Manteo commissioners adopt land use plan

Published 9:11 pm Saturday, August 27, 2022

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Earlier this month, Manteo’s commissioners approved the town’s 2022 Comprehensive Land Use Plan required of North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties and incorporated municipalities with zoning.

All of Dare County’s incorporated municipalities participate in this planning process.

Manteo’s last certified plan is dated July 2007. It was amended in 2009. An implementation report was filed with the state’s Division of Coastal Management in 2019.

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Driving the development of the new land use plan was the town’s Planning and Zoning Board, which is charged by the town’s code “to prepare, amend and revise a comprehensive and coordinated plan.”

Preparation of the plan was facilitated by Stewart – Municipal Planning Group.

The Planning and Zoning Board prepared the plan and submitted a second draft on May 11, 2022. A public hearing was held on July 6. No comments were offered. The board delayed the adoption decision to August 3.

The adopted second draft can be found on the town’s website,, under the Planning and Zoning Department button.

A community vision is spelled out in the plan: “The Town of Manteo is a coastal town whose identity is intimately tied to its natural resources, history, community, and small-town charm. We strive to preserve and protect Manteo’s unique character, environment, and tourism-based economy while supporting the local livelihoods and ensuring a high quality of life. The community’s close-knit bonds create a transparent, responsive, and participatory local government.”

A list of nine community goals are presented:

— Implement policy and design interventions to mitigate the negative impacts of stormwater and flooding.

— Preserve and protect the town’s unique character by maintaining and celebrating its cultural resources and recreational opportunities.

— Protect and maintain a natural edge of wetlands, forests, open water and other environmentally fragile areas around the town and on the island.

— Continue to implement design standards from The Manteo Way for new development to maintain the town’s character.

— Continue to improve water quality in Shallowbag Bay.

— Provide adequate public parks and open spaces while continuing to increase opportunities to access the waterfront.

— Build and support affordable and workforce housing.

— Future anticipated growth and development approval must be based on permitted sewer treatment capacity.

— Expand opportunities to safely bike and walk to see neighbors, shop and go to school.

The unanimously adopted Comprehensive Land Use Plan must go to the Coastal Resource Commission for approval.

On the consent agenda was the annual report for the Community Rating System Program for Public Information. In approving the consent agenda, the board accepted the required update for the Program for Public Instruction Committee, part of the Community Rating System program.

In additional action, the board appointed commissioner Ruth Stetson as the liaison for the Government Education Access Channels Committee and commissioner Sherry Wickstrom as liaison for the Main Street program.