The Town Planning Board unanimously voted (5-0) at its meeting yesterday to recommend denial of the two zoning text amendment (ZTA) applications featured in a Beacon post Wednesday—one about increasing maximum lot coverage on lots that are smaller than 20,000 square feet and the other about amending the Town Code to accommodate a mixed-use commercial-residential development—according to Planning Director and Deputy Town Manager Wes Haskett today.
We refer you to our May 18 post for details about ZTA 22-05 (lot coverage) and ZTA 22-06 (conditional use in the commercial district). We were unable to attend the Planning Board meeting because of commitments out of town and would welcome comments by anyone who attended or live-streamed it.
Planning Board chairperson Andy Ward has been a strong proponent in recent years of keeping the maximum allowable lot coverage in the RS-1 residential district (single family dwellings with “abundant open space”) at 30 percent and not chipping away at that percentage by exempting swimming pools and other ground structures from square-footage calculations.
We would have been very surprised if he had endorsed an expansion of allowable lot coverage for nonconforming lots, i.e., those that are smaller than the standard minimum lot in Southern Shores of 20,000 square feet.
We will follow up with a longer report later. We are writing now only because of the great interest our Wednesday post had among readers, especially those on Facebook.
Unless the applicants withdraw their proposed ZTAs, they will go to the Town Council for de novo consideration. The Council is not bound by the five-member Planning Board’s decisions, but it is heavily influenced by them.
We are aware of a recent extended conversation on Next Door about changes in the Town’s solid-waste regulations. We also will address these changes in an upcoming post, as well as the concern expressed by some Next Door subscribers that they were not informed about the changes until they were a done deal.
Questions: How can the Town better inform residents? Should the Town spend the money for a USPS-mailed notice to all property owners about changes to regulations of fundamental services, such as solid waste and recycling collections?
Questions: Do you read the Town’s biweekly newsletter and check the Town website for news? Do you attend Town Council meetings or watch them on videotape?
Our thanks to all who respond.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma