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Kill Devil Hills considers monument sidewalk project, looks into commercial lighting standards

At the Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners meeting on July 13, Mayor Pro Tem Ivy Ingram took the lead in moderating as Mayor Ben Sproul was caught in harsh weather conditions coming up from Salvo.

After no residents came forward for public comment, the board headed right into the commissioner’s agenda. Commissioner Terry Gray started it off by referencing an email the board had received from resident Elaine Whitaker.

Whitaker inquired about connecting a small section of sidewalk by the Wright Brothers National Memorial monument. The sidewalk, as it stands now, does not connect to either Landing Dr. or Colington Rd. Whitaker noted this and asked about eventually converting the sidewalks to multi-use paths.

Gray said he had taken the matter to Park Service, who expressed their willingness to work with the town on creating a safe path for visitors. Park Services indicated that the land between the tree line and the road is owned by the NC Department of Transportation, who would need to be involved if the town so chooses to move forward with the project.

“Depending on funding, I think this is something we really do need to address,” Gray stated. He asked town manager Debora Diaz to keep an eye on the budget and if the funds become feasible, to let the board know. “I am really enthusiastic about the potential of having that path,” echoed commissioner John Windley.

Moving onto new business, the board had discussed modifications to lighting standards for commercials structures at their May meeting. Planning director Meredith Guns has since compiled a list of nine regulations for LED access lighting, including limitations on height, minimizing light pollution, protecting wildlife in the oceanfront area and limiting colors for individual commercial buildings to one.

After review, the commissioners gave Guns their blessing to move forward with an ordinance for the lighting standard modifications. The ordinance will go before the planning board and, if approved, head into a public hearing for potential adoption by the commissioners.

Ingram, who was hesitant in May to adopt such modifications, found comfort in knowing that there was the potential to “dial it back” by adding amendments to the ordinance if need be.

As for the consent agenda, the board approved to schedule a public hearing on improvements to the Moore Shores Estuarine access for August 10. The planned improvements include five off-street parking spaces, a handicap accessible walkway and a pier with a kayak/canoe launch. The launch will be a first for KDH, providing an area for non-motorized water recreation.

The commissioner’s retreat was then scheduled for September 19 at 9 a.m. and the board moved onto their last order of business: fireworks.

KDH was the only town in Dare County to reschedule their firework display for Labor Day weekend. With a 30-day notice requirement to cancel the fireworks for September and either reschedule for later in to the year, reschedule for 2021 or not reschedule at all, the board has until August 5 to make a decision.

After some deliberation, the board turned to Diaz for guidance on how to proceed. “If we’re not in Phase 3, then I think we need to look at either postponing it for later 2020 or . . . beginning our plans for next year,” Diaz recommended. “I feel if we are in Phase 3 August the 5th that we would maintain the Labor Day weekend date.”

Diaz agreed to come back to the board closer to the August decision date for a final recommendation. If the display is postponed, commissioners liked the idea of rescheduling for December, either the 17th or New Year’s Eve.

For more information or to view meeting videos and agendas, visit the KDH town website at www.kdhnc.com.

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