Kitty Hawk Board of Adjustment approves variance request

Published 6:47 am Monday, May 30, 2022

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Kitty Hawk Board of Adjustment members, during a rare Wednesday evening meeting, voted to approve a variance request that helps pave the way to construct a traditional sized single-family residence at 319 Jejac Drive.

One of several properties along the south side of Jejac Drive, the area was developed in 1971 and approved by Dare County as part of the Kitty Dunes II subdivision, prior to the incorporation of the Town of Kitty Hawk.

Ten years later, Kitty Hawk became an incorporated municipality and set several guidelines for building construction. Among them were a minimum standard of 15,000 square feet for lot sizes along with front and rear building setback clearances of 25 feet.

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Although the subject property has 145 feet of road frontage along Jejac Drive, which is in line with other properties in town, the total area of only 10,150 square feet limits what could be built there. Appropriate for the early 1970s, its 70 foot depth is less than half that of most lots created under the town’s current subdivision standards.

Following current setback guidelines would limit any building on the property to a depth of only 20 feet, or a bit larger than a typical single-wide mobile home.

The request from applicants Sam Harriss and Brad Fitzgerald was to allow construction of a slightly larger single-family residence and a separate accessory structure as close as 13 feet from the rear property line. The primary residence would be a 477 sq. ft. building and the accessory structure would be 336 sq. ft.

According to Kitty Hawk planning director Rob Testerman, five of the eight neighboring residences along Jejac Drive encroach into the front setback and all of them encroach into the rear setback.

It was also noted that in 2013, before accessory dwelling units were permitted, a variance was granted for the subject property, but only for 54 feet of the property width. That width restriction effectively prohibits any ADU development.

Following the presentation of information from Testerman, there was only a brief moment of discussion in which board members agreed that a variance approval would be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the zoning code with minimal impact on the surrounding properties.

With the only business for the evening completed, board members adjourned until when there is another variance request.