TOWN OF DUCK
MUNICIPAL PROPERTY MASTER PLAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
December 16, 2005
The Municipal Property Master Plan Advisory Committee for the Town of Duck convened at the Duck Municipal Offices at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 16, 2005.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Paul Keller, Charlie Pratt (via conference call), Donna Black, Town Manager and Town Clerk Christopher Layton and VHB Project Manager Chris Dewitt.
MEMBERS ABSENT: Avery Harrison.
OTHERS PRESENT: Deputy Town Clerk Lori Kopec.
OTHERS ABSENT: None.
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m.
APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 17, 2005 MINUTES
Deputy Town Clerk Kopec pointed out a typographical error in the minutes. Donna Black moved to approve the October 17, 2005 minutes as amended. Charlie Pratt seconded.
Motion approved 3-0.
Chairman Keller reviewed a few action items for the Committee from the previous meeting.
Chris Dewitt stated that he had received revisions to the geotechnical report and would be reviewing it. He stated that after reviewing it, he would distribute it to the Committee. He stated there aren’t any surprises to it and the boardwalk design would be finalized based on the geotechnical report. He stated that once the draft report is finished, he will distribute it.
Chris Dewitt presented the Committee with a copy of the 50% plans. Mr. Dewitt went on to review the plans with the Committee.
Town Manager Layton stated he was concerned about paving stones. Chris Dewitt stated that his company has had very good experiences with pervious concrete and the property would be a good place to use it. Town Manager Layton suggested experimenting in some areas of the Trail with pervious concrete. Chairman Keller asked how pervious concrete is laid down. Mr. Dewitt stated it is laid down just like concrete because it is concrete except the very fine particles are removed, which allow water to seep through. Town Manager Layton pointed out that sand will end up getting in the upper portion and will clog the concrete. He stated that it would have to be vacuumed periodically. Mr. Dewitt stated that the maintenance of it will be an issue with any pervious surfaces that are used and not just with pervious concrete. Chairman Keller felt that concrete pavers would be a good material to use. Donna Black agreed. Chairman Keller asked if the drain time would be related to the thickness of the concrete. Mr. Dewitt stated he wasn’t sure of the exact detail. Chairman Keller asked how long it would take to drain six (6) inches of water. Mr. Dewitt stated he did not know, but that it drains pretty fast.
Town Manager Layton asked what materials would be used for the playground area. Chris Dewitt stated they should discuss the issue. Town Manager Layton stated that to comply with ADA requirements, it would have to be something that wheelchairs can roll on without getting stuck. Mr. Dewitt stated that there are specific materials that are soft enough for a child to fall on but sturdy enough for a wheelchair to roll on.
Chris Dewitt reviewed the drainage and erosion control plan with the Committee. He stated that most of the grading proposed is necessary for ADA access. He stated that there will have to be some grading so that the trails and Town green are sloped in conformance with ADA requirements. Chairman Keller asked if there was a net on the materials that would be brought in. Mr. Dewitt stated he did not know the answer at this time but would find out.
Chris Dewitt reviewed the utility plan with the Committee. Town Manager Layton asked about the lighting on the property. Mr. Dewitt stated that it was discussed previously such as potential evening events at the amphitheater and needing lighting there. He stated it should be discussed as to whether safety lighting in the parking lot should be installed. He stated that the Committee had talked about a dawn to dusk operation at the property, which would mean hardly any lighting would be needed with the exception of the amphitheater. Chairman Keller suggested having the gazebo installed with power. Donna Black asked Town Manager Layton for his thoughts on the lighting. Town Manager Layton felt that the property would not be gated to keep people out after dark. He stated that lighting would probably be needed from a security standpoint. He didn’t think the Town would want people coming in on the trails after dark. Mr. Dewitt stated that there probably wouldn’t be a way to control that, but didn’t think the trail should be lit. Town Manager Layton stated that possibly the canoe kayak launch should be lit. Donna Black asked if any markings would be put out in the sound. Town Manager Layton stated that the lighting would be for people who would be coming in from the sound at dusk with their kayaks. He stated that there may need to be lighting on the boardwalk in the long term. He assumed that there would be sufficient lighting associated with the picnic shelter that additional lighting would not be needed. He stated that the Town wouldn’t want to encourage people to use the playground area after dark, so no lighting should be put in that area. He suggested security lighting in the parking area along with power and some lighting for the amphitheater, gazebo and picnic shelter.
Charlie Pratt asked if Chris Dewitt could send a copy of the plan to him and mark any changes to the parking, include notes on the pervious materials and reinforce his memory on the infiltration trench. He asked if there is a key on the map that tells people about the grade lines. Chris Dewitt stated there was. Mr. Pratt asked if someone could type up the changes to the plan and attach it so that he can see what the changes are and where they are. Mr. Dewitt stated he would provide that information to him. Chairman Keller pointed out that the new grade lines are very dark on the plans.
Chris Dewitt reviewed the profile of the boardwalk, contractor details on installation of tree fencing, curbs and the infiltration trench with the Committee. Town Manager Layton asked how well the boardwalk design would withstand a hurricane. Mr. Dewitt stated it would hold up very well and will withstand storm surge. He stated that the pilings will withstand the surge. He stated that there may be some minor damage to the wood but the structure itself would be fine.
Chris Dewitt stated that the boardwalk bridge will change as the design engineer made the structure more sturdier than what is needed, making it more expensive. Chairman Keller asked what type of steel would be used. Mr. Dewitt stated that galvanized steel would be used.
Chris Dewitt reviewed the landscaping plan with the Committee. Chairman Keller pointed out that the circular items on the plan are new.
Chairman Keller stated that he is very excited about the plans. Chris Dewitt stated he would type up a memo with the changes and distribute to all Committee members. It was consensus of the Committee to have the memo with the changes listed attached to the 50% plans and be distributed to them.
Chairman Keller asked if there was a schedule for the 100% plans. Chris Dewitt stated there was and would be discussed at a later time.
UPDATE ON INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL
Town Manager Layton encouraged the Committee to walk the property now that most of the invasive species have been removed. He stated that in the maritime forest area, a good portion of the Russian Olive bushes have been removed as well as some low level clearing. He stated that the first part of the invasive species removal is complete but will be an ongoing process. His intent is to amend the contract with Coinjock Farms to include the ongoing removal of the invasive species. Chris Dewitt stated that the view to the sound from Duck Road is incredible now that a lot of the species have been removed.
Chairman Keller stated he will be walking the property soon. Town Manager Layton stated that there is a natural trail on the property that was pre-existing.
BOARDWALK RAILING OPTIONS
Chris Dewitt stated that what was shown on the preliminary plans was a horizontal wooden railing. He stated that that option is a legitimate one that could be used. He stated that there could be infinite discussions in regard to the railing options. He stated that the Committee could use either treated wood, galvanized steel or an aluminum railing. In the cost estimate, VHB assumed a standard off the shelf treated wood railing, which would be like the horizontal one on the plans or a picket type treated wood. He showed the Committee steel options – galvanized and painted as well as a standard picket as opposed as a horizontal type. He asked the Committee to take cost into consideration when choosing a railing. He suggested the Committee use the picket type treated wood for the majority of the boardwalk and have something more custom on the arched section. Charlie Pratt asked if there was a price difference between horizontal and vertical treated wood picket rails. Mr. Dewitt stated there is a slight difference, but the Town could afford either one as long as it is not a custom designed one. It was consensus of the Committee to use the vertical picket type wood for the majority of the boardwalk railing.
Chris Dewitt asked the Committee for their thoughts on the arched section. He stated it could be a more custom wood design, the posts could be larger or of a different material, painted galvanized materials could be added in to bring in color. He suggested flagpoles or raised posts that go above with finials on top to provide a visual accent. He asked the Committee if they wished to stay with treated wood or bring in steel and/or color. Donna Black felt that they should stay with the treated wood to keep it consistent. Chairman Keller and Charlie Pratt agreed. Mr. Pratt felt that the flagpoles on the bridge would be a nice accent. Mr. Dewitt stated he would provide the Committee with a few details on it at a later meeting. He stated that he would also provide different wood options for the bridge for the Committee to choose.
Chris Dewitt stated that he had hoped to have the plans for the alternate schemes for the visitor center, but had not received them from the architect. He stated as soon as he receives them, he will send them to the Committee members. He stated that he has viewed some preliminary sketches and felt the Committee would be pleased with them. He stated it would not affect the schedule for the Committee. Chairman Keller stated he would rather have it done right than to be ahead of schedule.
Chris Dewitt stated that the memo requires some discussion and decisions. He stated he had met with CAMA and reviewed the plans with them. It was a very good meeting – the CAMA officials are supportive of the work that will be done at the property and are supportive of improving public access to the sound at this location. He stated that the rules that govern the boardwalk structure are complex, but anything that is proposed wider than six (6) feet is likely to require a variance for exception. He stated that CAMA proposed putting six (6) feet wide over the edge of the wetlands and four (4) feet over the open water on the main run of the boardwalk to meet their regulations and not require a variance. He stated that it would be consistent with what the Committee had been thinking of all along – a boardwalk out on the water. He stated the question then becomes what happens to the boardwalk through the willow swamp and how the canoe and kayak access will be handled. He stated that for the willow swamp, the Committee could have something similar to the boardwalk that is at the Currituck Estuary, which would be a ten (10) foot wide boardwalk elevated three (3) feet above the ground level, but would require a variance. The second option would be to have a ten (10) foot boardwalk elevated six (6) feet above the ground, consistent with the main run of the boardwalk, but would still require a variance. The third option would be to keep it at six (6) feet wide and three (3) feet above the ground level, which would not require a variance. He asked the Committee how they wished to approach that section of the boardwalk.
Charlie Pratt stated he liked the second option as it would be easier to obtain the variance. He stated that he didn’t think the first option would be necessary.
Donna Black stated that she liked the third option for the boardwalk.
Chairman Keller stated that he liked the first option for the boardwalk.
Town Manager Layton stated that having the boardwalk lower would be better. Chris Dewitt stated that the boardwalk at the Currituck Estuary is six (6) feet wide. Town Manager Layton felt that ten (10) feet would be needed for the boardwalk. Chairman Keller agreed. Town Manager Layton stated that he didn’t see as many people walking through the willow swamp area as through the main run of the boardwalk.
Donna Black asked if it would be better to ask for a variance or not. Chris Dewitt stated that the Town would be submitting a major permit. Town Manager Layton stated that they would be submitting the entire plan for permitting. Mr. Dewitt stated that the variance would likely extend the approval timeframe, but it should not be considered a setback.
Donna Black didn’t know if the second option would work after discussing it. Chairman Keller asked if one section could be six (6) feet to see how it works before going further. Town Manager Layton stated that it could be an option, but the Committee should decide on an option and stick with it. Chris Dewitt agreed. Chairman Keller asked if eight (8) feet would need a variance. Town Manager Layton stated it would. Chris Dewitt stated that if the Committee was going to ask for a variance, he suggested going with the first option.
Charlie Pratt stated he had changed his opinion from the second option to the first option. Town Manager Layton asked if the Committee would be seeking a variance for any other items on the boardwalk as some options may not be possible. Chris Dewitt stated there may be sections where another variance would be needed.
It was consensus of the Committee to have Chris Dewitt focus on the first option for the willow swamp.
Chris Dewitt stated that the public access section of the boardwalk would be easier to permit if it provides direct access to a launch facility, thereby having a second launch on the property for canoes and kayaks. He suggested submitting a permit showing the boardwalk, the canoe launch, get the permit and not build the extra canoe launch right away. He stated that he would show the public access as well as a smaller facility and seek a variance for the first option for the willow swamp.
Chris Dewitt stated that the other issue is the potential loop of the boardwalk with the willow swamp. He stated that after his discussion with CAMA, he felt it would be too difficult to permit. The Committee agreed.
Chris Dewitt discussed designation of an Urban Waterfront with the Committee, stating that the Council would have to consider requesting the designation for the Village Center. Chairman Keller asked if there were drawbacks to being classified as an Urban Waterfront. Town Manager Layton stated there wouldn’t and it would be beneficial to the Town in the long term. Chairman Keller asked if it would be brought before Council at their retreat. Town Manager Layton stated that he would ask Planning Director Sue Cotellessa to compose a staff report on it to get things going. Chairman Keller asked Town Manager Layton to relay to Council that the Committee is in favor of the property being designated an Urban Waterfront relative to the impact it would have on the park.
NEXT STEPS AND SCHEDULE
Chris Dewitt stated that the Committee had made the decisions to amend the plans and begin the permit application. He stated that he thought it could be done in several weeks. He stated that the maximum timeframe for approval of a permit would be five (5) months, but he thought he would receive one more quickly than that. He hoped that construction of the canoe/kayak launch would start in the spring of 2006. He stated that the only issue would be the driveway access. He stated that he would get the CAMA permit application submitted as soon as possible and while the review process is going on, he would finalize the rest of the plans.
Town Manager Layton asked the Committee to think about discussing a use policy for the park after construction has begun.
Chairman Keller asked if anyone was going to walk the property. Donna Black stated she would walk be able to walk it later in the day with him.
Charlie Pratt stated that the property looks great now that a lot of the invasive species have been removed. He asked if the fencing around the cemetery should still be up and if it was necessary at this point. He stated that if it is still needed, it should be spruced up, but felt the fence was no longer needed. Town Manager Layton stated that it would be easier to remove the fence. Chairman Keller and Donna Black offered to remove the fencing.
Chairman Keller stated that the next meeting will be held in late January at an unspecified time as of now.
There being no further discussion, Chairman Keller moved to adjourn the meeting.
Motion carried 3-0.
The time was 11:30 a.m.