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It's Sunday May 20, 2018

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Town Board Meeting May 2018
Ordinances amended, rezoning request denied
May 4, 2018

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ejected rezoning requests, General Ordinance chapter amendments, and a plea from the chair of the Harbor Waterfronts Committee. Residents heard this and more at May’s Town Board meeting.

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Rabies quarantine impacts cats feral and domestic
Town Manager Diane Miller discussed the state imposed Rabies Quarantine and added more information: 3 raccoons and 2 foxes were removed and tested positive for rabies. She said Animal Control will be trapping for feral cats. Some free-roaming pet cats may be caught. The Town Manager recommends microchipping cats with an identification tag rather than relying on collars and ID tags. Cats can’t slip off a microchip and there is a greater chance of being reunited with their owners. Caught cats that are not reunited with or have no owners within 3 days will be euthanized.

NC General Statute says that pets must be confined to the owner’s property or be under the control of a responsible adult at all times.

Bev Pierpoint sent in a video of a fox attacking her cat at her home in Merritt. Pierpoint says the fox tested positive for rabies. Both she and her cat needed medical treatment; the cat for bites and Pierpoint for contact with contaminated saliva.

Cat and rabid fox confrontation.

Rezoning request rejected, grandfathered use stands
Sailcraft Service was sold to new owners Mike and Jennifer Pawlikowski. Alan Arnfast, the previous owner, sought to have 1216 Lupton Dr. rezoned from a residential R1 lot to a mixed-used, or MU, lot. Town Hall May 2018Though residential and part of the Sea Vista subdivision, the lot has been used as employee parking and boat storage before the inception of the Growth management Ordinance (GMO), the document governing land use and building regulations, in 1999.

The nonconforming use of the residential land has been grandfathered in and is protected in the GMO under Section 196. Abandonment and Discontinuance of Nonconforming Situations. “When a nonconforming use is discontinued for a consecutive period of 180 days, the property involved may thereafter be used only for conforming purposes.“

Ronald Zielinski and Josiah Hoffman spoke against the change during the public hearing. Zielinski said he was concerned about major changes in buildings and that work that is not currently allowed on the property would be acceptable after the rezoning. He was also concerned for pollution entering the creek and how the removal of existing trees would impact property values for surrounding lots.

Hoffman echoed those concerns while also voicing support for the new owners.

“We’re glad you’re here and we appreciate the services you’re providing,” he said. “We’re just very worried about the creeping commercialism that might happen. As long as you’re grandfathered in, we’re fine with that.”

The Planning Board recommended against rezoning as the current use was already grandfathered in. The Commissioners agreed with the Planning Board and unanimously voted against rezoning. 1216 Lupton Drive will remain an R1 property with grandfathered use.

General Ordinance Amendments
Chapter S Town Rates and Fees – Water Rates and Development Fees
New Fees for new services:
  • After hours assistance to have water turned on

  • After hours reconnection fee (there is a greater charge as an administrator as well as a service tech must be called in)
  • Tampering Fees – red locks will be going on the water lines. If they are broken, fees will be assessed per broken item.
  • Fees for application of Subdivision Development. There is currently a fee for a personal home – $150, but none for subdivisions. Fees are broken down by minor and major subdivision, and number of acres.
  • Impact fees have been removed, decreasing the water tap fees.
  • Water Shortage Response Plan fees – this only applies when a water shortage has been declared by the state and if the water is coming from the city supply, not from a well. Any overuse will trigger a fee.

The Board unanimously approved the changes. The new fee schedule is available for download below with changes and additions marked in red.

Chapter K – Water Mains and Service for Undeveloped Subdivisions
The amendment to this ordinance requires developers of new subdivisions to loop water lines back to the nearest main. Water will then circulate and not sit at the end of the lines as it does in some cul-de-sacs now.

Chapter H – Densities of Animals Within the Corporate Limits
Town Manager Miller suggests changes to Chapter H to simplify and clear up language in the livestock ordinance. Livestock is horses, cows, pigs, etc. It is not poultry. The major changes are: Livestock needs at least 2 acres of real property to be housed, with 1 animal per acre, housed 150 ft from the nearest property line. The original with proposed changes is at the link below. The changes were unanimously accepted by the Board.

If you see something, say something – quickly
Harbor Waterfronts Committee chair Lisa Thompson reports that she is getting calls about activity or problems with the harbor and waterfronts several days too late. She asks that people report problems immediately so they can be dealt with as soon as possible, even if it’s not during daylight hours.

Thompson’s number is posted at the docks and piers around town.

Mayor Belangia Adopts Safe Boating Week Resolution
Mayor Belangia and the Town Commissioners declared May 19-25, 2018 as Safe Boating Week as a way to bring safe boating practices to recreational boaters.

Upcoming Public Hearings and Town Meetings
  • A public hearing for the budget is scheduled for June 5th at 7p at Town Hall. Manager says she will deliver a balanced budget to the Board and make it available to the public before the hearing. Substantial changes MAY be made at that public hearing.
  • The Town intended to set a Public Meeting to discuss the grants for the Whittaker Creek Erosion project, but developments after the meeting have them shifting focus. The Town Manager and Commissioners intended to apply for grants from NOAA totaling around $450,000, Duke Power for about $50,000, and from NC state for approximately $50,000. After speaking with the Coastal Federation, the Town learned the money from NOAA is not there this year and are now looking elsewhere for the money.

The owners of Whittaker Point are willing to give the land to the Town of Oriental for free, but the Commissioners and Town Manager will not accept the land until they have secured the funds to repair the Point.

Pooling water and the Town drainage system
Now that the Bay River systems have been sealed, gathering water is highlighting problems with the Town’s drainage systems. The tree between the Methodist and Episcopal churches was removed and water has gathered pooled on the ground between the two buildings. The tree roots pierced the culverts. The culverts will need to be dug up and replaced or repaired.

Oriental Yacht Club Dredging
The Town of Oriental is one of the adjacent owners next to the Oriental Yacht Club (OYC) at 100 South Water St. OYC wishes to dredge around their docks, including the dinghy dock. The action requires adjacent owners to be made aware of the dredging and to agree. The Commissioners did so unanimously.

Dates to Know
  • The next Town Board Meeting will be Tuesday, June 5 at 7p.
  • Public Hearing for the Budget Meeting is the same night as the Town Board Meeting – Tuesday, June 5 at 7p.
  • Special Meeting for a Budget Amendment on June 28, at 8a.
  • Dog Park Grand Opening is May 10th at 11a.

Related Information

Posted Friday May 4, 2018 by Allison DeWeese


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