Memo-11-08-2016-Item-11

November 8, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Revised Site Plan - Egret Landing Shopping Center - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to review a slightly revised site plan for the proposed Egret Landing Shopping Center at the November 8 meeting.  The revised site plan represents an improvement over the site plan approved by the Board at the October 11 meeting, and should effectively address nearly all concerns expressed during the Board’s deliberation on this project at the October 11 meeting.

As you know, the Board approved the site plan, building elevations, and lighting plan for the proposed shopping center at the October 11 meeting, and also approved the associated closing, redesignation, and closing of Crew Drive (and other street improvements on Emerald Landing Drive, NC 58 roundabout construction).  Although the Board approved all plans at the October 11 meeting, Town staff and the developer continued to work to address the concerns that were expressed at the October 11 meeting, and these efforts resulted in the attached revised site plan presented for Board review on November 8.  The revised site plan is very similar to the plans approved on October 11, but includes several changes aimed at addressing the specific concerns expressed on October 11. 

It is my belief that the attached revised site plan effectively addresses nearly all of the concerns raised at the October 11 meeting.  Overall, the revisions are relatively minor and only improve the plan, and would normally be approved administratively by Town staff.  Because of the sensitivity involved with the proposed grocery store project, and in an effort to demonstrate to the public that the Town and the developer has worked to address the concerns, I have included the revised site plan on the Board’s November 8 meeting agenda for formal review and approval. 

I have attached the following to aid the Board and the public in its review of the revised site plan:

The main features / changes incorporated in the revised site plan presented on November 8 are as follows:

  • the revised site plan includes the same overall layout for the project in the same general locations, with the same orientation of the building, loading zone, and generator, compactor, etc.,

  • Crew Drive would not be closed, and the existing 60 ft. public street right-of-way would remain unchanged and continue to be a typical public street,

  • all proposed street, sidewalk, etc. improvements would be constructed by the developer in the Crew Drive public right-of-way and the Emerald Landing Drive public right-of-way (the Board should note that the Town would require the roads to remain passable by all traffic during the construction process), and would then be maintained by the Town in the future,

  • the building elevations, colors, and dimensions are identical to those approved by the Board on October 11,

  • assuming Board approval of the setback ordinance amendment earlier on the November 8 meeting agenda, the proposed grocery store building is set back 10 ft. from the existing Crew Drive right-of-way,

  • the outparcel has been eliminated, and is replaced with additional parking spaces (the October 11 plan included 139 parking spaces, and the revised plan includes 168 parking spaces),

  • the southern parking area (between Crew Drive and NC 58) has been modified to provide for an internal circulation pattern, and the number of driveway connections has been reduced from 4 to 2,

  • the width of the buffer area between the existing canal and the retaining wall is very similar to the October 11 plan, with only minor adjustments (the November 8 plan includes a red overlay comparing the location of the retaining wall in the October 11 plan with the revised site plan); Town staff placed the highest priority on maintaining a similar buffer along the canal to protect the adjacent property owners in Emerald Landing and also to preserve egret habitat,

  • the small “riser room” has been relocated from the southeastern corner of the building to the northwestern corner, but all significant fire suppression features remain unchanged (located in the southeastern corner of the parcel), as required by the Emerald Isle Fire Department,

  • the lighting plan is nearly identical to the lighting plan approved on October 11, with only minor adjustments in pole locations to accommodate the parking lot revisions,

  • a new raised speed table and crosswalk is proposed near the main entrance to the store, and

  • the developer would still construct the proposed NC 58 roundabout.

Josh Edmonson, Town Planner, has reviewed the revised site plan, and has confirmed that it meets all applicable Town requirements (assuming the setback ordinance amendment is approved).  The Emerald Isle Fire Department has also reviewed and approved the revised site plan.

As noted above, overall, the proposed changes are relatively minor, and specifically address the concerns raised at the October 11 meeting.  As such, I recommend approval of the revised site plan, subject to the routine conditions (recombination, storm water plan approval, etc.) outlined in the suggested motion on the attached Agenda Item Cover Sheet.  I believe the revised site plan effectively addresses the concerns expressed on October 11, achieves the developer’s desired site layout, maintains the same protections for adjacent property owners in the Emerald Landing subdivision, and results in significant public street and sidewalk improvements along Crew Drive.

Josh Edmondson and I look forward to discussing the revised site plan with the Board at the November 8 meeting.  Austin Williams, C4 Emerald Isle LLC (the developer), will also attend and address any questions or concerns.