Kitty Hawk Planning Board reviews rezoning lot in Kitty Hawk Woods

Published 5:30 am Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Kitty Hawk planning board met Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. to review a proposed zoning amendment in Kitty Hawk Woods (KHW).

The applicants, Alejo and Luanne Heller, brought forth a proposal for a zoning amendment last year. They would like to carve out a portion of their property for a family member to use. According to Rob Testerman, director of planning and inspections, their previous proposal, which changed a portion of their property to a BR-1 zone, did not leave enough of a non-wetlands area. Therefore, it was not compliant with KHW district.

The Hellers have since amended the proposal to rezoning the entire property from KHW to BR-1. Testerman and staff felt this proposal would solve the non-wetlands issues, because those areas would not apply to any part of the lot if it were changed to BR-1.

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The minimum lot size for a BR-1 is 15,000 sq. ft, as opposed to the 80,000 sq. ft. minimum for a KHW zone. The current lot size is 2.4 acres (about 104,000 sq. ft.).

Jim Geraghty, board member, addressed his concerns with the new proposal. “That first submittal for the property made more sense to me than this does,” he said. He felt that if this lot were changed to a BR-1 zone, someone might take advantage and subdivide the property into four separate lots in the future. He preferred rezoning a portion of the property instead of the entire land.

John Richeson, chair, agreed with Geraghty. “The sensitive nature of Kitty Hawk Woods makes this hard,” Richeson said. Richeson and Geraghty also had concerns with whether or not this would lead to other zoning amendment proposals from surrounding neighbors and residents of the community.

Luanne Heller felt that “so much of the front lot is buildable property.” The Hellers have not yet surveyed their property to see the ratio of wetland to non-wetland area. Geraghty suggested the applicants go back and survey the property and then come up with a proposal that does not include rezoning the entire square footage.

Geraghty made a motion to table the amendment until they verified the area of wetlands on their property and resubmit a new proposal similar to the first. Dusty Rhoads seconded that motion and all were in agreement.

After discussion around the zoning amendment subsided, Testerman told the board that a new flood damage prevention ordinance is on the horizon. “We’re hoping the new ordinance will be in effect by next summer,” he said.

Vice-chair Bryan Parker was not in attendance, as well as Matt Spencer. Gary Muir, alternate, stepped in for Parker as a voting member of the board for the night.

The next Kitty Hawk planning board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.