July 11 – What a way to start off! Andy Garman, the newly hired Director of Community Development, was instructed by the Planning Board to develop/modify draft ordinances for review at the August Planning Board meeting regarding residential fences, building height and free-and-clear obstruction requirements and filling/grading. The Board moved to send to the Town Council a draft ordinance that removes peat pod repair areas from lot coverage.
When it came to revising driveway and parking regulations, the Board felt that stacking should be permitted outside the drive aisle and required parking spaces should not be constructed of concrete. The Board decided that the drive aisle could be concrete but they added language to the draft ordinance that states “required parking spaces shall be graded and improved, with gravel, porous pavers, loose stone, “gravel pave or similar substance.” Concrete or asphalt would be allowed only if there is a topographic condition that warrants such improvement. Gravel currently does not count towards lot coverage The Board wants to eliminate a “sea of concrete” in future construction/redevelopment that exists in the front of many homes that have recently been built.
Floodplain Administrator Cory Tate let the Board know that a definition of “free and clear of obstruction” was needed in the Town’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. Corey recommended a two-feet area under a new home to define free and clear of obstruction and stated this would benefit flood insurance rates/availability in ocean high hazard areas, or V zones. Builder Olin Finch suggested the two feet area would be the most restrictive on the Outer Banks with Currituck County defining even one inch clear under the lowest horizontal member as meeting the requirements of FEMA to one foot being required by Kill Devil Hills. The Planning Board will need to decide upon one to two feet of area clear and free of obstruction at their next meeting. They did agree that the amount should not count towards the height limit of 35 ft.