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School capacity briefly surfaces for BOC

When plans for Foxglove Acres in Moyock first showed up at the planning department, seats at the county’s high schools were at 85 percent capacity.

That number triggered a requirement for a major subdivision (ten acres or more) to get a Use Permit, which meant a trip to the Board of Commissioners to determine if the plans meet the Adequate Facilities Ordinance. In this case, the facilities are the schools. If the facilities will not meet the anticipated need, the county has to get started on a way to provide those facilities.

However, during the Board of Commissioners’ final meeting last month, planning director Laurie LoCicero explained that as of January, the capacity at the high schools is now below that 85 percent mark. So, while the Use Permit remained in the system, meeting school needs was not an issue.

The plans call for 13 lots on 20 acres along Tulls Creek Road in Moyock, which started as ten acre lots under different ownership, but is now owned by Mainstay Construction based in Moyock and is located in the midst of other subdivisions in varying stages of development.

The development marks the first time in a number of years that school capacity has come up. In the past, capacity has prompted boundary shifts between schools, mobile units and new schools.

Another subdivision in Moyock was also on the board’s agenda. Just over a year ago, the board approved plans for a four-acre 16-unit townhome complex on Moyock Landing Drive. But developers SB&K Investments and owner Hugh S. Miller IV, both of Moyock, wanted to change the detached garages to garages attached to the units, necessitating a reorientation of the buildings and infrastructure.

The two-story townhomes will be rentals and one unit will be a short term rental, as was originally planned, a place to compensate for lack of a hotel (but not daily rentals), meant for people waiting for a house to be built, someone on a temporary assignment here.

Miller noted that he has already been contacted by the school superintendent about reserving some of the townhomes for teachers and/or school staff to help with personnel recruitment and retention.

The board approved the changes.

Former county commissioner Vance Aydlett was praised for his tireless pursuit of repairs for NC 615, Knotts Island Causeway, notorious for constant undermining by the waters around it.

County manager Dan Scanlon announced that the state has allocated $400,000 to stabilize the road, under the Department of Transportation’s High Impact/Low Cost Road Program. Scanlon added that the funding will not impact the county’s general allotment for roads but is rather a separate fund for a specific project.

“Vance Aydlett has been working to make this happen,” commented commissioner Marion Gilbert, noting that the former commissioner had been meeting with DOT officials and state legislators.

“He put the time and effort into it,” added commissioner Bob White.

In other road news, and another road with long-standing undermining issues, Scanlon announced that DOT will be repairing/stabilizing Waterlily Road, that will necessitate the road being closed. That date is set for Friday, April 6, beginning at 8 p.m. and is expected to remain closed for 24-36 hours. Scanlon added that Emergency Services has prepared a response plan while that road is closed.

The work is being done through a federal grant and is expected to include dredging and culvert replacement.

As to work recently completed on Poplar Branch Road, commissioner Mike Payment reported that larger culverts were installed to help drainage on that road.

Commissioner Mike Hall commended county engineer Eric Weatherly and the county’s Soil and Water personnel for their work to improve drainage in Laurel Woods; and commissioner White reported that the beautification project along NC 12 is progressing and playground equipment is being installed at Carova Park.

Commissioner Payment also commended Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department for its recent ISO rating, and reported that he would be attending a meeting in Dare County about offshore drilling.

Commissioner Gilbert applauded the students at Currituck County High School who gathered prior to the start of a school day to pray for the victims of the Florida school shootings.

During the public comment session, Moyock resident Steve Shawgo, said, “It’s embarrassing how bad the litter has gotten,” referring to the amount of trash that seems to piling up along too many roads in the county. Shawgo also thanked commissioners Payment and Hall for assisting with his community’s clean up efforts, and suggested that posting the roads with signs about the penalties for littering may make a difference and asked the county to help. “Help Currituck get clean again,” he added.

Kimberly Boyd and Carova Beach VFD chief Jay Laughmiller were appointed to the Carova Beach Road Service District Committee.

The board approved a budget amendment to use a 2017 Emergency Management Performance Grant for local training of responders and weather monitoring systems throughout the county; and a $100,000 budget amendment for additional legal costs for various lawsuits.

The board agreed to waive the $500 fee to use the Extension Center for the Moyock High School Committee’s high school reunion for classes 1940-1960.

The commissioners also met as the Ocean Sands Water and Sewer District Board to approve a $35,000 budget amendment to transfer money from professional services to chemicals for the new waste treatment plant; and $50,000 for legal services for ongoing and long-standing litigation involving that subdivision’s developer, Coastland Corporation.

Giving the invocation at the start of the meeting was Rev. Dan Bergey, pastor of New Life Church, that was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

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