At its last meeting in 2021 on December 16, the Kitty Hawk Planning Council reconsidered a proposed zoning change, reduced the setback distance for some commercial lots, changed the definition of lot coverage, and considered a retail business development site map.
Due to the absence of members, an earlier recommendation vote on a proposal to allow multi-family dwellings with a maximum density of 14 housing units per acre as a special use in planned commercial developments (PCD) s ‘is a tie at 2-2. City council sent him back for another review and recommendation ahead of a public hearing scheduled for January 10.
According to Planning and Inspections Director Rob Testerman, PCDs are intended to provide developers with design flexibility and greater land use efficiency. Currently, multi-family dwellings are permitted with a maximum density of 10 dwellings per acre in Districts BC-1 and BC-2.
The requirement with the current demand for at least five contiguous acres with no less than 500 feet of total road frontage on US Highway 158 or NC Highway 12 limits the demand to three areas: Home Depot and part of the Beachwoods Resort development. , the new 7 -11 and Promenade Sports Nautiques.
Commenting in favor of the change, real estate agent Eddie Goodrich explained that there would be no changes to the lot coverage, height requirements or decrease in parking and that the overall intention is to achieve a similar development goal in a different way.
“It’s more like two times 15 is 30 versus three times 10 is 30,” Goodrich suggested. “Same number of people, just a different way of doing it,” adding that units per acre really doesn’t mean much, it just allows smaller units to be allowed in the same box.
During discussion of the request, Testerman stressed that the number of rooms and permitted occupants would be governed by the Department of Health.
At the end of the discussion, the vote of approval failed with only two for and three against.
The next item on the agenda was a request to reduce the setback for commercial lots adjacent to any dedicated open space or recreational area of an adjacent residential development.
Testerman explained that examples of where the change would apply include the commercial lands up to the Sea Scape Golf Course and, since it is a recreation area, the Harbor Bay Playground.
In support of the request, Ralph D. Calfee stated that the number of eligible sites is rather limited and that in these areas the buffer zone of adjacent residential uses is actually larger than expected, creating an unnecessary restriction for these. development of commercial sites.
The motion to approve this request was carried with a 5-0 approval vote.
A change to the definition of land cover was also passed with unanimous support, which will exempt 500 square feet of pool area from land cover calculations.
Currently, lot coverage – a measure of developed land use – includes areas covered by buildings, parking lots, driveways, roads, sidewalks, decks, and any concrete areas. or asphalt.
Testerman explained that in most cases there is a gap of a few inches between the top of the pool water and the adjacent level of the pool deck, allowing the pools to serve as a catch basin for some of the rainwater. And, while the current code could be interpreted to allow it to decree that swimming pools are exempt, incorporating the wording into the city code removes any subjectivity and will ensure consistency going forward.
Testerman also said that for stormwater clearance purposes, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality did not count pool areas in the lot coverage.
Returning to the last item on the night’s agenda, a review of the sitemap of a retail business development drew concerning comments from a few neighboring residents.
The proposed plans provide for the improvement of a vacant lot at 5201 North Croatan Highway between Ambrose Furniture and Outer Banks Furniture. A 7,500 square foot two-story commercial building with a maximum height of 28 feet, both within the permitted height and land coverage requirements, will have access to Byrd Street. There is currently no plan to connect Byrd Street to US 158 and terminals are available to prevent through traffic.
While there have been comments from local residents that the development will cause flooding to their properties, during discussions it was pointed out that the property to be developed does not flood them and in fact collects some of the land. excess water from higher up the street which flows into this property.
Michael W. Strader Jr., director of engineering at Quible and Associates at Kitty Hawk, said he was aware of the flooding issues associated with the development of the property. He went on to say that the property is a bowl, but that there would be no runoff to other properties and some of the landscaping and engineering on the property would actually exceed the standards. state stormwater retention requirements.
At the end of the discussion, it was highlighted that the proposed development plans meet all applicable guidelines and a motion to approve the site plan received a 5-0 vote.
Each of the items on the evening’s agenda will be considered by the municipal council, which is not bound by the votes of the town planning council.
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