TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE PLANNING BOARD
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2001
Chairman, Ceil Saunders called the meeting to order at 7:00.
Members present: Ceil Saunders, Frank Vance, George McLaughlin, Phil Almeida, Art Daniel, and Fred Josey. Ed Dowling was excused due to being out of town. Secretary, Carol Angus and Interim Town Manager, Mitsy Overman were in attendance.
Minutes of the recessed meeting of April 17, 2001,were approved with typographical errors corrected. George McLaughlin made motion to approve with errors corrected, second by Phil Almeida with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
Minutes of the reconvened meeting of May 07, were approved with one typographical error and one sentence removed and one sentence restructured. Motion to approve made by Phil Almeida, second by George McLaughlin, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
Report from Town Manager – Ms. Mitsy Overman, interim Town Manager, gave a brief summary of the decisions and items that the Town of Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners dealt with at their meeting on Tuesday, May 08, 2001.
Report from Building Inspections – Ms. Angus advised that April, 2001 had added a value of just over $800,000, which is somewhat below previous months.
A. Watson Hotel, (Emerald Hotel), Block 41, Commercial Review – Mr. Ronnie Watson and Mr. Ken Burnette, Burnette Architectures, were representing this item.
Mr. Vance began with questions regarding the lighting for the project especially in the parking lot. Mr. Burnette replied that they have not done final engineering, just included what he felt was necessary for this approval process. They intend to use shielded lighting. Mr. Burnette said the lights were originally shown on the first plan, what the board is looking at tonight is the stormwater plan. The Board of Commissioners has previously approved the project, contingent to bring the attention to the stormwater plan for approval by the Planning Board. The Board of Commissioners wanted the Planning Board to be comfortable with the stormwater plan.
Mr. Burnette then introduced the engineers from Stroud Engineering that had come with him for any stormwater plan questions that the board may have. Mr. Pat Snoddy answered the questions that the members may have.
Mr. Almeida asked Mr. Snoddy to submit, for file only, no need to return to the boards.
1. Summary sheet (cover sheet) of stormwater (numbers worked out);
2. Mark of 36” gauge pipe;
3. Cross section to show filter fabric;
4. Verify that 18” pipe can carry the post development flow.
Mr. Daniel asked Mr. Burnette, for future projects he may submit, that he might add a table of contents page, page numbers, and gray line drawings.
Motion was made by Mr. Almeida to approve the Watson Hotel, (Emerald Hotel), Commercial Review, with the submission to the Planning Board secretary, of the four items:
Summary sheet (cover sheet) of stormwater (numbers worked out);
Mark of 36” gauge pipe;
Cross-section to show filter fabric;
Verify that 18” pipe can carry the post development flow;
A revised drawing by May 27, 2001.
Second by Frank Vance. The motion was unanimously approved in favor of the motion.
B. Watson (Emerald) Hotel, Special Use Request – Mr. Watson and Mr. Burnette were available for the project.
Mr. Fred Josey had some concern about the parking spaces available, and the location of the parking spaces on the south side of Reed Drive. The parking requirements are in conflict with the Special Use Table for Motels.
Mr. Burnette advised that this area be designated for the employees.
Ms. Angus, secretary, advised the board that the only reason this request was before the members is that she and Mr. Watson did not want to get in the middle on the newly adopted ordinance that requires a B-2, B-3 Special Use Request for buildings over 8,000 square feet.
This request was discussed. The Planning Board felt that because this project had been ongoing for more than the past year, and the ordinance requiring a Special Use was not in effect until February, that the request should be withdrawn because some of the items (parking), requiring a special use, may conflict with the previously approved project. This project should be considered as retroactive. The Town Board of Commissioners had previously approved the project, with only the contingency that the stormwater plan be reviewed by the Planning Board.
C. Reed Drive Commercial Park, 3-lot subdivision, Block 42 – Mr. John McLean and Ms. Paxon Holz were available for any discussion.
There was considerable discussion regarding the former motion to have Reed Drive moved 360’ from the Hwy 58 right-of-way, and a bulb (cul-de-sac) provided for emergency vehicles turning, and the original Reed Drive to be vacated. The plat before the board did not indicate of these requests, with the exception of the cul-de-sac. The plat at hand showed a plat that had been previously provided with Reed Drive in its current location.
Chairman Saunders asked for rationale on the member’s findings on how to proceed:
Mr. Josey said he can go along with what was discussed at the May 07, 2001 meeting to require the 360’ from Hwy 58, due to the fact the potential for traffic is too severe to go with the current drawing.
Mr. Daniel said he had been asked by the Planning Board to write a letter to D.O.T. via the Mayor in regard to a master traffic control system there and in some other areas. It appears that we have reached the point in time that the Coast Guard Road and Hwy 58 intersection should be resignalized right now.
Mr. Vance said he did not want traffic leaving this parcel, turning left toward Emerald Drive; nor going across to Reed Drive. There would still be a problem, even at the distance of 360 feet; this map shows 170 feet from Hwy 58. Coast Guard Road also needs to be four laned, especially for the 5-month peak season and weekends. He didn’t feel he has any suggestions to help this. Doesn’t know how long it will take Corps of Engineers to approve the filling of the wetlands on the other portion of the property. He does not want to see traffic turn left from the road as it shows, when it is fully developed.
Mr. Almeida said that at the May 07 meeting, it was agreed that the entrance, as shown on the plat before them, was not a good idea. He feels the entry to the subdivision should be further down, as requested at that meeting. His suggestion is to reject the plan and send it on to the Board of Commissioners and inform the owners accordingly.
Mr. McLaughlin felt the importance of the May 07 meeting was to come to a conclusion to decide what to do by our recommendation. Obviously, the Corps of Engineers becoming involved did put an end to the plat that we had agreed to. He agrees that the current placement of Reed Dr. is not acceptable. He thought the request for moving the road 360’ was a compromise to allow the project to go forward. That plan is still available to the owners, as far as he is concerned. He cannot agree to the plan before him.
Mr. Almeida made the motion, that after reviewing the plan, dated May 15, for the Reed Drive Commercial Park the Planning Board finds the entry to the subdivision is not acceptable. It will cause traffic problems and endanger safety of the citizens. The Planning Board recommends to the Board of Commissioners that the Preliminary Plat be rejected. The owners to be advised to provide access to the subdivision from Coast Guard Road to a point 460’ from the center of Hwy. 58. Second to the motion made by George McLaughlin.
There was further discussion. Mr. Daniel asked, without configuration, the new intersection at 460’ on Coast Guard Road, will have an offset intersection at Reed Drive where it exists, also at Pebble Beach to create another offset. So there would be three legs of the street from the intersection at Coast Guard Rd. Mr. McLean said the entry to Pebble Beach is approximately 30’ from the most western property line.
Mr. Almeida said he would like to add to his motion that a signal light be added at the new entry point of the subdivision.
Mr. Almeida asked about the feasibility of paving a road skirting the existing wetlands? Ms. Holz said she had been informed that it would be unlikely she would be permitted to fill any of the wetlands by North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. (DENR). She advised that it is not possible to pave around the wetlands the way it is configured.
Mr. Daniel asked Mr. McLean what the legal precedent of the state for being able to step into a wetland area abandoned by the Corps? Mr. McLean said DENR will have authority. The Corps and North Carolina are both claiming to have authority jointly.
Mr. Daniel asked if the wetland area was not less than an acre? Mr. McLean said it is.
Chairman Saunders asked Mayor Pro-Tem Emily Farmer if she could comment on this issue.
Ms. Farmer said she knows that Division of Water Quality is working up the guidelines since the state took over jurisdiction of isolated wetlands. She is surprised that anyone would say that North Carolina would not allow any wetlands to be filled. Ms. Holz injected that she was told it was “unlikely”. Ms. Farmer went on to say that permits will be required for the filling of wetlands greater than 1/3 of an acre. The guidelines are being formed now, temporary ruling due in July, 2001.
Mr. Daniel agrees these intersection areas are going to be a problem; however, to move the entrance may be the best solution at this time.
Mr. Almeida said he would be in favor of abandoning the segment of Reed Drive that will not be used.
Mr. McLean asked that something be done tonight, so this project can go on to the Board of Commissioners. Let them make the decision.
Mr. Vance asked to amend the motion to add the portion to abandon the portion of Reed Drive that would not be used.
Chairman Saunders asked the secretary to read back the motion with amendments for a vote.
Mr. Almeida made the motion, that after reviewing the plan, dated May 15, for the Reed Drive Commercial Park the Planning Board finds the entry to the subdivision is not acceptable. The Planning Board recommends to the Board of Commissioners that the Preliminary Plat be rejected.
1. It will cause traffic problems and endanger safety of the citizens.
2. The owners to be advised to provide access for a point of entry to the subdivision
from Coast Guard Rd. to a point 460’ from the center of Hwy 58.
3. That a signal light be added at the new entry point of the subdivision.
4. To abandon the segment of Reed Drive that would not be used.
Mr. Josey seconded the amendment to add the portion to add signalization and to abandon the segment of Reed Drive not being used.
All members voted unanimously in favor of the motion as stated to allow this project to proceed to the Town Board of Commissioners.
Mr. Almeida asked to make it a motion that the Board of Commissioners look at the intersection of Coast Guard Road and Emerald Drive (Hwy 58) to be improved. The traffic pattern will get much worse than it is now.
Mr. Daniel asked if he might put that request in the letter previously mentioned to go to the Mayor and on to D.O.T.
Mr. Almeida then brought up and issue that is cited in the Town Charter that any cost associated with improvement of roads be charged as a special assessment to the abutting properties. It is in Section 9-1.
Ms. Holz wanted to reiterate the recommendations that the board made some time ago for the improvement of Coast Guard Road. If there is no traffic problem at Coast Guard Road, then no improvements are needed. The truth is, there is a need now for improvements with this property still vacant. All the traffic that exists on Coast Guard Rd. has been generated by others, not from her property. So she asks in fairness, whatever the Charter may say, that an equal burden should be borne by all those who created the traffic; not just the last ones to develop. And, the improvement should be as soon as possible.
Mr. Almeida said he agreed. The intent is not that she should bear the whole burden. NEW BUSINESS:
Reel Outdoors, Commercial Review, Corner of Emerald Drive and Cedar Street, Block 34 – Mr. Jim Davis and Mr. Gregg Dennis were present to represent this item.
Mr. Davis approached the members with a new map with slight modifications. He said they had submitted the previous maps to meet the deadline and did not meet with the Health Dept. until after they were submitted. Mr. John McLean will have the stormwater plan available for Review Committee. He then distributed the new maps to the members.
Members began by requesting that a date be applied to the plats and asking questions regarding the project regarding fire hydrants; drive width, type of plantings, outside lighting, signage, glass and elevation. Chairman Saunders reminded the members that this project will be reviewed at 3:00 on Wednesday (5/23) for all these type questions.
Motion was made by George McLaughlin, second by Frank Vance to allow this project to proceed to Review Committee on May 23, 2001.
There were no further comments by the members.
Motion to adjourn was made by George McLaughlin, second by Art Daniel with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.