Currituck approves new use for home improvement store, tables lot size decision

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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Currituck County commissioners met March 4 for two public hearings, approving a text amendment submitted by Kellogg Supply Company for a new use in the UDO, and tabling an amendment to the UDO that would increase minimum lot size for conservation subdivisions on the mainland.

Kellogg Supply Company proposed a new use in the UDO entitled Home Improvement Sales Establishment, which would be allowed in the General Business, Limited Business, Light Industrial, Heavy Industrial, and Village Center zones. They are proposing a site location at 4510 Caratoke Hwy in Barco, at the former site of Hayman Building Supply.

The primary reason for the new use is to increase the amount of outdoor storage to a sufficient amount for Kellogg Supply Company. The business needs outdoor storage for things like lumber, piping, bagged soil, bagged feed, paver blocks, etc. The current ordinance allows outdoor storage up to 25 percent of the heated area of the principal building.

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The new use does not give a maximum outdoor storage percentage, but rather includes in the ordinance regulations to protect the aesthetics of the property. As examples, home improvement sales establishment uses must be more than 125 feet from a residential district, outside storage areas must not face the street, storage areas must have a fence or wall, and trees are required every 15 feet along fences or walls.

Additionally, structures are required to adhere to three of four design elements as stated in the Building Design Code; for example, a pitched or Mansard roof; façade material or color changes; awnings or Bermuda shutters; and a series of pilasters.

“Joe [Gaca] and I just want to be good stewards of a great company towards our employees, our customers, and to our community that we serve,” said co-owner of Kellogg Supply Chris O’Neill. “That’s our goal.”

After approving the request, commissioners moved on to a discussion about a text amendment to the UDO to increase the minimum lot size for conservation subdivisions in the Single Family Residential Mainland Zoning District from 25,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet.

A conservation subdivision is just a subdivision that requires more open space than a traditional subdivision. Areas for conservation must be preserved under a conservational easement.

The amendment comes as one of several efforts to reduce development and slow growth in Currituck County. Chairman Bob White said that the county has worked over the last year to make changes to development ordinances so that the lots are larger. One of these changes states that wetlands are no longer allowed to be included in density calculations, though they are included in the “open space” requirements.

Though commissioners agreed moving from 25,000 square foot lots to 30,000 is a move in the right direction, commissioner Paul Beaumont said the difference was minor.

“I don’t know that I can tell the difference one way or the other. I feel like we did six months of discussions and we’re back to this again,” Beaumont said.

But commissioner Selina Jarvis was more optimistic, saying that this amendment is in line with what county residents have been asking for from commissioners.  “To me, this is another step towards the need to keep this rural feel of Currituck—to slow down house after house that has taxed our infrastructure. And I just think this is the right time to do this text amendment.”

Commissioners asked the planning department to bring some additional options for the board to consider. No decisions were made and the issue was tabled to the April 15 meeting.