Currituck County
NC

Planning Board Agenda

Public Hearing and Action: PB 94-49 The Currituck Club PUD - Zoning Map Amendment:

Information

Department:Planning & Community DevelopmentSponsors:
Category:PB Staff Report

Body

Mr. Whiteman motioned to recommend denial because it is inconsistent with the goals and objectives of the Land Use Plan, it does not demonstrate a general community need, it adversely impacts surrounding area and conflicts with the public interest and also it is not in harmony with the surrounding properties. Mr. O'Brien seconded the motion and the motion carried with a 6-1 vote.

Post voting comments directed as suggestions to the Board of Commissioners were to have negotiation with The Currituck Club and actually making them enforcible. One suggestion was to create a county ordinance specifically for the "No Parking" area on the beach access, putting up signs that state vehicles would be towed (with the name of the towing company and phone number), and enforcing the ordinance. Also, hiring more code enforcement officers for the mainland side and the outer banks side. As we continue to create rules, they will not work if not enforced. Fines and fees for people breaking the rules and laws would benefit the county and rules and laws must be enforced by code enforcement offices and the sheriff's department.

Chairman Bell said the above suggestions are not meant for a formal motion, but took a vote for the suggestions to be included with the previous motion of denial.

Meeting History

Jun 13, 2017 7:00 PM Video Planning Board Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Ben Woody, Planning & Community Development Director, presented the staff report. The Currituck Club Property Owners Association (TCCPOA) has requested the zoning map amendment to include two existing open space parcels in The Currituck Club PUD Overlay after it was determined by Planning Staff that the use of their Surf Shack, although it sells snacks and drinks, was not a structure used for recreational purposes and therefore, not a use that is consistent with uses allowed in the Open Space. The request initially included the ocean front parcel, as well, but since it is not contiguous and the purpose of PUDs is to cluster development, staff determined it would not be included in their request. The TCCPOA has requested this zoning map amendment as a remedy to the letter of determination. If the zoning map amendment is approved, an amended sketch plan and use permit application will be scheduled for a public hearing before the Board of Commissioners. Staff recommends conditional approval of the proposed zoning map amendment because it complies with map amendment review standards of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), it is consistent with the 2006 Land Use Plan, and it is reasonable and in the public interest.

Ms. Overstreet asked Mr. Woody about the eastern parcel being separated into two parts. Mr. Woody read the definition of contiguous and said parcels may be separated by a street or utility easements.

Chairman Bell opened the public hearing for the applicant and persons speaking in support.

The attorney for The Currituck Club, Eric Remington with Ward and Smith, P.A., appeared before the board and presented with a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation included a vicinity map, slides explaining the purpose of their application, various pictures of the beach club parcel (The Surf Shack), trolley stop and valet service area, and views of the beach parcel. The presentation also included a copy of the 2011 Inspection/Zoning Compliance Certificate for The Surf Shack signed compliant by county staff, various slides with Land Use Plan policies, Code of Ordinances, references to the UDO and emails in support of The Currituck Club.

Mr. Remington said we believe county access to the beach could be for both The Currituck Club and Pine Island. We disagree with staff that the ocean front parcel is not contiguous with the other parcels. The club is used for recreational purposes and the Surf Shack has picnic tables, shelters and grills which satisfies the definition of recreational use. It's a concession stand used for the same purpose for 17 years. We don't care if it is open space or commercial use, we just want to be able to use it. Mr. Remington also stated Pine Island's PUD is not contiguous.

Bob Godley of Corolla appeared before the board. He said he has sold real estate for 18 years and never had anyone complain about the Surf Shack; taking away the Surf Shack and the trolley would hurt The Currituck Club.

Chairman Bell closed the public hearing for applicant and persons speaking in support.

Board members, Mr. Whiteman and Mr. O'Brien, shared their findings from visiting the beach access and beach area used by The Currituck Club, Spindrift, and Pine Island on Sunday. They stayed for approximately two hours, watching and asking questions. Mr. Whiteman said they witnessed many people utilizing the The Currituck Club's gators who were not handicapped and did not have wristbands. There were lines of families with children waiting for the service. Mr O'Brien asked an employee of The Currituck Club on the beach if he could rent a chair and umbrella and the employee said yes. Mr. Whiteman also said they witnessed many rented golf carts from The Currituck Club parked in "no parking" areas. When the General Manager was confronted, he said they have no way of knowing who is or is not handicapped and they had no control over the golf carts once they are rented.

Mr. Remington said they cannot verify if someone is handicapped and must go on their word.

Chairman Bell opened the public hearing for the opposition.

The attorney for Pine Island, Jamie Schwedler with Parker Poe Attorneys & Counselors at Law, appeared before the board in opposition of The Currituck Club and presented with a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation included zoning concerns, slides showing inconsistencies with county policies of the Land Use Plan and the UDO, pictures of commercial activity on the beach and golf carts/valet vehicles parking in "no parking" areas. The presentation also had resident testimony and solutions. Ms. Schwedler said The Currituck Club is using county land to market themselves as an ocean front facility. They are already out of compliance with the Surf Shack and the use of the valet is also not in compliance.

Roger Craft appeared before the board to give resident testimony. Mr. Craft purchased their house in 1999 and have seen many changes throughout the years without any problems until now. He said the commercial activity and gators on the beach are out of control.

Richard Hinson appeared before the board to give resident testimony. He built his house in 1994. He said the southern beach access is an accident getting ready to happen. He witnessed two children almost get hit by a lifeguard on an ATV because of the over crowding on the beach.

Eddie White, the Pine Island Operations Manager, appeared before the board. He said there is numerous problems with the overcrowding of the beach.

Paul Manberg, a resident of Sprindrift, appeared before the board. He said people can no longer walk down the beach safely due to the overcrowding and gators driving through the access and on the beach.

Chairman Bell closed the public hearing to the opposition and gave a 5 minute rebuttal time to the applicant.

Mr. Remington asked the board to continue letting The Currituck Club use their property the same as they have for 20 plus years.

Planning Board discussion was held on the number of lots in The Curituck Club and how many lots are left to build on. It was determined there are just under 200 lots left. Mr. Craddock stated this would possibly increase the number of people utilizing the beach and gators in the future.

Mr. O'Brien asked if the same person that operates the Surf Shack operates the beach umbrellas and the emergency service and Mr. Remington responded yes.

Chairman Bell closed the public hearing and asked for discussion among the board.

Mr. Craddock asked Staff for the definition of contiguous again and to show the county parcel on the map. Ms. Turner read the definition and pointed out the parcel on the map.

Mr. Craddock asked Mr. Woody his opinion on the three contracts previously issued to The Currituck Club. Mr. Woody said he believed the three contracts were issued in error, although they were issued in good faith at the time.

Mr. Craddock asked Mr. Whiteman for some clarification on his findings on Sunday at the beach. Mr. Whiteman said he and Mr. O'Brien were there for two hours. There were approximately eight golf carts parked along the beach access and the Fire Marshall showed up. Mr. Craddock asked Mr. Whiteman if it was a true statement that you can rent anything on the beach from the Surf Shack without a wristband and Mr. Whiteman said absolutely. It is being run as a commercial business on the beach.

Mr. McColley asked how often Mr. Whiteman and Mr. O'Brien saw gators on the beach away from the right of way and they responded every ten to fifteen minutes. Mr. Whiteman said on occasion they would drive people out at least 100 yards or more to where their umbrella was located.

Mr. Craddock asked Mr. Woody what the county could do if the compliance officer witnessed the gators driving illegally on the beach. Mr. Woody said the county could cancel their contract with The Currituck Club with a 30 days notice or a civil citation could be issued to the person driving the vehicle.

Chairman Bell asked for a motion. Mr. Whiteman motioned to recommend denial because it is inconsistent with the goals and objectives of the Land Use Plan, it does not demonstrate a general community need, it adversely impacts surrounding area and conflicts with the public interest and also it is not in harmony with the surrounding properties. Mr. O'Brien seconded the motion.

Mr. McColley stopped the vote and asked the Chairman for discussion. Mr. McColley asked to add an amendment to Mr. Whiteman's motion and stated if the Board of Commissioners decide to approve the request, we should encourage them to negotiate with the Currituck Club to try to minimize or alleviate some of the concerns.

Mr. Whiteman said he respectfully stands with his motion.

Mr. Craddock asked if it is appropriate to add Mr. McColley's comment and Mr. Woody said it would be appropriate once the motion has been made and vote is complete since the Board of Commissioners wants the input from the Planning Board.

Chairman Bell continued with the vote and the motion carried 6-1 with Shay Ballance voting no.

Post voting comments directed as suggestions to the Board of Commissioners were to have negotiation with The Currituck Club and actually making them enforcible. One suggestion was to create a county ordinance specifically for the "No Parking" area on the beach access, putting up signs that state vehicles would be towed (with the name of the towing company and phone number), and enforcing the ordinance. Also, hiring more code enforcement officers for the mainland side and the outer banks side. As we continue to create rules, they will not work if not enforced. Fines and fees for people breaking the rules and laws would benefit the county and rules and laws must be enforced by code enforcement offices and the sheriff's department.

Chairman Bell said the above suggestions are not meant for a formal motion, but took a vote for the suggestions to be included with the previous motion of denial.

Chairman Bell paused the meeting for a break.

RESULT:RECOMMENDED DENIAL [6 TO 1]
AYES:Carol Bell, Fred Whiteman, Steven Craddock, John McColley, Jeff O'Brien, Jane Overstreet
NAYS:C. Shay Ballance
ABSENT:J. Timothy Thomas
Aug 7, 2017 6:00 PM Video Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Planning and Community Development Director, Laurie LoCicero, reviewed the application for the Board. After review she responded to Board questions and clarified various aspects related to the overlay.

Chairman Hanig opened the Public Hearing.

Eric Remington, Attorney, spoke on behalf of the Currituck Club. He noted the locations on the map to be added to the Planned Unit Development (PUD) and said the request was only for areas adjacent to the road, which are contiguous with the Currituck Club PUD. He said the areas have historically been treated as part of the PUD. He believes all required conditions have been satisfied and the request is consistent with the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and Land Use Plan (LUP). He asked the Board to approve the overlay request and responded to questions posed by Commissioners related to increased open space and the beach area.

Ms. Jamie Schwedler, Attorney, spoke on behalf of the Pine Island Property Owners Association. She said zoning principals would be violated if the request was approved and relayed her concerns with rezoning. She said the Currituck Club does not regulate themselves and they refuse to make a reasonable use of the property. She encouraged the Board to deny the application outright. Ms. Schwedler presented photos showing Currituck Club marketing materials and the beach area with emergency vehicles responding to a call.

Paul Manberg, property owner in Spindrift, Corolla, spoke on behalf of the Spindrift community POA. He said they are uniquely affected by the Surf Shack and have seen the negative effects of increased use and changes instituted over the last two years, such as noise and litter. He said setbacks are insufficient and home sales and rental values have decreased. He asked the Board to take their views into consideration.

Heidi Corsello, General Manager of The Currituck Club, said the beach valet service has been in effect since the 1990's. She said they have been seeking guidance and taking advice throughout the process and in an effort to be good neighbors have eliminated the beach valet and cleaned up the area. She believes the photo shown of the emergency vehicles on the beach was a misrepresentation, as her staff assisted in clearing a path to allow quicker access for emergency responders. She urged the Board to consider the situation as it is now, and allow the area to be included in the PUD overlay.

Michael Cherry of Corolla and President of Lighthouse Resort Services said he has run the Surf Shack since 1997. He built the building and received all necessary permits for it as well as for another building that was constructed later. He asked the Board to approve the PUD amendment so he could continue to service owners and residents. He reminded the Board the location is a public access, and he talked about the umbrella set up and removal process.

Ms. Schwedler as a follow up said any permits issued were erroneous. She said commercial use is not permitted, cannot be corrected and the parcel is in violation. She addressed the public access and Currituck Club transportation service and reviewed the inconsistencies with the Land Use Plan and UDO policies, saying there are ample reasons before Board to deny the application.

Eric Remington as a follow up stated the issue is about bringing the parcel into the PUD as open space, not about the use, the beach, overcrowding or the public access. He said they are trying to do the right thing and will deal with use at another time. He asked the Board to approve the application.

With no further comments, Chairman Hanig closed the Public Hearing.

Commissioner White moved to approve PB 94-49 because it is consistent with the Land Use Plan in that it expands the Currituck Club PUD Overlay to include a contiguous parcel owned by The Currituck Club POA; the 2006 Land Use Plan classifies the property as Full Service in the Corolla Sub-area; the request is reasonable and in the public interest because it is in keeping with the historical use of the property; it is not a substantial modification of the PUD overlay, and the property is owned by The Currituck Club POA and the property has operated as if an accessory to the Currituck Club PUD for many years.

Commissioner Gilbert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Bob White, Commissioner
SECONDER:Marion Gilbert, Commissioner
AYES:Bobby Hanig, Mike H. Payment, Paul M. Beaumont, Mary "Kitty" Etheridge, Marion Gilbert, Mike D. Hall, Bob White