Southern Shores City Council approves mixed zoning for potential ‘charming village’ – The Coastland Times
After months of hard work by the Southern Shores Planning Board and applicant Ginguite, LLC, the Southern Shores City Council approved a zoning ordinance amendment at the June 7 meeting that would allow a residential accommodation as part of certain commercial properties.
Although the amendment would apply to the entire city, Sumit Gupta, representing plaintiff Ginguite, LLC, explained to council members how the amendment would affect its development plan.
Gupta’s original plan was for steady commercial development in the commercial area. However, with the need for additional housing in town and the growing popularity of mixed-zone communities (e.g. condos with an ice cream or coffee shop downstairs), he decided to pursue a modification of the building ordinances. the city.
One of the main talking points was lot coverage – or the size of the building and parking footprint. For residential areas, the permitted land cover is 40%. For commercial areas, it is 60% (or 67% if the developer opts for a permeable pavement). The town planning council decided to meet in the middle and proposed 50% for this mixed zone.
Gupta objected, saying, “I feel like this development shouldn’t be penalized for trading commercial for residential. And if you look at some of the surrounding townships and counties that allow mixed residential and commercial use, the majority of the lot coverage is 60% and some are 65-70% in mixed use, so I think we’re consistent with that.”
During discussion at the meeting, board members rejected this requirement.
They did, however, maintain the stipulation that the residential portion – the building footprint and parking for residential purposes – must be between 25 and 40 percent of the total lot coverage. The planning board thought this made sense, as the maximum lot coverage for residential areas is already 40%.
Council member Paula Sherlock asked Gupta what he envisioned for the 5-acre parcel near Jean Guite Creek. “We have planned a lot for this specific property and we want to take advantage of the waterfront and create a walkway there, make room for boats and create a charming village. We really have it all planned out,” he replied.
Sherlock said before voting, “In this community there is a need for more housing options for people, not just affordable housing – although that is certainly an option – but just an option for people who don’t want to live in a five-bedroom and are looking for something else, and now those options are just extremely limited. I also know that Southern Shores doesn’t like commercial development very much, so I like this concept of mixing the two.
Gupta’s plan for the space is luxury condos, though he mentioned his company wants to build multi-family homes in another location.
The council made some adjustments to the recommendations of the planning board, then passed the amendment 5-0.
Also during the meeting, City Solicitor Ben Gallop announced he was leaving the law firm Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland and starting his own solo practice. Galop will no longer represent the city; Hornthal will be the new city attorney after July 6.
During staff reports, Sherlock asked Police Chief David Kole to address the national concern over school safety after the shooting at a Texas elementary school last month.
Kole said the department trains at the school at least three or four times a year and does much of its active shooter training at the school. Kole said officers patrol the school at least two or three times a day, in addition to the school resource officer.
“I can assure you that our biggest problem is going to be keeping some of the off-duty plainclothes officers out of the inner perimeter, because you know as well as I, in our department we have at least a few people, they have kids. in this school,” Kole said. “So I can tell you there’s not an officer in this department that wouldn’t go right away and that’s how we’ve been training since Columbine.”
In other new business, board members approved the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Changes to the recommended budget include an increase in land transfer income to offset an increase in the cost of living adjustment from 3.5% to 5%.
Council members also approved a fee schedule ordinance that would increase the city’s fees.
DISCOVER OUR OUTLOOK EDITION FOR 2022 HERE.
READ MORE NEWS HERE.