DRAFT

TOWN OF DUCK

MUNICIPAL PROPERTY MASTER PLAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING

August 7, 2007

 

The Municipal Property Master Plan Advisory Committee for the Town of Duck convened at the Duck Municipal Offices at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 7, 2007.

 

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:  Director of Community Development Andy Garman; Public Relations Coordinator Kathy McCullough-Testa; and Deputy Town Clerk Lori Kopec.

 

OTHERS ABSENT:  None.

 

Chairman Keller called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.

 

APPROVAL OF MARCH 27, 2007 MINUTES

 

Charlie Pratt moved to approve the March 27, 2007 minutes as amended.  Donna Black seconded.

 

Motion approved 4-0.

 

Chairman Keller asked that a signature line be added to the minutes.  Deputy Town Clerk Kopec stated she would add one.

 

CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS UPDATE

 

Town Manager Layton stated that Phase I and Phase II are proceeding nicely.  He stated that the boardwalk is coming along and thought the contractors were laying the planks on the willow swamp.  He stated that they are still hoping to have the boardwalk completed by the end of August.

 

Chris Dewitt added that the construction was going well and that the alignment for the willow swamp was staked a few weeks ago.  He stated that there were some trees that could not be preserved but thought the alignment preserved a lot of trees and canopy to the extent that they could.  Town Manager Layton stated that the contractors took great care with going through the willow swamp area.

 

Chairman Keller asked if there was a standard followed for the construction.  Chris Dewitt stated the contractors followed a certain flood elevation.  Chairman Keller clarified his question and asked if there was a standard for the height of the railings.  Mr. Dewitt stated that railings are a code standard.  Donna Black asked if it was code regulation to begin with.  Town Manager Layton stated that no one will be able to climb over the railings.

 

Town Manager Layton noted that the gravel pave is holding up extremely well, but there will need to be some repairs to it.  Chairman Keller asked if any repairs have been done yet.  Town Manager Layton stated that a minor repair was completed but the rest will be done once the work is completed on the pier.

 

DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS TO THE PIER

 

Town Manager Layton stated that he had come up with two (2) opportunities for the pier.  He stated that he felt the platform needed to be closer to the water so as to make is easier for people to put their kayaks in the water.  He stated that in order to do that, the pier would have to be extended approximately fifty (50) feet which would put the pier past the sub-aquatic vegetation.  He stated he was shooting for two (2) feet above the water.

 

Chairman Keller asked how much a variation there was for the water level.  Chris Dewitt stated that with the wind, it varies substantially.  Town Manager Layton stated that as they kept going out to the end of the pier, it was realized that where the platform would be was too high.  He stated that after discussing it, they came up with a suggestion. He stated that that other thing that was realized was that at the beginning of the pier, the erosion from storms would cause damage to the area where the pier would be.  He stated that they thought of putting in a low level deck that would extend the length and serve as a gateway to the pier.  He stated that the drawback to the two suggestions would be that the Town would have to obtain a revision to their CAMA permit.

 

Chairman Keller asked if it was feasible and if it was, would the Town have to obtain a revision to the CAMA permit to allow the pier to go ninety (90) degrees north or south depending on where itís presently at as well as sloping it down.  Chris Dewitt stated it would require a revision to the CAMA permit as well as having to deal with the sub-aquatic vegetation.  Town Manager Layton stated that the sub-aquatic vegetation was what was driving the additional length of the pier.  Chris Dewitt stated that the pier would be leveled out and then have a slope that matches the original slope of the pier.  He stated they are working on the plans for that now as well as minor modifications to the CAMA permit.  He went on to illustrate to the Committee what was proposed for the modifications to the pier.

 

Charlie Pratt clarified that the platform would be at a fixed elevation. Chris Dewitt stated he was correct.  Mr. Pratt asked if a platform on floats was considered to rise and fall with the wind tides.  Mr. Dewitt stated that it was considered, but one of the issues was once the water blows out, it would cause structural problems.  He stated that the suggested modification was more of the way to go.  Town Manager Layton added that it would also have less long-term maintenance by not having a floating pier. Mr. Pratt stated that he envisioned the kayak launch being used at least nine (9) months out of the year as well as substantial changes to the water level.  Mr. Dewitt thought the ramp could be close enough to be functional as when there is enough water to kayak, there will be enough water to get in.

 

Director Andy Garman asked if the two (2) feet would be from the platform or from the sides.  Chris Dewitt stated that the details were still being worked out.  He stated that the original idea was that the platform would be a flat one, three (3) feet above normal water elevation.  He stated that there will be two (2) feet of structural members under the decking that needed to be above storm wave action, which was the driving factor for the decision.  He stated that they were balancing more risk on the structural members as opposed to getting down to the water.

 

Chris Dewitt stated that the cul-de-sac was shifted slightly to avoid topographic cutting that was not needed.  He stated because of that, it would be off-set to the pier.  He added that there is a drainage issue that is eroding some of what is already in place.  Town Manager Layton stated that a pipe is not allowed to be placed in the ground to help with the drainage.  Mr. Dewitt stated that there is now space to make a gateway to the boardwalk.  He went on to visualize the change to the Committee.  He stated that an informational kiosk or sign could also be put in as well as space to stage approximately twelve (12) kayaks.  Town Manager Layton stated that racks could be put in as well.  Mr. Dewitt agreed.

 

Director Garman noted that the railings come down off the kayak launch, preventing the access to the waterway by extending the railing.  Town Manager Layton agreed.  Chris Dewitt stated that one of the concerns was that people would come down and walk alongside the pier, while putting kayaks in the water.  He stated that the issue was the condition of the shoreline that is starting to erode.  He stated that having a lot of kayak traffic would erode the shoreline more. Town Manager Layton stated that they would look at doing something to stabilize things.   

 

Charlie Pratt clarified that the platform would cover the erosion area.  Chris Dewitt stated he was correct.  Mr. Pratt stated that it appeared the dimensions would be 36 x 48.  Mr. Dewitt stated it was bigger and thought it was approximately 60 x 25.  Chairman Keller was astonished at the size.  Mr. Dewitt stated that it was only as he had sketched it.  Donna Black thought it would need to be that big.  Mr. Dewitt agreed.  Town Manager Layton reiterated that this would be a great opportunity to use it as a gateway to the entire boardwalk system.  Mr. Dewitt stated that directional signage could also be added.  Public Relations Coordinator McCullough-Testa agreed.  Mr. Pratt clarified that the exact dimensions of the platform were still unknown.  Mr. Dewitt stated he was correct.  Mr. Pratt asked if there was a cost estimate for it.  Mr. Dewitt stated he did not have one as the exact dimensions and required ramping would have to be completed first.  Mr. Pratt asked how erosion under the platform would be addressed.  Mr. Dewitt stated that it would be a problem if people were walking or staging there.  He stated that with the platform, the amount of erosion would be small.

 

Chairman Keller asked what the next step would be.  Chris Dewitt stated that after he obtains the survey, he would get into a detailed design showing dimensions, elevations and required ramping.  Donna Black asked if the current contractor that is constructing the boardwalk would be constructing the platform.  Town Manager Layton stated it had not been decided as yet.  He stated it would be a timing issue.

 

Chairman Keller asked what kind of pilings would be required for the platform.  Chris Dewitt stated he did not know yet.  Director Garman clarified that once the survey is back, the idea would be to decide on minimizing the area of the platform.  Chris Dewitt agreed.  Charlie Pratt asked when the survey is submitted to CAMA, when would the permits be received.  Town Manager Layton hoped it would be completed by December 31.

 

Chairman Keller asked if Town Manager Layton had to go before Council to receive approval for extra funds.  Town Manager Layton stated that once he gets a cost estimate, he can look at what is left.  He stated that he anticipated needing some extra funds but not a lot.  Charlie Pratt asked if the platform could be paid for with grant funds.  Town Manager Layton stated that it depended on how aggressive the Town wanted to be.  He didnít think the end of the pier could be paid for with grant funds.  He didnít think the Town wanted to wait for grant funds.

 

UPDATE ON TOWN HALL DESIGN

 

Chris Dewitt stated that he and Town Manager Layton had walked the site with the architect and discussed a design concept that opens both to the green and the sound with the parking on the road side, setting the context of what the Committee discussed at the last meeting.  He stated that he needed to let the architect take the design to the next phase.  He thought the architect would start on the design within the next week or two.  He stated that additional topographic surveys of the old Herronís property would also be needed.  He stated that having the parking on one side while still having the finished floor open to the green would be dependent on the topographic survey.

 

Town Manager Layton stated that he wanted to see what the architect could do as far as having parking under the building as well as the required flood elevation for the area.  He stated that they were also looking at the feasibility of having a view of the sound without having to cut any trees down.  He thought that part of the building would be able to have a view shed of the sound due to flood elevations.  He stated that the concept of having a porch that would feed into the park was still very high on the priority list with the initial concepts.  He stated that they have emphasized to the architect the idea of exploring the green design aspect as well as raising the building for the parking area to create areas for cisterns.

 

Chris Dewitt thought that once the architect had the topographic information; it would be a few weeks worth of work for him with a short turnaround time before the Committee sees the next iteration of the Town Hall plan.

 

At this point in the meeting, Donna Black was excused to respond to a fire emergency.

 

Chairman Keller asked if the architect was satisfied with the contractual relationship.  Chris Dewitt stated he was.  Chairman Keller asked what would be the next thing that the Committee would see.  Mr. Dewitt stated he would get another plan level view to them before the next meeting.

 

DISCUSSION OF GAZEBO AND PICNIC SHELTER

 

Town Manager Layton stated that the Committee is now at the point where a direction on where to go was needed.  He stated that he had hoped to have a better idea on the building but didnít think they would be far enough along with the building to coordinate it like it was originally intended.  He didnít think it was a bad thing and thought the Committee could move forward with the picnic shelter and gazebo as anything general in nature would fit in without issue.  He stated that one of the questions before the Committee was whether to go with a stick built gazebo or a pre-fabricated one.  He pointed out that the Committee had some ideas in their packets for picnic shelters and gazebos.  He thought the stick built gazebo would be more expensive due to the labor involved.  He stated that the Committee had discussed changing the plan as was originally presented so that the temporary stage would hold the gazebo.  He stated that by adding a gazebo where it was indicated on the plan, the park would lose valuable seating for the events.  He thought by incorporating two (2) features into one would be a good way to go.

 

Chairman Keller asked what the size of the stage was presently.  Public Relations Coordinator McCullough-Testa stated that it holds a 20 x 20 tent.  Town Manager Layton thought it was 16 x 18.  Chairman Keller asked if the concrete could be added on if need be.  Public Relations Coordinator McCullough-Testa stated it could be and then be used for storage.  Town Manager Layton stated that there is a lack of storage at the park and one of the concepts with the gazebo was to have a storage area.  He stated that the concept for the picnic shelter has a loft to keep supplies there.  Town Manager Layton stated that once the Town Hall would be ready for construction, the Committee could re-evaluate things.  He stated that to move the storage anywhere else may not make sense.

 

Chairman Keller asked if the park was able to accommodate all of the events over the summer.  Town Manager Layton stated the park was able to.  He stated that originally, the concept was that all of the performances were to happen in the amphitheater.  He thought the green would still be used instead of the amphitheater as it would give the Town two (2) areas for the jazz festival. He thought that a traditional gazebo would limit things.  Chairman Keller clarified that if the gazebo was stick built, it would be approximately 24 x 20.  Town Manager Layton stated it was a good guess, but reminded the Committee that things are still in the conceptual stage.  He thought that concrete could be added but didnít think it would be necessary.  Chairman Keller suggested a separate pad for the storage area.  Town Manager Layton agreed and stated that it was what he and Chris Dewitt were thinking of having done.

 

At this time Donna Black returned to the meeting.

 

Charlie Pratt thought the Committee should think in terms of bigger for the size of the gazebo with respect to what would be needed.  Town Manager Layton agreed.  Public Relations Coordinator McCullough-Testa pointed out that it could end up being too big.  Chairman Keller stated he did not want people to get lost under it.  Town Manager Layton agreed and added that it should not be too overpowering.

 

Director Garman asked what the function of the gazebo would be. Town Manager Layton stated that he recalled the Committee wished to have it as a performance area as well as a place that people could use for their enjoyment.  Chairman Keller stated that children seem to like playing in a gazebo and thought that it should be child-proof in some way.  Director Garman thought the concepts were both good, but thought the stick built one would be better.  Town Manager Layton agreed and added that a weatherproof ceiling fan could be added.

 

Chairman Keller asked if stage drops would be needed or would the gazebo be completely open.  Public Relations Coordinator McCullough-Testa thought having a completely open gazebo would work.

 

Donna Black clarified that the gazebo would be kept in the current location.  Town Manager Layton stated she was correct in that the present area would be made into the gazebo.

 

Town Manager Layton stated that if the Committee was comfortable with the options, he would start exploring them.  It was consensus of the Committee to have Town Manager Layton move forward with exploring options for the gazebo.  Charlie Pratt asked if the Committee had decided on whether the gazebo should be stick built or pre-fabricated.  Town Manager Layton stated he was hearing the Committee wanted a stick built one. Chairman Keller asked if the picnic shelter would also be stick built.  Town Manager Layton stated it would.

 

Chairman Keller clarified that the Committee would see sketches or finished drawings at the next meeting.  Town Manager Layton stated that sketches would probably be what the Committee would see next.

 

DISCUSSION OF SIGNAGE

 

Town Manager Layton stated that he wanted to discuss entrance signage with the Committee.  He stated that the Committee is at the point where they need to move ahead with concepts for the signage.  He stated he envisioned three (3) signs at the property Ė one on the north end, one at the main entrance and one at the south end.  He went on to pass out two (2) concepts to the Committee of the signage for their review.

 

Public Relations Coordinator McCullough-Testa suggested having the signs with placeholders for brochures that people could take. 

 

Town Manager Layton stated that he needs to get moving so the signs could be ordered.  Donna Black felt the concepts were great.  Town Manager Layton stated that the Town ordered a pre-fabricated sign to put up by the stage in the interim that was the same concept as the others.  Avery Harrison stated that she really liked the concepts.  Town Manager Layton stated that if the Committee was ok with the concepts, he would work on the details.

 

OVERVIEW OF PHASE III

 

Town Manager Layton stated that Phase III was primarily the amphitheater and some trails.  He stated that the trails were originally to cut through the green but was hesitant to do that based on how the green has been used.  He stated that the main item in Phase III was the amphitheater, which would not be eligible for a CAMA grant because it is independent of the water usage.  He added that it would be eligible for a Visitorís Bureau grant.  He anticipated that the Visitorís Bureau would be calling the Town about the grant in the next month. He stated that he planned to submit a grant for that phase of funding, meaning it would not be available until 2008.  He stated that an issue that has come up was a PARTF grant.  He stated that he and Director Garman had met with a representative from NC State University regarding PARTF grants.  Director Garman clarified that PARTF stood for Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. 

 

Town Manager Layton stated that a project such as the amphitheater would be eligible for PARTF funds, but the representative was looking for the Town to add such items as a volleyball or tennis court.  He stated that the representative indicated that he didnít think they would consider funding the amphitheater as a stand-alone application, but if the Town wanted to add something else, the funding may be available.  He stated if the Committee wanted to move forward with the grant, it would have to be submitted January 31, 2008.  He suggested the Committee think of something that could be added.

 

Donna Black clarified that the addition would have to be something recreational.  Town Manager Layton stated she was correct but noted that it could be passive recreation.  Director Garman stated that they had asked the representative what was considered passive versus active with regard to recreation and the representative stated they liked to see projects that have a number of things bundled together as opposed to stand-alone venues such as the amphitheater.

 

Director Garman asked if interpretative signage could be included.  Chris Dewitt stated the signage for the trails and boardwalk could be included.  Director Garman stated that it would benefit the Town to have something that was active.  Town Manager Layton thought the interpretative signage was a good idea.

 

Chairman Keller asked what the rough cost would be.  Town Manager Layton stated it would be approximately $300,000.  He stated that he had submitted the reimbursement items to CAMA for Phase I and that the Town was in good shape with regard to it.  Donna Black asked if the Town was within budget.  Town Manager Layton stated the Town was.

 

OTHER ISSUES

 

Chairman Keller asked if there was a plan for the winged horse.  Town Manager Layton stated that it would be refurbished in the future.

 

Charlie Pratt thought there could be a barricade of some sort to protect the tombstones at the cemetery from a vehicle hitting them. Town Manager Layton stated he was not sure what could be done.  Chairman Keller stated that the issue was discussed when the Duck Trail was going in.  Town Manager Layton stated that the Town could keep their eyes on things.  Donna Black and Chairman Keller stated they were concerned about pedestrians being hit in that area.  Town Manager Layton stated that he would be looking at some type of island at the entrance to slow people down.  He stated that in the future he would be asking NCDOT to install more crosswalks as well.

 

Chairman Keller asked if there would be any paths built on the southeast side of the park.  Town Manager Layton stated that only one is shown in the Master Plan.  He stated it could be conceivable to have a second one. Chairman Keller thought the Committee should think about adding another path.  Donna Black suggested limited access to the amphitheater for egress.  She didnít think people should be able to access the amphitheater unless it was through a controlled way.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

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

 

Motion carried 4-0.

 

The time was 12:31 p.m.

 

 

 

______________________________________

Lori Kopec, Deputy Town Clerk