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Manteo Common site plan approved

The Manteo Common site plan was approved by the Manteo Planning Board on Tuesday night. The action clears the way for the town to put the project out for construction bids.

Development on the site is expected to begin this fall with a project completion projected for February or March of 2021.

Approval came after a presentation by John DeLucia of the Kill Devil Hills engineering firm Albemarle & Associates, Ltd., which was hired to turn a conceptual idea for the combined parking lot and public space into a realistic plan.

The Manteo Common project was the idea of Manteo Mayor Bobby Owens to ease parking problems in the downtown historic area with landscaped public use space. The Common is to be developed on Dare County owned property on the site of the recently demolished Old Raleigh Hotel on Budleigh Street. A series of public meetings led to the latest design.

According to DeLucia, the phase one plan will include 60 parking spaces, tree- and landscape-lined walkways, a central gathering area and runoff control to contain rainwater. A phase two portion of the project that could include public restrooms and art displays will depend on future funding.

Manteo Planning Board Chair Sherry Wickstrom envisioned a space that would engage all the senses, where songbirds would sing and people would gather to enjoy the flora. She said the finished park within a parking lot would be a “gem in the town.”

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