1/28/19: CIRCLE THE DATE: PUBLIC FORUM ON TOWN CODE REVISION SET FOR THIS THURSDAY, 5:30-7 P.M., IN PITTS CENTER; Code Rewrite More Than Three Years in the Making

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What defines a ‘mini-hotel’? The Beacon will answer that question in a posting tomorrow. Pictured above is the ‘mini-hotel’ being built at 98 Ocean Blvd. Photo date: Jan. 27, 2019

Consultant Chad Meadows, owner of CodeWright Planners, LLC, of Durham, will present his draft of the proposed new Southern Shores Town Code of Ordinances and respond to property owners’ comments, questions, and concerns in a public forum Thursday, Jan. 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the Pitts Center.

Mr. Meadows’s draft, which runs 381 pages, is the culmination of more than three years of effort, which included stakeholder interviews, a public survey, and painstaking scrutiny by the Town Planning Board. After the public forum, the draft will be finalized and returned to the Planning Board for its “required recommendation,” according to the Town of Southern Shores website. The final proposal then will be sent to the Town Council for its action.

You may access the draft proposed Town Code here:

https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/TOSS-Town-Code-12-31-18.pdf.

The Beacon encourages all property owners to peruse chapter 22 of the draft code, which is the new zoning chapter. The public survey conducted by CodeWright before its preparation of the draft code targeted zoning in residential districts and revealed strong sentiment by property owners on a number of zoning issues.

The Beacon will do a fast study of the draft and try to publish a report/analysis later in the week or at least flag some highlights.

It is unfortunate that this long-delayed draft is coming to the Planning Board and the Town Council for finalization at the same time that members of both bodies are deliberating upon important changes in the town zoning law to prevent high-occupancy houses from being constructed and to fine-tune the nonconforming lots ordinance that was passed last September.

A further delay of the proposed new Town Code of Ordinances, which merits careful review by town officials, would seem to be advisable. At the least, Town Council members should ensure that they have the time they need to give the proposed new code a thorough and thoughtful analysis.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 1/28/19

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