Kitty Hawk Town Council moves to condemn Beach Road property
Published 6:30 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019
The Kitty Hawk Town Council at its Monday, July 1 regular session meeting voted to condemn a Virginia Dare Trail property.
In an opening statement, Mayor Gary Perry advised that council was not taking action for any public use, but instead has been forced to correct an existing unsafe condition at the 4240 North Virginia Dare Trail property.
“The possible action we take tonight is not something any of us ever wanted to see,” explained Perry. “That said, we hope to provide the public with sufficient information to show that sometimes there is a need for government to use certain powers to ensure safety and harmony exist within the community.”
During the discussion, code enforcement officer and fire inspector Ben Alexander said there have been several complaints about the property’s condition and presented a series of photographs showing soffit damage, areas of roof damage and other areas of building deterioration.
“We’re not looking to take any property,” added Alexander. “We are just trying to bring it into compliance.”
According to Alexander, there are five structures on the property, but only three are subject to the condemnation action before council.
Although the condition of the property has drawn complaints as far back as 2010, its deteriorated condition did not meet state guidelines for municipal action until 2017.
Town manager Andy Stewart advised that property owners have been advised of the unsafe conditions at this property with multiple letters mailed to the owners with no apparent action. Town attorney Casey Varnell added that a title search would verify any owners that need to be contacted for notification of any condemnation action.
Varnell went on to say that while there were no known imminent contracts for sale of the property, there was a neighboring property sale transaction that failed when the buyers were unable to obtain insurance due to the condition of this property.
With several structures on the property within five or six feet of property lines, the concern for safety is not limited to this property alone.
“There is a potential for fire,” advised Fire Chief Mike Talley. “Fire can spread inside and to adjacent buildings. I’m really worried about the spread. This is an ideal spot for it with the wind off the water. It can get away from us quickly.”
Perry also pointed out that while there other rundown properties in Kitty Hawk, none pose the same level danger to the public and adjacent properties as do the structures located on this property.
After 20 minutes of discussion, council approved a motion to condemn and demolition the property located at 4240 North Virginia Dare Trail.
In other business for the night, council recognized Kitty Hawk Police Lieutenant Wade M. Styons for completing 20 years of service with the town.
While making a plaque presentation, Police Chief Joel C. Johnson advised that Styons had grown up in the area, was from a law enforcement family, interacts well with the public and has been a great team member for the department.
Council also approved conceptual drawings by Cahoon and Kasten Architects for a bath house renovation project scheduled in the coming year.
According to Stewart, renovations include improved plumbing, new roof, some additional square footage to the Ocean Rescue garage for storage and relocation of the outdoor shower facilities that should reduce the potential for wood rot to the structure. He added that in order to formally bid the project, a set of final construction plans will be needed based on the conceptual drawings presented to council.
The 2019-20 budget already includes $100,000 for the proposed improvements.
Council also approved minutes from its June 3 meeting, acceptance of a $170 fire department donation from the Golden Strand Interval Owners Association, safety equipment purchases for the fire department with one half of the $2,050 purchase price reimbursed through a NC League of Municipalities Safety Grant, a Town of Kitty Hawk Emergency Preparedness Response and Recovery Plan, a software service agreement up to $90,000 with Tyler Technologies for new and improved financial software and a $124,580 contract with RPC Contracting, Inc. for culvert replacement and drainage improvements in Kitty Hawk Estates Subdivision and on Tarkel Ridge Road in Kitty Hawk Landing Subdivision.
A final business item for the night included appointing Charlotte Walker as Board of Adjustment chair, naming current alternate Timothy Fish as a regular board member and appointing Kip Tabb as an alternate member.
Perry said action on naming a Board of Adjustment vice-chair would be delayed until it could be determined who is interested in holding the position.
The next Town Council meeting is 6 p.m. August 5.