Finelli retires from Dare Planning Board; DeBoy appointed chairman

Published 2:42 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

On Feb. 5, 2024, Dare County Board of Commissioners appointed John DeBoy chairman of the Dare County Planning Board, which addresses planning issues in unincorporated Dare County.

Deboy is president of DeBoy Construction and Remodeling Inc. He lives on Eagle Drive in Colington. He was first appointed to the Planning Board in November 2021 to fill the unexpired term of Michael Barr. He was reappointed to a full three-year term in December 2022.

On Jan. 2, 2024, the planning board said fond farewells to retiring board Chairman John Finelli.

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Finelli served on the Planning Board since March 2003, when Elmer Midgett was chairman. Finelli’s first meeting as chairman was Feb. 8, 2016.

On Jan. 2, 2024, the Dare County Board of Commissioners approved his, the board’s and staff’s latest major planning effort, the 2022 Land Use Plan update.

Finelli lives in Martin’s Point and is an at-large member of the county’s Planning Board. He is currently a board member and chairman of the architecture review committee of the Martin’s Point Homeowners Association. He’s held a host of other positions with the association during four different times on the board.

His work for the homeowners association and the planning board recently merged.

For 13 years, Finelli has served as the extra-territorial jurisdiction representative for Martin’s Point to the Southern Shores Planning Board.

In 1979 Southern Shores assumed extra-territorial jurisdiction over the unzoned area of Martin’s Point. In 2001, the town released the residential area to Dare County but retained the commercial area. The commercial area has 10 lots, all developed.

Finelli led the effort for a governmental change. In September 2023, Dare’s Planning Board reviewed changes to the Southern Shores zoning to make sure it was consistent with already established commercial districts in the county.

Southern Shores officially transferred the commercial property Oct. 3, 2023. Dare’s commissioners took official action on Nov. 6, 2023, to accept the Martin’s Point commercial district.

That’s recent history. Over the 21 years that Finelli has been on the Planning Board, the board has dealt with numerous subdivisions, special use permits and zoning map changes.

About his time on the board, Finelli wrote “My first exposure to the Planning process came in 2001 when I was appointed as the Martin’s Point representative to help draft zoning standards for the newly formed Martin’s Point residential district.

“Two years later, there was an opening on the Planning Board, and I was asked by the Chairman and one of the Commissioners if I would be willing to serve. It was not a position that I sought, but I felt obligated due to all of the support that my community received from Dare County.

“My plan was to serve for two or three years and then move on. I never expected to remain as long as I have, but I did so because I enjoyed it. And that’s due to all of the wonderful people with whom I’ve met and worked. Ray Sturza, Donna Creef and Noah Gilliam were and are true professionals and a pleasure to work with. Along with the many wonderful and dedicated Members of the Planning Board, they made the job easy …

“Serving on the Planning Board was a pleasure. I will miss it.”

Also on Feb. 5, the commissioners reappointed David Hines to the board and Eddie Twyne from Roanoke Island to the at-large position on the Planning Board replacing Finelli.

The commissioners also considered a zoning map change in Avon.

Applicants are Dale Petty, Surf and Sound Realty, and John R. Hooper, an adjoining property owner. Hooper has a contract to purchase the parcel from Petty. Petty’s property at 40974 NC 12 is split zoned, with a third along NC 12 zoned C-2 Commercial and the back two-thirds zoned R2-A Residential.

Petty filed for a zoning map change from R2-A to C-2 for both his and Hooper’s properties. If rezoned, Petty would have the option to expand his Avon real estate office and build a storage facility, which use will require a special use permit review.

The planning board at its January meeting found the zoning map amendment consistent with the 2009 Land Use Plan and recommended adoption of the zoning map amendment submitted by Dale Petty.

At the required Feb. 5 hearing before the commissioners, Bobbie Gray rose. She owns property adjacent to the Hooper parcel. “It’s scary.” She has spent five years building the interior of her home to be representative of what Kinnakeet used to be, by salvaging old doors, cupboards, etc.

“I was devastated.” She fears flooding from the development. Petty confirmed that the facility will be a metal building.

The commissioners approved the rezoning with the understanding that the new facility will require a special use permit where Gray’s concerns may be addressed.