12/18/18: THE 12-BEDROOM HOUSE AT 98 OCEAN BLVD: BUILDING AT WARP SPEED

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Despite being advised by Southern Shores Permit Officer Dabni Shelton that, because of pending litigation contesting the validity of its CAMA permit SAGA should build on 98 Ocean Blvd. “at its own risk,” the Kill Devil Hills-based developer has proceeded to construct its 12-bedroom, 17-parking-space, nearly 6,000-square-foot “mega” house on the site at the Ocean Blvd.-Chicahauk Trail intersection—at a seemingly accelerated pace. (See the photo above, which was taken today, from across the street.)

The Beacon wonders if SAGA, doing business as 98 Ocean Blvd. LLC, thinks it can defeat a judge’s order by finishing the house first, essentially outrunning the litigation.

The Beacon is in close contact with the petitioner-property owners who were granted hearings by N.C. Coastal Resources Commission Chairperson Renee Cahoon on the matter of whether the CAMA permits issued to SAGA for 98 Ocean Blvd. and 134 Ocean Blvd. were inconsistent with the Southern Shores land-use plan. The cases are advancing on schedule.

Pursuant to the N.C. Coastal Area Management Act, a CAMA permit challenged under the section of the statute that the petitioners used remains in effect unless a “stay”—meaning a suspension of the permit, and, therefore, a stop to SAGA’s building—is issued either by an administrative law judge or by a reviewing court.

SAGA, doing business as 134 Ocean Blvd. LLC, finally closed on the property at 134 Ocean Blvd. on Dec. 6, 2018. It now owns the sky-blue flattop with the white tar-heel footprints leading up the driveway. The Beacon saw a bulldozer parked in front of the vintage structure this afternoon.

According to Deputy Town Manager and Planning Director Wes Haskett, with whom The Beacon spoke last night, SAGA/134 Ocean Blvd. LLC has filed an application to “recombine” the two 50-foot-wide lots that make up the land parcel at 134 Ocean Blvd. into one 100-foot-wide lot, as required by the Town Code. As soon as the recombination is complete, SAGA may apply for a lot-disturbance permit in order to demolish the flattop.

***

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE PLANNING BOARD JAN. 2; BOARD VACANCY

I will file my report on last night’s Town Planning Board meeting either tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning. ‘Tis the season to be very busy, folks, and I apologize for the delay.

Please take note that the Planning Board engaged last night in an extensive discussion about potential regulations to address large single-family dwellings and will continue this discussion at a special meeting on Wed., Jan. 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center. Planning Board member Andy Ward made a strong argument in favor of limiting occupancy in houses by restricting septic-use capacity. That was one of a handful of options that the Board heard to curtail high-occupancy large houses.

Please also take note that, according to Mr. Haskett, the Town has received two applications from members of the community for the vacancy on the Planning Board created by Chairperson Glenn Wyder’s sudden death Nov. 25. The applicants are Ed Lawler and Pat Regan.

Mr. Haskett told The Beacon that both of the current Board alternates, Leo Holland, who is the first alternate, and Michael Basilone, the second, were offered the opportunity to be appointed to the Board to serve out the time remaining on Mr. Wyder’s unexpired three-year term, and that each declined for reasons related to other time commitments. Mr. Haskett said that applicants for the Board are not interviewed. Their applications are simply passed along to the Town Council for its consideration.

It is likely that the Town Council will appoint an applicant to the Planning Board at its Jan. 8, 2019 regular meeting. If you are interested in serving, there is still time to submit an application. You will find an application form on the Town of Southern Shores website.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 12/18/18

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