February 26, 2015
Tri-villages zoning initiative begins with March 5 workshop
A March 5
workshop in Rodanthe is the first step in the process of use-specific
zoning for the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. The Dare County
Planning Board and the staff of the Planning Department will host the
workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community
By IRENE NOLAN
"The workshop will be in an open-house format to allow
citizens and property owners to interact with the Planning Board and
staff in an informal setting," according to a news release.
and non-resident property owners are invited to attend to discuss their
ideas and make comments and suggestions on the future of the
tri-villages. The staff will also provide an overview of how the zoning
In a Sept. 2 meeting of the Dare County Board of
Commissioners, chairman Warren Judge said the county had received a
letter from the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association, asking to start
the planning process for use-specific zoning in the tri-villages.
of unincorporated Dare County has what is called "dimensional" zoning
that governs such issues as height of buildings and setbacks from roads
or septic systems. However, such zoning is not use-specific but allows
any use on all parcels of land with very few restrictions.
in the tri-villages found this out the hard way last June when a
company got the go-ahead from the Board of Commissioners to build a
concrete plant in Waves. The board said, in this case, that it had no
recourse under the zoning laws but to allow the use, though it did set
some conditions on such things as fencing, noise levels, and operating
Civic association president Mark Dingman said in
September that there had been discussions among residents about zoning
since the hot debate about the concrete plant, so the group moved ahead
to ask the county to begin looking at the issue.
that the civic association was very careful to say that it does not
"favor" or endorse zoning, but instead sees its role as assuring "the
best treatment" for all villagers if the process does proceed.
County, though, is not in the habit of forcing zoning on communities,
but has instead chosen to work with those where the majority favor it.
In September, the board instructed county planning director Donna
Creef to gauge the interest in and support for site-specific
In late November, property owners and businesses in
the tri-villages got a letter in the mail, which was signed by seven
residents, non-resident property owners, and/or owners of
businesses. They are Chip Walton, Judy Sagan, and John Griffin of
Salvo, Trip Forman and Chandra Rutledge of Waves, and Don Babin and
Cecelia Caretti of Rodanthe.
The letter urged all who got it to
petition the Dare County Planning Department to "initiate the process
to improve current zoning" of the villages. In the letter, the signers
made reference to the concrete plant and said that "the time has come
to develop a positive growth plan for our villages."
that she had 266 responses from the tri-villages about starting the
zoning initiative -- 264 were in favor and two were opposed.
Thursday workshop is the first of what will be a number of community
meetings on the initiative, which is aimed at zoning through consensus.
a zoning plan for the tri-villages is developed, it would
eventually go to the Planning Board for a vote and would have to be
approved by the Board of Commissioners, which is required to have a