Kill Devil Hills officials approved a site map, reviewed housing options, and discussed bike safety, beach food, and pickleball during their first regular meeting of the month on Monday.
With unanimous approval, the commissioners gave SAGA Realty and Construction the green light to advance the development of a cluster home on 709 North Virginia Dare Trail.
Plans show that there will be 14 detached single-family houses, each no more than 2,500 square meters with shared driveways. Each apartment has a parking space under the structure, a pool and either four or five bedrooms. A dune crossing and open and covered decks are also part of the plan.
Comments during the discussion included confirmation that the project will be different for the city and that having a fire-fighting sprinkler system in every unit is a major safety feature.
In an unrelated housing discussion, the commissioners reviewed some alternatives designed to help provide affordable housing for workers.
Reducing the required minimum lot sizes from 20,000 to 15,000 square feet for duplex apartments in zoned districts that allow for multi-family housing is an option, according to Planning Director Meredith Guns. The change would only apply to the Commercial, Residential High, Light Industrial I, and Light Industrial 2 zone districts.
Another possible code change is to allow additional residential units (ADUs).
ADUs are side houses or apartments on the property of a larger primary structure. Sometimes referred to as a mother-in-law, an example is a detached garage with a rental apartment above it. Built for many different reasons, most are for family member accommodation or for rental income.
Guns said the main problem was determining where they should be allowed. Your recommendation was for the Commercial, Light Industrial I and II zone districts, in which multi-family houses, warehouses, single-family houses, maisonettes and mobile homes are currently permitted
Other restrictions are that ADUs cannot be larger than 800 square feet, protrude into the front yard, and meet guidelines for septic permits. Prefabricated homes or RVs, caravans, RVs, and RVs must not be ADUs.
“I think you had a complex conversation,” said Mayor Ben Sproul. “This gives people another opportunity to offer living space.”
The recommendations may go to the planning authority later this month to develop the text for an amendment to the regulation.
The commissioners also approved a motion directing city officials to obtain an accurate and up-to-date assessment of urban property near the Nags Head city limits on and adjacent to the 2011 South Croatan Highway.
The action was triggered by an offer from MPF Investment Company, LP to purchase three vacant lots. Selling the property would involve a disgruntled bidding process that requires a 5 percent down payment, published advertisements for bids, and possible disgruntled bids from another buyer. If a qualifying bid is received, the process repeats until no further bids are received. At this point, the highest bidder receives the sale, unless all bids are rejected.
Other items in the evening included safety advice and recommendations from Jack McCombs on the use of electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, on sidewalks and multi-purpose paths. According to McCombs, some e-bikes can travel at speeds of up to 60 km / h. Since many users are inexperienced bikers, it can pose a hazard to bikers and pedestrians as they approach cyclists at high speeds.
District Manager Bobby Outten also spoke to the commissioners with details of current and potential beach food activities. Outten said he is looking for suggestions on how to help two areas that need immediate attention: Avon and Southern Shores. Without the help of the state parliament, one way to make these projects possible is for the cities to recently use a $ 1.4 million grant for beach food.
There was a long discussion about pickleball during public commentary.
Scott Garber opened the session with a request to develop pickleball courts in the Aviation Park. The tarmac is currently underutilized, according to Garber, but for an estimated $ 25,550- $ 31,126, it could be converted into a multi-purpose sports field with five pickleball courts, two full basketball courts with a common area for skating and inline hockey. Also, with removable posts and nets, the area could be a large community hosting events such as arts and crafts and music events. His email filing included a drawing and estimate from Carolina Courtworks of how this could be done.
Garber went on to say that there are more than 3.3 million pickleball players in the U.S. according to a national pickleball federation, making it one of the fastest growing sports in the country. The addition of pickleball courts would allow Kill Devil Hills to host championship tournaments, which could boost tourism.
Several other comments emailed in support of the construction of a pickleball complex were included in the minutes.
On the flip side, Megan Spencer Shaw said she welcomed the multipurpose idea, but a rink revitalization would knock the derby reels out. Shaw said she was a beginner in the Kill Devil Derby Brigade, but she regularly used the hockey rink with the other women at Aviation Park to practice her roller derby skills. She said if the dish had surfaced again, they couldn’t be there.
“But I would love to see how everyone can work together,” she added.
In response to comments, Commissioner Terry Gray said in his opinion that the tarmac is not idle and is indeed heavily used and that not only members of the roller derby team but other groups use the rink, an observation made through comments assisted by Mayor Pro Tem Ivy Ingram.
Gray gave an overview of places to play pickleball, including six indoor and four outdoor courts in the youth center in KDH, one in Dowdy Park, and a number of places to play pickleball, including YMCA. Nags Head Elementary School and Kitty Hawk Elementary School.
Gray pointed out that Garber had been advised that the appropriate place to talk about pickleball is at the Westside Recreation Group, an option that is still on the table, but he brought the matter to the Board of Commissioners instead Decision.
Gray also recommended that the city administrator contact Carolina Courtworks to inform them that Garber does not have the authority to seek or execute contracts on behalf of the city, nor is he in any way a city agent. He added that the tennis courts at Meekins Field may be designed for pickleball and that staff could check it out.
Also approved as part of the evening’s approval agenda were the December 14th meeting minutes, annual firefighters certification, November 2020 monthly report, and setting up a public hearing on January 27th for a PUD change site plan for Bermuda Bay.
The Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners will meet again on Wednesday January 27 at the City Hall Administration Building at 102 Town Hall Drive. The meeting is open to the public as per current COVID safety guidelines and will also be available via the Zoom video link.