Currituck approves rezoning request for retirement community in Moyock

Published 7:45 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

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At their November 1 meeting, Currituck commissioners were divided on the conditional rezoning request for 53 acres from agricultural to mixed residential for the purpose of building a retirement community in Moyock.

Applicant Allied Properties plans to build 80 single-family detached lots on the south side of Baxter Lane adjoining Baxter Lane Estates to the east and Hidden Oaks to the south. Because 100 percent of the residents must be 55 years and older, there will be no additional strain on Moyock schools, which are beyond capacity.

Two main issues emerged during the public hearing: drainage problems and enforcing the age requirement.

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The drainage improvements that would be made include improving the Baxter Lane ditch along the Baxter Station boundary, which would involve widening, deepening, laying back side slopes and putting on proper grade. The future HOA would be responsible for maintaining the ditch annually through HOA dues, but an easement would be given to the county to access the ditch if necessary. The development would be modeled to manage a 100-year storm event with stormwater storage, including berms if necessary. There was discussion about replacing the undersized culvert at the Baxter Lane Extension with a properly sized culvert set at the proper grade.

Commissioners Selina Jarvis and Kitty Etheridge asked how the county would enforce the age requirement when individual properties go up for sale, or if the development failed and a new company did not want to keep it as a retirement community. Commissioner Paul Beaumont’s opinion was that these communities are very popular in other areas and with an aging population in Currituck, there would be no problem finding people to live there. Additionally, the HOA would be responsible for creating the age restriction contract and checking for compliance every two years.

Commissioners Jarvis and Kitty Etheridge remained opposed to the rezoning.

“We have to take responsibility,” said Jarvis. “One of the things our former county manager told us is that the biggest tool we have for managing growth is rezoning. I’m not against growth but we have not done a good job with managing the growth in this area with traffic, with stormwater, with schools and we have to start at some point to do that. We have take responsibility for the disaster we are creating. Putting a 55 year and older label on this is not solving the problems of unmanaged growth.”

Commissioner Bob White disagreed: “This isn’t unmanaged growth – were managing it through restrictive covenants. It’s less than the density the Moyock Small Area Plan calls for. It is managed growth.”

“Moyock is going to grow,” said commissioner Owen Etheridge. “We’re not going to stop Moyock from growing. It’s how it grows. If we can find housing opportunities where we are not putting demands on schools, we are not putting demands on social services, that’s what we should look at in controlling growth – growth that’s an asset.”

Chairmain Mike Payment called for a motion. After a long delay, commissioner Kevin McCord made a motion for approval. The motion passed, 5-2, with Kitty Etheridge and Jarvis dissenting.