Town of Duck Comprehensive Plan

CAMA Land Use Plan Update

A land use plan is a collection of policies and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth. These plans are a fundamental element of land use and coastal management in North Carolina communities.
There are several reasons to create a Land Use Plan. It is an opportunity to frame “The Big Picture” and to clearly state the community’s vision for the future. The fundamental focus of all planning and land use and development regulation is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. A Land Use Plan sets out a road map to guide the regulation of development and public investment of resources. It also communicates a cohesive community direction and provides a framework for making land use decisions.

The Planning process is an opportunity for residents and business and property owners of Duck to tell their story and help shape the distinct vision and unique identity for the community. The Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) requires each jurisdiction in the 20 coastal counties to have a local land use plan in accordance with guidelines established by the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC). The current Town of Duck CAMA Core Land Use Plan was adopted in 2005. This project will focus on reevaluating community conditions and sentiment and updating the plan. With extensive public outreach and participation, residents will create a blueprint for Duck to achieve the community's collective vision.

The Plan looks at the interconnectedness between land uses, transportation, utilities, recreation, economic development, and the like. Typically, these plans focus heavily on physical development suitability, address where new development should occur, and other topics that may be identified through the public involvement process. Land Use Plans are not regulations themselves, but rather serve as policy tools and guidelines for community decision making, especially by Town staff and elected and appointed leadership.
A Land Use Plan typically has a horizon of 20-30 years, but it's important to review and update the plan in the interim to keep pace with changes to the Town and to ensure the vision still resonates with residents. That's why usually, land use plans are reevaluated and updated every 5-10 years, but that is a general guideline and each community is unique.

To help with the land use plan update, the Town has engaged consultants from Stewart to guide the community through the plan update process. Because the future land use planning process is customized to the town and involves extensive community input, it will take 11-12 months to complete and will culminate in the Town Councilors reviewing and adopting the plan in the Spring of 2020.
The Process

View the current comprehensive & land use plan.

Extensive public participation was a key component of the Comprehensive and CAMA Land Use Plan update and you, the community, were consulted throughout the process. Your thoughts, ideas, and participation were vital for the success of this effort. Over the course of the project, we hosted several public meetings where we asked for your input and feedback on the Plan as it was developed. The larger, more prominent public engagement opportunities were:

  • Stakeholder meetings (May 22-23, 2019) – COMPLETE
  • Online community survey – COMPLETE
  • Public open house workshop (September 17, 2019) – COMPLETE
  • Public comment period on Draft Plan (February 13 – March 18, 2020) – COMPLETE
  • Public Open House – Tuesday, March 3, 2020 – COMPLETE
  • Planning Board Regular Meeting: July 8, 2020, 6:30 p.m. – COMPLETE
  • Town Council Regular Meeting: August 5, 2020, 7:00 p.m. – COMPLETE
  • Public Hearing for local adoption of the CAMA Land Use Plan: October 6, 2021, 6:00 p.m. – COMPLETE
  • Public comment period on locally adopted plan. – COMPLETE
  • Approval by the Coastal Resources Commission – November 17, 2021 – COMPLETE

Throughout the process, a Council-appointed Advisory Committee provided review and guidance at plan development milestones.  Appointed members and affiliations are listed below.

Henry BlahaProperty Owner/Full-Time Resident
Jon BrittDuck Town Council
Doug BrookProperty Owner/Part-Time  Resident
Nancy CavinessDuck Town Council
James CofieldDuck Planning Board
Leigh RaskinWave Pizza/Duck Merchants Assoc
Ed SadlerDuck Board of Adjustment
Jeff ShieldsSeaside Property Management
Sandy WhitmanDuck Planning Board

Project contacts

​​Town of Duck

Joe Heard, AICP, Director of Community Development


Phone: 252-255-1234


Jay McLeod, AICP (Project Manager)


Phone: 919-866-4858