February 28, 2000

Planning Board

TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE PLANNING BOARD MINUTES

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2000

Chairman, Roy Brownlow, called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m..

Members attending the meeting were: Roy Brownlow, Ceil Saunders, Cary Harrison, George McLaughlin, Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, and David Schock. Also in attendance: Pete Allen, Town Manager; Jim Taylor, Building Inspector; Carol Angus, Secretary.

Mr. Brownlow asked that the agenda be amended to add the Final Plat for Sunset Harbor, Lot 3 under New Business. Phil Almeida made the motion to add this item to the agenda, second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Approval of Minutes of December 13, 1999 – Motion to approve was made by Cary Harrison, second by Ceil Saunders. Mr. Brownlow asked that an addition be made to page 2, second paragraph, first sentence to read: Chairman Brownlow advised the members that the checklist that Mr. Spell referred to is comprehensive but not totally exhaustive. Members voted in favor of the change to these minutes.

Report from Town Manager – Mr. Allen gave the members a brief summary of the actions of the Town Board of Commissioners meeting on February 08, 2000.

Report from Building Inspector – Mr. Jim Taylor gave the report for the Inspections Department for the month of January. There were:

3 Single family dwellings $ 477,880
1 Duplex 227,840
Miscellaneous 329,570
Total $1,035,290

COMMENTS:

Mr. Larry Spell, Pres. of Bogue Banks Water Corp., wanted to support the idea to hire a part time person for the Inspections Department, he felt they are overtaxed at present and an additional person could help. Also, Carteret County reviews what is printed on a final map for recording. It may be a good idea to check with the county before making any changes to the checklists that are being revised. We would not want a conflict on requirements. He thoroughly wants to support the planting of new trees. Maybe to go so far as to have persons to help with the planting and not leave it to the individuals.

Mr. Spell then addressed the board on an issue involving wireless communications. He was concerned about the fact a building permit could not be issued because of the moratorium on wireless communications project for the water tower. The Triton Corp. wants to add antennae to the water tower and Mr. Spell felt that the existing water tank should not be considered a new tower regarding wireless communication.

Mr. Spell was advised that the Board of Commissioners would be making a decision on this issue later at the Joint Board Meeting at 7:00 p.m. The Planning Board has no authority to make a decision on this type of issue. Mr. Spell thanked the board and awaited the decision to be made later in the evening.

Mr. Bill Reist asked Mr. Spell how far above the tank the antennae would extend? Mr. Robert Ekstrand of Triton, said he would address this question. A top mount would be about 7 feet above the tank, a side mount would not extend beyond the top of the tank. They are planning to use the side mount.

OLD BUSINESS:

Kwik-Mart (CITGO), Commercial Review, Block 41, at Emerald Dr. and Crew Dr. represented by Matt Montagne of Stroud Engineering for Wooten Oil Company, was present to answer any questions. Also, Mr. Dillon Wooten was present for any questions.

Mr. Cary Harrison, as Review Committee Chairman, addressed the notes that were discussed at the committee meeting. He said one issue was the color scheme from red, orange, blue, and white to be changed to off-white and blue only. Mr. Wooten asked that the lighting plans be distributed to the members. This plan gave a visual description by decreasing numbers of the lighting being emitted by each light. The Planning Board’s main concern was to not have lighting that would have spillover into traffic lanes.

Mr. Wooten also had a proposed landscape plan done by Jimmy Waters, which the board has asked for and is beyond what the ordinance requires. Ms. Angus asked that she be provided with a copy of the final landscaping plan that is accepted by Mr. Wooten to be retained on file.

Mr. Brownlow quickly went over the Commercial Review Checklist to try to educate the public as to what thought agencies and regulations are put into the review of these projects.

Mr. George McLaughlin had some reservations about this project and asked that he be able to express these concerns.

  1. Installation of inground fuel tanks that could lead to seepage of chemical NTBE. He gave a summary of studies gathered over the past several years of tanks that had caused contamination. Also, he felt it is presumptuous for the installation date to be noted when approval for the project has not be granted.

    Mr. McLauglin said he had several citizens ask why we needed a fourth gas station within two miles in Emerald Isle?

  2. The increased traffic congestion is a concern. The new traffic study says there should be two more lights between the bridge and Town Hall. How will this impact the reconfiguration of the intersection of Hwy 58 and Coast Guard Road? 
  3. The proposed site already floods along the right-0f-way on the North Side of Hwy 58. Even though a catch basin is planned, any overflow will increase the danger of flooding the highway. Approval of the project will be contrary to the Land Use Plan. (para. C-1 of Executive Summary) which states "further strip commercial-ization of N.C. 58 needs to be limited. Any additional commercial development will be tightly controlled." Since approval of this Land Use Plan in 1997 three new surf shops have opened along Hwy 58.

He asked that the board seriously consider these issues before taking action on development.

Mr. Harrison asked if the proposal was not for a double-walled tank. Mr. Dillan Wooten said they are double-walled and asked to be able to address Mr. McLaughlin’s comments.

Mr. Wooten, developer of the project. Mr. Wooten gave the board a lengthy dissertation on the advancement of technology in tanks and installation of same since those tanks, which had been problems in the past. These are fiberglass double-walled tanks with continuous precision leak detection. This is a much better tank than has been used in the past. Product in the tanks cannot exceed 90% so that there will not be leaking due to being overfilled. There are audible alarms on the tanks and any leak would be readily noticed to be handled. There are many other sources other than tank leakage that NTBE is getting into the environment, one being jet skis in lakes and rivers. It is highly unlikely that the tanks could ever contaminate the ground levels to the extent that other sources do.

Mr. Wooten went on to address "why another gas station?". All gas stations depreciate in a certain number of years. This one will have modern tanks and technology with the credit cards. There must be a demand before you can afford to build one of these stations, and there is a demand. Reconfiguration and increased traffic congestion, he feels there is sufficient laning there now. It’s seasonal traffic more than all times.

Flooding would dissipate quickly if it should occur.

Mr. Brownlow then responded to Mr. McLaughlin’s comment concerning the fuel tanks that these tanks are regulated by State agencies. We have to operate under the assumption that the state knows what it’s doing. This use is a permitted use in the zoning district, it is not a conditional (special) use, specifically noted in the list of permitted uses. The Planning Board would possibly be setting the Town up for litigation to deny such a request. If you decide you want no more gas stations, then that must be recommended by the Board of Commissioners to have it removed from the Permitted Use table or listed as a conditional (special) use. Mr. Brownlow said he personally does feel we have a need for another gas station. The intersection should not be impacted. There will be no access off Emerald Drive, all traffic will enter off the Coast Guard Rd. (Ext), and Crew Drive.

In regard to the flooding issue, the plan was required to be in compliance with the Stormwater Ordinance. It must handle 1 ½" of rain, the project shows a water storage capacity area on the south east of the property that must be adequate. Mr. David Criser, who wrote Stormwater Management Ordinance has approved this storage capacity. Stroud Engineering would not have designed it to be substandard. Regarding the concern of inconsistencies with the Land Use Plan, development be limited along Hwy 58, and this particular property is zoned commercial.

Mr. Almeida asked Mr. Wooten what would prevent someone from turning off the alarm system should it go off. Mr. Wooten said this is only to prevent line leaks. There is about 30 lbs psi on a pipeline. The pump is in the fluid and pushing the gasoline up to the dispenser. So the double wall pipeline with an inner space that if the primary line had a leak, it will leak into the inner space and also loose pressure. Since it is very sensitive equipment so whenever the pressure drops below 30 psi the alarm goes off. The clerk turns the alarm off, then the gravity flow sump will flow back to the underground tank because it will be flowing downhill to there. There is about a 3’ drop from the dispenser to the underground tank. The alarm is going to turn the pump off so it cannot pump. A fax is immediately sent via fax to the Goldsboro office that there is a fuel alarm going off.

Mr. Brownlow asked about the trailers and debris on the lot east of this property. He was advised that this does not belong to this property.

Motion was made by Ceil Saunders, second by Phil Almeida to recommend approval of the Kwik-Mart Commercial Project to the Town Board. Those voting in favor of the motion: Phil Almeida, Ceil Saunders, David Schock, Frank Vance, and Cary Harrison. Mr. McLaughlin opposed the motion.

NEW BUSINESS:

Sunset Harbor Condominiums, Final Plat, Lot 3, Block 38 - Motion was made by Cary Harrison to forward this project to the Review Committee, second by Ceil Saunders with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Committee Reports:

Building Height Requirements – Ms. Ceil Saunders headed this committee and gave the members details of their recommendations for amendments. She advised that Mr. Ken

Burnette, an architect, also attended one of their committee meetings. Ms. Saunders read Proposal: Residential should remain at 40’, due to the extent of the buildout of the lots left. Commercial and Multi-family: Flat roof has been reduced from 40’ to 35’ with a 3/12 pitch or less. A maximum 3’ parapet on top to cover to shield air conditioners and equipment. The pitch roof is to be 50’ average (mean) roof height. This will be determined from the lowest finished grade immediately adjacent to the building foundation or pilings, exclusive of elevator shafts, air conditioners, and other necessary mechanical equipment, none of which will exceed 10 additional feet in height. The additional 10 feet cannot be used for habitation. It was further recommended that the fire department must have roof access for emergencies. Ms. Saunders said the height may be rather frightening, but the committee wants to keep away from the flat roof and encourage the pitch roof. The former 100’ height limit has been reduced.

Mr. Brownlow reiterated those observations for aesthetics of the committee members.

Motion was made by Frank Vance, second by David Schock to recommend approval to the Town Board of Commissioners for the amendment as read by Ms. Saunders; unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Wireless Communications – Mr. Cary Harrison was committee chairman. Those areas located in the 100-year flood plain are preferred; areas in 500-year flood plain are "critical action"; you cannot located within wetlands, or install high intensity lights in a residential area. These and other items will have been dealt with for an ordinance. Low flying aircraft will also have to be considered for any antennae or tower. If a tower were to be 200’ or greater it must have FAA and FCC approval, Mr. Harrison said he felt no matter the height, any applicant should go through FAA and FCC approval.

Mr. Harrison advised that to proceed in a timely manner, it won’t be quick, to review the ordinances he has given the members. The party who developed the Pine Knoll Shores ordinance said they will go through that ordinance and modify it to fit to Emerald Isle with no great changes, for about $500.00. He wants to look at that ordinance for "pin holes". He would like to have an opinion from NEPA as to the Areas of Environmental Concern (ORW 575’ setback) for tower placement. Metrosite, recommended by the League of Municipalities, is a group with the town to identify sites, code, and possibly market any property for towers, contract negotiations, etc. He is going to contact Metrosite and see if there is a "pay up front figure" or percentage of commission from the tower. He strongly recommended a Saturday workshop with the full Planning Board, Board of Commissioners, and Public, cell tower companies, to see where we want to stand on the issues listed.

Mr. Harrison had a map of the Town of Emerald Isle with the areas that may be permit a cell tower and there is actually very little area. Co-locating on the water tanks is the ideal solution, but they will eventually be at capacity.

COMMENTS FROM MEMBERS:

Mr. McLaughlin asked if there is anything that the board can do about the two properties on the east end of Emerald Isle soundside that are in such bad condition (212 and 214 Emerald Dr). Mr. Yost advised him that this board have no authority to handle this type of problem. Mr. Yost advised that considering the ownership of this property, the town may want to get the advise of the Town Attorney prior to condemnation.

Mr. Harrison asked about the two homes at the Point that were destroyed during the storms last summer. Ms. Angus advised that letters of Condemnation had gone out for these two properties, set for April 03, 2000. Commissioner McElraft advised that she spoke with one of the two owners, Ms. Casey, will have that residence removed prior to that hearing.

Motion to adjourn was made by Dave Schock, second by George McLaughlin, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 02/28/2000

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