Currituck commissioners approve phase three of Monterey Shores in Corolla, pawn shop in Moyock

Published 7:58 am Saturday, September 2, 2023

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Currituck commissioners held five public hearings at the August 21 regular meeting, thoroughly discussing and debating each one.

First, commissioners approved a preliminary plat/special use permit for a 10-lot traditional subdivision located on Indian Kettle Road next to Jarvisburg Elementary. This request was put before commissioners in April, but approval was delayed because of the placement of sidewalks.

The updated application included a redesigned sidewalk plan that would not disturb the existing crepe myrtle trees.

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Next, commissioners put off a decision on an amended sketch plan/special use permit request to add two dwellings to Buck Island at TimBuck II and a preliminary plat/special use permit request for the creation of a parcel.

For approval, the applicant must meet four criteria and each point must be supported by an expert in their respective field. Commissioners took issue with the expert testimony presented by the applicant’s lawyer that the request would not endanger public health or safety, and decided to revisit the request at the September 5 commissioners meeting.

The third public hearing was for two requests from CB Land Development, LLC. The first request was for an amended sketch plan/special use permit request to reduce the open space for phase three of Monterey Shores development in Corolla, at the intersection of Ocean Trail and Herring Street.

Applicant Sumit Gupta, CEO of SAGA Realty & Construction, said state regulations changed so he is no longer required to have the additional open space. A reduction of 1.45 acres of open space was requested. The application still meets all county regulations for lot coverage.

The second request was for a multi-family component.

The development plan is for a “main street feel,” according to public services director Kevin Kemp, and includes a hotel with 172 rooms; mixed use buildings with commercial on the ground floor and multi-family units above; and multi-family dwellings for a total of 127 dwelling units.

“Corolla has a lot of single-family houses. What we feel Corolla is missing is adequate restaurants and retail space,” said Gupta to commissioners.

Gupta said there are not enough hotel rooms in Corolla, stating that only 3-4 percent of visitors to Dare and Currituck counties stay in a hotel.

“It’s another hospitality option for visitors in Corolla versus only big houses,” he said.

“There’s very limited property in Corolla that has this type of zoning. So this, we believe, is a more difficult path of development but it’s something that we feel is the right path for the county and this property,” Gupta added.

Chairman Bob White commented on the charming renderings that were submitted. Although the applicant must return at a later date for a major site plan approval prior to commencement of development, White did state that the board will be expecting a similar plan at that date.

“This is certainly not a bait and switch,” assured Gupta to the board. “This is something that we take pride in, but there’s no guarantee if you approve this, this is going to happen. A hotel is very, very difficult to get done right here, particularly in this region … with interest rates the way they are and construction costs … it’s very challenging right now but our intention is to do this hotel and this whole community with the highest standards that are feasible. I can assure you that and that is definitely our motivation moving forward.”

Commissioners approved the request.

The next public hearing was for a special use permit request from Kevin Stroud and Jeremy Bazzle for a pawn shop business at 512 Caratoke Highway in Moyock at the former 252 Tires location.

After being assured by an appraiser that the business would not negatively affect adjacent property owners, commissioners approved the request.

The final public hearing was to approve financing for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School through the issuing of limited obligation bonds. Commissioners approved the issuance of bonds up to $60 million, but county manager Ike McRee said he expects the project to cost approximately $58 million.