Aug. 6 – Town Council held five public hearings and took the following action:
Extended the northern boundary of its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) within the Currituck Sound to align with the northern boundary of the recently annexed property owned by the State of NC. The area extends one mile west of the high-water mark at the Town’s boundary along the Currituck Sound.
Zoned the area above like other ETJ areas.
Allowed the temporary sales of lawn and garden supplies to be permitted administratively on an annual basis ( Wal-Mart Garden Center).
Eliminated the 10” by 20” parking space standard as stated in the “Parking Space” definition and agreed that the standard of 9”6” x 18” as found in “Off-Street Parking and Loading” was more appropriate.
Deferred action on a text amendment to eliminate a provision in the subdivision ordinance allowing roadways as narrow as sixteen feet.
The Board also agreed with a recommendation from Councilwoman Emilie Klutz to return to the way public hearings were handled in the past. Council will no longer hold a public hearing and vote on the matter at the same meeting. Public hearings held in a particular month will be voted on the following month in an effort to give Council members more time to review the issues.
Council also approved a text amendment to establish a 30-day time limit for submission of an appeal of any administrative order, determination, or decision to the Board of Adjustment.
Aug. 7 – The Southern Shores Planning Board and the Town’s Vegetation Committee held a joint meeting to discuss a draft vegetation ordinance that was presented several months ago. At that time, the ordinance was not well received and viewed as too restrictive. The group then discussed components of the Town of Duck’s recently approved vegetation ordinance. Duck now requires tree removal permits for trees over 14” in diameter at breast height and also mandates that 15% of lot coverage after the footprint of structure be vegetative/tree coverage. Duck’s ordinance also limits what plants/trees will be counted towards the 15% vegetative coverage. The Planning Board decided to review Duck’s ordinance and forward any comments to the Vegetation Committee. The Committee will then use those comments to draft another ordinance.
Kill Devil Hills
Aug. 7 – There were only three items on the KDH Planning Board meeting agenda and all items warranted lengthy discussion between board members and staff.
The first item on the agenda was a review of a proposed zoning amendment to allow nonconforming structures/sites to make improvements, including additions, remodels, and changes of use, without coming up to full compliance. Owners of properties which are non-conforming due to town code/regulations will be able to use a “point system” devised by planning staff to make improvements to their property that would “lessen” the nonconformity. Board members reviewed a three-page Nonconformities Worksheet that site plan preparers would use to calculate existing nonconformities and indicate proposed improvements to those nonconformities. Based upon total points, the site must meet certain levels as well as address some area of nonconformity in order to affect a change of use, repair/reconstruction, addition or remodel. It was noted that any addition to living space would require that parking be compliant. The Board tabled the proposal until their September meeting.
The Board then discussed alternatives for funding workforce housing that included down payment assistance programs and the use of “linkage fees” or other impact fees paid by businesses and commercial development. Assistant Planning Director Meredith Guns explained that the fees could be administered through the Outer Banks Community Development Corporation. The Board moved to forward the presented packet of articles and implementation strategies from other areas to the Board of Commissioners for review. The Planning Board also recommended that the Board of Commissioners, if in agreement with the alternative financing concept, direct the planning staff to investigate a feasibility study to look at the various alternatives for workforce housing funding assistance and how effective a program would be for the town.
The Board tabled any recommendations on pump and haul wastewater treatment systems after recognizing that Kill Devil Hills does not have the same issues as Nags Head, which just recently imposed a moratorium on the systems.