Currituck revokes auto sales permit

Published 11:14 am Friday, February 21, 2020

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Actions by Currituck County commissioner on Monday included delaying the approval of a planned unit development in Corolla and voting to revoke an automobile sales and rental use permit for a Moyock business.

During a relatively routine February 17 mid-month meeting, the approval process for amendments to an already approved master plan hit a snag when representatives for Turnpike Properties, LLC in Winston Salem failed to produce the required expert testimony on how the development will affect nearby property values.

Although Michael Strader, project engineer with Quible and Associates, and Rolf Blizzard, managing director with Turnpike Properties, maintained that there would be little if any change in property values, county attorney Donald “Ike” McRee Jr. advised that commissioners could not rely on lay opinions.

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McRee went on to say even though commissioners were considering an amendment to a use permit, North Carolina law requires expert testimony on the effects to neighboring property values and, in some cases, impacts to traffic patterns.

Chairman Bob White added also that while the approval for projects have, over the years, grown from a simple “do it” to a three page approval statement, it’s all designed to protect the county and the applicant from unnecessary courtroom litigation.

At the end of discussion, commissioners voted to continue the public hearing on March 16.

It was also rough sailing for a Moyock automobile sales and rental business.

After obtaining a June 2019 use permit to allow automobile sales at 1383 Caratoke Highway, only some of the required property improvements and landscaping changes had been completed. According to staff reports, the business was found to be non-compliant in October and notices were issued. By January, staff found some items had been corrected but determined there had been other improvements made without the required permits.

Civil citation fines due to the county were estimated at $1,700.

When questioned about the outdoor storage of vehicles and what steps have been taken to meet the required use permit conditions, Marc Sisino advised that he had undertaken several steps to come into compliance; some health issues played a big part in not meeting the required deadlines.

During discussion, White asked what options were open to Sisino, to which planning and community development director Laurie B. LoCicero advised that an appeal was possible or he could clear up any violations and restart the application process.

The vote to revoke the use permit, with Selina S. Jarvis absent, was a unanimous 6-0.

Other business for the evening included a vote to correct an open space acreage computation error for a proposed 77 acre, 29 lot conservation subdivision at the end of Baxter Lane in Moyock, a Trillium annual report from northern regional director Bland Baker, an Albemarle Regional Health Services report from director Battle Betts and an update on the replacement of 370 computers and upgrade for 39 others by IT director Logan Steese.

Commissioners also approved a $1,761,430 bid by Godfrey Construction LLC for construction of a Corolla ABC Store on a 10 acre tract of land owned by the county at the intersection of Devil’s Bay and Highway 12 in Corolla, accepted a low responsive bid of $2,513,020 from AR Chesson of Williamston for the construction of Shingle Landing Park in Moyock and authorized a grant agreement between Currituck County and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for fence replacement work.

Before ending the meeting with a closed session to discuss legal matters with the county attorney, commissioners appointed John Wunder and Tim Bostaph to the Fire and EMS Advisory Board representing Knotts Island and Corolla respectively, named Sophie Jordan to replace Horace Bell on the Historic Preservation Commission and reappointed W. Charles Eley, Peggy Lusk, Wende Shannon and Ryan Hudgins to the Moyock Watershed Advisory Board.

Currituck commissioners are scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. on March 2 in the Historic Currituck Courthouse.



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