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Town Board Meeting September 2019
Hurricane Dorian, short term rental, renewable energy
September 12, 2019

he Town Board meeting on September 3 focused on Hurricane Dorian’s arrival. Grace Evans had concerns about the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Joint Land Use Study and how it may effect future renewable energy efforts in town.

One week later, after Hurricane Dorian passed through, the Town Board held an early morning debrief of the storm. A public hearing for a short term rental was also set. Those items are included in this report.
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Hurricane Dorian Damage Assessment
Ahead of Hurricane Dorian, Mayor Sally Belangia declared a State of Emergency for Oriental.

The hurricane passed thorugh Oriental overnight Thursday, September 5 and peaked around 7a Friday morning. The surge was 6 ft 2 inches and quickly left. Tuesday’s damage reports included a few missing or loose boards from the docks and Lou Mac pier. Some small trees were blown down, but did not damage surrounding municipal areas.

The town will pick up storm debris as long as it is under 4ft long and less than 6 inches in diameter. No whole trees will be picked up; Town Manager Miller says the town does not have the equipment to handle items that large.

Miller also said the town is not in a hurry to put everything back in case another large storm rolls through.

Officer Wichrowski’s car is missing the front bumper; Town Manager Millers says it was pulled off during the storm when he caught the car on some obstruction and attempted to back off it.

Concerns About Future Renewable Energy
Grace Evans addressed the Board of Commissioners regarding the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Joint Land Use Study (JLUS).

A JLUS is a cooperative planning effort between military bases and neighboring municipalities and “the purposes of the MCAS Cherry Point Military Influence Overlay regulations are to protect community compatibility, assist MCAS Cherry Point in the preservation of its operational capability, and to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare.” Town Manager Diane Miller has been attending planning sessions in Havelock.

Evans was particularly concerned by a proposed ordinance from the JLUS that would potentially prohibit a list of “incompatible development activities,” a term that includes renewable energy facilities like solar or wind farms.

Town Manager Miller said the Planning Board was currently discussing regulations for wind and solar within Oriental, and in surrounding areas that had potential to be annexed in the future. These discussions are reflected in the Auxiliary Board Reports links at the end of this article.

The Planning Board meets at Town Hall on Wednesday, September 18 from 3-5p.

Public Hearing set for short term rental at 305 Vandemere
Krent Aberle is seeking a short term rental at 305 Vandemere Rd. Aberle previously owned a home on 1st Ave in an R1 zone, which prevented him from renting it out short term while out of the state. He sold the home at on 1st Ave and purchased the R2 zoned 305 Vandemere.

His intent, as he stated it to the Board of Commissioners in February 2016, “We will have a vacation property that we can enjoy through the winter months and rent it out when we’re not.” Aberle lives in Wisconsin.

A short term rental requires a Special Use Permit (SUP). That permit allows for short term rentals to provide lodging for any time period less than 30 days. Adjacent landowners receive notice of the intended SUP. Anyone can give evidence for or against the SUP at the monthly Planning Board Meeting.

Manager’s Report
The 2017-2018 town audit has been accepted though the collection rates shown on the report are incorrect. Manager Miller says the collection rate is much higher than reported. The reports will be corrected at the end of September/beginning of October by the auditor.

Police Report
Officer Wichrowski presented the September police report. In addition to writing 13 traffic citations or warnings, the Oriental Police Department also took away 2 license plates and confiscated one driver’s license in August.

Dates to Know
  • The next Town Board Meeting will be Tuesday, October 1 at 7p.
  • The next Planning Board meeting is at Town Hall, Wednesday, September 18 from 3-5p.
Related Information

Posted Thursday September 12, 2019 by Allison DeWeese

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