Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Currituck County tries to rewrite UDO to classify and restrict 4x4 area by itself

New suggestions have been brought up by the Currituck County planning board for consideration on the 4x4 beaches to restrict the limitations of the lot coverage, permitted uses, and lot sizes. The County has gone so far as to suggest requiring land owners with adjacent property to combine their lots before being able to build just one structure. I think this may go down a very slippery slope towards violating property rights. Below is a piece of the discussion and also the full document with meeting times for the next meeting. This is no small thing...

Single-Family Residential Outer Banks-Limited Access Remote(SFLR)

The SFR district is the re-named Outer Banks Limited Access Residential (RO2) district, and is the only zoning designation for the northern outer banks beyond the terminus of Highway 12. This portion of the county has no paved roads, water or sewer infrastructure, and vehicular access to lots is obtained from the beach. There are federal wildlife refuges, wild horse habitat, and several thousand platted lots (most of which are vacant) in the area. The district allows single-family dwellings, family care homes, public safety uses, churches, marinas, offices, campgrounds, landfills, agriculture, silviculture, airports, utilities, telecommunications, and wind energy facilities. The 2006 Land Use Plan contains clear guidance that this area is not intended for paved roads, water or sewer infrastructure, commercial development, (other than the development authorized under the approved subdivisions). As a result, the range of allowable uses will be reduced in the SFR district to single-family detached dwellings, public safety uses, and utilities (the current district also allows family care homes, churches, marinas, offices, campgrounds, landfills, agriculture, and airports). The current RO2 district has a minimum lot size of 120,000 square feet (2.75 acres), though most of the platted lots are considerably smaller. It currently allows conservation subdivision-style development with a minimum lot size of 65,340 square feet (1.5 acres), and family subdivisions, provided a minimum lot size of 120,000 square feet is maintained. The new SFR district will continue to allow single-family development on lots platted before April 2,1989, that do not meet the minimum lot area requirements for the district (this includes approximately 90% of the lots in the district). However, it limits the ability to use the conservation subdivision process (as mentioned on Page 2.36 of the Code Assessment), and requires vacant lots under common ownership to be recombined (as a means of achieving compliance with the zoning district dimensional standards, to the maximum possible extent) prior to development. The current RO2 district has a maximum lot coverage figure of 30 percent. The new UDO includes requirements for on-site stormwater treatment for uses with lot coverages of 25 percent or more. The SFL district will continue to be subject to special dune, maritime forest, and exterior lighting provisions that were included in the former Outer Banks Overlay district that has now been incorporated into the development standards in Chapter 5 of the new UDO. Discussions to this point considered the application of special design standards to homes over 5,000 square feet in size, however, the Legislature may pre-empt the application of design standards to single-family homes during the 2011 legislative session. As a result, these standards will not be included in the UDO.

Sadly, this may be a well intended plan but with drastic impositions placed on individual property owners. Will see how this develops. For a copy of the entire UDO re-write and the next meeting times, I have included the email from Planning director Ben Woody below:

The Planning Board will review Module 2 of the new UDO at their September meeting. A digital copy is posted on the county website. The meeting is open to the public and scheduled for Tuesday, September 13 at 7:00pm in the Historic Currituck Courthouse.

Please send comments or questions to my attention via email, or in writing at: 153 Courthouse Road, Suite 110, Currituck, NC 27929.

Thank you.

Ben E. Woody, AICP

Planning Director

Currituck County

153 Courthouse Road, Suite 110

Currituck, North Carolina 27929

(252) 232.6029

Monday, August 15, 2011

Corolla towing problem may be soon solved

Here is an update article from the Daily Advance on the A-1 Towing operation for those of you who have been following

Corolla towing problem may be soon solved

By Cindy Beamon

Staff Writer

Monday, August 15, 2011

CURRITUCK — Towed vehicles in Corolla and the off-road beaches of northern Currituck had nowhere to go but Kitty Hawk this summer, but the problem may be resolved soon.

A-1 Towing — Corolla’s only towing company — lost its special use permit last December and was not allowed to operate its impound lot in Villages at Ocean Hill this summer.

Since then, Dare County has became the closest destination for broken-down and wrecked vehicles, or those impounded after driving-while-impaired arrests.

A-1 Towing is seeking a new permit to reopen its impound lot after it was shut down by the county. The request won approval from the Currituck Planning Board on condition that the property owner build a new access road to the property. In addition to the impound lot, the company is also seeking approval of two equipment storage/stockpile areas on the site.

For the past 10 years, the towing company has used Ponton Lane, off N.C. Highway 12, to access its impound lot, said Midlantic manager Jim Bickford.

The access was not part of the original plan, but the adjacent property owner Gerald Friedman allowed the company to pass on his property.

A “squabble” between the two businessmen has brought that agreement to an end, said Bickford.

In September, the county granted A-1 Towing an extension of its special use permit to create another access north of Ponton Lane. When nothing happened, the county shut down the operation.

On Friday, the A-1 tow truck was parked in Carova, and Bickford said the operator was still towing vehicles but had no place to take them in Currituck.

Under the terms of the new special use permit, Bickford will have a year to get the new access built.

As a temporary fix, Friedman has agreed to let A-1 Towing use Ponton Lane for another year.

Once that agreement expires, however, A-1 Towing has no other way to reach its impound lot unless Midlantic builds an access where it originally planned.

Building the access will take some time, said Bickford, because the small 30-foot easement crosses wetlands, which will require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

County planners said Midlantic will also need to improve the dirt road leading back to the impound lot if it wants to use the site for equipment storage and stockpiling. Otherwise, the site can only be used as an impound lot without the road improvements.

Bickford said he was willing to make the investment in the road because of the community’s need for the services.

Karen Ish, representing the Ocean Hill Property Owners Association, attended last week’s Planning Board meeting to oppose any possibility that the Coral Lane stub would be used as an access. Ish said the stub is part of the subdivision’s stormwater management system and should not be part of the towing operation’s route.

Currituck commissioners are scheduled to consider the special use permit request in September.