8/11/21: REVISED MARKETPLACE PROPOSAL BEFORE PLANNING BOARD MONDAY, ALONG WITH NEW TOWN SIGN ORDINANCE, POTENTIAL REGULATIONS FOR PRODUCE STANDS IN COMMERCIAL DISTRICT.

Aston’s redevelopment of the Marketplace calls for the demolition of all retail space to the left of CVS/pharmacy, above, up to and including Coastal Rehab. Photo courtesy of Caroline Walker/OBX Today.

Marketplace owner Aston Properties timely filed with the Town a revised site plan for its proposed “modification” of the Southern Shores shopping center, which includes the construction of a 24,000-square-foot Marshalls department store, and is scheduled to be heard on its amended application by the Planning Board Monday, at 5:30 pm., in the Pitts Center.

The meeting will be live-streamed on the Southern Shores You Tube website at https://www.youtube.com/user/TownofSouthernShores. People who attend the meeting in person must wear face masks.

The Marketplace project, which involves the demolition of a wing of shops to the west of the CVS/pharmacy, the construction of a 6,000-square-foot space next to the proposed Marshalls, and the addition of 27 parking spaces in a reconfigured lot, will lead off the Planning Board’s agenda, which is unusually heavy for August.

For background on Aston’s Marketplace redevelopment, see The Beacon, 7/20/21.

You may access pdf documents in support of the Charlotte developer’s amended site plan application here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7svzoebjxbzuy0w/AAD9HgVGNQFFj50XRhKAKnywa?dl=0

Aston has purportedly responded to concerns expressed by the Town about a minimum requirement for pervious pavement; landscaping and the preservation of open space; efficient stormwater runoff; and sufficient septic system capacity.

Fortunately, all of the topics on the Planning Board’s agenda Monday have what we consider public appeal and should make for an interesting session.

In addition to evaluating Aston’s amended site plan, the Planning Board will consider a zoning text amendment (ZTA 21-08) that rewrites the Town’s sign ordinance (Town Code sec. 36-165) to bring it into conformity with a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case on the First Amendment and signage and discuss possible requirements for produce stands that operate in the Town’s general commercial district.

For the text of ZTA 21-08, which was suggested by consultant CodeWright as part of its revision of the Southern Shores Town Code, see: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/ZTA-21-08-Signage-1.pdf.

For Planning Director/Deputy Town Manager Wes Haskett’s staff report on ZTA 21-08, which recommends the new sign ordinance, see https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/PB-StaffReportZTA-21-08-1.pdf.

For an analysis by Town Attorney Ben Gallop of the legal impact of the Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576, U.S. 155 (2015), on local signage regulations, see https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Reed-Case-Comments-1.pdf. (This link also provides commentary by CodeWright.)

The Beacon will expound upon both Aston’s amended application and the proposed new sign ordinance in a subsequent blog post.  Stay tuned.

The written materials for the Planning Board’s meeting indicate that, in considering the introduction and regulation of produce stands in Southern Shores, the Board will be looking at requirements and definitions imposed upon “produce stands,” or, alternatively, “outdoor stands, accessory to shopping centers,” that are in effect in Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. For these town-specific guidelines, see: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Produce-Stand-Requirements-1.pdf.

The Southern Shores Town Code does not currently address outdoor produce stands and their regulation.

We have fond memories dating back to the early 1970s of a man who used to bring fresh vegetables to Southern Shores residents and vacationers in a horse-drawn wagon. He would walk beside his horse along Ocean Boulevard, calling out “fresh corn,” “vegetables,” and the like. At the time the only grocery store on the beach was Wink’s in Kitty Hawk, where visitors could buy on credit and pay their bills upon departure.

There will be two public-comment periods during the Planning Board meeting, one before the Board’s discussion of business and one afterward.

The Planning Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Town Council. Its decisions on site plan applications and zoning text amendments are not final.

RESULTS OF TOWN PAVEMENT CONDITIONS STUDY ARE IN

The morning after the Planning Board’s meeting, the Town Council will hold a workshop to consider the results of the pavement conditions study it commissioned and how those results will be integrated into the Town’s capital improvement plan.

The workshop will be held at 9 a.m. in the Pitts Center. It, too, will be live-streamed on the Town’s You Tube website, and all in-person attendees must wear face masks.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, ©8/11/21

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