Nags Head passes resolution to send to Raleigh opposing UDO legislation

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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In her monthly report at the Nags Head commissioners meeting May 3, planning director Kelly Wyatt alerted the board of proposed state legislation requiring towns to allow accessory dwelling units (UDOs) in all residentially zoned areas.

Senate Bill 317/House Bill 562 and SB 374/HB 409 would prohibit local governments from passing regulations that would deter or discourage ADUs, as well as prohibit towns from disallowing connection to main dwelling utilities. A town would not be able to require adequate parking, setbacks or occupancy requirements of UDOs.

In response, Mayor Ben Cahoon drafted a resolution that all commissioners approved expressing opposition to the bills. Cahoon said the resolution “pushes back against all of those rules that would impose the state’s authority over the town’s ability to make its own good planning decisions.”

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Town attorney John Leidy recommended that any neighborhood considering forming an HOA – which would be exempt from the state requirements – do so before legislation is passed.

Also during the meeting, commissioners held three public hearings, and considering old and new business.

After approving a zoning map amendment (mentioned in full detail in a prior edition of The Coastland Times and available at, commissioners held a public hearing to consider a vested right/special use permit/major site plan review from Nags Head Church for a parking lot expansion project.

Lead Pastor Nathanael Stevens said the request was prompted from increased church attendance as well by the “no parking” signs posted by the town last year on Soundside Road, which eliminated the overflow parking options on Sunday mornings.

Commissioners requested that the church show caution when removing vegetation, particularly live oaks. Stevens said the church plans to use the rear acreage beyond the parking lot to put in a community walking path.

The request was approved.

Next, commissions held another public hearing to consider text amendments to the UDO that would rescind the short-term rental registration program after an appeals court ruling against the City of Wilmington. Commissioners approved the amendments but are still seeking ways to locate and communicate with short term rental operations in case of emergency situations and to provide information on insurance and tax obligations.

Moving on, commissioners delayed action on the request from several neighboring property owners that the town permanently close an unmaintained portion of Old Nags Head Woods Road that crosses their properties until a financial analysis could be completed.

In new business, commissioners approved amendment to the traffic control map to designate a no parking/tow away zone on the north side of Admiral Street to match the south side, due to an increase in parking along this street.