August 8, 2017

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank Rush, Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Commercial Site Plan Review – Lighthouse Inn & Suites (Reed Drive / Islander Drive / NC 58) - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to review the commercial site plan for the proposed Lighthouse Inn & Suites hotel at the August 8 meeting.  The proposed hotel includes 25 rooms, and would be constructed on the site of the existing Lighthouse Miniature Golf facility on NC 58 at the corner of Islander Drive and Reed Drive.

The attached memo from Town Planner Josh Edmondson includes a detailed explanation of the project.  The property is zoned Village West, and a hotel is a permitted use by right.  Town staff and the Planning Board have reviewed the project in detail, and have determined that it meets all applicable Town requirements.  The Board should note the following notable items:

  • the proposed hotel includes 3 stories, total floor area of approximately 17,700 sq. ft., and has a mean roof height of 39 feet, 8 ¾ inches,
  • the owners are planning to use pervious pavement for the parking area, which is expected to allow all storm water to pass through the pavement and infiltrate into the soils below, and
  • the proposed driveway along Islander Drive may require a slight modification to the configuration of on-street public parking spaces on Islander Drive, however, we do not expect this to cause any problems.

The Planning Board unanimously recommended approval of the site plan, building elevations, exterior colors, and lighting plan at its July 24 meeting.

As you know, the Town has been working for the past decade to promote quality redevelopment in the Village West area, and the proposed project is consistent with the overall vision for the Village West area.  The 2004 CAMA Land Use Plan specifically targeted this area of Emerald Isle for hotels and other tourism-oriented uses, the Town’s zoning ordinance and map promotes this vision, and the 2017 Comprehensive Land Use Plan reinforces this vision.  With the recent improvements to The Islander, this project, the Town’s acquisition and clean-up of the abandoned go-kart track property, and the potential future “meeting and events center” and/or other improvements, it appears that the Town may finally be realizing the desired quality redevelopment and aesthetic improvements in this area of Emerald Isle. 

Town Planner Josh Edmondson and I look forward to discussing the proposed project with the Board at the August 8 meeting.