March 20, 2000

Planning Board



MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2000


Chairman, Roy Brownlow called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

Members present were: Chairman Brownlow, Ceil Saunders, George McLaughlin, Frank Vance, Phil Almeida, and David Schock. Also attending: Building Inspector, Jim Taylor; and Secretary, Carol Angus.

Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, February 28, 2000 – Ceil Saunders made the motion to approve the minutes as written; second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Report from Town Manager – Mr. Allen gave a brief summary of the Board of Commissioners Meeting on March 14, 2000.

Report from Building Inspector – Mr. Taylor gave a brief summary of the February permits written and update on the commercial renovations throughout town.


Mr. William Farrington asked if there had every been any thought to having the Town buy a bulldozer and put it on the beach for renourishment? Mr. Allen replied it is cheaper to contract it out. The Town would still have to charge the individual properties.

Mr. William Reist asked how many parcels were pushed on the recent FEMA grant of $168,000? Mr. Allen replied that there were approximately 213 from 1st St. through Regional Park, and about 30 more west of there that were site specific. It was done based on what FEMA said could be done.

Sunset Harbor Condos, Final Plat, Block 38, Lot 3 – Lori Morris/Rick Farrington

Mr. Brownlow reviewed the few items that were to be addressed on the Final Plat from the Review Committee. (1)The "wood walk" was changed to "concrete", (2) a shift in the parking lot to save trees; (3) shift in the building toward the street to take it outside the flood zone (4) indicate the length of the pier and tee, 79.84’.

Ms. Saunders thanked Ms. Morris for the inclusion of the revision date on the plat. This is something that the board felt would help in tracking the different revisions.

Motion was made by Phil Almeida to recommend Sunset Harbor Condos, Final Plat, Lot 3, Block 38 to the Town Board for approval; second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.

Committee Reports:

Wireless Communications Committee update: Mr. Harrison, chairman of the committee was out of town to give the report. Mr. McLaughlin said he had visited Cherry Point MCAS and had obtained a map of the zone heights permitted in certain zones. The water tower is encroaching on that zone, which is why it is lit up so much. It penetrates the 150’ maximum. He also has a copy of Federal Air Regulations, which were pulled down from the internet. If the town were to allow a tower, they (applicant) have to apply to the FCC for the license to use it. If a license is not issued, a permit cannot be issued to erect the tower.

Building Height Requirement: Ms. Saunders advised the Town Board had adopted the portion of the recommendation made earlier for only the commercial zones of the ordinance. The Planning must now address the residential zones.

Mr. Brownlow said he would like to discuss and recommend this amendment tonight for the multi-family zone. This includes condominiums, apartments, etc. What the Town Board wants is a 40’ maximum height to the highest roof ridge, no more than three stories. Ms. Saunders asked if Pier Pointe Condos was not about 40’, and was informed that it is.

Mr. Brownlow reiterated the measurement to the highest roof ridge is to be taken from the lowest grade immediately adjacent to the building foundation. There will not be an additional 10’ for equipment as in commercial. Mr. Taylor asked, to be sure, that there will not be an average of the roof height, it will be the tallest ridge? He was informed that is correct.

Mr. Almeida had concerns regarding the fill of properties. Mr. Taylor advised the members that in many cases there is no other way to get above the required flood height but to fill. In X zones you are also permitted to fill; however V zones are only to have fill for aesthetic landscaping, not for structural purposes. Most of the oceanfront lots are now in V zones, which allow no filling.

Mr. Almeida asked about filling in order to enhance their view. Mr. Taylor said that would be measured from the fill area. Mr. Almeida said he would like to see this topic be reviewed in the future.

A question from the audience from Mr. James Heatherly asked if a residential single family could have a flat roof? Mr. Brownlow said it could.

Motion to recommend to the Town Board was made by George McLaughlin to amend the Multi-family zone to 40’ height limit with measurement to the highest roof ridge to be taken from the lowest grade immediately adjacent to the building foundation; limited to three stories. Second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.


Frank Vance wants to look at how fill is being used on construction sites.

Mr. Taylor added that many of the remaining lots are in a deep valley, which will require fill or it will be unbuildable.

Mr. Vance asked if a house on pilings is still allowed to fill. Mr. Taylor said in A zones, yes they can. Mr. Vance said he understood that if you build on a pad, but on pilings they wouldn’t need to fill because they would be 8 to 10 feet above.

Mr. Almeida asked how Mr. Taylor ensures that fill in a valley does not disturb an existing draining pattern. Mr. Taylor said the ordinance says to capture the first 1 ½ " runoff, off the drip line of the roof and the driveway. Runoff from the land, we don’t have anything to address that. Mr. Almeida asked about water that is running to this area, then gets diverted.

Mr. Taylor responded that the property owner has a right to develop the property, and many times this owner has been taking the runoff from other properties up until the time he wants to develop.

Mr. Almeida said he did not think you can disturb the natural drainage.

Mr. Brownlow disagreed with this point. Mr. Almeida said the intent is not to stop but to be sure it is done in a proper fashion.

Mr. Brownlow said this is an issue that needs to be discussed at a later date.

Ms. Saunders asked Ricky Farrington, who was in the audience, as developer of the Pier Pointe Condominium project, why some buildings are on higher ground than others? Mr. Farrington replied that the buildings are on slabs with the pilings under the slabs, called a pile cap. They were raised for water view and to get them above the flood zone. Ms. Saunders asked if it would have required that much fill to get up above the flood zone, it was done more for ocean view. Mr. Farrington said ocean view was the key, but to raise as high as possible in the event of a storm surge like at Ocean Reef where lower floor units were flooded.

Mr. Taylor added that at the time Ocean Reef was developed, it was located in a "C" zone, which had no restrictions regarding flood zones. They have since been placed in a "V" zone in August of 1998.

Mr. Farrington said that Ocean Reef actually has piling coming through the first floor units that had to be dealt with for floor plans.

Mr. Brownlow briefed the members on a question of whether the board may be violating the open meeting law for committee meetings. Ms. Angus had contacted the Institute of Government, Mr. David Lawrence, and was advised that as long as decisions or recommendations are not made from this body to the Planning Board or the Town Board, and that the public is permitted to attend it is not an illegal meeting. The meetings are to be announced prior to the committee meeting and what is being discussed. A formal agenda is not required, nor minutes required.

Mr. Brownlow added that the Land Use Plan notes that were included in their packets are food for thought and to be reviewed. There are some good points and examples of how vague some of the issues are. He thanked the Secretary for the inclusion of the new zoning maps for each member.

Mr. Brownlow wanted, on behalf of the planning board, to extend sincere appreciation and heartfelt farewell to John Yost, for his service to Emerald Isle, the community, and it citizens; especially for his assistance to the Planning Board.

He will missed, his sense of humor, and he wishes God speed to Mr. Yost in his retirement to "smell the roses".

Motion to adjourn was made by George McLaughlin, second by Phil Almeida with unanimous approval in favor of the motion

Posted by The Town of Emerald Isle 03/20/2000