Friday, May 25, 2007

Corolla Incorporation Hearing

The Joint Legislative Commission on Municipal Incorporations, a Commission created by the North Carolina General Assembly, will hold a public hearing to receive comment on the incorporation of the proposed Village of Corolla on Friday, June 1, 2007, at 5:30 pm at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla.
The public is invited to attend. Seating is limited; therefore, proponents and opponents of incorporation are encouraged to select individuals to represent their position before the Commission. Speakers will be limited to three minutes. If you have questions about the public hearing, please contact Ms. Gayle L. Moses, Commission Legal Counsel, at (919) 733-6660 or gaylem@ncleg.net.

Duck Tree Ordinance Revised

May 2 - The Duck Town Council scheduled a new public hearing on the proposed Tree and Vegetation Preservation and Planting ordinance for their meeting on June 6th at 7 pm. A provision on clear-cutting was added to the ordinance at the Council’s mid-month meeting. The language reads:
Clear cutting: On a vacant, undeveloped parcel, removal of any tree greater than six inches in diameter at breast height is prohibited except after receiving an approved development site plan and issued building permit, an approved tree management plan and any required tree removal permit.
Due to this and other minor language changes approved by the Council, it was necessary to schedule another public hearing on the ordinance. Please contact the Duck Community Development Department prior to June 6th or attend the public hearing that evening to voice your opinion. The revised ordinance should be posted soon on the Town’s website: www.townofduck.com; or you may call the Town at 252-255-1234 for more information.

Southern Shores Canal Dredging

Southern Shores

The town is making application for a CAMA major permit to dredge approximately seven (7) miles of Town owned canals. There has been a lot of debate and discussion regarding proposed sites for dredge material which include: the Hillcrest site which would consist of leases with several private property owners to allow dredge material to be placed for dewatering; SSCA property at the corner of US 158 and Duck Woods Drive; Albemarle Hospital property at the corner of US 158 and Juniper Trail; a Chicahauk Site considered for condemnation by the Town is not being considered at this time in the CAMA Major Permit Application. More information about the project and be found at http://www.southernshores-nc.gov/Canal%20Project.htm.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Currituck County Bridge To OBX

WNCN-TV - Outer Banks Real Estate Blog

OUTER BANKS, N.C. -- It might cost a bit, but North Carolina is studying a quicker way to get people to the northern Outer Banks by exploring two bridge projects.
The first project is exploration of building a "Mid-Currituck Bridge." It would be a toll road that would stretch for seven miles over the Currituck Sound, from the mainland to Corolla in the northern Outer Banks.
The bridge would cost roughly $500 million and would open by 2013. It would be expected to ease summer traffic and speed up hurricane evacuations.
"The time savings is expected to be up to an hour, and that's a huge savings on peak season," said David Joyner, North Carolina Turnpike Authority. "What we're looking at is a three-lane bridge, with one reversible lane on high traffic weekends."
Another major bridge project the state is looking at is the Bonner Bridge project.
The Bonner Bridge is a vital link that carries NC 12 between Bodie Island and Pea Island over Oregon Inlet.
The state will spend $43 million over the next six years just to keep the crumbling span open while a new bridge is built.
Construction of a new bridge is scheduled to start in 2009 and is scheduled to open in 2013. However, there are two versions of the new bridge state officials are looking at.
"We just need a resolution. Every week that goes by that bridge weakens," said Beth Midgett, who is lobbying for a new bridge.
The first option would be a 17-mile-long bridge across Pamlico Sound from Bodie Island to Rodanthe. Supporters say it's better for the environment because it misses the Pea Island national Wildlife Refuge. It would also end the worry over Route 12 washing out because the bridge would be better protected from hurricanes. It could cost as much as $1.8 billion.
The second option is a 2.7 mile short bridge to be built alongside the current bridge. Then Route 12 would be kept open by either constant sand nourishment or elevating the road on small bridges. This option maintains access to the wildlife refuge and it's slightly cheaper, about $1.2 billion dollars.
"The long bridge is probably helpful to the environment, but also eliminates the easy access people have gotten used to over the years," said Mike Bryant.
The decision gets tougher when the cost of constantly rebuilding Route 12 is figured in. The short bridge costs less now, but would be about the same as the long one over the long haul.
"We've looked at all the costs for construction and maintenance through 2060, and the Pamlico Sound Bridge and phased approach are actually pretty similar," said Beth Myre, of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Three years ago, state and federal transportation officials favored the long bridge. However, state officials changed their mind a year later and then changed it again. They now say all options are open.
Many Dare County officials like the short span. However, in the end, a decision may come down to what's politically possible.
Next Wednesday, representatives from 13 state and federal agencies will announce their choice.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Corolla Incorp. Hearing 06-01-2007

The Joint Legislative Commission on Municipal Incorporations, a Commission created by the North Carolina General Assembly, will hold a public hearing to receive comment on the incorporation of the proposed Village of Corolla on Friday, June 1, 2007, at 5:30 pm at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla. Outer Banks
The public is invited to attend. Seating is limited; therefore, proponents and opponents of incorporation are encouraged to select individuals to represent their position before the Commission. Speakers will be limited to three minutes. If you have questions about the public hearing, please contact Ms. Gayle L. Moses, Commission Legal Counsel, at (919) 733-6660 or gaylem@ncleg.net.

Duck Tree Ordinance Revised

May 2 - The Duck Town Council scheduled a new public hearing on the proposed Tree and Vegetation Preservation and Planting ordinance for their meeting on June 6th at 7 pm. A provision on clear-cutting was added to the ordinance at the Council’s mid-month meeting. The language reads:
Clear cutting: On a vacant, undeveloped parcel, removal of any tree greater than six inches in diameter at breast height is prohibited except after receiving an approved development site plan and issued building permit, an approved tree management plan and any required tree removal permit.
Due to this and other minor language changes approved by the Council, it was necessary to schedule another public hearing on the ordinance. Please contact the Duck Community Development Department prior to June 6th or attend the public hearing that evening to voice your opinion. The revised ordinance should be posted soon on the Town’s website: http://www.townofduck.com/; or you may call the Town at 252-255-1234 for more information.

KDH Zoning/Planning Issues

The Board discussed several zoning/planning issues at a retreat this week that included: how to address non-conformities; stormwater; fill; outdoor display of merchandise; cell towers; ditch maintenance; beach driving; work-force housing, and more. The Board looked at all aspects of the zoning ordinance with regards to non-conformities such as landscaping, lot coverage, lighting, use, etc. The planning staff proposed a point system to be utilized whenever a permit is applied for to encourage property owners to bring non-conformities of a lot up to current zoning standards. Commissioners will be prioritizing which aspects of the zoning ordinance they feel are most important for non-conforming properties to come into compliance with. This exercise will guide the planning staff in developing a “compliance” point system. Commissioner Paul Buske and Planning Director Greg Loy will be working together to address the issue of fill. Outdoor display of merchandise was reviewed also during the retreat; this and other issues mentioned above will likely be discussed at the Board’s forum with business leaders on May 23rd at 6 pm at the Town Hall. Let your voice be heard - call the Town at 252-449-5300 to RSVP.

Nags Head To Ban Fireworks?

Nags Head

May 16 - The Board of Commissioners decided not to adopt an ordinance that would ban all fireworks in the town. Timing was cited as a reason to postpone adopting the ordinance. Since the tourist season is already underway, rental companies would not have ample opportunity to inform their guests of the ban. Enforcement of the ban and what is already illegal was also discussed at length. Under NC general statute, fireworks that leave the ground or explode (“go boom”) are illegal. Commissioner Doug Remaley stated, “The law is on the books; whether or not law enforcement enforces is another issue.” The Board will review the issue again in the fall after the effectiveness of a summer educational campaign about illegal fireworks is evaluated.
A zoning amendment that would have allowed 6-foot fences to be constructed from all around a house did not pass on a second reading this week. A public hearing was held on May 2nd and the motion to adopt passed 3 to 1; however, the motion needed a 4/5 majority vote to pass. During discussion at the second reading, Commissioner Gray was concerned that the issue was being addressed due to a builder being cited for non-compliance of the current zoning regulation on walls and fences. Mayor Cahoon changed her vote from the first reading and voted with Commissioners Sadler and Gray to defeat the motion.
The Board approved a site plan for Lone Cedar Restaurant with several conditions. Lot coverage was questioned since it is over what is currently allowed. The Board was informed that the proposed lot coverage is at 60.3% which is less that the 65% lot coverage of the facility before it was destroyed by fire. Given the situation, the lot coverage is grandfathered since the degree of non-conformity (lot coverage) will be reduced. When the site was originally developed years ago, lot coverage was over 80%. Although there will be a 2,500 sq. ft reduction in lot coverage, the customer service area will increase by about 500 sq. ft. An additional 5 parking spaces was shown on the plans and the planning board informed the Commissioners that the proposed turf-stone surface material for those spaces would have to be changed for approval. CAMA permits have been applied for and should be issued within a week. A 2002 approval for stormwater is still in effect and drainage has been approved.

First Time Home Buyer Limits

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency
3508 Bush Street Raleigh, NC 27609

Contact:Margaret Matrone, NCHFA, 919-877-5606, mamatrone@nchfa.com Connie Helmlinger, NCHFA, 919-877-5607, cshelmlinger @nchfa.comMay 2, 2007

NC Housing Finance Agency Raises Sales Price Limits for First Home Mortgage Change Will Help More North Carolinians Buy First Home

Purchasing power has increased for first-time home buyers in North Carolina thanks to a boost in sales price limits for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s FirstHome Mortgage. Approved last month, the change makes more homes eligible for below-market interest rates – currently 5.625%.

The new statewide home price limits are $200,000 for new construction and $190,000 for existing homes. The FirstHome Mortgage offers moderate and lower income first-time home buyers 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at below-market rates. Offered through 700 lenders and their branches, the mortgages use FHA, VA, USDA or conventional insurance or guarantees.
“The increases are based on changes in home prices across the state,” said Lucius S. Jones, chairman of the agency’s board of directors. “The new limits provide more opportunities for North Carolinians to find homes in their communities that qualify for our loans.”
To qualify, buyers’ incomes must be below certain limits, which vary depending on family size and where the new home is located. These range from $60,500 in most non-metropolitan counties to $81,500 in Raleigh or Cary, where the average income is highest in the state. The limit for Currituck County was raised, from $69,000 to $73,500, based on the county’s rising median income.

For the 2,173 first-time buyers who used FirstHome Mortgage in 2006, the average income was $40,520, and the average home price was $113,408.
Buyers with lower incomes may qualify for downpayment assistance up to $7,000 in the form of zero-interest, deferred second mortgages that are paid when the primary loan is retired or the house is sold. Conventional loans with 100% financing are available to qualified buyers. The agency’s mortgage also includes a Job Loss Feature to help homeowners keep their home. If eligible homeowners become unemployed in the first two years of the loan, the agency will make four months of principal and interest payments to be repaid at the end of the mortgage term with no interest.

FirstHome Mortgage is available through more than 700 lenders and their branches statewide. A lender list and description of all the agency home buyer programs are available at www.nchfa.com or by calling 800-393-0988.
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed 176,000 homes and apartments in the last three decades, including nearly 74,000 homes for first-time home buyers. To learn more, go to www.nchfa.com or call 919-877-5700 or 800-393-0988.

Household Income & Sales Price Limits for Low-Interest Mortgagesfrom the N.C. Housing Finance Agency

Canal Dredging Time Frames

News From Southern Shores Town Hall
Friday, May 18, 2007

Attention Property Owners Adjacent to the Canal

May 18, 2007

Dear Adjacent Property Owner:

The Town of Southern Shores, Dare County, NC, is making application for a CAMA Major permit to dredge approximately seven (7) miles of Town owned canals. You are either an adjacent property owner (canal front) or have property located nearby a canal or waterway. The project is planned for completion in two (2) years.

CAMA rules require either proof of notification to riparian property owners or signed statements of no objection to satisfy due process requirements. Because there are approximately 466 canal front property owners, we are emailing this letter for signature, via Broadcast news, to reduce the costs associated with notification. The Town website,
http://www.southernshores-nc.gov/, will contain further information on the dredging project as well, including a copy of the permit application, Adjacent Property Owner Notification of a Major CAMA Permit Application and the Adjacent Riparian Property Owner Statement for CAMA Major Permit. Please print this email, sign the Adjacent Riparian Property Owner Statement, and mail to Town of Southern Shores, 5375 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Southern Shores, NC 27949. The Town needs your response by June 15, 2007 to facilitate a timely application.

ADJACENT RIPARIAN PROPERTY OWNER STATEMENT FOR
CAMA MAJOR PERMITS

I hereby certify that I own property adjacent to Canals and Waterway, in Southern Shores, Dare County, NC 27949.

The Town has described to me as shown in the documents available on the Town Website the development proposed and I have no objection to the Town’s proposal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lesgisaltive Briefings - May 8, 2007

Currituck Planning Board Reviews School Capacity Allocation Formula Options; Voluntary Mitigation Fees Kitty Hawk Approves Zoning Amendment on HVAC Units

Nags Head to Hold Public Hearing to Ban Fireworks

Duck Vegetation Ordinance to be Discussed Again

Duck CAMA Permit Info

Corolla Incorporation Public Hearing Set for June 1st

Kill Devil Hills to Work on Planning and Zoning Matters at Retreat; Forum with Business Leaders May 23rd

Real Estate Industry the Focus of Segment on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”

Update on Corolla Sign Ordinance Amendment

“North Carolina Does Not Have a Revenue Problem”

OBAR General Membership Meeting to be held in Avon

Currituck

May 8 – The Currituck Planning Board will meet with staff and Commissioners in the near future to review proposed changes to the County’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The Board decided more review was necessary before they could approve changing the way in which school capacity is formulated and allocated. Included in the proposed adequate facilities amendment is a voluntary mitigation fee of over $12,000 per lot when school capacity allocation is less than needed for a development project. It was brought before the Board’s attention that the County has collected over $24 million in land transfer tax in just the past four years that could be used for school construction. It was also discussed about how the allocation and fees would impact small, local building companies.



Kitty Hawk

May 7 – The Town Council approved a text amendment to permit HVAC units to encroach up to five feet into required side yard setbacks. They were currently not allowed to be located within required building setbacks. Council also approved new standards for the location of political campaign signs. Signs are now allowed to be located within public rights-of-way in certain situations.





Nags Head

The Board of Commissioners will be discussing commercial architectural regulations at their meeting this Wednesday and will be holding a public hearing to consider a town-wide ban on fireworks.

The town received a great deal of media coverage regarding the strong nor’easter that hit on Monday. Roberta Thuman, Nags Head spokeswoman, said that ocean overwash temporarily shut off water service to about 10 homes Monday and "a few septic tanks unearthed" in South Nags Head, where erosion is high. She stated, "It was not nearly as bad as we thought it would be.” Virginia news station –WVEC - featured the town during their broadcast on Tuesday and was quick to refer to the recently defeated beach nourishment referendum. Link here if you missed it: www.wvec.com/news/topstories/stories/wvec_local_050707_weather.480e2a42.html.



Duck Tree Ordinance to be Addressed Again

May 2 - The Duck Town Council will be discussing the proposed Tree and Vegetation Preservation and Planting ordinance at their meeting this coming week and will most likely be ready to schedule another public hearing on the issue for their June 6th meeting. Town Council members will review possible changes to the ordinance that include prohibiting clear-cutting and adding language to further clarify specific sections. If there are any areas of the ordinance you would like addressed, contact the Duck Community Development Department before May 16th to voice your opinion and offer suggestions. They would love to hear from you prior to June at (252) 255-1234. The ordinance can be reviewed at www.townofduck.com/agenda2007-05-16item1avegetation.htm.



Although not on this week’s agenda, just a reminder that the town is considering an Ocean and Sound Overlay District that would include prohibiting the use of any wetlands fill, over and above what CAMA would allow.



Duck CAMA Permit Info

Duck’s CAMA permit officer Sandy Cady will be out of the office through May 18th. All CAMA permit questions should be directed to Sue Cotellessa or Cory Tate; if they are unable to assist you, contact John Cece in the Elizabeth City District office at 252-264-3901. Land use, CAMA, building, and trade permit applications will be accepted and processed in Sandy’s absence; however it may be necessary to request an extension in order to process new CAMA permits. If possible, wait for Sandy’s return for new permits. Contact Lori Kopec or Cory Tate to schedule your inspections. You will need to provide the date, owner, subdivision, lot #, address, inspection type, contact person, date ready for inspection, and any notes when calling. Please note that no inspections will be scheduled for May 17th or 18th as Cory will be out of the office. Please schedule your requests accordingly.



Corolla Incorporation Public Hearing June 1st!

The Joint Legislative Commission on Municipal Incorporations, a Commission created by the North Carolina General Assembly, will hold a public hearing to receive comment on the incorporation of the proposed Village of Corolla on Friday, June 1, 2007, at 5:30 pm at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla.

The public is invited to attend. Seating is limited; therefore, proponents and opponents of incorporation are encouraged to select individuals to represent their position before the Commission. Speakers will be limited to three minutes. If you have questions about the public hearing, please contact Ms. Gayle L. Moses, Commission Legal Counsel, at (919) 733-6660 or gaylem@ncleg.net.





Kill Devil Hills

The Board of Commissioners will be holding a retreat on Wednesday, May 16th at 9:00 a.m. to discuss and take possible action on a variety of planning and zoning matters reviewed at a recent joint work session with the Planning Board.

The Board has also scheduled a special work session for discussions with KDH business leaders, owners and operators for May 23rd at 6:00 p.m. This work session is an opportunity for an exchange of ideas, comments, and suggestions about Kill Devil Hills, its operations and services and how they may be improved. The following points will be used to facilitate initial discussions:
* What are issues the business community feels are most important to the future of the town?
* What is the Board doing the business community strongly supports?
* What is the Board doing to which the business community is opposed?
* Are there issues the business community feels are being inadequately addressed?



The Town is also in the process of mailing Citizen Opinion Surveys to all residents. Residents will be asked about town services, growth and development, and the protection of natural resources. Survey responses will assist the Town in updating the Land Use Plan which is used to plan for the future of Kill Devil Hills. As an added incentive to return the survey, respondents will have the chance to win one of twenty grocery store gift certificates. All survey responses will be kept confidential.



Real Estate Industry the Focus of “60 Minutes” Segment

This Sunday (May 13th) at 7 pm on CBS, a segment on real estate will air on “60 Minutes.” Representatives of the National Association of Realtors have been dealing with “60 Minutes” investigative reporters for more than a year. They have concerns that the segment will not feature at length any of the topics they spent many hours educating CBS producers on such as NAR’s anti-trust lawsuit over their Internet display listing policy and minimum service rules.



Corolla

The proposed Currituck Outer Banks Overlay District Sign Ordinance amendment may see the light of day yet. Business owners and citizens have decided to hold another meeting to work through issues and try to squelch rumors that have circulated since the amendment passed the Planning Board last month. Clarification of vehicle signs will be addressed as well as banners and flags. Since it is likely that language changes will be made, the amendment will have to be heard once again by the Planning Board, and once approved will be forwarded to Commissioners for a public hearing.

Many realtors have been concerned about the visibility of open house signs. The current ordinance only allows for an open house sign to be placed in front of a dwelling where the open house is taking place. The new ordinance, if approved by the Commissioners, will allow for directional sign to the Open House as well as on-premise signage. The new sign ordinance will also “legalize” many existing signs that are no defined under the current ordinance such as railing signs, awning signs and landscaping signs.



North Carolina Tax Collections Ahead of Projections – from NCAR reports
Members of the North Carolina General Assembly were told earlier this week what the NC Association of REALTORS® has been saying for some time – the State of North Carolina doesn’t have a revenue problem. The state has collected $260 million more than originally expected from April tax filings and as a result, the government expects to have a surplus in revenues of approximately $1.1 billion. Tim Kent, executive vice president of the NC Association of REALTORS®, said the news validates the premise that North Carolina doesn’t have a problem when it comes to revenue and lends support to the association’s stance that a proposed 1 percent Home Tax is both unwarranted and unfair. Go to www.itsabadidea.org for more info.



OBAR General Membership Meeting

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors will hold its next General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, May 23rd at the Avon Volunteer Fire Department. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon/business meeting begins at noon. Deadline to register for the meeting is Wednesday, May 16th.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Legislative Briefings - April 25, 2007

Duck

The Duck Town Council will conduct a second reading on Ordinance 07-05, an ordinance amending the zoning ordinance regarding tree and vegetation preservation and planting at their meeting Wednesday evening. The Council held a public hearing in April and voted 3 to 1 to approve the ordinance. Since a 4/5 majority vote was needed and Mayor Morrison was absent, Council must hold a second reading for it to be adopted.
The ordinance requires tree removal permits for trees over 24” in diameter and submission of vegetation management plans for any new residential or commercial construction or additions to existing footprints. The ordinance requires 15% vegetative lot coverage after the footprint on residential lots and 10% coverage for commercial lots.
You can view the ordinance at: http://www.townofduck.com/agenda2007-05-02item5a1aold.htm.

The Board will also be considering an ordinance that would prohibit parking of vehicles in certain places within the Town, notably near the Sunset Grille where parking of vehicles on Duck Rd. presents a safety hazard.

Nags Head

Apr. 25 – The Board of Commissioners took the following action last week after public hearings were held on the following:
Ø Unanimously approved a zoning ordinance text amendment to list new use of Auction House as permitted use in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District and amend all other pertinent sections of zoning ordinance. The proposed auction house will be located at 4411 S. Croatan Hwy.
Ø Unanimously approved a zoning ordinance text amendment to Town Code Section 48-165, Parking Reduction Requirements that allows for shared parking with lots less than 100 parking spaces.
Ø Tie vote of 2-2 on a zoning ordinance text amendment to Town Code Section 48-91, Habitable Floors which would have exempted the floor of a coastal watch tower from the 27-foot habitable floor height limitation.
Unanimously approved a zoning ordinance text amendment to Town Code Section 48-81, Exclusions from Height Limitations. This ordinance excludes coastal watch towers form the 35-foot height restriction for structures with less than an 8/12 roof pitch and allows those towers to be a maximum of 42 feet in height.

In addition to discussing the special election results form April 17th, the Board of Commissioners will hold two public hearings at their meeting this Wednesday:
Ø Consideration of zoning text amendment to Town Code Sections 48-7, Definitions, Section 48-407, C-2 General Commercial District Requirements and Section 48-526, Vested Rights.
Ø Consideration of zoning ordinances text amendments to Town Code Section 48-80 (C) - Walls and Fences.

Kill Devil Hills

Apr. 25 – The Board of Commissioners scheduled a public hearing for May 23rd at 7 pm on a proposed zoning amendment that would add workforce housing as a conditional use in the Light Industrial 2 zone. One particular section of the ordinance relating to enforcement procedures was no recommended by the Planning Board because it was intended to follow the Outer Banks Community Development Corporation’s model. Since the CDC has not finalized their enforcement procedures, town attorney Bobby Outten told the Board that he will draft the enforcement procedures and forward to the Board for review in time to be advertised for the public hearing.

Attorneys will be representing the Town in its appearance before the North Carolina Utilities Commission tomorrow May 2, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. in Raleigh. Dominion North Carolina Power would like to install overhead transmission lines along the bypass which are not currently allowed by town code. The Utilities Commission will be hearing Dominion NC Power’s Application for Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Convenience, Complaints Requesting Relief Under North Carolina General Statutes and Petition for Order Approving Manner of Charging to Customers in the Town of Kill Devil Hills Costs Attributable to Underground Installation of Electric Lines.
The attorneys would like to know if anyone is interested in attending the hearing in support of the Town and/or if anyone would like to make a statement about the beauty of the area being affected by the proposed overhead transmission lines. Please contact Jennifer Allen Morgan of Williams Mullen Maupin Taylor, by phone to 919.981.4051, by fax to 919.981.4300, or by e-mail to jmorgan@williamsmullen.com.

Roanoke Island – LID Workshop

A low impact development workshop will be held at the NC Aquarium this Thursday, May 3rd. Low Impact Development (LID) is a land development approach that uses various planning and design practices and technologies to protect natural resources and minimize the cost associated with infrastructure. LID does not inhibit growth but instead encourages a comprehensive environmentally-friendly planning and implementation process. LID's goal is to mimic a site's predevelopment hydrology by using design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to its source. LID can be applied to new development, urban retrofits, redevelopment, and revitalization projects. This workshop will provide an overview of the elements of LID design and implementation. It will include an overview of each practice as well as a case study of how LID has been implemented. A field tour is included as part of the workshop to visit the sites of several LID practices in the area.
For more information and to register go to: www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops/LID/index.html.
The agenda for the workshop is as follows:
8:30 a.m. -Registration and Welcome
Introduction to Stormwater
Water Harvesting
Raingardens
Integrating Vegetation into LID
Permeable Pavement
LID Application
LID Case Study
LID Tour Overview
12:15 p.m. - Lunch on your own1:30 p.m. - Meet at First Tour StopTour Stops:
Roanoke Aquarium Rain Garden
Roanoke Aquarium Water Harvesting System
Permeable Pavement

Property Management Committee

The next Property Management Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. at OBAR (Killgore Training Center). Jeff Graham from the Beach Book; Ron Chamberlain, OBX Free Wi-Fi Director of Sales; and Jeff Gegan, Mega Sat Communications Consultant will present information on new technology that will provide free wireless internet access from Corolla to Nags Head in the near future - at no cost to property owners!

Legislative Briefings - April 26, 2007

Dare County

Apr. 16 – Dare County Finance Director David Clawson continued his presentation on Dare County’s budget at the Commissioners meeting, looking this time at the capital improvement plan.
Clawson informed the Board that fiscal year 2007 land transfer tax collections are now projected to be 36.5% lower than that of the 2006 fiscal year which already had a decrease of 29.14% in land transfer taxes. That level of collections in combination with the currently approved 2007 CIP, would result in negative fund balances of ($1,337,660) in FY 2009, ($1,582,608) in FY 2010 and ($1,703,533) in FY 2011.
The following capital budget adjustments were approved by the Board to offset the decrease in land transfer tax collections:
Reduce the current year transfer to the School Capital Reserve fund from $1,250,000 to $500,000.
Reduce the existing appropriations for fiscal years 2005 and 2006 for EMS Station No. 1 from $560,000 to $250,000.
Eliminate the fiscal 2007 appropriation of $100,000 for the General Land Bank and the future amount in the CIP.
Eliminate the remaining, uncommitted balances of the Parks and Recreation Land Bank.
Eliminate the remaining appropriation for planning studies of $47,160.
Eliminate the remaining unused appropriations for completed capital projects for a total of $111,144.

Land transfer taxes are being debated in Raleigh since statewide and local transfer tax bills have been introduced. The NC Realtors Association has been working on the campaign, “Stop the Home Tax” and have been raising awareness about other infrastructure financing solutions besides land transfer tax. The web site http://www.itsabadidea.com/ has more information about the campaign. One major concern with land transfer taxes is that they are an inconsistent, unstable revenue source as is evident above with Dare’s budget adjustments. We will be hearing more on the decrease in land transfer taxes as the towns work on their 07-08 budgets.

Nags Head

Apr. 17 - The Town of Nags Head held a referendum on their beach nourishment project this week. Voters in the special oceanfront district said yes to pay over half the cost of a Nags Head beach nourishment project with a vote of 56 to 53. However, the referendum failed because it not only had to pass the special district but the town district as well. Voters on the west side of the beach road said no to an average increase in their local property taxes of about $285 per year with a vote of 478 to 324.
The Board of Commissioners will hold their second meeting of the month on Wednesday, April 25th. The following public hearings will be held:
Consideration of a proposed zoning ordinance text amendment to list new use of Auction House as permitted use in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District and amend all other pertinent sections of zoning ordinance.
Consideration of a zoning ordinance text amendment to Town Code Section 48-165, Parking Reduction Requirements.
Consideration of a zoning ordinance text amendment to Town Code Section 48-91, Habitable Floors.
Consideration of a zoning ordinance text amendment to Town Code Section 48-81, Exclusions from Height Limitations.

Kitty Hawk Development Forum

The Kitty Hawk Planning & Inspections Department has scheduled a public forum on development issues at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 in the Smith Meeting Room at Kitty Hawk Town Hall. The forum is intended to inform builders, surveyors and other professionals in the development field about key development issues in Kitty Hawk. Attendees will also be given the opportunity to offer comments and ask questions of the Town staff. Town CAMA Officer Stephen Smith will discuss any recent updates to CAMA regulations. Building Inspector Dennis Speight will present information on key building code issues. Environmental Planner Holly White will help clarify recently adopted flood damage prevention standards. Planning Director Joe Heard will outline recent text amendments to the Town’s development code.
Light refreshments will be provided at the forum. Anyone planning to attend is encouraged to contact the department at 261-3552.

Roanoke Island – LID Workshop

A low impact development workshop will be held at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island on Thursday, May 3rd. Low Impact Development (LID) is a land development approach that uses various planning and design practices and technologies to protect natural resources and minimize the cost associated with infrastructure. LID does not inhibit growth but instead encourages a comprehensive environmentally-friendly planning and implementation process. LID's goal is to mimic the site's predevelopment hydrology by using design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to its source. LID can be applied to new development, urban retrofits, redevelopment, and revitalization projects. This workshop will provide an overview of the elements of LID design and implementation. It will include an overview of each practice as well as a case study of how LID has been implemented. A field tour is included as a part of the workshop to visit the sites of several LID practices in the area.
For more information and to register go to: www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops/LID/index.html.
The agenda for the workshop is as follows:
8:30 a.m. -Registration and Welcome
Introduction to Stormwater
Water Harvesting
Raingardens
Integrating Vegetation into LID
Permeable Pavement
LID Application
LID Case Study
LID Tour Overview
12:15 p.m. - Lunch on your own1:30 p.m. - Meet at First Tour StopTour Stops:
Roanoke Aquarium Rain Garden
Roanoke Aquarium Water Harvesting System
Permeable Pavement

School Calendar Bill Passes the House

House Bill 359 – Restore Flexibility to the School Calendar has passed the House and is being reviewed by the Senate Education Committee. This bill would change legislation passed just two years ago which stated that the opening date for schools may not be before August 25th and the closing date for students not after June 10th. The August 25th start date has had a very positive effect on the Outer Banks and other tourist destination communities since the first three weeks of August are a prime time for family vacations. It also has benefited students working summer jobs. Some local school boards would like for school to start as early as August 6th to coincide with nearby community college and university calendars. Save Our Summers, a group working to defeat the bill, has more information on their web site http://www.saveoursummers.com/.
Voice your opinion by contacting Senator Basnight’s office at (919) 733-6854 or marcb@ncleg.net.

Legislative Briefings - April 15, 2007

Currituck Planning Board News

The Board reviewed an amendment to the UDO to revise the standards to measure and evaluate adequate public facilities and regulate subdivision and land development relative to the adequacy of public facilities. The amendment addresses only school capacity and not public safety or other public facility issues. Included in the amendment is an updated formula for calculating school capacity based on dwelling types and would take into consideration the phasing of projects. According to Planning Director Sarah Kiefer, Commissioners have been very concerned about phasing; the amendment addresses capacity based on the 10 year school facilities plan and the approved capital improvement plan. Capacity allotments would be released at the rate of 1/10th per year, twice a year. Under a lottery system, applications for development would be reviewed and weighted based on the type of project and where it would be located. If capacity is allocated to a project but less than is needed, a builder/developer could move forward with the project by utilizing “voluntary mitigation strategies. Land could be allocated for a school or the payment of $12,171 for single family dwellings or $12,119 for townhouses, duplexes, etc. could be paid to address the school capacity issue.
The Board agreed to table the issue and work on it further at a worksession scheduled for May 8th at 6:30 pm. There is a Senate bill pending – S 1180 – that may affect whether or not Currituck County can adopt this amendment at all. The bill states that “a local government may not exercise any authority or make any commitment not authorized by general or local act and may not impose or exact a fee, or monetary contribution not authorized by otherwise applicable law.”

The Currituck Planning Board approved the following at their meeting this week:

Phase 2 and 3 of Launch Landing off of Tulls Creek Rd.; final plat for 54 lots
Phase 2 of Kilmarlic Club; final plat for 32 lots.
UDO Amendment – Outer Banks Overlay District Sign Regulations
Special use permit for OBX Rodeo to hold an annual special event on the north side of Riverlane Rd and Caratoke Hwy. The event will be held on June 15th and 16th.
The Board tabled action on a request to allow Tattoo and Body Piercing Businesses in all zoning districts. Currently they are included in the Adult and Sexually Oriented Businesses definition and only allowed in heavy manufacturing zones. Several board members felt that tattoo businesses should be separate from adult-oriented business and allowed in other zoning areas. They directed staff to bring back language for the Board to review that would allow tattoo “salon” in the general business and commercial districts.


Duck

Apr. 11 - The Duck Planning Board discussed several issues relating to the “built environment” as they reviewed notes from a March 28th field trip. The Board members visited several home sites throughout the town to record their thoughts on building height, open space, parking, lot coverage, house size, setbacks, accessory structures, fences/bulkhead, etc. After much discussion on each area of concern, planning staff was directed to bring back to the board new language for: measuring height; tiered setbacks; requiring permeable surfaces for parking where available and allowing stacking; and addressing the proportionality of houses to lots and accessory structures to the house.

The Duck Town Council will conduct a second reading of the proposed vegetation ordinance at their next regular meeting on May 2nd at 7 pm. The proposed ordinance would amend the zoning ordinance to add a new section Tree and Vegetation Preservation and Planting to preserve, protect, plant, replace and properly maintain trees and vegetation within the Town. The ordinance will require tree removal permits under certain circumstances and vegetation management plans for new development and substantial redevelopment. After coverage is calculated for the footprint of a dwelling or commercial building, the ordinance will then require vegetation in the form of trees or bushes on the remaining property - 15% coverage on residential lots and 10% coverage on a lot within any commercial zoning district. The ordinance does not eliminate clear-cutting of lots but does require a tree removal permit of any tree over 24” in diameter at breast height. Go to http://www.townofduck.com/ for more info.
The Outer Banks Association of Realtors and the Outer Banks Home Builders Association would like to express best wishes to Duck Planning Board member John Jenkins. This week’s meeting was his last meeting with the Planning Board.


Kill Devil Hills

Apr. 9 – The Board of Commissioners were given a presentation from John. W. Harris, a consultant from Hampton, Virginia regarding beach erosion and property protection. Mr. Harris owns property in KDH and was requested by a Hampton City Council member to research what the city of Hampton could do to address erosion issue. Mr. Harris didn’t have to look far to find an answer. Right across the water in the Ocean View/Willoughby area of Norfolk, the Corp of Engineers had installed off-shore breakwaters. He explained how successful they have been in controlling erosion. He stated that Norfolk funds the structures about $2.1 million per year through tax collections. Mayor Ray Sturza discussed a few differences between the Virginia and North Carolina coastal areas. The Norfolk/Virginia Beach area is under the jurisdiction of the Norfolk District Corp of Engineers; the NC Outer Banks are under the jurisdiction of the Wilmington District of the Corp of Engineers. He went on to add that coastal management plans are very different between North Carolina and Virginia and most importantly, hardened structures such as breakwaters, jetties, etc. are illegal in the state of North Carolina. Mayor Sturza did say that the CRC Outer Banks Task Force reported years ago that experimental off-shore breakwaters should be examined, but that no action had been taken to do so. Three off-shore breakwaters will be constructed in the Fort Monroe area of Hampton and Mr. Harris stated he would return to share the progress of the project.

Nags Head

The Town of Nags Head will be holding a referendum on their beach nourishment project on Tuesday, April 17th. The polls will be open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. The Town will be holding a special education session on the referendum on Saturday, April 14th at the Nags Head Fire Station #16, across from the Town Hall at 2 pm. You can also access http://www.townofnagshead.net/ or http://www.protectnagshead/ for more information.
If you are a resident of Nags Head, make sure you vote on Tuesday!