Subdivision’s preliminary plat approved by Nags Head Planning Board

Published 5:59 am Saturday, January 4, 2020

During their monthly meeting, the Nags Head Planning Board reviewed a preliminary plat for a major subdivision known as the Coastal Villas. This 17-lot subdivision is proposed to be built on the west side of US 158, approximately 300 feet south of the intersection of W. Soundside Road and US 158.

Michael Zehner, planning and development director, presented this plat to the board. He explained that the parcel will be approximately 9.68 acres, zoned in R-2, which is a medium density residential zone, and include the development of the 17 lots along with associated street and other required improvements.

According to the plan, “the proposed subdivision would create 17 lots, located along a new street (Coastal Breeze Way), to connect through to an existing street, Sea Bass Court, with the improvement of an existing public paper/unimproved right-of-way, Mariners Way.”

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Zehner explained that Mariners Way was a point of contention when it came to subdivision. Previously, the town had expectations that the street should connect to the parcel. “Ultimately, the Board of Commissioners denied the preliminary plat for failing to show a connection to the parcel,” Zehner said. However, a court decision directed the town to approve the plan and that was how Mariners Way was platted.

In the staff comments, Zehner mentioned that “through access from 158 through to Mariners Way would present an ideal condition from a traffic standpoint.” This would allow for traffic to be broken up, which was a major concern for existing residents of South Ridge.

“The increased traffic flow is going to create a safety problem,” Richard Kitirell mentioned during public comment. Karen Kravitz agreed: “You have to consider the extra number of people coming through there on a given day.” They both recommended the addition of a traffic light at Soundside Road.

Cathleen Saunders from Quible and Associates was there on behalf of the applicant, Nags Head Construction. She addressed the concerns regarding Mariners Way; she said the original plan included a direct connection from the Coastal Villas to Highway 158. After speaking with the public works department and DOT, the connectivity was switched to Mariners Way.

This decision was based off of the fact that if the connection was from Highway 158, that would include another turn on and off the highway close to Soundside Road and Deering Road, a collector’s street. The group agreed this would cause safety concerns.

After Zehner and Saunders had finished discussing the preliminary plat with the board, the board members deliberated the technicalities of the plan.

“I understand the concern for residents about increased traffic,” Megan Lambert, board member, stated, “but I also see how you could create another hazard connecting to the highway.”

David Elder, board member, said he was very interested in seeing where NCDOT sits in terms of adding a traffic light to Soundside Road in order to break up traffic flow.

Meade Gwinn, board member, acknowledged the preserved cul-de-sac in the Coastal Villas plan. He said this would slow down traffic because there is no way to cut through. “It seems like this plan is very consistent with the surrounding area; it seems like it will blend in well,” he added.

Once the board looked over the plan, Mike Reilly, board member, made a motion to approve the preliminary plat for Coastal Villas based on the conditions presented by the planning staff. With a second from Gwinn, the plan was approved unanimously.



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