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Nags Head commissioners approve text amendments to UDO

The Nags Head Board of Commissioners began its regular meeting last Tuesday by recognizing two new town employees: firefighter and EMT William Reynolds and sanitation equipment operator Heath Taylor. The board also recognized Matthew Huntingford for 10 years of service as a police officer.

Commissioners then heard from Peggy Saporito and Paige Griffin from the Arts & Culture Committee about the Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market plans for 2021. The market will run Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from May to September, though the number of vendors will be reduced to fifty to allow for social distancing. According to Griffin, vendors are eager to begin. “There is a frenzy of excitement that’s brewing and has been for some time,” she said.

The meeting moved on to three public hearings, all considering text amendments to the unified development ordinance (UDO). The first concerned various commercial mixed-use types, particularly regulations for religious complexes as an allowed use within shopping centers. The board approved the text amendment.

The board then moved on to the ongoing discussion about non-conforming hotels and the permitted zoning district location and additional regulations for hotels. They approved the text amendment to allow hotels in the CR zoning district, subject to a conditional use permit and only those hotels and sites used as hotels in operation as of January 1, 2021.

The last item for public hearing involved outdoor lighting and lighting for signage. At the direction of the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Board came up with amendments to the UDO regarding commercial wall signs, roof signs, LED lamps and/or light fixture maximum illumination. The board discussed uplighting or downlighting signs and externally versus internally illuminated signs. After deliberation, the commissioners made a motion to continue the discussion at the next regular meeting on May 5 to allow staff to bring information about uplighting neighborhood signs.

After a recess, the board heard from planning director Michael Zehner for the board’s consideration on five items: the scope of the estuarine shoreline management plan, improvements to Fourth Street (W. Coastal Way), a preliminary plat for a major subdivision to divide a four-acre property at 468 W. Villa Dunes Drive into two lots, a draft request for information regarding town seasonal housing, and various text amendments to the UDO related to the state’s 160D requirements.

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