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TOWN OF DUCK

MUNICIPAL PROPERTY MASTER PLAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING

March 28, 2006

 

The Municipal Property Master Plan Advisory Committee for the Town of Duck convened at the Duck Municipal Offices at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2006.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Chairman Paul Keller, Charlie Pratt, Donna Black, Avery Harrison, Town Manager and Town Clerk Christopher Layton and VHB Project Manager Chris Dewitt.

 

MEMBERS ABSENT: None.

 

OTHERS PRESENT:  Deputy Town Clerk Lori Kopec.

 

OTHERS ABSENT:  None.

 

Donna Black was called away momentarily for a Fire Department call.

 

The meeting was called to order at 10:13 a.m.

 

APPROVAL OF FEBRUARY 7, 2006 MINUTES

 

Charlie Pratt moved to approve the February 7, 2006 minutes as presented.  Avery Harrison seconded.

 

Motion approved 3-0.

 

UPDATE ON PHASE 1 SITE PLAN

 

Donna Black returned to the meeting.

 

Chris Dewitt reviewed the Phase I Site Plan with the Committee.  Mr. Dewitt stated that full construction of the canoe/kayak ramp and parking area would be dependent on the CAMA permit and availability of contractors.  He stated that the real goal was to get the driveway in as quickly as possible.  Town Manager Layton stated that the rest could be dealt with throughout the summer.  Mr. Dewitt stated that in order to get the construction entrance in, the Town would need local site plan approval and NC Department of Transportation approval.  He stated that CAMA approval will be needed before the boardwalk and ramp are constructed.  He stated that the idea is to work quickly to get local site plan approval, get the Department of Transportation permit and issue bids to get the driveway started prior to the heavy traffic season.

 

Town Manager Layton stated that that there is a four (4) foot stormwater curb cut on the south end of the property that will be moved up higher.  He stated that the plan will show where the bicycle racks and trash cans are proposed to be.  He stated that a proposed permanent sign will be shown on the plan as well.  Chris Dewitt pointed out that a dark sky lighting specialist has offered to look at the entire site and he will be coordinating with him before submitting the revised copy to Planning Director Suzanne Cotellessa.  Town Manager Layton stated that there may be mechanical bollards at the park entrance to control vehicle access.  Mr. Dewitt stated that the CAMA permit applies to everything and will not be broken into phases. 

 

Chairman Keller asked if Council will need to approve the permits at their April 5, 2006 meeting.  Town Manager Layton thought that Council should be updated on the progress and that approval will not be needed.  He stated that if Chairman Keller wanted to make a presentation at the Council meeting; that would be fine.

 

Charlie Pratt asked what drainage would be moved.  Chris Dewitt stated that there is a curb break on the south side of the property that will allow drainage. He stated that Planning Director Suzanne Cotellessa had suggested moving the curb break up or put in a few additional breaks for the runoff.  Town Manager Layton suggested that it not be moved.  Mr. Dewitt agreed and suggested adding additional breaks.  Mr. Pratt asked if it would eliminate the present drainage problem at the property.  Mr. Dewitt stated that the current curb break won’t, but when a new infiltration swale is put in, it should eliminate the problem.  Mr. Pratt stated he didn’t want to see improvements started that wouldn’t address the runoff problem or make them worse.

 

Donna Black asked what the walking path would be made out of.  Town Manager Layton stated it will be made of crushed blue stone.  Ms. Black asked if it was a fine material.  Chris Dewitt stated it was very fine material.  Town Manager Layton stated that it was impervious material but was smooth enough to drag a kayak across it as well as roll a wheelchair or stroller on it.   Chairman Keller pointed out that the Baum Center in Kill Devil Hills has a walkway with similar material that works very well.

 

Chairman Keller asked when a contract would be obtained.  Town Manager Layton stated that he hoped to have the phase done by the end of May 2006, but that it was ambitious.  He thought the bid documents would be ready in the next few weeks.  He stated that he was concerned about contractor availability. 

 

UPDATE ON CAMA MAJOR PERMIT

 

Chris Dewitt stated that he had submitted a major permit application to CAMA and had received an initial review.  He stated that it seems they are committed to helping the Town expedite the permit.  He stated that the bulk of the comments have been already addressed and the rest will be addressed for resubmittal.

 

Chairman Keller asked if there was some documentation that suggests that the boardwalk be ten (10) feet wide.  Chris Dewitt stated that he was correct and that it has been referenced and included in the submittal.

 

Avery Harrison asked if there was a chance that CAMA could deny the application.  Chris Dewitt stated that there may be a chance.

 

Chairman Keller asked if there would be cane stops on the boardwalk.  Chris Dewitt stated that he and Town Manager Layton had discussed this issue earlier with Planning Director Cotellessa.  Mr. Dewitt stated that the boardwalk will have a railing on it, but there will be areas without railings.  He stated that there will not be cane stops but he will look into it.

 

Town Manager Layton pointed out that the process the Town is going through for this permit is the way it is supposed to work.

 

Charlie Pratt asked if the Committee had to act on the item.  Chris Dewitt stated that VHB had to act on it and not the Committee. Town Manager Layton offered to type up a letter for Mr. Dewitt giving him permission to act as the Town’s agent.

 

UPDATE ON CAMA GRANT

 

Town Manager Layton stated that the Town submitted a grant pre-application to DENR.  He stated that DENR goes through the grant applications and decides who will go to the final grant submittal stage.  He stated that Charlan Owens had contacted him to let him know that the Town made it through the second grant and that the Town should ask for more money.  He stated that he and Chris Dewitt will be sitting down and debate on what would be eligible for funding.  He stated that Ms. Owens had stated that low impact stormwater designs is eligible for funding and will be added to the final application.  He stated that Ms. Owens stated that interpretative signs would be eligible as well.  He stated that he and Mr. Dewitt will be looking through things to come up with a new total.  He stated that if the grant is approved the development of the parking area will proceed quicker than originally anticipated.

 

Chris Dewitt stated that the pre-application was money to construct the boardwalk and the trails.  Town Manager Layton stated that the parking could be started as well.  Town Manager Layton stated that DENR would approve everything except the amphitheater.

 

Chairman Keller asked if the gazebo would be included.  Town Manager Layton stated that it would.

 

Town Manager Layton stated that Council will have to pass a resolution for the final grant application.  He stated that it will probably be done at the Council’s April mid month meeting.

 

Chris Dewitt pointed out that it has been discussed having small areas for seating, overlooks and interpretative signage on the boardwalk through the Willow Swamp and on the soundside boardwalk.  He stated that as the construction starts on the boardwalks, he will need to know where the Committee would like to see these amenities.

 

Town Manager Layton stated that the more that could be shown off of the wetlands on the grant application, the better. 

 

UPDATE ON PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT

 

Avery Harrison gave a short overview to the Committee on the different types of playground equipment she thought would be ideal for the playground.

 

Avery Harrison asked if the Committee had under $50,000 to work with for playground equipment.  Chris Dewitt stated that initially $50,000 was budgeted for the playground.  However, there may be some flexibility on how much is spent.  Town Manager Layton thought that the Committee could determine what it wants and try to make it work.  Mr. Dewitt stated that he has to research the cost of the playground surface material a little further.  He stated that the quotes he has received to date have reflected increases in construction materials and that the surface material could end up being a surprisingly high component in the overall cost.

 

Chairman Keller stated that some of the surface material looks like a sawdust material.  Chris Dewitt stated that he has only received quotes on some poured in place rubberized material and a wooden-type material, which are very expensive.  He stated he has to research if the mulch-type material would be a better option and would get the information to Ms. Harrison.  Ms. Harrison stated that she would prefer a more natural looking material.  Chairman Keller agreed.

 

Chairman Keller asked if Ms. Harrison visualized a separate area for the swing sets.  Avery Harrison stated that she did.  Town Manager Layton stated that swing sets are hard to maintain and that they require a lot of space.  He stated he would provide the dimensions of the playground area to Ms. Harrison.  Chris Dewitt stated that the playground area is about sixty by seventy (60 x 70) feet wide.  Town Manager Layton stated that the playground should be fenced and gated to keep children safe from traffic.  Ms. Harrison thought that dogs should be restricted from the playground area.  Town Manager Layton disagreed and felt that parents would also bring their dogs with them.  He stated that dogs would not be restricted in the park itself and that Outer Barks had offered to donate pooper scooper bags for the park.

 

Chris Dewitt stated that the cost of the surface material will be key in determining the size of the playground equipment that could be purchased. 

 

Chairman Keller felt that the drawbacks of mulch should be understood before using that type of material.  Chris Dewitt agreed.

 

Charlie Pratt wondered if any type of material used for the surface would need to be periodically cleaned.  Avery Harrison agreed and asked if would need to be replenished.  Town Manager Layton stated that if mulch-type material is used, it would have to be replenished once a season.

 

Donna Black asked if there was a planning calculation on how many people would be at the park at any one time.  Chairman Keller felt that the park would have more people on the weekends than during the week.  Avery Harrison felt that when the ocean is rough, people would head to the park.

 

Avery Harrison asked what the timeline would be for the playground. Chris Dewitt stated that it was not part of the grant and would be part of Phase II of the plan.  Town Manager Layton stated that realistically it should be open in two (2) years.  Ms. Harrison asked what the timeframe would be for the playground equipment.  Town Manager Layton suggested she keep working on it and at the next meeting, give the Committee an update.

 

Donna Black asked if the whole playground would have to be ADA compliant.  Chris Dewitt stated he would check into it as there are standards to follow.  Town Manager Layton asked the Committee to think about colors for the playground equipment.

 

DISCUSSION OF PARKING SURFACE

 

Chris Dewitt stated that the Committee had discussed the pervious concrete for the driveways and the parking as well as looking at the details.  He stated he would like to bid it out and ask the contractor to show the cost of doing it in pervious concrete as well as a grass paver-type material that lets grass grow through it.

 

Charlie Pratt asked if the grass paver material was like a plastic honeycomb.  Chris Dewitt stated that it was.  Mr. Pratt asked if it was comparable to the material that is used at the Currituck Estuary.  Mr. Dewitt stated that the material at Currituck is softer and not a surface that would grow grass.

 

Avery Harrison asked how the material is applied and kept down.  Chris Dewitt stated that it is put on a gravel base so it is flush with the sod.

 

Donna Black asked how it would hold up with the weather and hurricanes.  Chris Dewitt stated it would hold up fine but that the salt may temporarily ruin the grass.

 

Charlie Pratt asked where the material would be used.  Town Manager Layton stated it would be used on the entire parking surface except for the handicap accessible areas, which may need concrete.  He stated that there may also be a concrete apron coming in to the parking lot.  Chairman Keller felt it was smart to have the concrete apron.

 

NEXT STEPS AND SCHEDULE

 

Chairman Keller asked if the Committee wished to do anything with the cemetery.  Town Manager Layton suggested that whatever is put up around the playground should be continued to the cemetery.  Chairman Keller stated that he liked that idea.

 

Charlie Pratt asked if cemetery fencing would be done before Phase II of the plan. Town Manager Layton stated it would wait until Phase II as the cemetery is currently being maintained.

 

Chris Dewitt stated that the two (2) key items were the permit and the Phase I site plan.  He stated that VHB will be responding to CAMA’s letter and getting the permit resubmitted as well as working with Planning Director Cotellessa and NC Department of Transportation to get site plan approvals to get the construction entrance started.  He stated that in the meantime, they are working with developing the overall site plan at the 100% level.

 

Chris Dewitt stated that a future meeting will be scheduled with the architect – Barry Moss – to review the plans for the visitor center.  Town Manager Layton stated that due to the Herron’s Restaurant property being for sale, the Town has a vested interest in the property and is trying to work with the Herron’s to acquire it.  He stated that if the Town purchases the property, it will have an impact on the design of the visitor center.  He stated that it should not be assumed that the Town will acquire the property.  He stated that the fact that the Town is interested in and trying to acquire the property is not a secret.  He wanted the Committee to be aware of this information.  He stated that the restaurant would be slated to be a town hall with public restrooms and additional parking. 

 

Town Manager Layton stated that as he is putting the budget together, he is contemplating recommending a part-time public works maintenance position.  He stated that this person would be responsible for trash clean up and will be proactive on the property.  He stated that eventually the position would become a full-time one.

 

Chairman Keller asked if parking will be available on the south end.  Town Manager Layton stated that he will let that happen.  He stated that once work is started, the parking will be closed off and will probably require a barrier of some type.

 

Chairman Keller pointed out that the Arbor Day celebration will be held at the park property.  He asked what type of buses would be shuttling people from the Fire Department to the park.  Town Manager Layton stated that Kathy McCullough-Testa had told him that Chairman Keller was going to try to get the Duck United Methodist Church van.  Chairman Keller stated that he had told her that it may be available but that she would need to follow up on it.  He asked if the van would be sufficient.  Town Manager Layton stated that it all depended on what the turnout will be.

 

Chris Dewitt reviewed the changes made to the trail alignment with the Committee. 

 

Town Manager Layton stated that he will have Barry Moss hold off on construction drawings for the Rogers House due to the Town pursuing the acquisition of the Herron’s property.  He asked if Mr. Moss has the conceptual drawings ready.  Chris Dewitt stated that he didn’t but will have them soon.

 

Town Manager Layton stated that at some point there will be a ground breaking at the property.  He stated it should be done after the bid is accepted.  He stated that it will be a public outing with refreshments served.

 

Chairman Keller thanked Chris Dewitt and the Committee for all of their work and support.

 

Charlie Pratt stated that it was good news to hear about the grant and the monies that are available.  Town Manager Layton stated that the Town may be able to pay for the entire second phase of the project with grant funds.

 

Charlie Pratt asked what items would be coming to the next meeting.  Chris Dewitt stated that he would be getting additional cost and space requirements for the playground in the next few weeks.  He hoped that revisions would be made to Phase I and that the permit would be resubmitted.  He did not know if he would have additional feedback from CAMA. He stated that there should be additional architectural items to present. 

 

Chairman Keller asked if a meeting would be called once everything is obtained.  Town Manager Layton stated it would be around that time.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further discussion, Donna Black moved to adjourn the meeting.  Charlie Pratt seconded.

 

Motion carried 4-0.

 

The time was 11:25 a.m.


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