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Manteo Planning Board: Marina boat lifts not recommended

The Manteo Planning Board voted not to recommend a change to the Manteo zoning ordinance that would allow boat lifts at docks in marinas. Two residents of Marshes Light community, a planned development with marina docks, spoke in favor of the change. The recommendation is a blow to those asking for the change, but not the end of the issue.

The Manteo Board of Commissioners will make the final decision. The commissioners have scheduled a hearing for June 17 to receive public comment. The existing ordinance reads: boat lifts, or any devices attached to pilings or docks and designed to suspend a boat over the water, are not permitted in marinas. The ordinance does not restrict boat lifts at private docks outside marinas.

The main objection to boat lifts by the four Planning Board members who voted not to recommend a change appeared to be the negative community impact the mechanical lifts would have on the public’s water views from town deeded parks, boardwalks and walkways.

On a motion by Jamie Daniels, the board voted four to one not to recommend a text change to the ordinance. Fields Scarborough cast the dissenting vote. The Planning Board adopted a consistency statement explaining that the request to eliminate prohibition on boat lifts in marinas was inconsistent with the 2007 land use plan that calls for preserving views to public trust waters.

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