• 81°

Couple sues for right to rebuild Nags Head beachfront home

Represented by Pacific Legal Foundation, Michael and Cathy Zito have filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, arguing that the government’s decision to deny all use and value of their land is an unlawful property taking under the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions. The suit seeks $700,000 in damages.

The suit is filed against the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission (CRC). The CRC is the governing agency for the North Carolina Coastal Management Program and adopts the rules for implementing the state’s Coastal Area Management Act. The suit contends after a fire destroyed the Zitos’ Nags Head vacation and rental home, local and state government officials denied permits to rebuild because the lot is located in a coastal no-build zone established after they bought their property.

The Zitos live in Maryland and in 2008 bought the ocean front home located at 10224 East Seagull Drive in South Nags Head. On October 10, 2016, while the Zitos’ beach home was unoccupied, a fire burned the home to the ground. According to the complaint, in 2017 the Zitos applied to the Town of Nags Head to rebuild the home.

The complaint states on April 26, 2018, the Town of Nags Head denied the Plaintiffs’ CAMA Minor Permit application because it did not meet the applicable CAMA setback requirements. After the town’s denial, the property owners filed a petition for a variance with the CRC that was denied.

The Town of Nags Head is not a defendant in the suit. Town manager Cliff Ogburn said the town acts as a permitting officer only. He said that under the current CAMA rules, a structure can’t be rebuilt if the structure has been more than 50 percent damaged and the lot the structure sat on no longer meets setback requirements. Ogburn said in this case, erosion had made the site unbuildable and the building permit was denied.

“The Constitution makes it clear that your property rights don’t disappear because you live on the water,” said PLF attorney Dave Breemer. “If government wants to make private property useless, so the public can enjoy it as an open space or beach area, it must pay the owners just compensation.”

The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans they say are threatened by government overreach and abuse. They are representing the Zitos free of charge.

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS AND EVENTS HERE.

News

Hatteras Island firefighters battle Wednesday evening blaze in Avon

Lifestyles

All kinds of fishing going on

Lifestyles

NC State Fair: Vaccinations encouraged, not required

Crime

North Carolina man found in street with gunshot wounds dies

Lifestyles

Outer Banks Community Foundation awards $29,000 in grants to five nonprofits

Business

Miles Daniels named to Currituck Chamber Board of Directors

News

Public comment open for project to repair the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, surrounding landscape

Crime

North Carolina man charged with child abuse after 4-year-old hospitalized with head injury

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing ammunition, firearms

Crime

State Court of Appeals panel upholds murder conviction of North Carolina man

News

Dare school board hears public comments questioning masks; Farrelly reports quarantine numbers are falling

Currituck

Currituck commissioners implore drivers to exercise caution in school zones

Crime

North Carolina man charged in fatal shooting of son-in-law

News

In Kill Devil Hills, $3 million street and drainage improvement project to begin in fall

News

Speed limits increased on NC 12; night driving in place at CHNS

Crime

Police: North Carolina man found shot to death in front yard

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for methamphetamine, firearm charges

Lifestyles

Dare CYP seeks community support for diaper drives

News

DMF schedules estuarine striped bass plan advisory committee workshop

News

North Carolina unemployment rate falls to 4.3% in August

Crime

North Carolina woman fatally shot, then hit by car

News

Two men killed, woman injured in head-on collision in North Carolina

News

Marc Basnight’s contributions to North Carolina to be recognized at special Senate floor meeting

News

North Carolina nurse wins $216,614 Cash 5 jackpot first time playing