Saturday, August 23, 2008

Re-establishing Northern most Carova Roads

Currituck Planning Dept received a proposal for the 3 northern, formerly commercial sections, in Carova to accommodate residential lots. Below is the article from the Daily Advance by staff writer, Jennifer Preyss. (Note it is Carova, not Corova)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Currituck's planning director says revised plans for several sand streets in Corova Beach do not call for the streets to be closed.

Ocean Corova developers Larry Riggs and Glenn Gray have submitted a proposal that would decrease the size of the existing business plats to make way for oceanfront homes. Several decades ago, though, the land was zoned for residential use but was platted for a business district. So, the existing plats must be scaled down to an appropriate size for home building, said Ben Woody, the planning director.

The lots vary in size, but each block is several acres and far too large to build an average-sized home on.

In the process of decreasing the size of the blocks to accommodate a new residential neighborhood, several of the existing nearby sand roads will need to be re-established and moved.

Residents have expressed concern that Ocean Corova developers' request to change the business blocks may result in the closing of Shark Lane, Rock Lane and Shad Lane, where four-wheel-driving is currently permitted.

"(The developers) are not closing the roads, they're moving streets to combine streets," Woody said.

Planning maps indicate the lanes run in straight lines toward the ocean, passing over dune areas. But the existing roads are incompatible for new development. The recommended right-of-way size is too small and the roads cannot accommodate two-lane driving.

In addition, Woody says that many drivers simply ignore the sand street parameters because they are an off-road area.

"(Drivers) will actually drive off Shark Lane, sometimes ending up in Riggs' backyard, and they don't even know it," Woody said.

Residents have been hesitant in the past to improve the sand roads because they say doing so would make the area less rural, create additional traffic and congestion, and possibly harm the wild horses and other wildlife.

If Riggs' planning request is granted, the roads would be placed near their original location, but in an area that would make sense for development.

"The only disadvantage to improving the existing (roads) is it would disturb some of the dunes," Woody said. "But (re-establishing) the roads isn't to the detriment of residents."

A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 2 for members of the community to voice concerns and ask developers questions.