Manteo commissioners enact zoning amendments, prepare for projects

Published 7:29 am Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Town of Manteo commissioners enacted two zoning text amendments to prepare for future projects and reviewed an ordinance for golf cart operation on Sept. 7, 2022.

The board entertained an exciting request from commissioner Darrell Collins.

During commissioner comments, Collins brought a request from the Pea Island Preservation Society. He asked for and received support from the board for moving the historic Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station to Collins Park, if the station becomes available to move. The building, built in 1898, is currently on the south side of Oregon Inlet.

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The board held two required zoning text hearings. No public commenters came forward.

The first amendment added duplexes as an allowable use in five zoning districts, specifically R-2, R-2M, B-2, B-3 and B-4. The B-1 Business District already allows duplexes in existing residences.

The second amendment permits youth centers as a special use. The use is added in Section 8.5 of the town’s zoning ordinance as a special use, which is approved by the town’s commissioners.

Town manager Melissa Dickerson anticipates receiving a Dare County application to build a new youth center at the former Masonic Lodge site located at 101 N. Hwy. 64/264 at its intersection with Agona Street.

Dare County commissioners approved a new youth center in an adopted capital improvement plan on Sept. 6. The youth center will be built in a second phase with construction starting in February 2024 and finishing in December 2024. The plan allocates $1.7 million to the project. The existing lodge will be demolished to make way for a one-story, 4,000 square-foot building.

The commissioners reviewed a draft ordinance for permitting golf cart operation within the town.

“I’m for it,” announced commissioner Tod Clissold.

Commissioner Sherry Wickstrom said the draft ordinance covered the items she was concerned about and she would like to move forward.

Town planner Matt Farmer and Police Chief Vance Haskett drafted the ordinance.

Questions arose as to town liability and how state rules would mesh with Manteo rules. Adoption was continued until the next meeting, which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.

The draft ordinance is available on the town’s website at manteonc.gov under Board of Commissioners agenda for Sept. 7, 2022, starting on page 29 of the agenda.

To solve a problem with occupancy tax revenue, the commissioners adopted a resolution for overpayment of occupancy tax. All municipal jurisdictions in Dare County are dealing with the same issue that involves campgrounds collecting occupancy tax.

The North Carolina General Statutes do not provide a process for those who have overpaid occupancy tax to file for a refund. The resolution sets up a process, though complicated, for that to happen.

Manteo Town Resolution 2022-08 asks for a release from Dare County for any and all claims and verification of sums actually refunded by Dare County before sending the county money.

On the commissioners’ consent agenda, the board approved:

– NCDOT encroachment agreements for the Westside Stormwater Project.

– An attendance policy for the Government-Education Access Channels Committee, which requires 75% attendance at committee meetings on an annual basis.

– A resolution setting Diaper Need Awareness week from Sept. 24 through Oct. 2.

The proposed Salt Meadow development discussion was continued until Oct. 5. The required traffic study was not received ahead of the meeting by the developer, who has hired Kimbly-Horn, a nationwide planning and design firms, to conduct the traffic study.

During commissioner comments, Mayor Bobby Owens stressed the need to address speeding in Manteo.

Commissioner Eddie Mann picked up on that. He advocated placing a 25-mile per hour speed limit throughout the town, which is the lowest speed limit recognized by NCDOT.

Dickerson responded that the town is working with NCDOT to straighten out the existing NCDOT map of town streets and speed limits.

Commissioner Ruth Stetson is pleased with her appointment to the Government Access Channels committee. She also reported that the Source Church is delivering needed food to citizens in Bay Tree Apartments.

Wickstrom said that she can’t see if cars are coming at the intersection of Ananias Dare Street and Uppowoc. She reported that the flashing light sign at the Manteo Elementary School was not working. Dickerson responded that the sign was installed by Dare County Schools and a work order has been submitted.

In public comment, Fred Brumbach from Mother Vineyard said he had difficulty finding a parking slot during the New World Festival of the Arts. He found a spot and parked and went to the festival for 45 minutes. He returned to find a ticket on his car. He paid the ticket. He said he didn’t see any parking signs where he parked.

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