Nags Head Planning Board discusses alcohol sales, kiosks and event home guidelines

Published 9:34 am Friday, January 31, 2020

Much of the January 21 Nags Head Planning Board meeting was spent discussing the sale of beer and wine by the glass, allowing outdoor kiosks and developing some type of guidelines for event homes – sometimes referred to as mini hotels – with direction to staff to develop draft ordinances.

After first electing Megan Vaughan and Kristi Wright as chair and vice chair respectively, the board then spent most of the morning meeting discussing similar expansion requests from Outlets Nags Head and Whalebone Surf Shop.

According to Kate Creef, assistant general manager of Outlets Nags Head, allowing outdoor kiosks in conjunction with or as an accessory use to retail shopping centers located within the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District would allow a place to give out information on charter boats and trip bookings. She went on to say the potential is there for other types of events, tours and other recreation and tourist activities.

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Deputy planning director Kelly Wyatt advised that although there is nothing in current code that addresses kiosks, the board might not need to create a special kiosk use. As outdoor stands are already allowed in shopping centers, it is possible that just adding some specific wording to current code would allow off site event bookings.

April Vaughn from Whalebone Surf Shop was also on hand with two requests.

The first was to allow outdoor stands at her store for the sale of produce in conjunction with or as an accessory use to general retail within the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District. The second was to allow beer and wine sales by the glass as a permissible use in conjunction with or as an accessory use to general retail within the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District.

She explained that she came before the board five years ago to expand her sales area with an outside food and beverage area, but that project never took place. Now, after receiving a number of beer and wine requests, she would like to create a different atmosphere and develop the upper level of her store into a museum setting with limited alcohol sales offered only during regular business hours.

In addition to discussing health permit and ABC permit requirements, as well as the possible use of food trucks, board members also had questions about meeting parking requirements if the requests are approved.

Parking is not likely to be a problem.

During the response, it was noted noted that Whalebone Surf Shop often gets overflow foot traffic from customers parked at T.J. Maxx and surrounding stores with as many as 10 to 12 people in the surf shop and no cars in the parking lot.

Following the discussion, it was agreed that the request needed to be a little more specific.

“This is a cool idea,” said chairperson Vaughan. “But we need a few more details to know what we are approving.”

Moving on to a discussion on large event homes, board members agreed that it is not just a visual issue because while parking, sanitation and noise have the biggest community impact, it is safety and emergency services access that are the major concerns.

It was also suggested that a free permit with contact info similar to those issued for beach fires would also allow the opportunity to educate visitors on the prohibition of Chinese lanterns and fireworks.

“We don’t want to be the party police,” cautioned Vaughan, “but we need something in place.”

As the discussion came to an end, Wyatt advised that if police and fire issues become part of the discussion, those departments would be invited to take part in the discussion.

Staff was then directed to work on some draft ordinances based on the day’s discussions for review at another meeting.



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