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Town Board Meeting April 2018
Fees new and old, rezoning for a sale, street closings finalized
April 5, 2018

t its April meeting, Oriental’s Town Board put some public hearings on the agenda for its May meeting. One public hearing is about a rezoning request, another hearing concerns fees related to development as well as imposing a surcharge for after-hours calls for water service. Tuesday night’s meeting also touched on details regarding 2 upcoming events in town.

town hall sign

Street Closings For Boats, Art
In coming weeks, two separate events are expected to bring more visitors than usual to town: The Oriental In-Water Boat Show in April and Art on the Neuse in May. Tuesday night, organizers for both were back in front of the Town Board.

In-Water Boat Show, April 13 – 15 Representing the Oriental Rotary Club, Sam Myers made a second presentation to the Board about street closings and satellite parking for the annual three-day show which once again takes place at and around Oriental Harbor Marina. Myers asked that South Water street be closed to vehicular traffic, just beyond the driveway to M&M’s parking lot, past the OYC and around to New St during the hours of 8a – 6:30p.

There will be one new place to park. Chris Fulcher has agreed to let the Boat Show use his gravel corner lot at Wall St. and South Ave as a parking lot on that Saturday. Volunteers from St. Peter’s Parish will staff the lot. Fulcher asked for a letter from the Board okaying the non-standard use of the lot. (It’s not been used as a parking lot as it lacks the plantings the GMO requires.)

The Board agreed and will note the date, time, and usage hours in the letter so Fulcher is aware of how and when the lot is being used. The Board also approved the street closing, the non-standard use of the Fulcher lot as a single-day satellite lot].

Art on the Neuse, May 12 Also appearing before the Board was Nancy Crain of the Pamlico County Arts Council which organizes Art on the Neuse. The annual arts fest is moving this year to the Oriental Harbor Marina/O’Town restaurant area. Crain asked whether the event had approval from the Board.

At the March meeting, the Board had heard from Jim Edwards representing the Oriental Harbor Village Marina Association. He told the Board that Art on the Neuse had not consulted with the Association before asking the Board for street closings that included their property. The Association owns the land and parking area on the south side of Water St, facing the docks south of the O’Town parking lot.

Other events held in that area have had to satisfy several requirements the Association has regarding use of their property such as obtaining insurance, and arranging for trash collection and extra bathroom facilities.

Tuesday night, Crain told the Board the issues had been addressed; Art on the Neuse had obtained insurance and would use the O’Town’s bathrooms. Crain also stated they did not need additional trash bins as the event did not generate waste from food or flyers.

Members of the Board asked that, if the event is to be held there in future, all owners affected by the closure be consulted first. They also said the Town would arrange for extra trash bins at this year’s event. The approved street closing is Water St, from the OYC to New St.

SailCraft Seeks Rezoning Adjacent Lot for Pending Sale
Alan Arnfast, owner of SailCraft Service and Marina, has asked for a property adjacent to the business, deeded in his name, to be rezoned from Residential to Mixed Use, which allows commercial use of the property.

Town Manager Diane Miller said the property has been used continuously as boat storage yard and employee parking lot for SailCraft going back to the late 70s, early 80’s and before Oriental adopted its GMO (Growth Management Ordinance that governs development in town.) Although the lot was zoned Residential under the GMO, it was grandfathered, allowing SailCraft to continue using it commercially.

The rezoning request goes now to the Planning Board which is to take it up at its April 18th meeting and then make its recommendation to the Board. The Town Board set a public hearing for May 1st at the monthly Town Board Meeting and could vote then on whether to rezone.

Alan Arnfast who is in the process of selling SailCraft, asked for a letter from the Town stating the property is grandfathered. He wants the letter in time for the April 13th target closing date of the sale of SailCraft to its new owners.

There is one un-permitted structure on the property, a tented shed left over from a boat-building project a few years ago. Arnfast is dismantling it this week in order to be compliant with the grandfathered status of the property.

The Board and Town Manager Miller agreed to write the letter contingent on the removal of the structure.

Fees, Old and New
Impact fees may be going away, while other development fees may be added. There is also a proposal to add fees for after-hours water service.

Impact Fees Impact fees have been assessed when new structures are hooked into the existing water system. A new statute passed by the NC General Assembly now in effect requires municipalities obtain an engineering study before assessing impact fees.

According to the General Assembly, such a study must be completed by July 1st. Town Manager Miller is gathering estimates from engineering firms to determine probable cost. The Town’s attorney has advised that the cost of the study may cost more than the impact fees that could be collected.

Development fees The Town Manager has proposed the Town impose “development fees” in light of potential incoming development. She presented the Board with the development fee schedules from neighboring municipalities and suggested the Board look over the examples and create “something that is reasonable and justified because of the amount of time we will spend working on it.”

The Board set a public hearing on the fee schedule for the May 1st meeting.

Water fees Town Hall does not currently provide for, or charge any fees for, after-hours water service such as calls that come in on weekends. They currently only responded to emergencies for burst pipes.

Due to the recent increase in non-emergency off-hours service calls, Town Manager Miller has proposed charging an after-hours water service fee as a way to pay technicians and administrative staff to answer and handle those calls.

She is also asking for a meter tampering fee. When water is turned off, there is a small, plastic lock that is put in place. Only town employees or certified plumbers are approved to adjust the locks as they are expensive and easy to break. Town Manager Miller said the small parts run up to $80. There will be a public education and information session before the meter tampering fees, if approved, are assessed.

She asked for a public hearing to be set for May 1st and these fees to be presented at the same time as the development fees.

The Board agreed to set the public hearing. Miller said there will be a notice with fees made available to the public 10-25 days before the public hearing.

Water Burn Out Coming
The annual water burn out – the cleaning of the water and pipes – is coming at the end of April. The Town Manager says the Town’s water plant will be switching over to chlorine for one month to “burn out” any residue in the water pipes. During that time, town water may have more of a chlorine smell and may have a slight greenish tinge coming out of the tap.

Town Manager Miller explained that the town’s water supply, when pulled from the ground, must undergo a cleaning process using one of two methods: chloramines, a mixture of ammonia and chlorine, or chlorine. The town uses chloramines as it has a lower chlorine content. However, the methods must be switched for one month to knock out any residue or buildup that occurs during the regular cleaning process. May is that month.

The burn out will run from April 25th until May 31st.

Police Report: Security Meeting For Town Businesses
Officer Nic Blayney is putting together a workshop for local business owners to go over business security, having a plan in place in case of shoplifting, and other means and methods of securing their property and businesses. The Board approved and Officer Blayney will set a date for the workshop, sometime after the Boat Show.

The next Town Board Meeting will be Tuesday, May 1 at 7p.
The Town Board Budget Meetings will be on April 9th and April 23, 8-10a on both days.
The next Planning Board Meeting will be April 18 at 3p.
All meetings take place at Town Hall.

Related Information
April Agenda
Meeting Minutes from May
1216 Lupton Dr. Rezoning Request
Chapter S Fee Schedule Addition Proposal
Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves Resolution
Water Shortage Response Plan Renewal Update
Manager’s Report
Police Report
Auxilary Boards Report

Posted Thursday April 5, 2018 by Allison DeWeese

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