Duck board favors lot coverage, dune walkover changes

Published 7:30 am Saturday, July 23, 2022

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Following a slightly amended agenda schedule to accommodate late arrivals due to thunderstorms and heavy traffic, Duck Planning Board members met Wednesday, July 13 to discuss two possible code changes.

After approving minutes from the June 8 meeting, board members looked at recommended text amendments for residential lot coverage allowances and dune walkover requirements.

According to Sandy Cross, Duck permit coordinator, staff was requesting a text amendment aimed at clarifying standards under which residential properties can be granted an allowance of up to 35 percent maximum lot coverage.

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When developing this proposal, community development staff worked with town consulting engineer Mike Robinson to better define the expectations for stormwater plans and calculations. And while the standards currently in place provide a generally positive solution for stormwater management, the ordinance does not provide enough details about the nature of the stormwater calculations or the system design and layout.

The lack of detail has over the years led to a number of inconsistent submittals from local engineers.

The changes approved in subsections 156.030(D)(6), 156.031(D)(6) and 156.032(D)(6) include having a designed stormwater management system include specific low-impact
development principles such as landscaped swales, infiltration basins or rain gardens and that the stormwater plans be prepared by a state licensed professional engineer or licensed professional surveyor and certified it was constructed in accordance with the project design.

The second request for the night was for amendments to standards for neighborhood or shared elevated dune walkovers.

During her presentation, Cross explained that some sections of code setting out elevation standards for walkway construction do not match and the overlap has caused confusion for designers, contractors and property owners.

She went on to say a minimum 18-inch elevation for dune walkover structures is preferred since it allows enough sunlight below the walkway for dune vegetation to grow and help stabilize the dune system.

Initially, board chair James Cofield wanted to delay approval in order to have a more detailed discussion so that standards recognize the differences in dune condition throughout town. Others, however, said they did not think approving changes now did not prevent them from taking a closer look later and a motion to approve with a request council authorize a look at town code section 156.124 and chapter 94 received a unanimous vote of approval.

With business for the evening completed, the board adjourned until the August 10 meeting.