July 2006

Village East and Village West

Another exciting opportunity is currently unfolding in Emerald Isle for property owners and residents. The Emerald Isle Land Use Plan, approved in 2004 after significant public input, identified two areas in which redevelopment is likely to occur and special zoning policies may be desirable. The areas are defined as Village East, an area generally surrounding Bogue Inlet Drive from Emerald Drive to the pier; and Village West, an area generally surrounding Islander Drive from Emerald Drive to the ocean.

On June 3, a  meeting was held to get public input from citizens and landowners to develop a vision for the two areas, which will ultimately lead to the creation of new zoning districts and zoning regulations for the two areas. Roger Waldon,  of Clarion Associates, former Planning Director for the Town of Chapel Hill, led the session. Roger’s team also included  a land architect and two structural architects to hear the many comments. At the end of the meeting, the architects drew a very preliminary sketch of each area based on comments made at the meeting and their experience with other projects.

The Village East area was visualized as an area that would support the scale and extent of the existing commercial land uses.  The existing residential land uses are likely to continue with the opportunity for the redevelopment of the larger tracts of land.  It was anticipated that the larger areas would be redeveloped for residential use.  Bogue Inlet Pier was acknowledged as an important focal point of the area and its preservation was seen as a key component of any redevelopment effort. Village West was visualized as providing a key public amenity with the preservation of the West Ocean Regional Access.  The existing tourism and recreational land uses are likely to continue and the enhancement and preservation of these uses were encouraged.  The improvement of pedestrian access and the development of a more defined link with existing sidewalks and trails was acknowledged.

Based on information gained at the June 3 meeting and experience with other projects, Clarion Associates will prepare more formalized sketches of the two areas and zoning ordinances that would encourage such development. It is anticipated that Clarion Associates will present preliminary information to the Planning Board at an upcoming Planning Board meeting, and will continue to work with the Town staff, Planning Board,  and Board of Commissioners during the fall.  Future Planning Board and Board of Commissioner meetings will include additional opportunities for public input, so interested residents and property owners should stay engaged in the process.  Continued public input will be important as the Town moves through this process. The end product will be the creation of new zoning districts for Village East and Village West, and the Board of Commissioners is expected to finalize these new districts later this fall.

The Planning Board meets monthly on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:00 pm at Town Hall.  The Board of Commissioners meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm at Town Hall.  Please check the Town’s website (www.emeraldisle-nc.org) for future meeting information, or contact Town Hall at 354-3424 or 354-3338.  Town staff will be happy to update you on the process and substance. 

Please make the effort to stay engaged in this exciting process.  Based on the positive response to the first meeting, I certainly recommend future meetings about this subject as time well spent. This is an opportunity for you to help shape these two areas for the next fifty years or so.

Posted by Admin Saturday, July 1, 2006 3:46:00 PM