Dare commissioners approve new fish house; set hearings on food trucks, buffers

Published 4:52 pm Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dare County commissioners took up three planning items on Monday, October 4, approving a special use permit for a new fish house in Hatteras village and scheduling two public hearings.

The commissioners approved a special use permit for Jeffery Aiken to build a commercial fish house and docking facility on Back Creek, 57162 Altona Lane in Hatteras village. The 5,625 square foot building will process, package, distribute and sell seafood to meet the growing demand for sustainably-sourced North Carolina seafood.

Conditions address lighting, driveways, parking and fencing abutting residential use. The hours for the retail sales operation are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

“This is a plus to see an expansion of a fishing center,” said Robert L. Woodard, chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

On Oct. 18 at 5 p.m., two public hearings will be held. Both requests come from Joe Thompson, founder of Koru Village in Avon, and both requests would apply to unincorporated Dare County.

Requested are a zoning text amendment concerning food trucks and a change that deals with buffer requirements in the travel trailer and campground ordinance.

In 2018, the county’s zoning ordinance was amended to allow mobile food units with certain conditions, such as one mobile unit per location on a site with an existing commercial business.

Thompson is requesting that multiple food trucks be permitted in one location, to create a “food court.”

The zoning code changes under consideration are:

– A maximum of five mobile food units on a site with an existing commercial use.

– Units are to be separated by 10 feet for safety.

– Portable toilets shall not be used to meet a requirement for restrooms if outside seating is provided.

– A maximum of eight outdoor seats for each mobile and non-mobile food stand.

– If existing business parking cannot be used, then 10 parking spaces for the first mobile food truck plus no more than two additional spaces for each unit are required, but can be waived by the planning director, states the proposed zoning code changes. Ten parking spaces are required for non-mobile food stands.

– Permitted hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

A second amendment concerns buffers required by the travel trailer and campground ordinance. The current ordinance permits only vegetative buffers.

Thompson is asking for flexibility in an already approved 20-site campground at the Avon Pier. One perimeter adjoins a septic system which will be harmed by growing vegetation. Another area is between parking for the Avon Pier and the campground sites.

Thompson wants to install a six-foot privacy fence between the pier parking and campground and to leave the septic system area grassed.

Under the proposed change, flexibility in buffer standards is provided. The change would permit six-foot high fencing with a finished side to the public side and permit vegetation or solid fencing for the buffer. Buffers are not required along estuarine or ocean shorelines.

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