The Town Council will meet for its second regular monthly meeting of the year on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center, after observing a quiet January.  

You may access the Council’s agenda at MEET-Agenda-a5de9886bc1342a18e7242a225b8e19f.pdf (usgovcloudapi.net)

The meeting may be live-streamed at https://www.youtube.com/@SouthernShores/streams.

Among the noteworthy items on the agenda are the anticipated approval of Planning Board First Alternate Jan Collins’s appointment as a regular member of the Board, to complete the unexpired term of Lynda Burek, who resigned on Jan. 16.

Ms. Burek’s three-year term began on July 1, 2022 and will end on June 30, 2025.

This vacancy was alluded to in the Town’s Jan. 27 newsletter, which did not mention Ms. Burek’s resignation or the length of her unexpired term. There apparently also is a vacancy on the Historic Landmarks Commission.

The Planning Board is vitally important in maintaining the comprehensive plan of the town’s development and in acting on zoning text amendments to the Town Code, conditional use permit applications, and other planning/zoning business. It is heavily involved, for example, in the on-going Land Use Plan update and is a vital advisory body to the Council.  

Unique among all Dare County towns, Southern Shores has a Planning Board that also serves as the town’s Board of Adjustment, which is a quasi-judicial body that functions like a court would. In this capacity, the Board hears appeals from decisions by the Zoning Administrator (Planning Director Wes Haskett) and requests for variances from the Town’s zoning ordinances.

The Board’s five members are volunteers without any particular expertise in planning or zoning. They are advised by Mr. Haskett.

Currently, the Town has no volunteer applications on file from which to choose someone to serve out Ms. Collins’s term as a Board alternate, which runs until June 30, 2024. Second Alternate Dan Fink will likely be promoted to First Alternate, so the new appointee will be behind him in seniority.

We strongly encourage residents to consider applying for a position on the Planning Board, as well as the Historic Landmarks Commission. You may learn about both boards and find an application at https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_council/page/2485/10-14-16-board-volunteer-application.pdf.

In other business Tuesday, Town Manager Cliff Ogburn will give updates on the Juniper/Trinitie Trail Bridge replacement project and the unfinished beach nourishment project. He also will request the scheduling of a budget discussion at the Town Council’s February workshop meeting, which will likely be at 9 a.m. on Feb. 21.

VIETNAM MEMORIAL REPLICA: The Council’s meeting also will feature a special presentation by Wally Overman, Vice Chairperson of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, and Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Services Officer, concerning the arrival in Nags Head this fall of a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is in Washington, D.C., and a mobile education center that accompanies it.

Called “The Wall That Heals,” the replica is 375 feet long and 7.5 feet tall at its highest point, according to materials in the Town Council’s meeting package. The more than 58,000 names on the wall of U.S. service members who died or remain missing in action in Vietnam or elsewhere in Southeast Asia are lit by LED lighting so that they can be read day and night.  

The actual memorial wall was designed by U.S. architect Maya Lin and completed in 1982. It honors all members of U.S. armed forces who served during the Vietnam War and is located in Constitutions Gardens, adjacent to the National Mall in Washington. 

The Wall That Heals will arrive at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head on Nov. 14 in a 53-foot trailer that transforms to become an education center. Included among the Wall’s educational displays will be one about the “hometown heroes” who died during their service in the Vietnam War or after the war due to a war-related injury or illness. The Wall will be available for public viewing Nov. 15-19, 24 hours per day.

You will find more information about The Wall That Heals in the background materials for the Council’s meeting at MEET-Packet-a5de9886bc1342a18e7242a225b8e19f.pdf (usgovcloudapi.net)



In April of this year, The Beacon will mark the fifth anniversary of its publication debut. At the time of its launch, Town officials were struggling with what to do about residential construction on 50-foot-wide lots, which are “nonconforming” under the Town Code. The Planning Board played a key role in fine-tuning the language of the Code to clearly prevent such development.

We founded the blog in order to inform Southern Shores property owners and residents about town-government business, especially zoning decisions by the Planning Board and Town Council, and we enthusiastically did so for the first four years of its publication. During the past year, however, we have found it increasingly difficult to devote time and energy to reporting for The Beacon, and we have arrived at a point where we must step aside.

We do not know yet whether our hiatus will result in a permanent retirement. We only know that we do not anticipate attending any town meetings in the near future and cannot maintain the blog.

We encourage you to stay abreast of town news by reading the Town’s biweekly newsletter and news items on the Town of Southern Shores website and by attending or live-streaming official town meetings.

We thank you for your readership.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 2/4/23   



  1. Ann, I have thoroughly enjoyed your reporting over the past few years as well as our occasional meetings and conversations on North Dogwood. Thanks for the Beacon. It’s been a worthwhile effort and will be missed.


    1. Thank you so much, Chape. I appreciate your comment. I’ve hit a “rough patch” recently and can’t keep up with the reporting. But I never say never. I just know I can’t do The Beacon justice for the foreseeable future.


  2. Thank you for this amazing service. As recent property owners your voice has been invaluable as an educational tool. We appreciate you.


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