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Town Board Meeting November 2016
A Recap: Short Term Rental SUP, Holiday Lights, Spring Cycle
November 6, 2016

town hall sign

ovember’s Town Board meeting, on November 1, was a short one, covering new Christmas lights for Town, next April’s Cycle NC Coastal Ride weekend and Special Use Permits for short term rentals.

All commissioners – Charlie Overcash, David White, Barb Venturi, Sandy Winfrey, and Allen Price – were present as was mayor Sally Belangia.

There were no public comments.

A Public Hearing was held for a Special Use Permit requested by the Yearick family to use their house at 515 Mildred St for short-term rentals. The Board approved it, 5-0. (The GMO requires property owners in the R2 and R3 zones get an SUP if they want to rent out their property for vacation use.) 515 Mildred is the first residence behind the hardware store.

Short Term Rental SUP Requests: Another short term rental SUP request is coming up at the December Town Board meeting.

On Tuesday, the Board scheduled a December 6 public hearing for a short term rental SUP at the Gallingers’ house at 409 High Street (next to the playground and tennis park.)

In September Town Manager Diane Miller asked the Town Board to change the GMO so that SUP’s for short term rentals in the R2 and R3. As proposed it would have done away with the application process and the public hearings which they trigger, wouldn’t be required Public comment at that September hearing ran strongly against changing the GMO rules – largely along the lines that turning homes into vacation rentals would change the residential nature of streets in Oriental’s old village. The Board opted to continue requiring SUP’s to which conditions could be attached.

It was predicted then that the Board would be faced with multiple public hearings as property owners sought the SUP’s. The Yearicks’ was the first of the SUP public hearings; the High Street property is the second.

Appointees To The Harbor Waterfronts Advisory Committee: There are again five members on the panel that advises the Town Board. Walter Vick and James Blackerby were appointed and approved by a unanimous vote of the Board.

Holiday Lights: Oriental’s getting more Christmas decorations to hang above the main streets. The Tourism Board is using some Occupancy Tax monies to buy 20 more lighted decorations to add to the existing 23. Duke Energy is to set up wiring on any unwired poles on Hodges and Broad. A lighting celebration, “Light Up the Harbor,” will take place November 25.

CycleNC’s April 2017 Coastal Ride Weekend: The Board has approved (5-0) an updated agreement for Oriental to host Cycle NC’s 2017 Coastal Ride Weekend next April 28-30. It was noted that next time CycleNC’s manager should let the Town Board know ahead of time that Oriental is being considered as a host town.

The event drew more than 1200 cyclists to Oriental 3 years ago. At least 1400 are expected to come to Oriental for the event in April of 2017. That exceeds the number of accommodations in town, and while many will camp on lawns near the river, rooms in private homes are being sought. Hope Clinic is helping to make arrangements for cyclists in which all money paid to the homeowners would go to the clinic. The Board will have a better idea of how many people to expect in December when registration is expected to wrap up.

Police Report For October: One fugitive arrest warrant was issued. It was the third in three years, according to Police Chief Dwaine Moore. Suspect was arrested on weapon and drug charges and extradited to SC. Otherwise, a good Halloween…

Financial Report: $17,446.05 spent on cleanup from Matthew. Debris removal alone cost $15,412. The Town is checking with county manager to see if expenses qualify for reimbursement.

Town Manager’s Report:

- Due to mailing issues, all October late fees on water billing have been waived.
- First edition has emerged of The Fishwrapper, a newsletter put out by the Town government.
- Boardwalk at Town Dock #2 is under construction. New security cameras installed. Free Wi-Fi available around the docks—look for network “Public Docks.”

Posted Sunday November 6, 2016 by Melinda Penkava

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