Dare to receive 10 Martin’s Point lots for planning and zoning control

Published 2:06 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In November 2023, Dare County will receive 10 Martin’s Point commercial lots from Southern Shores.

The municipality is in the process of relinquishing its extra territorial jurisdiction over the 10 properties, which will put the commercial lots and businesses under the county’s regulation for planning and zoning.

As part of the process, Dare County’s planning board at its September meeting reviewed a draft ordinance for the Martin’s Point Commercial district, MP-C.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The draft proposal amends the existing Southern Shores zone to make the new zone “consistent with the already established commercial districts in Dare County and the recorded plat for the Martin’s Point Commercial lots,” states a memorandum to Dare’s planning board from county planning director Noah Gillam.

As proposed, the draft ordinance adds mixed use development, i.e., commercial and residential uses on the same property, as permitted use and changes buffer requirements for rear property lines.

All 10 properties are currently developed. Current uses include doctors’ offices, insurance offices, veterinarian clinic, a child care facility used as a summer camp, and a garden center.

At the Sept. 5 meeting, Gillam reported that notices had been sent to property and adjacent owners for a public hearing.

No one came forward during the public comment time.

Planning Board chairman John Finelli told the board that in 1979 Southern Shores assumed extra territorial jurisdiction over the unzoned area of Martin’s Point. In 2001, the town released the residential area but retained the commercial area.

Southern Shores is scheduled to officially transfer the property Oct. 3 and Dare would take official action Nov. 6.

In the draft ordinance, three of the uses are considered special rather than permitted. Regarded as special uses are the child care center, the veterinarian clinic and kennel and the garden center.

The draft ordinance limits the residential portion of a mixed use development to “40% of the floor area of an approved commercial building.”

“I’m satisfied at this point,” said board member Terry Gore.

Toward the end of the meeting, but before a vote, Patricia Pledger, owner of Pledger Palace Child Development, wanted to confirm the percentage of housing in a commercial structure was 40% of the floor area. Finelli did so.

The planning board voted to recommend approval of the new zone to the Dare County Board of Commissioners and found the action consistent with 2009 land use plan update.

In another action, the planning board approved a subdivision of 4.275 acres in the Jazania Herbert O’Neal Subdivision on the soundside in Rodanthe. Two lots are created.

County planner Savannah Newbern told the planning board that “proposed lots meet or exceed the minimum lot size requirements for the S-1 zoning district.”

Lots are accessed by a 20-foot wide easement that must be upgraded with gravel to handle emergency vehicles and trash trucks. All applicable state and federal permits must be obtained.

The planning board approved the preliminary plat.

The Dare Planning Board’s next scheduled meeting is Oct. 3, 2023. The usual meeting place is the Dare County Commissioners Meeting Room, Dare Administration Building, 945 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo.