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TOWN OF DUCK

PLANNING BOARD

REGULAR MEETING

October 10, 2007

 

The Planning Board for the Town of Duck convened at the Duck Municipal Offices at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10, 2007.

 

Present were Chairman Ron Forlano, Vice Chair Jon Britt, John Fricker, Joe Blakaitis, and Claiborne Yarbrough.

 

Absent:  None.

 

Also present were Director of Community Development Andy Garman, Council Liaison Denver Lindley, Jr. and Zoning Technician Sandy Cady. 

 

Others Present: CUP Applicants along with their representatives Chris Nason from Beacon Engineering, and Dave Ryan from Bissell Professional Group, and Willo Kelly of the Outer Banks Homebuilder’s Association.

 

Chairman Forlano called to order the Regular Meeting of the Planning Board for October 10, 2007 at 6:34 p.m. 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

None.

 

It was consensus of the Board to move to New Business.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

A.  CUP Application 07-005 for Wine Ducks, LLC, to Approve a New Restaurant and Day Spa at 1174 Duck Road, Pursuant to Zoning Ordinance Section 23(c)(6) – Village Commercial Development Option

 

Director Andy Garman was recognized to speak.  Director Garman stated that the application was submitted by Dave Ryan of Bissell Professional Group on behalf of Wine Ducks, LLC.  He stated that the applicant, Lynette Sumner and Chris Nason of Beacon Architecture were also present.  He stated that the applicant wanted to reopen the old Swan Cove Restaurant as two (2) separate uses – a ninety (90) seat restaurant on the first floor and a day spa on the second floor.  He stated that the restaurant would also have thirteen (13) bar seats.  He stated that both uses are permissible with the restaurant as conditional use in the Village Commercial District and the day spa as a personal service establishment, which is allowed in the Village Commercial District.  He stated that there were two (2) parcels – the larger parcel on the west side of Duck Road and the smaller one on the east side to be used as additional parking for both uses.  He stated that the site has significant challenges especially with regard to the CAMA regulations because the restaurant was built prior to CAMA’s buffer rules.  He noted that the restaurant presently sits in that buffer area.  He stated that the applicant was not trying to change the footprint of the building.  He stated that the site also has a seventy-five (75) foot wide area of environmental concern where only thirty percent (30%) lot coverage is allowed.  He stated that the applicant would be removing a large portion of the coverage from the thirty (30) foot buffer, which was the parking area on the north side of the lot.

 

Zoning Technician Sandy Cady was recognized to speak.  Zoning Technician Cady added that when the structure was originally constructed, gravel was not considered coverage; making it permissible in the buffer area as well as in the seventy-five (75) foot area without impacting lot coverage.  She pointed out that gravel is now considered part of lot coverage in the AEC, which will count against the applicant’s lot coverage.  She stated that if the gravel was taken out of the mix, the structure would be below thirty percent (30%) coverage within the seventy-five (75) foot AEC limits.

 

Director Garman reminded the Board that Zoning Technician Cady is the Town’s Local CAMA Permit Officer and that there have been some pretty substantial improvements over the existing conditions with regard to CAMA regulations. 

 

He stated that the applicant has two (2) entrances to the site – a northern entrance where vehicles would enter and exit the site and a drive aisle that would be considered one-way onto the southern entrance.  He stated that the applicant has aligned the entrance to the parking area directly across the street, which staff believed was the best location for this entrance.  He stated that the applicant was interested in keeping only one (1) entrance to the site across the street for additional parking.  He stated that the parking spaces have been proposed at less than ten (10) feet wide to accommodate as much parking as possible.  He noted there were four (4) parking spaces shy of inclusion in the by-right scenario.  He stated that the applicant spoke to the owner of the Green Leaf Gallery who stated they would be amenable to shared parking with the applicant.

 

Director Garman stated that the applicant has tried to maintain much of the landscaping and tried to supplement buffering as much as possible.  He stated that there were some issues with the property owner to the south regarding screening along the southern property line.  He stated that there was presently a fence along that property line which is where the dumpster is located.  He stated that the adjacent property owner was concerned about the dumpster with regard to the impacts of the smells which was addressed in the staff report.  He stated that the applicant is proposing significant screening in the area of the south end of the restaurant to help conceal the utility area.  He added that there would be significant improvements to the design of the building, mostly cosmetic in nature, including a new entrance, shutters and awnings. 

Zoning Technician Cady noted that the applicant lost three (3) parking spots when they agreed to remove the gravel from the thirty (30) foot buffer area.

 

Chairman Forlano clarified that the gravel on the north side of the restaurant was removed.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that there was approximately nine hundred (900) square feet of gravel that extends beyond what was shown on the proposed site plan.  She stated that the applicant was proposing to remove that, which would be counted against coverage, out of the buffer area.  She stated that in its place, the applicant would be putting a landscaped berm along the bulkhead as well as a small swale at the end of the asphalt area to mitigate stormwater runoff. 

Lynette Sumner, applicant, was recognized to speak.  Ms. Sumner stated that within the thirty (30) foot buffer, she would be creating green space to allow an area for pedestrian traffic for the new soundside boardwalk.   She felt there would be conflicts on the southern portion of the building with regard to the residential buffering on a commercial property.  She thought the boardwalk entrance would be intrusive to the property owner next to the restaurant.  She stated that if the northern area was kept open with the boardwalk being constructed near there, it would allow a clear path and would not be very intrusive.  She stated that if the crosswalk location were changed, there would be a significant decrease in the length/size of the current crosswalk, helping with the safety issue of pedestrians crossing at this location.  She felt this was a good thing.  Director Garman agreed.

 

Chairman Forlano asked Director Garman if he had more information to add for the Planning Board. Director Garman stated that the remaining issues were regarding lighting, signage and location of the dumpster.  He stated that some of the light fixtures were proposed to be too high, which could be addressed with modifications to the lighting plan.  He stated that the dumpster location would probably be an issue that the applicant would want to discuss with the Board.  He stated that the adjacent property owner feels the screening for the dumpster area was inadequate.  He stated that that the Town’s ordinance would require vegetative screening and provides the flexibility for the Zoning Administrator to allow fencing in lieu of vegetative screening.  He stated that he would like the Planning Board to come to a consensus on the issue as to what is appropriate.  He stated that one of the issues was the dumpster location in proximity to the kitchen.

 

Dave Ryan of Bissell Professional Group was recognized to speak.  Mr. Ryan stated that there was a twelve (12) foot separation from the kitchen dumpster pad to the edge of the residual structure.  He stated that the applicant was undecided as to what to do because it is an existing development.   He stated that the original proposal was to keep the dumpster intact to limit the amount of coverage proposed within the seventy-five (75) foot AEC.  He stated that the letter from the adjoining property owner requested that the dumpster site be moved to the north side of the building, which would defeat the purpose of removing the pervious coverage from the thirty (30) foot CAMA buffer.  He stated that logistically, it would be impractical to move it from one end to the other and would affect the aesthetics and provide additional obstacles for future planning of the soundfront boardwalk.

 

Director Garman pointed out that the Village Commercial Development option was different than the by-right standard or with a by-right project; there would be input sent back for a dumpster.  He stated that additional vegetative screening could help if it was placed adjacent to the dumpster screen itself. 

 

Member Fricker asked how long the present structure had been at the site relative to the length of time that the property to the south of it has been in existence.  Chairman Forlano stated that the restaurant opened in 1995.  Member Fricker clarified that the adjoining property owner built their structure right up against the restaurant’s lot line.  Member Blakaitis thought the restaurant was still open when the adjacent structure was built.

 

Director Garman stated that he did not receive signage detail from the applicant.  Dave Ryan stated that none was submitted due to the fact that there wasn’t a plan in place for an actual sign for the facility.  He thought it would not be done until building permits were obtained.  He stated that by putting on the application that “all signage will conform to the Town of Duck’s signage requirements” would satisfy the signage detail.  Director Garman asked what the dimension of the sign would be.  Chris Nason of Beacon Architecture was recognized to speak.  Mr. Nason believed the sign area would be sixty-four (64) square feet.  Dave Ryan stated that potential locations for the signage were depicted on the application.  Director Garman asked how the signage would be calculated toward the signs on the east side of the road.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that off-site signs were not permitted however they could be allowed under the Village Commercial Development option.  She added that on the restaurant site itself, the applicant would be allowed to erect a sixty-four (64) square foot ground mounted sign.  Dave Ryan stated that the applicant wished to have some type of off-site signage to alert patrons that off-site parking would be available.

 

Director Garman asked what the off-site signage would look like.  Lynette Sumner stated that it would be utilitarian in nature.  She stated that it would have to be lit due to the area where it will be located.  She stated that the signage would help direct people to the restaurant and to the parking area.

 

Director Garman stated there were a few other issues that would be addressed prior to the final site plan approval, such as the parking agreement.  He stated that the applicant was within the required distance of the crosswalk even though the crosswalk was not in an ideal location.  He thought that working with the applicant on the crosswalk would be a benefit.

 

Chairman Forlano clarified that the off-site parking was leased space.  Lynette Sumner stated it wasn’t and confirmed that this parcel was under contract as well.  Director Garman stated that the applicant would still have to have something that would state that the off-site parking would be available for the principal use of the restaurant.  Vice Chair Britt stated it was a separate use.  Chairman Forlano asked if it was feasible to obtain an appropriate crosswalk through NCDOT before next season.  Director Garman stated he wasn’t sure as NCDOT did not give him a timeline.  Chairman Forlano pointed out that there presently is a shoulder on both sides of NC 12.  Director Garman agreed and thought NCDOT had set up the present crosswalk the way it is was for the terminus of the multi-use path.

 

Vice Chair Britt asked if NCDOT was contacted with regard to a criterion for sightlines for the crosswalk.  Director Garman stated he did not get that far with NCDOT.  Vice Chair Britt noted that NCDOT’s sightline guidelines were pretty strict and didn’t think it would pass due to the curve in the road.

 

Member Blakaitis asked why the asphalt drive aisle was necessary for the 75,000 pound weight requirement.  Director Garman stated a drive aisle that could support a fire truck and trash trucks was desirable.  He thought some sort of pavement surface that could handle heavy equipment would be the standard that could be followed for drive aisles, other than gravel over sand.

 

Dave Ryan clarified that the number of parking spaces were based upon the Health Department approval.  He stated that based upon the analysis, the site was limited with regard to parking and the existing conditions. He stated that the applicant has tried to meet all of the Town’s regulations.  He stated that the applicant increased the parking from twenty-five (25) to twenty-nine (29) spaces on a restaurant parcel in addition to showing the twenty (20) spaces on the lot across the street.  He stated that the reduction of the restaurant seating was in conjunction to the day spa facility.  He stated they are also decreasing the trips generated for the facility by over two hundred (200) per day during peak use.  He noted that pedestrian circulation and drainage have been addressed.  He thanked Town staff for their time spent helping the applicant.

 

Chairman Forlano commended the applicant on a job well done.  He stated it was very complete and well thought out.  Member Yarbrough thanked the applicant for being accommodating of the green space and how to add the boardwalk to the site in the future.  Lynette Sumner stated that it was her vision to have a good relationship with the Town.  She stated that she was excited to bring a high quality, desirable business to Duck.

 

Vice Chair Britt stated he had no problem with the parking and was ok with the proposed dumpster relocation closer to the building.  He stated that he wanted to make sure the low level lighting stayed intact.  He stated that he had two (2) concerns – the crosswalk with NCDOT and the potential sight distance issues.  He stated he would like to see some soundside boardwalk easement language put on paper.  Director Garman stated that the applicant would be willing to do something.  Member Blakaitis agreed with Vice Chair Britt’s comments.  He stated he had no problem with the parking, would like to see the low level lighting stay and liked where the dumpster was proposed to be relocated.

 

Member Fricker asked if the parking would be close enough to the building for fire access.  Vice Chair Britt stated it would not be an issue.  Lynette Sumner added that extensive renovations will be done with a sprinkler system being added.

 

Chairman Forlano asked how many of the parking spaces were nine (9) feet wide.  Dave Ryan stated that approximately twelve (12) spaces would be.  Chairman Forlano noted that a situation came up earlier in the month where four (4) parking spaces on another site were degraded down to nine (9) feet wide and Council wanted fewer parking spaces so long as the spaces were (10) feet wide.  He wondered what Council would think if the Board agreed on the nine (9) foot wide spaces again.  Dave Ryan stated that staff had discussed this issue with the applicant.  He stated that he tried to limit the number of parking spaces with the width of nine (9) feet.  He stated that the north side parking lot would have the smaller spaces.  Chairman Forlano pointed out that Council would rather give an applicant fewer parking spaces, but make them ten (10) feet wide.

 

Member Fricker agreed with Chairman Forlano’s comments with regard to parking.  He agreed that Council may want only ten (10) foot wide spaces.  Vice Chair Britt noted that the applicant would lose one (1) spot if the spaces were ten (10) feet wide.  Director Garman stated that two (2) spots would be lost. 

 

Vice Chair Britt reiterated that he did not have a problem with the parking.  Chairman Forlano reminded Vice Chair Britt that the Board did not have a problem with the size of the parking spaces, but Council did.  Vice Chair Britt stated he did not have a problem with the nine (9) foot wide parking spaces and thought the situation was different than what Council approved at their last meeting.  Member Yarbrough added that the applicant has made a lot of accommodations such as removing the gravel, putting in a berm and downsizing the number of seats in the building.  Vice Chair Britt agreed. 

 

Director Garman clarified that spaces one through six (1 – 6) could be widened but it would encroach into the proposed stormwater.  Dave Ryan stated that the spaces would be encroaching into the drive aisle that fronted the restaurant.  Director Garman asked if he could get further to the right-of-way.  Mr. Ryan stated that the applicant was limited by the existing trees.  Director Garman pointed out that it was an example of balancing competing interests.  He stated that if the applicant was willing to reduce the parking by one (1) space, the Board should require that the spaces on the north side of the driveway be ten (10) feet with a space removed in that area.  He stated that if the Board required all the other spaces be ten (10) feet wide, the applicant would be left with a large area where nothing could be done.  He stated that it made the most sense to take a space out of the north side with seventy-five percent (75%) of the spaces meeting the ten (10) foot requirement.  Member Yarbrough felt the parking was reasonable.

 

Chairman Forlano stated he was more inclined to make the spaces ten (10) feet wide, while losing one (1) or more to accommodate the wider spaces.  He felt there was never going to be enough parking.  He thought Council would want to see more ten (10) foot spaces on the site.  He added that he was concerned about the low level lighting on the proposed crosswalk.  He stated he would like to see more lighting to be shed over the crosswalk for safety.  Member Blakaitis pointed out that lighting could not be directed out into the street under the Town’s current rules.  Chairman Forlano stated that something had to be done to protect the pedestrians.

 

Chairman Forlano asked if there could be some type of high vegetation to hide the dumpster and the kitchen entrance.  Dave Ryan stated that something could be added.  Chairman Forlano wondered what type of vegetation could be used to hide the dumpster and the kitchen entrance.  Chris Nason stated that the kitchen entrance has lattice that blocks the view.  Mr. Ryan stated that there is screening for the dumpster.  He stated that there are eight to ten (8 – 10) foot tall Oleanders on the north property line that could be relocated to mask the dumpster area.  Chairman Forlano stated he was thinking of Bradford Pear trees to mask the area.  He added that he had no other comments to add other than the plan was great.

 

Member Fricker complimented the applicant on their very well presented proposal.  He didn’t think there needed to be a condition imposed on the application with regard to the lighting as the applicant had in their proposal that they would conform to the lighting ordinance.  He felt the signage needed to be worked on a bit more.  He stated that the screening for the dumpster relocation should be a condition of the CUP.  Dave Ryan stated that the adjoining property owner had indicated their desire for additional vegetation along the entire fence line; however it may impede the applicant’s stormwater plan.  Member Fricker felt there was no need for further vegetation along the entire fence line.  He thought that requiring a parking agreement with Greenleaf Gallery was not necessary.  Member Blakaitis felt it may be.  Vice Chair Britt felt comfortable recommending the CUP without the parking agreement.

 

Chairman Forlano asked if anything would be done with the nine (9) foot wide parking spaces.  Director Garman stated that the Board wanted the applicant to increase spaces 7 through 15 to ten (10) feet and remove a space.  Member Blakaitis felt this would be why the Greenleaf Gallery agreement would be important as he thought they would want three (3) spaces.  Member Fricker understood that Greenleaf Gallery had expressed an interest but nothing had been put in writing.  Lynette Sumner stated that there was some resentment that Greenleaf had with the previous owner.  She asked Greenleaf to contact the Town with regard to their concerns.

 

Willo Kelly of the Outer Banks Homebuilders Association was recognized to speak.  Ms. Kelly pointed out that the Town of Kitty Hawk allows reducing parking for local business owners.  Chairman Forlano agreed with what the Town of Kitty Hawk has been doing.  Member Yarbrough thought the Board felt comfortable with one (1) parking space removed as well as recognizing that many accommodations have been made.  Vice Chair Britt stated he felt the same way.  He stated that if the Board asked the applicant to make parking spaces 7 through 15 all ten (10) foot wide spaces, they would have well over fifty percent (50%) of the parking spaces at ten (10) foot wide.

 

Member Fricker moved that the Planning Board recommend to Town Council the approval of CUP application 07-005, conditioned upon the relocation of the dumpster as indicated in the drawing, vegetative screening for the relocated dumpster, and to increase the width of parking spaces seven (7) through fifteen (15) to ten (10) feet, thereby reducing the number of parking spaces by one (1).

 

Vice Chair Britt asked if there should be a recommendation regarding the soundside boardwalk easement.  Lynette Sumner pointed out that Director Garman had stated it was not permissible to require it.  Member Blakaitis stated that the Board was not requiring it but recommending.  Member Fricker didn’t feel it was an appropriate part of the motion but thought it was consensus of the Board that they would like to see the easement.

 

Vice Chair Britt seconded the motion.

 

Motion carried 5-0.

 

B.  Consideration/Recommendation of ZTA to Prohibit the Location of Pump and Haul Wastewater Systems (TC Ref. 9/5/07)

 

Director Garman stated that the issue was referred by Council and was based on a situation that was happening in Nags Head.  He stated that with repeated storms and septic systems moving closer to the high tide line, there have been situations where a conventional drainfield and septic tank could not be installed because there wasn’t enough room between the mean high tide and the system itself.  He stated that proposals were submitted to the Town of Nags Head to allow the installation of pump and haul systems, which were large tanks that hold effluent from a house and pumped by a hauler and transported to an improved facility for treatment.  He stated that Nags Head was not happy with the situation and passed a moratorium to prohibit them as well as enacting an ordinance that would permanently prohibit the pump and haul systems.  He stated that staff drafted an ordinance that would prohibit pump and haul systems in Duck.  He pointed out that it was not a situation that the Town is dealing with yet, but could be something that may happen in the future.  Member Fricker felt it was the right thing to do.  Member Blakaitis felt it was a no-brainer.

 

Member Blakaitis moved to approve the prohibition of the pump and haul wastewater system to conform to the zoning text amendment draft as written.

 

Member Fricker seconded.

 

Motion carried 5-0.

 

C.  Review of Commercial Sign Regulations based on Discussions at the September 5, 2007 Meeting of the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee (this item includes a staff evaluation of existing signage at the Scarborough Faire Shops on September 12, 2007)

 

It was consensus of the Board to table the issue until all interested parties could be present.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

A.  Consideration/Recommendation of ZTA on Survey Submission Requirements and Discussion of Administrative Policy regarding Permit Application Requirements (TC ref. 9/5/07)

 

Director Garman stated that at the last meeting, the Board asked that an ordinance be drafted to remove the requirement from the ordinance.  He stated it was simple and was referenced in two (2) locations of the ordinance.  He stated that there will still be a policy with regard to survey requirements but they would not be specific to how current they would have to be.  He stated that this policy would give staff the flexibility to not require a survey for certain projects. 

 

Chairman Forlano felt that a survey was needed for tree clearing on a vacant property.  He asked how staff would know where a tree was if it was close to the border.  He asked if a hot tub and HVAC system could be put in the ten (10) foot setback.  Member Blakaitis stated it could.  Director Garman stated that an HVAC system could be up to five (5) feet from the property line, but was not sure about the hot tub.  Chairman Forlano clarified that a survey was needed for staff to determine where the hot tub would be.  Director Garman stated it was.  He thought the survey requirement policy would need some clarification.  Zoning Technician Cady pointed out that the policy before them was a very rough draft.

 

Vice Chair Britt clarified that the policy was just for the Board’s information and that it was still being worked on.  Zoning Technician Cady stated he was correct.

 

Member Blakaitis asked why Health Department approval was needed for a deck to porch conversion and replacement of stairs. Director Garman stated that the Health Department requires it for any increase in the footprint of a house.  As for a deck to porch conversion, the general statutes were specific as to what activities require Health Department approval.  Member Blakaitis asked what the Health Department would be looking for.  Vice Chair Britt thought that an increase in heated space would be one item they would look for.  Member Blakaitis asked for a definition of a “legible survey” with regard to fences.  He pointed out that the definitions were not addressed. He asked if a nicely drawn sketch would be considered a legible survey.  Vice Chair Britt thought it would be.  Director Garman stated that with regard to fences, staff would be looking for the simplest documentation.  Member Blakaitis asked why a swimming pool would not require a land disturbance permit but a septic repair/replacement would.  Director Garman stated that a swimming pool required a building permit where a septic replacement would not.  He stated that a land disturbance permit was required when a building permit wasn’t.  Member Blakaitis clarified that a survey was required for septic repair.  Director Garman stated that a survey would need to be presented to the Health Department.  Member Blakaitis asked why a survey was needed to repair a septic with no changes.  Director Garman stated that staff was only looking for vegetation management and land disturbance.  He stated that no other zoning requirements would be needed.

 

Vice Chair Britt asked if in the past, staff required an as-built survey for septic repair.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that a survey was not required for septic repair.  Member Yarbrough asked if the survey requirement had been a problem in the past.  Member Blakaitis felt it shouldn’t have been.  Director Garman stated that there weren’t any issues.  Vice Chair Britt asked if another copy of the policy would be presented to the Board at the next meeting with the changes. Director Garman stated he would as well as having a discussion on it.  He asked if the Board felt they should recommend the ordinance amendment to Council. 

 

Member Fricker stated he wasn’t sure why the Board was reviewing the matrix that was attached to the ordinance.  He asked if it was the Board’s job to review it.  Member Blakaitis stated it was as the Board was trying to eliminate the as-built surveys.  Member Fricker didn’t think the Board was trying to eliminate as-built surveys, but thought the nine (9) month provision for site plan surveys was what the Board was to eliminate.  Director Garman stated he wanted the Board’s input.  He noted that the present ordinance requires a survey within nine (9) months and the longer time it takes before going to Council would be a longer time that the Town will have to require the surveys within nine (9) months.

 

Chairman Forlano pointed out that the ordinance amendment was not to eliminate surveys but to eliminate the nine (9) month requirement.  Member Blakaitis felt it was to eliminate the nine (9) month requirement as well as the necessity for an as-built survey on a small project.  Member Fricker disagreed and pointed out that there wasn’t anything in the ordinance that stated such.  Member Blakaitis clarified that he was discussing the original intent and knew there was nothing in the amendment.  He stated that staff’s discretion was there for the requirements.  Member Fricker asked if it was correct that the only amendment to the ordinance was the one before the Board with staff already having the discretion of coming up with criteria as to the requirement for as-builts.  Member Blakaitis stated that staff does now but did not before.  Director Garman thought it was in the ordinance for about a year.  He stated that upon reviewing the ordinance, staff felt that if the specific requirement for surveys was in place, it gave them the ability to require surveys not only up front but at the end of the project where it was seen fit for compliance verification.  Zoning Technician Cady pointed out that the policy they were developing provided clarification for staff so people do not think the Town is being arbitrary.  Director Garman stated that based on the way the present ordinance was written, the survey would be required.

 

Vice Chair Britt moved to recommend approval of the amendments as written.  Member Fricker seconded.

 

Motion carried 5-0.

 

B.  Worksession/Discussion on Fence Regulations

 

Director Garman stated that the Board discussed fences at the previous meeting.  He thought the consensus of the Board was to focus on two (2) issues related to NC 12 – sight distance issues created by fences constructed adjacent to the right-of-way of NC 12 and the aesthetic appearance of fences constructed along NC 12 that could obscure vegetation.  He stated that he developed some options to be used as stand-alone or in combination with one another to address both issues.  He asked the Board for their thoughts on the options.

 

Chairman Forlano clarified that options 1 through 4 addressed the aesthetics and option 5 addressed the sight distance.  Director Garman stated he was correct.  He thought option 1 would also address sight distance on its own.

 

Member Blakaitis stated he liked option 3 but had a problem with the wording “exposed framing”.  He felt the language needed to be reworded to reflect that the worst side of the fence facing the interior of the property and the best side facing the outside.  He suggested that the architecturally good side should face outward.  Willo Kelly suggested “finished side”.

 

Member Yarbrough asked if option 4 was too restrictive in that homeowners only use the approved vegetation list (this option required vegetative screening between the fence and the ROW).  She asked what would happen if a homeowner decided not to use the approved vegetation.  Director Garman stated that it was specified that the vegetation had to be evergreen trees or shrubs so it would be adequate screening.  Member Yarbrough asked that if someone had a preference for certain vegetation, would this be allowed?  She wondered if the regulations were too restrictive.  Member Fricker agreed with Member Yarbrough’s comments.  He thought the whole point of the vegetation ordinance was to make sure there was adequate vegetation on a lot.

 

Chairman Forlano thought the idea behind the evergreen and shrubbery was to break up the starkness of a white or stockade fence.  Member Yarbrough agreed.  Chairman Forlano agreed that the vegetation didn’t have to be from an approved list.  Council Liaison Lindley thought the approved list was just a list from the arborist of species that would do well on the Outer Banks.  He didn’t think it was that owners could only use those species.  Member Blakaitis stated that Suzanne Cotellessa had indicated that the approved list was just that, but that homeowners could still plant anything they wanted over and above the approved list.  Director Garman stated he could strike the language regarding the approved vegetation list.  Vice Chair Britt agreed with striking the language.

 

Chairman Forlano clarified that pre-existing conditions were grandfathered.  Director Garman stated they were.  Chairman Forlano stated he liked the combination of options 3, 4 and 5.  Members Fricker and Yarbrough stated they liked all five (5) options.

 

Director Garman and the Board went on to discuss the five (5) options and what they would apply to.  Director Garman stated he could take option 2 and add the vegetative screening requirement to option 2.  He suggested “..no fence shall be placed or maintained within ten (10) feet of the NC 12 right-of-way and vegetation must be placed in front of the fence…”  Chairman Forlano disagreed with the language.  He thought the Town would be penalizing someone if they put up a six (6) foot privacy fence.    Member Yarbrough asked what could be done about a three (3) foot eleven (11) inch white vinyl fence.  She stated that those types of fences are not attractive.  Chairman Forlano stated he had never seen a white vinyl stockade fence that was short.  He stated he had only seen picket fences that were short.

 

Member Fricker stated that he didn’t see a problem with any fencing besides the white polyurethane ones.  He felt that vegetative buffers should be required for those types of fences.  Vice Chair Britt clarified that the Board was establishing architectural guidelines for fences.  Member Blakaitis stated that it was being accomplished with the ordinance.  Vice Chair Britt didn’t think it was a bad idea. 

 

Chairman Forlano felt the Board needed to make sure that the regulations weren’t too restrictive.  He suggested coming up with a fence ordinance that was very flexible.  He suggested that Director Garman come up with a rough draft of an ordinance using options 3, 4, and 5 and bring it back to the next meeting.

 

Member Yarbrough suggested waiting until fence issues become a problem rather than trying to anticipate what might happen and adopting a code amendment to this effect.  Vice Chair Britt thought it may be too late. 

 

Member Fricker did not think there was a problem presently.  He suggested that nothing be sent to Council at this point.  Vice Chair Britt agreed that the Board should move on.  Member Blakaitis agreed as well.

 

It was consensus of the Board to table the issue and consider it at a time when it is believed or perceived to be a problem.

 


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

A.  Planning Board Meeting September 12, 2007

 

Member Fricker had a change on Page 9 of the minutes.  Member Blakaitis moved to approve the minutes of the Planning Board Meeting of September 12, 2007 as amended. 

 

Minutes for the Planning Board Meeting on September 12, 2007 were approved 4-0.  Member Yarbrough was not present for the meeting and could not vote.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Willow Kelly asked if the Town of Duck had taken a stand on the proposed coastal stormwater rules that DWQ was currently receiving public comment on.  She stated that Dare County Commissioners had attended the meeting in Manteo and four (4) out of five (5) had spoken out against the rules.  She stated that the Towns of Nags, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores have all adopted resolutions opposing the rules.  She stated that the Town of Manteo was in favor of the rules, but the Homebuilders Association and Association of Realtors are opposed to them.  She stated that with regard to the Conditional Use Permit that was earlier in the meeting, the applicant would not be able to do what they had proposed if the rules go into effect as DWQ are proposing buffers increasing from thirty (30) feet to fifty (50) feet for the vegetative buffer.  She added that they want to drop the permitting threshold from one (1) acre to ten thousand (10,000) square feet for a stormwater permit, which would then trigger a major CAMA permit.  She stated that she wanted to make the Planning Board aware and would also request that Council be made aware.  Director Garman stated that Council would be meeting on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 to discuss the issue.

 

STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

BOARD COMMENTS

 

Chairman Forlano read an email he received from the Town that it would be putting up holiday banners on the light posts where the jazz festival ones were.  He stated that individual sponsors would be listed on each banner with the cost being $200.  He asked if the banners were considered advertising.  Vice Chair Britt thought it was.  Member Fricker asked who the email was from.  Chairman Forlano stated it was from Public Relations Coordinator Kathy McCullough-Testa as she was trying to get sponsors to put holiday banners up.  He stated that the idea was that if someone paid $200, they would have their name on the banner.  He thought if Walter Story was unhappy about the Town giving him an issue with his banners, he should have the right to question the email.  Vice Chair Britt agreed.  Member Fricker thought it was tasteless.  Chairman Forlano pointed out that Elizabeth City did the same thing a few years back and it was very problematic.  Vice Chair Britt suggested that the Town put up ten (10) banners that say “Happy Holidays” with no sponsors listed.  Director Garman stated he would relay the Board’s concerns to Town Manager Layton.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Member Fricker adjourned the meeting.

 

The time was 9:14 p.m.

 

 

Approved: ______________________________________________

                        /s/ Ron Forlano, Chairman


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