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Kitty Hawk Planning Board reviews tattoo studio request

In separate actions at their August 12 meeting, Kitty Hawk Planning Board members voted to recommend a zoning map amendment and to allow a new special use within town limits.

The first action item for the evening involved a request to remove an existing split-zoning of property at 3722 North Croatan Highway.

According to Rob Testerman, Kitty Hawk planning and inspections director, the eastern half of the 3.7 acre property with a multi-unit commercial building is zoned Beach Commercial (BC-1) with rest zoned Beach Residential (BR-1). The only access is from North Croatan Highway since the BR-1 portion of the property is landlocked by Barefoot Bernie’s on the north, Miss Lizzie’s on the south end and First Flight Ridge subdivision to the west.

Testerman explained that while there are no known plans for development, split zone parcels could complicate any future development proposals when calculating lot coverage, determining setbacks and even looking at any approved uses.

It was also pointed out that although the property was split-zoned when established, it has been a town goal to correct any split zoned properties.

The only discussion on the request included a comment that there is a rumor circulating that the property has been sold and that the zoning change is not spot zoning. Testerman confirmed that the action is not spot zoning and said a sale would not make any difference on the zoning request.

The board then gave its unanimous approval to recommend changing the property zoning from BR-1 to BC-1.

The second action item was a request to add tattoo studios to the list of permitted uses in Kitty Hawk.

In providing information on this request, Testerman explained that North Carolina law does not prohibit tattoo studios and, according to a UNC School of Government publication, the board can only determine where and when they can operate.

Testerman went on to say the application from Michael Smith includes several proposed zoning districts, but if the board feels the request is appropriate for some areas and not others, that could be included in any motion for Town Council.

In his comments on the application, Smith said tattoo artists are heavily regulated and that Dare County has stricter requirements than the NC Department of Health.

“There are space requirements and guidelines for health, sanitation and sterilization,” said Smith, “All that adds to the square footage needed. And all our waste will be handled privately, nothing will be dumped in with town waste.”

Currently within Dare County there are tattoo studios in Manns Harbor, Colington and Frisco. Nags Head and Manteo have guidelines for the operation of tattoo studios, but none are known to be there.

After a brief discussion on possible guidelines and restrictions on hours of operation, the board voted to recommend adding a definition for tattoo studios to town code section 42-1 within zoning districts Beach Commercial (BC-1), Commercial (VC-2), and Village Commercial (VC-3) with operating hours limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In other business for the evening, the June 17 meeting minutes were approved and oath of office for Planning Board members Jim Geraghty, Chuck Heath, John Richeson and alternate member Matt Spencer.

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