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Renovated retail space parking reviewed by Duck Planning Board

A special exception request was given a favorable vote during last Wednesday’s Duck Planning Board meeting.

Having only one item on the evening’s agenda for consideration helped lead to an overall relatively short February 10 meeting.

According to community development director Joe Heard, Golden Sand Holdings, LLC is renovating the retail business previously occupied by Plum Crazy in the Soundside Shoppes shopping center at 1180 Duck Road. The intended use will be similar to the previous occupant of retail sales along with the sale of ice cream, coffee and other related drinks.

During his presentation, Heard explained that the building is convenient to the boardwalk and sidewalk and each unit is individually owned, making it the only commercial condo unit in Duck. Renovation plans include the addition of a one-bedroom upstairs apartment living space for employees with an area of about 900 square feet, a change that requires one additional parking space. The shopping center, originally approved prior to Duck incorporating by Dare County in 1987, is currently zoned Village Commercial and is five short of the required 38 parking spaces, which means it is already a non-conforming site. Sixteen of the spaces are paved parking spaces near Bob’s Bait & Tackle.

Heard went on to say that the request from Golden Sand Holdings is to waive the one additional parking space and under Village Commercial option guidelines, the Planning Board and Council can exempt up to six spaces.

Representing Golden Sand Holdings, Molly Adamovic said the apartment will be an important part of the structure given the shortage of affordable employee housing.

duck planning board

Molly Adamovic represented Golden Sand Holdings, LLC at the Duck Planning Board meeting. Philip S. Ruckle Jr. photo

Including a requirement that tenants be employees was mentioned during discussions, but Heard explained the town cannot legally specify who tenants can be. He added that number of tenants is also determined by the health department.

When asked how many would be in the apartment, Adamovic said the intent is for only one, but if an employee is married, she would not want to split up a family.

Noted also was a submitted comment that if approved, any tenant parking spaces should be at the far side of the parking lot near the trash dumpsters.

Adamovic advised that would not be a problem since company policy is for employees to park away from the building on the far side of the parking lot anyway.

At the end of discussion, a motion to approve was given a favorable vote by board members Joe Blakaitis, James Cofield, Tim McKeithan and Randy Morton. Included in the motion was a requirement that all fire and building code requirements are met, parking is away from the building, and a 12 month window be in place for the project start. Marc Murray was unable to attend and not at the meeting.

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