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Kitty Hawk board rejects permeable pavement use

Concerns that maintenance enforcement might be a problem, the Kitty Hawk Planning board voted at its April 19 meeting against allowing additional lot coverage when permeable pavement is used.

Currently lot coverage construction in Kitty Hawk is capped at 30 percent, similar to restrictions in other Outer Banks towns. The proposed code change would allow for an additional six percent of coverage when using permeable pavement materials.

During a thorough presentation with a number of supporting documents local engineer Ralph Calfee explained how the use of permeable pavement material is considered a best storm water management practice due to its on-site retention and infiltration of storm water.

Adding also that he thought Nags Head was one of the first areas to allow additional lot coverage for approved permeability material use, Calfee said since then the state has done a great deal of permeable work.

Permeable pavement is used to control storm water runoff on pedestrian walkways, parking areas and some driveways where additional structural support is provided.

Permeable pavement allows storm water to pass through the pavement surface and allows water to infiltrate into the soil as opposed to flowing across the surface to other areas.

Allowing property owners additional physical coverage area is often seen as an incentive to use the more porous and  more expensive material.

According to Calfee, permeable pavement installations are maintained and managed a little differently than traditional pavements in order to promote prolonged effectiveness.

Calfee covered some maintenance techniques pointing out that the property owner would be required to maintain it.

When asked about failure, Calfee explained the material is required to hold 50 inches of rainwater per hour, while typical a 100-year rainfall has about eight or nine inches per hour.

During discussion on the issue there was support for the idea, but the concerns raised over who determines when it has failed and what actions are needed should the pavement clog up appeared to be too much to overcome and a motion to deny by Vice-Chair Bryan Parker, passed 3-2.

The issue will go to the Kitty Hawk Town Council with the planning board’s recommendation to deny. Council can vote to deny, approve, table for later discussion, or send the request back to planning.

In other board action for the evening, a text amendment restricting Board of Adjustment membership to Kitty Hawk residents was given unanimous approval. Although town code already establishes a Board of Adjustment along with three-year terms of office, the residence requirement was not clearly spelled out.

The board also approved minutes from its March 15 meeting.

The next Kitty Hawk Planning board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, at Kitty Hawk Town Hall, 101 Veterans Memorial Drive, and is open to the public.

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