Manteo commissioners approve zoning change

Published 10:12 am Monday, July 8, 2024

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The agenda for the June 26, 2024, meeting of the Manteo Board of Commissioners called for four public hearings and subsequent decisions.

Only one of the four hearings had commenters. That hearing was on a zoning text proposal for the R-5 Historic Residential zone and the mapping of the newly amended text on two parcels.

The zoning text amendment changes the square footage of a building permitted in the R-5 Zone from 20,000 to 10,000, excluding schools, colleges, churches and government buildings. The text is amended to add a section on Government, Religious and Instructional Uses and to add as special uses elementary, middle and high schools, including associated grounds and athletic and other facilities; colleges and universities, including associated facilities such as offices, buildings, athletic fields and governmental buildings.

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One of the two parcels for the amended R-5 zone is the now-vacant College of The Albemarle campus on Russell Twiford Road.

Two leaders spoke to Manteo’s commissioners: Robert L. Outten, county Mmanager for Dare County, and Jack Bagwell, president of College of The Albemarle and 2024 Community College President of the Year named by the governing board of the community college system.

Outten thanked the commissioners for addressing school use in the new text. He voiced a concern about the 55% lot coverage limitation. He asked that the language be added to make lot coverage “at the discretion of the board.”

Bagwell, too, appreciated the changes in the R-5 zoning proposal. He said College of The Albemarle’s campus was “growing dramatically.” And there was the possibility of using the previous campus.

When Manteo’s commissioners took up the R-5 zoning ordinance change, Town Attorney Ben Gallop was ready with an amendment to the ordinance that made maximum allowable lot coverage of government and schools and colleges “55% or such greater lot coverage as the Board of Commissioners determines …”

The commissioners unanimously approved the amended R-5 zoning district and also mapped the amended zone on two properties: the now-vacant college campus and a vacant parcel owned by Salt Meadow OBX LLC.

The amended R-5 zone was also supported by Sheila Garrison, president of the Peninsula Homeowners Association.

Manteo’s commissioners adopted unanimously the town’s 2022 Coastal Area Management Act Land Use Plan. The commissioners also approved a town application for a Coastal Area Management Act Public Beach and Waterfront Access Grant for replacing the decking on the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse pier. The total cost of the project is $127,651.

In other action, the Manteo commissioners:

– Amended the Code of Ordinances to allow Dare County to install irrigation at the new College of The Albemarle campus and hook up to the county’s water system.

– Approved the Interlocal Agreement for Motorola FLEX Public Safety Software system, that is used by all incorporated towns and Dare County

– Authorized bulkhead repairs at $79,550 to complete the Town Boardwalk repairs, east of the David Farrow playground.

– Approved closing out the Shallowbag Bay Lift Station Capital Project Fund and zeroing out the original budget for the UV Disinfection and Resiliency Upgrade Fund 60 since the funds have been moved to Fund 62.

During commissioner comments, the following topics were raised:

Traffic: Commissioner Mike Basnight suggested a dedicated route for large commercial trucks. Commissioner Ruth Stetson asked for people to slow down and “chill out a little bit.”

New Year’s Eve celebration. Commissioner Tod Clissold pledged to help raise funds.

The Manteo Board of Commissioners will next meet July 17, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.