Duck grants $10k for appraisal scope for proposed lease, discusses trash ordinance

Published 9:35 am Monday, May 29, 2023

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At their May 3 meeting, Duck Town Council members approved a special use permit regarding driveways and parking areas at 110-B Sound Sea Avenue, approved a request to develop the scope of an appraisal in the amount of $10,000 to determine the value of land proposed to be leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) for a new public safety facility, and discussed issues regarding trash within the town.

Duck property owner David Stormont had applied for a special use permit to allow spaces to be located within 2.8 feet of the front property line, allow a reduction in the minimum separation between multiple drive aisles to 10 feet rather than 25 feet and allow a combined aggregate drive aisle width of 28 feet where a maximum of 24 feet is permitted. Town manager Drew Havens explained that the request came about because Stormont’s driveway ended up being wider than the specs on the original site plan.

The primary reason behind the change from the original site plan to the existing driveway was to save some of the existing live oaks on the property. The driveway was shifted to become two narrower drives that were wider than allowed due to their proximity with the property line.

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Town council approved Stormont’s request as presented in a 4-0 vote following a quasi-judicial public hearing on the matter.

Included on the evening’s agenda was consideration of a request to begin the process of obtaining an appraisal to determine the value of the land proposed to be leased from the USACOE for a new public safety facility. Havens shared that after more than two years, discussions regarding the land have culminated in a decision by USACOE to appraise the property that will be leased by the town.

“Part of the process is for the real estate sector at the Army Corps to develop a scope of an appraisal,” Havens said. “They will tell the appraiser what they are appraising and review the final product when it’s completed.” The $10,000 will go to USACOE to generate an appraisal for review. Once the scope is in hand, an independent appraiser in the area will go and assess the land. Havens shared that staff hopes to have the scope within the next one-two months. After that, a property value will be brought to council for review and consideration.

In addition to these items, town council engaged in a lengthy discussion with senior planner Sandy Cross regarding “trash issues” within the town of Duck. Havens explained that staff was directed to enforce a previously enacted ordinance which outlines trash cart use, care and maintenance. “Last month we did clean-up the ordinance,” the town manager said. “Because of the way it was written, it was conflicting.”

The town council as well as staff have received complaints in the past from residents regarding trash carts not being stowed or taken back up the driveway after pickup. Havens said some trash cans have been reported to be overflowing, with discarded items falling from the carts and ending up on the streets. In response, the council asked staff to make more of an effort towards enforcement of trash ordinances. “We have been sending out notices to people, stating what ordinance says, if they are in violation, and to work with us and try to adhere to the ordinance.” Havens said the reaction to these notices have been mixed, but mostly negative.

With the amount of out-of-town property owners, the town manager said it has been difficult to get compliance. However, the town is working with rental agencies as well as owners to get everyone on board with keeping the streets clean and mitigating health issues/concerns.

No mid-month meeting was planned for the town council. The next scheduled council meeting is June 7 at 6 p.m.