Currituck modifies outdoor storage and display guidelines, paving the way for large-scale retail

Published 5:38 am Sunday, November 8, 2020

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Currituck County commissioners at their Monday night meeting paved the way for Tractor Supply Company to establish a location in the county.

According to Laurie B. LoCicero, Planning and Community Development director, when contacted by Tractor Supply about locating in Currituck, it was determined current ordinances do not allow for nearly enough of the outdoor storage and display area the company requested. Both are considered to be major factors in the company’s success.

LoCicero explained that when the current code was enacted the intent was to limit the cluttering effect displayed items might have when located between a retail structure and the street. Aimed at solving a problem along NC 12 in Corolla, it also offered some aesthetic protection for Caratoke Highway. At the time, any needs of a large-scale retail business like Tractor Supply were not considered.

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She went on to say the proposed change will allow the display areas Tractor Supply needs as well as address staff concerns about outdoor storage and clutter.

During discussion, Chairman Bob White said it might be worth it for the board to discuss being proactive toward allowing other businesses like Home Depot and Lowe’s to come in.

With both Paul M. Beaumont and Mike H. Payment absent and Kevin E. McCord recused from the discussion to avoid a possible conflict of interest, commissioners on a 4-0 vote approved a text amendment change that establishes a new agricultural retail facilities section and the guidelines for the agricultural support items allowed in defined outdoor display areas.

Also approved was the expense of $132,500 for Riggs Ward Design, L.C. to design, produce and install multimedia software compatible with the design of a Currituck Maritime Museum permanent exhibition and $919,500 for the upgrade and expansion of the Southern Outer Banks Water System with a 16-inch deep water main by Enviro Tech Unlimited Construction Services, LLC.

In other business for the evening, McCord was appointed to the Trillium Health Advisory Board, replacing commissioner Selina Jarvis; tax administrator Tracy Sample advised that under the 2021 reappraisals there have been some growth in several pocket areas, but no big changes like in the last evaluation.

Economic Development director Larry Lombardi provided a brief activity report saying there have been 600 new single family homes, 56 commercial projects and 126 businesses registered with the NC Secretary of State to operate in FY 2019-20. Lombardi added that he is looking at offshore wind opportunities and that there are still areas of the county that need broadband service. He also advised that Bakers’ Peanuts plans to move into the old 7-11 store in Grandy.

Although a use permit request to operate an industrial mine on North Spot Road is not expected to be heard until January, White allowed public comments on the issue.

Several people spoke in opposition to allowing the excavation of sand and topsoil for a 35-foot-deep pit on the property owned by Jo Ann Gallop. Residents said they were concerned about noise, safety and water quality if the project is approved. An in-depth discussion on the use permit process followed and White also advised that the board should look at changing its policy on giving notices for more intensive uses of agricultural lands located next to residential areas.

Sitting as the Tourism Development Authority, commissioners approved $87,000 for Historic Jarvisburg Colored School painting and window repairs and for HVAC replacement at the Whalehead Club. As a separate action $50,000 was approved for extended lifeguard beach services roving patrols.



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