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TOWN OF DUCK

PLANNING BOARD

REGULAR MEETING

January 9, 2008

 

The Planning Board for the Town of Duck convened at the Duck Municipal Offices at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2008.

 

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

 

Absent:  None.

 

Also present were Director of Community Development Andy Garman, Council Liaison Dave Wessel and Zoning Technician Sandy Cady. 

 

Others Present: Bob Fitchett, Bill Lane of East Coast Construction and Olin Finch.

 

Chairman Forlano called to order the Regular Meeting of the Planning Board for January 9, 2008 at 6:31 p.m. 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

None.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

A.  Consideration of Proposed Amendments to the Tree and Vegetation Preservation and Planting Ordinance and Town of Duck Vegetation Planting Guidelines

 

Director Andy Garman was recognized to speak.  Director Garman began by citing a clarification in the ordinance attached in the Board’s packet.  He stated that on Page 4, Division 4 should read as follows: “…removal of any size tree within ten (10) feet of a house shall be allowed without a permit.”  He added that the rest of the language should be stricken in that section. 

 

Director Garman stated that at the last meeting the Board discussed continued changes to the vegetation ordinance.  He stated that there is now a distinction between how staff calculates canopy coverage for areas to be planted to meet the requirements versus areas that will be retained.  He stated that Page 6, Subsection (a) would have additional language added to it to determine how planted vegetation is calculated.  He stated that Subsection (b) is new and now makes a distinction for how existing vegetation would be calculated.  He stated that language was added to allow credit for ornamental grasses as well as smaller coastal grasses.  Ornamental grasses would receive the same credit as shrubs.  Smaller grasses would be credited based upon the square footage of one (1) plant per square foot.

 

Director Garman stated that some of the language was taken out of the appendix and put into the Code so the appendix would be a plant list that could be amended without going through a public hearing.  He noted that much of the appendix hadn’t changed and would be left as it is now, however it has also been added to the Code so it would be in both places.  He stated that the plant list was expanded upon and broken into the various barrier island vegetative zones.  He stated that clarification was provided to the Board that no permit would be required for removal of any size tree within ten (10) feet of a house along with no additional requirement to replant.

 

Member Blakaitis clarified that if a homeowner has a tree and it was the only one on the lot, their lot could stay as it was if the tree was taken out.  Director Garman stated that this was correct and that this was what the Board had agreed on at their December meeting.

 

Director Garman noted that the draft findings have been included that the revised ordinance is in accordance with the Town’s Core CAMA Land Use Plan.  He asked the Board if they had any questions.

 

Chairman Forlano asked if Page 4, Section 2c allowed the Director of Community Development to waive the fifteen percent (15%) requirement.  Director Garman stated it would be read that way.  Chairman Forlano asked for an explanation on how the cash bond worked that was referenced on Page 10.  Director Garman explained that if an owner requested suspending planting of trees due to the time of the year, they would determine the cost of implementing the vegetation management plan and would submit a cash bond to the Town in lieu of completing the planting.  He believed the Town would issue a temporary Certificate of Occupancy, retaining the cash bond until the time came for the owner to plant the vegetation.  He stated that if the owner failed to do so, the Town could cash the bond.

 

Member Blakaitis asked if a cash bond was required in the true sense of the word.  He clarified that the owner would have to bond themselves to a bonding company that would post the bond to the Town or a cash deposit would be required of the amount of the implementation of the planting.  Director Garman believed it would be a bond.  Member Blakaitis stated it could cause problems for individuals as they may not want to do that.  He added that bonds are expensive, depending on the circumstances.  He asked why there wouldn’t be an exception to just have the homeowner give the Town cash to be used instead of a bond.  He didn’t think a bond would be needed all the time and thought it was an excessive requirement.

 

Olin Finch of 116 Sandy Ridge Road was recognized to speak.  Mr. Finch stated that the Town would have a hard time with bonds.  He stated that bonds do not pay off; someone has to be sent to obtain the bond.  He added that the Town would have to take the homeowner to court to get the bond.  Member Blakaitis noted that some performance bonds do pay off.  He stated that performance bonds are used for instances when a contractor does not finish a project.  He agreed with Olin Finch that they are not easy to obtain.  Olin Finch wondered how the Town would know how much a bond should be.  Member Blakaitis felt the Town should have discretion on it.  He thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a figure.  He stated he did not like the restriction of a bond as it could scare some people who don’t know about them.

 

Bill Lane of East Coast Construction was recognized to speak.  Mr. Lane stated that most trees could be planted any time of year.  He wondered what the cost of the bond would be for someone that didn’t have to plant trees.  He thought the Town would be overstepping. He suggested that the Town hold up the Certificate of Occupancy until the trees or vegetation was planted.  Member Blakaitis agreed that trees could be planted any time of the year.  He thought January would be a month that would not be good for planting.

 

Chairman Forlano stated he had run into a similar situation in another state where the town held $5,000 for a year based on the vegetation requirements.  He stated that at the end of the year, the funds were released.  Bill Lane stated it would be up to the builder to get the funds from the homeowner.  He thought it would be a hassle for the builder.  He stated that the Town would make the builder responsible and it would just be another responsibility.  He thought it would be easier to have the homeowners plant trees or not receive their Certificate of Occupancy.

 

Member Blakaitis suggested having the section read: “…a cash bond in the amount equivalent to the cost of implementing the vegetation management plan, showing the appropriate canopy coverage shall be provided or cash deposit for the estimated cost of the implementation of the planting…”  Member Fricker asked if labor would be included.  Member Blakaitis stated it would in case the owner decided to do the planting himself and doesn’t.  He felt there needed to be recourse. 

 

Member Fricker asked if the Town had any accounts that would hold monies in escrow.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that the Town accepts deposits for temporary signs where the deposit is returned to the business owner.  Member Fricker asked if the monies could be tracked.  Zoning Technician Cady thought the Town Manager would do that.  Member Blakaitis asked if there was a way to verify if it could be done.  Director Garman stated he would verify the ability of the Town to accept cash deposits.  Vice Chair Britt agreed with Member Blakaitis that things should be easy.

 

Member Fricker asked if there was a downside to a bond versus a cash deposit.  Member Blakaitis thought by giving the homeowner a choice, it would not be an issue.  He stated that some people are into bonds with the type of business they are in.

 

Chairman Forlano thought there were landscaping estimates that were in the $10,000 range.  He stated he had spoken to a landscaper that wanted $35,000.  He stated that the Town could not ask for a $35,000 bond.  Member Fricker wondered why it couldn’t be done.  Director Garman pointed out that when a contractor begins a construction project, the Town asks them to provide a cost estimate including proposals.  Bill Lane felt it was a lot of policing on the Town’s part.  He reiterated that the Town should require planting to be achieved or else the homeowner doesn’t receive their Certificate of Occupancy.  He thought that builders, and not the homeowner, would put up the money for the bond.  Member Blakaitis asked if it were to fall to the builders, why the contractor couldn’t tell the homeowner they would plant the trees in order to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy.  Mr. Lane stated that was what he was trying to say.

 

Olin Finch stated he would tell the homeowner that landscaping would be included in the cost of building their house.  He stated that by doing that, the builder would be “held hostage” by the homeowner who would just shrug their shoulders.  He pointed out that most people don’t have the landscaping done until the house is almost completely built.  He stated that landscapers are reluctant to give any idea on what they will do until they know what the lot will look like.  He stated that by making the owner plant trees, it would hold things up for a few weeks.  Chairman Forlano stated that the whole intent of allowing a deferral for planting was to make sure that the owner doesn’t put a bunch of plants in the ground with half of them dying as a result of the weather.  He suggested letting homeowners plant what they want, but have the Town hold a minimal amount of money for a year to replace whatever dies during that time period. 

 

Member Blakaitis felt the ordinance punished the homeowner before the fact. He asked if there was any way to punish them after the fact if the owner doesn’t do what they were supposed to.  Bill Lane suggested issuing a temporary Certificate of Occupancy and if they don’t do what they are supposed to, cut the power to their home.  Vice Chair Britt stated that it takes approximately 60 to 90 days to get into a season where things could be planted.  He suggested having a seasonal timeframe to give the homeowner an opportunity to finish things.  He stated he would not want to plant anything in June as it is too hot and dry.  Chairman Forlano felt it was wasted money.  Vice Chair Britt agreed.  He suggested allowing homeowners 60 to 90 days to finish planting if the season was not good.  Olin Finch suggested coming up with a set amount of money for a deposit that could be forfeited if the homeowner does not plant vegetation.

 

Bill Lane stated he did not understand why people cannot plant anything they want any time.  He stated that he has planted in the summer and the winter.  He added that he always irrigates his properties.  He stated that he has had landscaping done in July and has not lost any major plantings except from wind damage.  He stated that he has not had any problems planting any time of the year on the Outer Banks.

 

Olin Finch stated he would like to see the Certificate of Occupancy move forward as planned, especially for bank purposes and rental income.  He thought the landscaping should be a secondary issue.  Member Fricker clarified that Olin Finch was saying that if the Town allowed additional time, not just for planting, but for any reason. Member Blakaitis added it was for convenience.

 

Chairman Forlano clarified that the Board wished to strike letter A from the ordinance.  Member Blakaitis thought they did so as to allow more flexibility.  Chairman Forlano clarified that letter B would be the only thing in the section.  Member Yarbrough thought language had to be added regarding a memorandum of understanding.  She asked if a dollar amount would be associated with the memorandum of understanding.  Member Blakaitis felt it was an idea worth pursuing.  Director Garman pointed out that Section 2 covers the memorandum procedure and the Certificate of Occupancy.  He thought Section A could be stricken from the ordinance.

 

Olin Finch pointed out that Section A was more complicated than just addressing trees.  Member Blakaitis stated that by making the changes, it would simplify things.  Director Garman stated it would allow homeowners additional time to plant during the right season as well as to make landscaping decisions.  Olin Finch wondered if it was a conditional permit and if there was a necessity to call it a conditional permit. He thought a Certificate of Occupancy should not be part of it. Bill Lane thought there should be a second permit for the landscaping.  Member Blakaitis thought it would make things more complicated.  Olin Finch disagreed and stated it would be less complicated.  He stated it was an issue between the homeowner and the Town and not an issue with the building contractor, even though the Town would be holding the contractor as a “slave”.  Director Garman pointed out that the development activities are what trigger the requirements to begin with.  Mr. Finch stated the planting was the responsibility of the land owner not the contractor.

 

Member Fricker asked if a developer decided to build a spec house, would they be able to clear cut at the beginning of the development.  Olin Finch asked what would happen if the developer was the homeowner.  He stated that everything the Board had been discussing would work but thought it wasn’t right to tie the contractor in by withholding the Certificate of Occupancy.

 

Chairman Forlano asked the Board for their thoughts.  Vice Chair Britt stated he liked the ordinance the way it was, but did not want to make it another permit.  Chairman Forlano agreed and asked what would be put in place of the bond.  Member Blakaitis stated that nothing would be put in place of it and that it should be stricken.  Director Garman stated that Section A would be stricken and Section B would be a part of Section 2 so there would not be a subsection.  Member Yarbrough pointed out that the lettering was incorrect in the ordinance.  She stated that the letter L was missing.  Director Garman stated he would fix it.

 

Olin Finch asked if the Board would recommend that the Certificate of Occupancy be conditioned upon the agreement.  Vice Chair Britt stated it would.  He stated that a Certificate of Occupancy would be given out.  Director Garman added that there would be a memorandum of understanding.  Council Liaison Wessel asked if the Board was thinking of a temporary Certificate of Occupancy.  The Board told him it would be a Certificate of Occupancy and not a temporary one.  Director Garman stated that a Certificate of Occupancy would be issued along with a separate document regarding the vegetation plan.

 

Member Fricker thought some type of cash penalty should be specified for failure to comply in the memorandum of understanding.  Director Garman stated that staff could cite what the consequences would be in the memorandum of understanding based on the Code.  Member Blakaitis suggested that the Town require a $5,000 deposit if the homeowner doesn’t want to plant vegetation right away.  Member Yarbrough asked if it would be required at the issuance of the building permit.  Member Blakaitis stated it would be issued with the Certificate of Occupancy.  Vice Chair Britt thought the amount should be enough to have an effect and to make the homeowner want to plant vegetation.

 

Member Fricker clarified that the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy should be conditioned upon the signing of the memorandum of understanding as well as to include payment at that time of the agreed upon sum in the event the planting was delayed on the day of the Certificate of Occupancy issuance.  Olin Finch suggested having the homeowner sign the memorandum of understanding at the beginning with the planting done by time the Certificate of Occupancy is issued or pay $5,000 to the Town.  Member Blakaitis felt it was a good idea.  Chairman Forlano pointed out that the money would be totally refundable.  Member Fricker stated that if the owner was compliant, they would receive their money.

 

Director Garman clarified that the Town would require $5,000 for the owner to be able to delay their planting.  Member Fricker asked if that was reasonable sum.  Member Blakaitis stated it would depend on the size of the house as well as the landscaper.  Director Garman asked if the idea was to continue the ordinance at the February meeting so he could bring language back to the Board.  Member Blakaitis didn’t think it should be passed up to Council until the Board was satisfied with the wording.  Director Garman suggested the Board discuss it at their mid month meeting.  Member Blakaitis stated there wasn’t an urgency to get it to Council.  Director Garman thought there was an urgency with the contractors that have started projects and would like to get credit for some of the grasses.  Member Blakaitis asked what would be the harm in allowing credits for something that would be imminent.  Member Fricker asked if an ordinance that is passed in February could be retroactive to January.  Director Garman stated that if the Board has a mid month meeting, it would pass in the same time frame if they decided to pass it up to Council after this meeting.  Member Blakaitis stated that if the language is done, he would have no objection to sending it to Council.

 

Director Garman stated he would put the $5,000 cash deposit in the ordinance.  Vice Chair Britt suggested taking Section 2 where it states “…until a more suitable time.”  and adding a period, striking the rest of the language. He suggested adding the cash deposit and memorandum of understanding in that section.  He stated he wanted it to be clear that it will not hold up a homeowner’s Certificate of Occupancy.  Olin Finch requested that it be signed at the time of the building permit issuance by the homeowner.

 

Chairman Forlano suggested that Director Garman rewrite Section 2, including everything the Board discussed and bring it back to the mid month meeting to discuss.  Member Fricker pointed out that the 4th Wednesday would be January 23rd.  Member Blakaitis asked if it would be enough time to get it to Council.  Director Garman stated it would. Chairman Forlano clarified that the meeting would be held in the afternoon. Zoning Technician Cady stated that the time would be 6:30 p.m. as per the Board’s by-laws.  Vice Chair Britt asked if a motion could be made to change the time if the Board wanted to.  Member Blakaitis stated it would have to be advertised.  Vice Chair Britt stated he would not be able to attend the meeting.  It was consensus of the Board to hold a mid month meeting on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. 

 

Member Yarbrough thought Director Garman did not want to be involved in determining whether the season was inappropriate for planting.  She thought that section could be stricken.  Olin Finch stated that if the homeowner signs the memorandum of understanding before the permit is issued, there wouldn’t be a need for any other language with regard to meeting the ordinance.  Director Garman stated that staff could modify the plan application but the tricky part would be the forfeiture of the cash deposit.  He stated there would have to be a substantial noncompliance for the Town to take the $5,000 deposit from a homeowner.

 

B.  Discussion/Review of Proposed Sign Ordinance Amendments

 

Director Garman stated that the Board discussed sign ordinance issues at the December meeting.  He stated that the question was whether staff could explore ordinance language that would provide opportunity for pole mounted signs and banners.  He stated that he had completed some research on various ordinances that allow these types of banners and suggested some requirements and criteria that should be included in an ordinance.  He stated that the assumption was to allow pole mounted banners but to control their proliferation.  He asked the Board if they wished to allow pole mounted banners and if so, to what degree.  He further asked what they thought the problems would be if they were allowed.  He stated that he had completed an inventory of light poles in the Village Commercial District and went on to review it with the Board and audience.

 

Director Garman noted that there were 104 light poles from the Waterfront Shops to Swan Cove Restaurant that were high enough to place banners similar to the ones at Scarborough Faire.  He added that the ones at Scarborough Faire were very small and low to the ground in comparison to the Town’s banners.  He stated that the Scarborough Faire banners do not overhang the parking lot or walkways as they are oriented away from those areas. 

 

Member Fricker asked if banners such as the ones at Scarborough Faire were in violation of the existing ordinances.  Director Garman stated they were.  Member Fricker asked how many other businesses had similar banners.  Director Garman stated that there were no others that had banners affixed to light poles.  He added that Real Escapes had one (1) banner that was classified as a ground mounted sign.  Member Fricker asked if it was a legal sign.  Director Garman stated it was.  Member Fricker asked if there were any other illegal banners in Town.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that Sunset Grill had two (2), which were attached to flagpoles.  Chairman Forlano stated he had noticed some “Open” flags at Osprey.  Zoning Technician Cady asked if the Board was discussing banners or flags.  Chairman Forlano thought they were discussing both.  Member Fricker agreed and noted that they have the same effect to the eye.  Director Garman stated that the ordinance specifically pertained to one (1) type of banner – pole mounted banners.  Member Fricker stated that if the ordinance was changed to allow banners such as the ones at Scarborough Faire, then people who have flags and pennants would wonder what the difference was between those and the banners.

 

Chairman Forlano asked if the Board was convinced that banners or flags were eyesores.  He asked the Board if they were convinced that they didn’t want them in Town.  He stated that he looked at them as being temporary in nature.  He stated that he personally did not see them as a problem unless they are tattered or have inappropriate language.  Member Yarbrough thought there would be some merit in associating them with some ratio of parking spaces.  Member Fricker agreed with Member Yarbrough’s comments.  He thought some moderation would be appropriate.  Chairman Forlano suggested limiting the banners to being nondescript, i.e. not advertising the place of business or the goods that are sold at the business.  Director Garman noted that the sign ordinance was a balance.  He stated that one of the primary reasons for the regulations was to prevent visual clutter.  He stated that the easiest way would be to not allow banners at all.

 

Vice Chair Britt stated he did not really have a problem with banners and flags, but did think there should be control.  He stated he did not want to get into how many feet from the roadway a banner should be.  Chairman Forlano thought if a banner of flag did not block any visibility from pedestrian or vehicular traffic it should be allowed, even in the right-of-way.  He noted that the Town’s seasonal banners were in violation of the ordinance because they sit in the right-of-way and are attached to a utility pole.  Director Garman stated the Town’s banners would be discussed under another ordinance proposal.

 

Member Yarbrough thought Director Garman was suggesting that there would be a buffer to protect the Town’s banners.  Director Garman stated it was one of the main reasons for the discussion.  Member Yarbrough thought the buffer would be useful to reduce visual clutter, but could be a problem to enforce.  Director Garman stated it would not be difficult to determine the distance and the buffer, as he can determine them from aerial photos.  He stated that most ordinances had a mounting height requirement, specifically if they overhang a parking lot or pedestrian walkway. He stated that a minimal standard could be added to the ordinance.  He stated he could come up with two (2) different standards – one for pedestrian ways and one for vehicular areas. He stated that once the Board decided on some value points, he could come back with some reasonable language.

 

Chairman Forlano asked what the feeling was regarding the open banners.  He asked if the Board was discussing “Open” banners or flags.   Vice Chair Britt thought there was already a provision for them.  Chairman Forlano stated that “Open” flags are prohibited in Town.  Vice Chair Britt disagreed.  He stated that there was language in the ordinance allowing them.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that “Open” flags are permitted to fly year round but during the period of October 1 to May 1 of each year, they would not count against a shop’s sign coverage.  Vice Chair Britt stated he wanted to get back on track with the pole mounted banners instead of discussing “Open” flags. 

 

Member Yarbrough asked if the Board would come up with recommendations to give to Director Garman to draft language for pole mounted banners.  Director Garman asked the Board if they wanted to allow pole mounted banners.  Vice Chair Britt stated he would.  Members Yarbrough, Fricker and Chairman Forlano agreed.

 

Chairman Forlano asked how the public utility company addresses anything on their poles.  Zoning Technician Cady stated that the Town had to obtain specific permission.  Director Garman stated that there were standards the Town had to meet.  Zoning Technician Cady added that the utility company told the Town which poles could be used.  Chairman Forlano thought putting banners in the right-of-way was a safety issue.  He thought they should not be put over the right-of-way.  Vice Chair Britt thought the right-of-way should be left alone.

 

Director Garman suggested that permits should be needed for pole mounted banners.  He asked if the Board wanted banners to be allowed as temporary or on a more permanent basis.  Vice Chair Britt thought it should be on a permanent basis.  Member Blakaitis agreed.  Member Fricker asked if it conflicted with the current definition of what a banner is.  Vice Chair Britt stated that a whole new definition would be created for pole mounted banners.  Director Garman agreed.

 

Member Yarbrough noted that the maximum number of banners per pole was one (1).  She felt that was easy but wanted to know if the Board could figure out what would be easiest.  Vice Chair Britt thought one (1) per pole was appropriate.  He asked if the Board wanted to do two (2) standards for pedestrian and vehicular.  Member Yarbrough thought it seemed fair to do that.  Vice Chair Britt thought there should be a maximum size for them.  Member Yarbrough agreed.

 

Director Garman asked the Board if they wanted maximum width along with the maximum height of banners.  Vice Chair Britt stated he did.  He thought Director Garman should look at the existing ones to see what they were.  Director Garman asked if the Board wanted to regulate what the banners would say.  He asked if they wanted the group developments to have them as well as individual businesses.  Vice Chair Britt thought it would be inappropriate to only allow group developments to have them.  Member Yarbrough thought there would be some merit in having it in a group development as they would be maintained and the message may be less specific.  Vice Chair Britt thought it should be restricted to the name of the development or business.  He noted that if the Town limits the size of the banner, there would only be so much that can be put on them.

 

Director Garman stated that for individual properties, the banner regulations typically require uniformity for these types of banners.  Vice Chair Britt and Member Yarbrough agreed.  They felt it was fair.  The Board and Director Garman went on to discuss uniformity of banners in shopping centers.

 

Vice Chair Britt thought there should be a specific definition of a pole mounted banner, exempt it from existing computations, but be strict with the definitions as it may get out of hand.  Chairman Forlano stated he felt strongly about addressing the banners just for flag poles, but did not want them to have anything commercial about them.  Chairman Forlano suggested making the banners a solid color or seasonal, or make it a group development type thing.  Vice Chair Britt disagreed regarding making it only for group developments as he felt it was unfair.  Member Yarbrough stated she wasn’t sure about the solid color for the banners.  Vice Chair Britt stated he would rather not have a color requirement.  He felt there were too many loopholes.  Chairman Forlano stated that the current regulations were designed with a lot of input from the business owners. 

 

Member Yarbrough asked if the business owners were now asking the Board to address banners.  Director Garman thought only one (1) person in particular was asking the Board to address them.  He stated that the only person that was talked to about banners was Walter Story.  Vice Chair Britt wondered if the Board was attempting to make the regulations to accommodate one (1) shopping center.  He thought maybe the whole thing didn’t need to be done as it would be difficult to write.

 

Director Garman asked if there were additional signage needs for businesses not currently being met that make banners necessary.  He noted that in one community he researched, in order to have the banners, a property would need 65,000 square feet of retail or other type of space.  He stated that Scarborough Faire’s signs sit back in the trees and are not noticeable, but other business banners may be more noticeable.  Member Yarbrough wondered if the Town could ask Walter Story to take down the banners that were visible from the public right-of-way.  Vice Chair Britt pointed out that the language that addresses public right-of-way was for interior courtyards.  Director Garman agreed and said that Mr. Story could have the banners in the courtyard.  Vice Chair Britt agreed and noted that all the banners in Mr. Story’s parking lot would have to come down.  He thought the regulations needed to be very specific but questioned whether the Board should be discussing this at all.

 

Member Fricker noted that the Board was trying to accommodate Walter Story’s problem and by dealing with it, the Board was opening the door for everyone else.  He thought it may not be a good thing.  Vice Chair Britt agreed. Member Fricker stated he would rather go back to Mr. Story and ask him to take down some of his 25th anniversary signs.  Member Blakaitis pointed out that if the ordinance was modified; it would be modified in Mr. Story’s favor with the courtyard.  Vice Chair Britt stated that the Town has accommodated Mr. Story’s development a great deal.  He cautioned the Board to be very careful as to what is changed so it doesn’t affect everything.  He stated that Mr. Story’s signs were illegal and should come down.

 

Vice Chair Britt asked how the Board felt about the pole mounted signs.  Member Fricker stated he would want to say no to pole mounted signs.  He proposed that the Town not solicit input as well as not vote in favor of amending the ordinance to allow more banners, but go back to Walter Story and try to get that issue resolved.

 

Chairman Forlano clarified that the Board had agreed to amend the ordinance to accommodate the internal structure of Scarborough Faire.  Member Blakaitis felt it would also accommodate any other place like it.  Vice Chair Britt thought the Board agreed that they wanted to do that.  Member Yarbrough pointed out that several adjustments have been made by the Board.  Vice Chair Britt thought the adjustments were made based upon Walter Story’s input, but didn’t have an impact on everything else.

 

Chairman Forlano asked if the sign ordinance would be presented at the Council Retreat.  Director Garman stated that he would have a presentation.  He stated that one of his goals at the Retreat was to show examples of the issues relative to sign amortization and ask Council if they were comfortable with enforcing the standards of the ordinance.

 

It was consensus of the Board not to consider pole mounted signs in the ordinance.

 

Director Garman stated that a draft sign ordinance was in the Board’s packets.  He stated that one page had a highlighted provision that was put into the ordinance when it was written in 2004.  He stated that he had researched what Suzanne Cotellessa had put together with regard to the language for violations.  He went on to show some examples of signs that were in violation of the ordinance to the Board.

 

Chairman Forlano stated that he did not have a problem with any of the signs at the Loblolly Pines shopping center. Vice Chair Britt and Member Blakaitis agreed.  Vice Chair Britt thought eaves and porches should be clarified in the ordinance.  Director Garman suggested that the ordinance could state that signs shall not extend above or below the eave a certain distance.  Chairman Forlano suggested getting a sense from the Retreat regarding whether or not there is a problem.  Member Fricker agreed.  Vice Chair Britt suggested that Director Garman have in his presentation a clarification that the situation that exists at Loblolly Pines was not the intent of what the Board did.  He thought it was an unintended consequence.  Director Garman stated he would mention it.

 

Chairman Forlano suggested the Board wait and see what Council had to say at their Retreat.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

None.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

A.  Planning Board Meeting December 12, 2007

 

Vice Chair Britt moved to approve the minutes of the Planning Board Meeting of December 12, 2007 as presented.

 

Minutes for the Planning Board Meeting on December 12, 2007 were approved 4-0. 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

None.

 

STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

BOARD COMMENTS

 

Member Yarbrough stated she would not be able to attend the February meeting.  Vice Chair Britt stated he would not be able to as well.  Chairman Forlano clarified that the Board would be short two (2) members for the February meeting.  Zoning Technician Cady asked if the February meeting should be pushed back till the mid month.  It was consensus of the Board to hold their regular February meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2008. Vice Chair Britt stated he would not be available for that meeting as well.

 

Member Blakaitis asked when the Board’s mid-month meeting would be held in January.  Chairman Forlano stated it would be held on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Chairman Forlano adjourned the meeting.

 

The time was 9:03 p.m.


 

 

Approved: ______________________________________________

                        Ron Forlano, Chairman


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