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Kill Devil Hills lights the way to safer crosswalks, moves ahead with Bermuda Bay site plan amendment

By Summer Stevens

Kill Devil Hills commissioner B.J. McAvoy presented a three-phased plan for improving crosswalk lighting along NC 12 to the Board of Commissioners at the monthly meeting February 9. In phase one – which commissioners would like to see completed before summer tourism traffic – priority will be given to crosswalks with beach access.

Signalized crosswalks will be made from heavy-duty fiberglass poles with solar-powered lights, eliminating the need to run power to them. “This is something that really needs to be done for safety,” said commissioner Terry Gray.

For phase two, projected for 2022, the county is considering public-private partnerships with local businesses to help fund the project. “It will be beneficial to their businesses,” McAvoy said. While the goal is to eventually light all of the crosswalks, if a business helps to fund the project, it could potentially move them up to phase one.

In the final phase of the project in 2023, the county is considering lighting crosswalks along the Colington Road and Ocean Bay multi-use path and Veteran’s Drive. “It’s awfully dark,” McAvoy said. “It’s very dark and intimidating to be crossing that road.”

In the meeting, commissioners also considered an amended site plan for Bermuda Bay, allowing two, four-story multi-use structures for a total of 112 apartment-style units, despite public comments via email from community members expressing disapproval.

“I had no idea that the developer would be able to change the design and [build] apartments that would not be part of our HOA or even require our permission,” wrote Penny Muslimani, a resident of Bermuda Bay. “I love the tranquility of our neighborhood that I bought into and while I support growth, that growth should remain within the existing site plan that included seven townhome buildings each of ten units. We should not allow SAGA to disregard every existing homeowner’s investment.”

Linda Perry, another resident, agreed. “I bought my home in Bermuda Bay almost five years ago. I discussed with the realtors along with the builder who finished out the development, how the last piece owned by SAGA was going to be developed. Because of how the PUD read I made my purchase,” Perry stated in a letter to the mayor and Board of Commissioners. “I have concerns regarding safety with both the volume of traffic and crime along with the impact to my home value.”

The town attorney noted in the meeting, “Town comments that have come in that are now part of the record. You can consider those when making your decision.”

The board approved the site plan unanimously.

The board also reappointed Mike Lowack to the Planning Board for a three-year term, expiring March 2024.

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