|We’re finally on our way to finding a solution!
On Monday, May 2nd, the Currituck County Board of Commissioners approved our request to form a stormwater service district! It was a long, arduous haul to get here, including being at the end of a 4 hour + meeting, but now the real work begins.
You can watch a video of the meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eyYYI-vikY (start at about 2:14, after the recess) and read the newspaper article below. We will also be giving a committee report at the OSPOA meeting on Saturday, May 14th.
The committee will be working closely with the County in the coming weeks so we are ready to move forward onJuly 1st, the beginning of the County’s fiscal year. This includes forming an advisory board and soliciting qualifications from interested engineering firms, interviewing them and making a recommendation to the BOC, who will sit as the Board of the Ocean Sands North and Crown Point Watershed District, as it will now be known. This is exactly how all of the other special service districts operate, including our own Ocean Sands Water & Sewer District.
Thank you all for your encouragement & support, and we will do our best to keep moving forward to find a global solution at the best price for our communities, so that ‘when it rains, it drains!’
EDITOR’S NOTE: To keep up with all things Corolla-related, consider joining the Corolla Civic Association (CCA) who send out bi-monthly newsletters, regularly post on Facebook, and meet the 4th Thursday of the month at Corolla Library. Contact them atinfo@CorollaCivicAssociation.com or the membership form is on their website (which is currently being updated): CorollaCivicAssociation.com
Currituck OKs rezoning for waterpark, tax district in Corolla
By Dee Langston on May 3, 2016
The Outer Banks Voice
Water, water everywhere. Or so it seemed duringMonday’s meeting of the Currituck County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners dove right in and approved a proposed waterpark on the mainland during the meeting, which lasted more than 4 1/2 hours, but got bogged down with a deluge of residents from two Corolla neighborhoods seeking a remedy for persistent flooding.
The board voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of 80 acres north of Harbinger from heavy industrial to conditional business, which will allow Aquatic Development Group to move forward with its proposed OBX Waterpark, which commissioners hope will bring tourism dollars to lower Currituck.
Plans for the attraction include two waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river for tubing and a surfing simulator. To accommodate the company’s plans, commissioners also gave their OK to increasing the height restriction on recreational structures to 110 feet for waterslides. The change includes a one-to-one setback requirement, meaning a 110-foot slide will have to be at least 110 feet from the property line.
The park will likely employ eight to 10 people year-round. During the summer, the park will need 30 or more lifeguards, along with general support staff, restaurant staff, ticket salespeople, control center operators and safety advisers.
“Aquatic Development has been doing this for 25 years,” Warren Eadus, a representative of the company, told the board. “They have it down to a science.”
The company is apparently banking on the waterpark’s success, as its proposed parking lot has space for 4,000 vehicles.
The proposal will go before the Planning Department’s technical review committee next, explained Planning Director Ben Woody. Any future permits or approvals will be handled by county staff.
Although the meeting flowed smoothly during the public hearing and vote regarding the waterpark, it hit a logjam with another major item on the agenda — the creation of a stormwater service district encompassing the Corolla subdivisions of Ocean Sands and Crown Point.
During a public hearing, commissioners had the unusual experience of hearing from about a dozen property owners who wanted a 5-cent per $100 of valuation tax increase to finance a solution to recurrent flooding in their neighborhoods.
Barbara Marzetti, who spoke first during the public hearing, used a PowerPoint presentation to show commissioners the results of a two-year study generated by the property owners’ associations’ stormwater committee.
“We need the service district as soon as possible to generate funds efficiently and begin to address our problem,” Marzetti told the board.
People who owned property in the subdivisions spoke out in favor of the service district, including several whose property has never flooded.
The only speaker to oppose it was Braxton Hill, an attorney and the vice-president of Coastland Corp., the developer of the subdivisions. Stormwater management in the subdivisions has been the responsibility of Coastland Corp., but residents, and most of the commissioners, said they believed the problems have been ignored.
Hill asked the board to postpone action until alternate sources of funding could be investigated. But the consensus of the commissioners — who at times grew testy with Hill — was that a solution had been put off long enough.
“In 40 years, why has such an obvious problem not been addressed?” Chairman David Griggs asked Hill. “Why are we here? Why has Coastland not addressed this?”
Commissioners Paul Beaumont and Mike Payment both said people were tired of waiting for Coastland to come up with a solution, and Griggs pointed out that it wasn’t lost on the board that the citizens were asking for a tax increase to address the problem.
Commissioner Vance Aydlett made the motion to approve the service district, which passed unanimously.
Also during Monday’s meeting, commissioners moved to deny a rezoning request that would have paved the way for a 63-unit apartment or townhouse complex in Barco after hearing from nearby homeowners who opposed the project.
However, commissioners did issue a preliminary plat approval for Windswept Pines, a 59-lot residential subdivision located off Baxter Lane in Moyock, with certain stipulations regarding stormwater runoff.
“We’ve had people from Moyock who want more houses, and people from Corolla who want more taxes,” quipped Commissioner Paul O’Neal near the close of the meeting. “I never thought I’d live long enough to see both of those happen.”