Kitty Hawk to review itinerant merchant regulations

Published 2:58 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2022

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Kitty Hawk Town Council faced a near capacity crowd at its Tuesday, September 6 meeting for a discussion on outdoor gathering permits and itinerant merchant regulations.

During public comments, more than half a dozen speakers gave favorable comments for allowing itinerant merchant sales.

Allowed in the past, Kitty Hawk stopped issuing itinerant merchant and outdoor gathering permits this past August due to discrepancies between what town code allowed and what was actually taking place.

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According to Rob Testerman, director of planning and inspections, some sales events were taking place on several consecutive weekends while code allows permits for a seven-day period.

Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Pruitt reminded public speakers and others present that the process for any change is for the Planning Board to review the issue and make a recommendation.

Mayor Craig Garriss asked if the evening’s comments could be included and Testerman advised that while there was no guarantee any specific suggestion would make it back to council, the more information to consider the better.

At the end of discussion, council voted to end a moratorium on outdoor gathering permits, to issue event permits according to current code and have the Planning Board come up with recommendations for regulating outdoor gathering and itinerant merchants.

Among the other business for the evening was an update on the due diligence process for purchase of the former Sentara property under contract at 5200 North Croatan Highway. The site is currently undergoing continued inspections with nothing seen to stop the process.

Council also voted to have Stewart, Inc., review and update the town’s land use plan for a proposed cost of $90,000 to $105,000.

Items approved in the consent agenda included:
● August 1 council minutes
● $22,000 to replace the current phone system in the town hall to VoIP services.
● allocate $5,750,000 in interfund transfers for the remodeling project at 5200 North Croatan Highway for the new police station.
● $5,750,000 to purchase property at 5200 North Croatan Highway, legal fees and building renovations.
● $17,517 budget amendment for FY 21-22 open purchase orders
● transfer $1,138,068.58 grant amount for government services to cover law enforcement department salaries for the period of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
● a beach renourishment capital project ordinance amendment to recognize and appropriate the contribution from Dare County to the project and the allocation of cost among line items.
● a resolution for the qualifications-based selection of architect, engineer, surveyor services for the remodeling project of a building at 5200 N. Croatan Highway with estimated fees less than $50,000
● accept a $200 donation from Mr. and Mrs. Zeigler to the police department for automated external defibrillator supplies
● approval of a Government and Education Access Channel Committee attendance policy
● waiver of $1,326.50 site plan review fees for an upcoming Kitty Hawk Baptist Church expansion project
● proclamation designating September 24 to October 2 as Diaper Need Awareness Week as requested by the Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County
● resolution in support of the Town of Nags Head’s initiative to ask the state to provide stronger enforcement mechanisms for the incredibly dangerous issue of holes on the beach

One of the first agenda items for the evening was a presentation by Tim Cafferty, chair of the Dare County Tourism Board, and the board’s executive director Lee Nettles, who gave a brief review of proposed plans for the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head.

Cafferty advised that although the site has seemed to work well for a number of past events, plans are being developed to enable the site to host larger groups.

The construction of a 48,275 square foot indoor event center is expected to generate $25,150,000 in new spending, provide 191 new jobs, add more than 14,000 new room nights and bring in $1,171,000 in new tax revenue.

Nettles added that while plans are incomplete, the aim is to have a structure that is flexible enough to host a number of different sports and cultural events during off season months.

He went on to say the board is working on overcoming several hurdles and concerns that include an operating deficit of $312,000. Other issues include:
■ parking
■ building size
■ height
■ septic
■ stormwater
■ traffic signal
■ rough order of magnitude cost
■ construction funding and financing

The next regular Kitty Hawk Town Council  meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 3.