal Area Management Act requires permits for development in Areas of Environmental Concern (AEC). If you're planning any sort of development -- from a sandbag structure to a bridge to a condominium -- contact Jason Dail at the Division of Coastal Management's Wilmington Office (contact info below) to request a CAMA application.

Jason Dail - Field Representative

Phone # 910-796-7221

Fax# 910-395-3964 127 Cardinal Dr. Ext. Wilmington, NC28405

Even if your project does NOT require a CAMA permit, it may be subject to consistency review if a Federal Permit or License is required. Please visit Division of Coastal Management's consistency page.


Floodplain Administration

Since incorporation, the Town has made a concerted effort to protect it’s floodplain and manage its development by the adoption of various ordinances, regulations and practices. The Town has incorporated floodplain management goals into the CAMA Land Use Plan and created development regulation within it’s Town Code Ch. 8 Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, which exceed the minimum requirements of NFIP indictaed in 44 CFR Parts 59-General Provisions and 60-Criteria for Land Management and Use.

The Town joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program in 1990 and adopted its first Flood Damange Prevention Ordinance (FDPO) on May 2, 1990. The current Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance was approved on April 2, 2009.

All development requires an approved Floodplain Development Permit Application. A valid Floodplain Development Permit be presented with any application for a building permit.

The Town participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) as one of its efforts to reduce the potential losses due to flooding for its citizens. This program, created by the NFIP, encourages communities to become proactive in their flood management planning activities. Under this program, participating communities receive a point rating reflective of their efforts in undertaking these activities. The CRS ratings result in reduced flood insurance premiums to floodplain residents.

In 2010, the NFIP conducted an audit of the Town's floodplain management efforts and awarded the Town a Class 7 rating, thus reducing flood insurance premiums throughout the City by 15 percent. This translate to a savings of $148 per policy per year and over $207,653 combined for North Topsail policy holders.  To request a copy of an elevation certificate, contact NTB Planning Dept at (910) 328-1349.

The new elevation certificates and instructions can be downloaded from

Floodplain Management Plan Annual Progress Report 2010


Flood Maps

National Flood Insurance Program:

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Community participation in the program is voluntary. A community is an incorportated city, town, or part of a county that has a floodplain management ordinance and enforces the ordinance. When a community participates in the NFIP, flood insurance is made available from the NFIP. In addition, if the President declares a disaster as a result of flooding, federal financial assistance is made available for the permanent repair or reconstruction of insurable buildings. For proof that the Town participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, please see the National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book.

Flood map determinations are provided by the Town as a service to the community. Map determinations are made either verbally, in person; by a written or faxed request that provides the Town with the tax parcel number. There is a nominal fee of $25.00 for written determinations. To request a map determination form, contact NTB Planning Dept at (910) 328-1349.

All Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Letters of Map Revision, Letters of Map Amendments, and Elevation Certificates issued are also made available as part of the map determination service along with information regarding flood insurance purchase requirements.

Town's Floodplain Ordinance:

The Town's floodplain management ordinance is located in Article 8 of the Town Code.

Floodplain maps:

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are on file and may be viewed at the Town's Planning Department, and in the reference section of the public library's main branch.


Books: These books are available at the Sneads Ferry Library:

  • Design manual for retrofitting flood-prone residential structures.
  • Answers to questions about the National Flood Insurance Program
  • Flood emergency and residential repair handbook.
  • Flood proofing systems & techniques : examples of flood proofed structures in the United States
  • Floodproofing non-residential structures.
  • Answers to questions about substantially damaged buildings
  • Design guidelines for flood damage reduction
  • Manufactured home installation in flood hazard areas
  • Elevated residential structures
  • Coastal construction manual : principles and practices of planning, siting, designing, constructing, and maintaining residential buildings in coastal
  • Other agencies: