National Park Service buys two ‘endangered’ houses in Rodanthe

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

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The National Park Service has purchased two “endangered” houses at the end of East Beacon Road in north Rodanthe.

“We have to do something,” said David Hallac, superintendent of the National Parks in Eastern North Carolina.

On Monday afternoon, October 2, 2023, the Atlantic Ocean was washing under the houses.

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Hallac called the move a pilot project or test case.

The sellers were willing. The southern house was owned by Erick Saks and Vanessa Saks from St. Johns, Fla. They accepted an appraiser’s fair market value of $260,000 for the house at 23292 E. Beacon Road.

The house to the north, owned by Daniel Kerlakian and Carly Kerlakian from Cincinnati, Ohio, had an appraiser’s fair market value of $470,000, the purchase price. The price difference was attributed to the working septic system.

Hallac said the park service will demolish the houses. The contracting office in Atlanta will handle the details.

Funding for these purchases came from two sources:

– The National Park Trust, which raises private funds for preservation and conservation projects work to acquire privately-owned land located within and adjacent to national parks’ boundaries.

– The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses an annual $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf to safeguard natural areas, water resources, cultural heritage and recreation opportunities.

Hallac does not have additional funding. One outstanding question is “can we scale this up?”

National Park Service funding will be used for demolition.

The purchases will mitigate ongoing safety concerns, such as beachgoers walking under the houses and health concerns. And, once the houses are demolished, septic tanks removed and the beach restored, the beach will be wide open for pedestrians.