Letter to the Editor: The last of the Truffula seeds

Published 12:55 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

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To the Editor:

A lone osprey has taken up residence in my backyard on Corolla Drive. I keep a watchful eye on him as he warily examines me from his perch in the pine forested lot next to my home. His presence is a stark reminder that it is me who is the temporary intruder and that the natural world is keeper of the realm. Every afternoon, he leaves the nest, soaring to the nearby Atlantic to swoop down and catch his daily meal and then gracefully returns to his favorite lunch spot in my neighbor’s tall, tufted tree that reminds me so much of the Dr. Suess tale. The scene is familiar, peaceful, serene, and so … Corolla.

Lately, though, the northern part of the Outer Banks has been changing, victim to the latest developer’s whim and a county government that has dollar sign vision and cannot say No. It is the ageless idiom of money talks and of leaders who do not have a long-term vision of preservation and sustainability. As a result, unwise and detrimental choices are made that affect our fragile ecosystem, indefinitely and irrevocably.

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Such is the situation with a proposed development at Rt. 12 and Herring St., which will incorporate a 172-room hotel, mixed use buildings with commercial on the ground floor and multi-family dwellings above, for a total of 120+ dwelling units. One must ask – who and what will really benefit from this type of massive intrusion on the serene landscape of Corolla and the northern shores of OBX? Certainly not residents, property owners, or I dare say even tourists, who frequent the Outer Banks looking for peaceful beaches, solitude, and natural beauty. Above it all, it is certainly not advantageous to my friend inhabiting the Truffula tree. The only real beneficiary of this type of expansion is the county’s pocketbook and commissioners, who continue to seek out short term tax revenue over long term sustainability, and utilize arguably shady tactics to attain their goals – including but not limited to non-notification of the project proposal to property owners in the immediate area that live more than 500 feet from the development, and the approval of the Major Subdivision Application (MSA) and other project documents that are fraught with inaccuracies, unsupported statements and incomplete information.

So, what is the average concerned citizen to do? In the words of famed Lorax, it is time for the Once-lers to take charge of the change … a grassroots effort taking shape in Corolla to stop this and other high-density developments in our town. We are asking that YOU sign and share this petition to help fight against unnecessary and large-scale commercial growth, the effects of which will destroy the small-town charm and viability of the northern Outer Banks.

UNLESS … someone says something, you can expect nothing. UNLESS … someone does something, you can expect someone else to have their way. UNLESS … someone cares enough to alter the current circumstance, Corolla will change. And unfortunately then, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.


Contact the Currituck County Board of Commissioners and express your deep discontent over multi-use, high density development in Corolla!

Alice Momenee