2032 Vision

Town of Duck’s Future Vision

In October 2016 the Town Council and staff held an intense, multi-day visionary session with consultant Tyler St. Clair. The session resulted in the development of Duck’s 2027 Vision, including six unifying principles. In October 2022, Council met to revisit the Vision and create the 2032 Vision. The 2032 Vision and the six unifying principles are shown below.

Click here for the January 2024 Presentation about the 2032 Vision.

The 2032 Vision          Visual Representation

In 2032, the Town of Duck, North Carolina, is a thriving coastal community. We respect and value our delicate, yet dynamic barrier island environment — clean waters and beaches, maritime forests, wetlands, and dunescapes. Residents and visitors alike are drawn to neighborhoods that reflect our small town atmosphere. Our village is a source of pride, offering diverse experiences by way of a cohesive and eclectic mix of independent businesses, shops, and restaurants.  At the hub of our community is the Town Hall and Park, where we interact, share ideas, and build connections. Duck’s vitality, founded on grassroots engagement, encourages meaningful participation from all of its stakeholders. Long-term financial stability, sustainable services, measured growth and a focus on quality of life distinguish Duck as a preeminent destination for everyone.

The Six Unifying Principles

Duck is a community that expresses its beliefs in certain unifying principles:

Duck and Our Village

Our residential neighborhoods and Duck Village connect to form the fabric of our community.  Our collection of small shops, restaurants, offices, parks and boardwalks combine to shape the Duck experience.  The development of the Village has a coastal residential style and scale and its continuity creates an energetic and walkable experience.  Our quality of life is enhanced through innovative solutions that protect and preserve the Village’s unique character and environment.

Enhanced Movability

Duck is a pedestrian first community that is safe and easy to navigate by walking and cycling. Our multi-use trail, sidewalks, soundside boardwalk, and beach provide a variety of ways to explore and discover Duck. Collaboration with various organizations enables us to optimize our traffic flow in our unique seasonal environment.

Environmental Stewardship

There is a conscious respect for Duck’s fragile and extraordinary environment. We protect and preserve opportunities for our residents and visitors to enjoy our ocean, sound, and natural coastal habitats. We value our pristine, safe, uninterrupted beaches, which are our most valuable asset. Our resilience and adaptability, guided by environmental awareness and forward thinking, ensure our sustainability as a community.

Active, Engaged Community

Duck is built on participation. We are an inclusive community that welcomes and embraces the diversity, talents, and expertise of all of our stakeholders. Pride and ownership is felt by all who live, work, and visit here. People feel connected by a shared motivation to preserve the unique nature of this special place.

Vibrant, Thriving Business Community

The business community plays an essential role in creating the Duck experience. A high level of collaboration and coordination ensures that we have a vibrant town where each and every individual can enjoy the recreation, arts, music, shopping, dining, and lodging unique to Duck.  

Responsive and Responsible Leadership

Duck maintains a responsive and responsible government. Council, staff, and the community work together to offer high quality services intended to add value to the entire Town. We have an educated, experienced and motivated staff empowered to execute the Town’s objectives. Duck is an innovative and respected leader within the Outer Banks region and its solutions are frequently emulated by others. Continuity of leadership preserves our established values and vision.

Three to Five Year Goals

Duck and Our Village

(1) Continue to partner with and support the business community and the Duck Merchants Association, including increasing the exposure and accessibility of all businesses

  • Facilitate conversations about issues merchants encounter

(2) Explore more Town parking through land purchase(s), use of the park, and/or ratios in development.

  • Population is growing
  • Be ready to seize opportunities

(3) Review land use regulations to ensure they compel adherence to the style and scale we have in place and steer awat from development that would detract from the current state.

  • Review situations in which clarification was needed for updates
  • Include follow up process to ensure compliance on what we approve
  • Consider whether Planning Board should have multiple reviews where changes occur
  • Include ongoing review of issues identified during development

Enhanced Movability

(1) Finalize the last section of the boardwalk by connecting to the property at 1248 Duck Road.

(2) Continue to advocate for traffic improvements including the construction of the Mid-Currituck Bridge and enhance public understanding of traffic issues.

  • Enhance public knowledge regarding the volume of traffic passing through Duck each day
  • Make data accessible to improve understanding of the issues (i.e. volume, traffic studies, etc.)
  • Include information about the BRIC project and what it will improve

(3) Implement all facets of the Town of Duck Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, including exploration of ongoing enhancements to pedestrian walkways.

(4) Analyze, investigate and plan the westside multi-use trail.

Environmental Stewardship

(1) Continue the ongoing Town of Duck Beach Nourishment Project and continue efforts to monitor other areas of the Town to identify possible future projects.

(2) Evaluate and implement stormwater improvements.

  • Investigate mitigation of stormwater issues in neighborhoods
  • Stormwater management needs to move into the neighborhoods; many are private roads and neighborhoods don’t always know how to address the issue; need to partner with the neighborhoods to provide assistance

(3) Stay abreast of climate change impacts and vulnerability and educate our community as appropriate.

  • Effect of sea level rise and impact
  • Monitor impact and determine role in working with citizens

(4) Plan for and construct living shoreline and shoreline protection on sound frontage.

  • Address soundside erosion

Active, Engaged Community

(1) Continue to implement thoughtful strategies designed to engage Town stakeholders.

  • Foster community participation with ongoing events including shoulder and off-season experiences
  • Leverage technology to maintain a high level of communication and inclusion
  • Enhance our network of volunteers and ensure continuity
  • Learn more about seasonal stakeholders
  • Create structured but relaxed opportunities for staff, council, and stakeholders to come together to share information and ideas

(2) Develop a strong relationship between the property managers and the Town.

  • Ensure that there is a strong awareness of public safety interface
  • Ensure that appropriate information is shared with visitors

(3) Aggressively maintain and improve current facilities to enhance the Duck experience.

  • Consider additional restrooms, to include assessment of need, impact, and feasibility 

(4) Improve trash pick-up in Duck to minimize the amount of the time that trashcans are on the street and to eliminate overflow.

  • Resolve issues with the performance of the vendor
  • Explore/consider going to a roll in, roll out system
  • Work with homeowners and property managers as required

Vibrant, Thriving Business Community

(1) Foster collaboration with businesses to enhance beautification and to maintain their facilities.

(2) Maintain and enhance our events and help the businesses connect with them.

(3) Explore workforce housing options to support the business community.

Responsive and Responsible Leadership

(1) Continue the 5 Year Financial Plan to optimize our resources.

  • Address human resources, infrastructure, fund balance, revenues, demographics, future circumstances and capacity 
  • Develop a fiscal plan that sets a tax rate designed to reasonably fund projects and services and reflects the desire for flat/slow tax growth
  • Work to get the most value for our tax dollars and communicate these decisions to all stakeholders
  • Evaluate outcomes, both qualitatively and quantitatively (performance management)

(2) Complete plan for the renovation or reconstruction of the public safety building.

  • Establish connections and relationships with Army Corps of Engineers
  • Continue efforts to establish a long-term lease
  • Focus on vision and take a long term view
  • May need a different approach to establish the public safety building

(3) Explore ongoing beach management including strategies, ordinances, access, tents, and driving.

(4) Explore and understand demographic changes occurring in Duck and use them to shape policy.

(5) Provide opportunities for elected leaders and appointed board members to learn about their roles and best practices.

A Graphic History of Duck

As a part of the visioning process, the council, staff, and audience members worked with the consultant to develop a graphic history of Duck presented below. This graphic history is designed to illustrate key events, people, moments, and other items that have been particularly important in developing the identity of the Town of Duck.

Click on the image below to enlarge and to view the three slides:

Duck Graphic History Slides