Manteo Planning Board addresses single issue

Tuesday night’s Manteo Planning Board meeting was brief, less than 20 minutes. In that time the planning board addressed a single issue, adding to a list of topics to be discussed at a planned joint meeting between the town commissioners and planning board members.

The joint meeting is scheduled for November 21 after an October meeting between the two boards was postponed. Planning Board members said they doubted the November meeting would take place, as the date was scheduled a day before Thanksgiving. Planners thought the meeting will again be rescheduled.

Whenever the meeting takes place, planning board member Lee Tugwell wants to talk about the town conducting a legal review of the Manteo zoning ordinance. Commissioners have allocated $25,000 for such a review. Bill Parker thought spending $25,000 for a complete review might be excessive, saying “it seems like a unneeded expense.”

Parker thought although the board does needs to be legal, zoning decisions should take into account the wants of the town. For Tugwell, a legal review would be a starting point, a way to make sure the zoning ordinances comply with changes in legislative mandates. Tugwell noted that a lot has changed in the dozen years since many of the ordinances were put in place. He thought a review would be prudent.

Parker hoped when the meeting does take place it would not be a meeting of specifics but rather a meeting of direction. He said he hopes the joint meeting will lead to an understanding of what they [Manteo commissioners] want planning board members to do.  In recent years, the town board and planning board have often found themselves at odds.