PINE KNOLL SHORES — The Maritime Woods subdivision’s final plat is going to the town board of commissioners with a recommendation for approval, which means lots could soon be put on the market.
The town planning board met for its regular meeting Tuesday at the town hall boardroom at 100 Municipal Circle. During the meeting, the planning board unanimously recommended the board of commissioners grant approval of the final subdivision plat for Maritime Woods, a subdivision currently under construction on a section of a 9.33-acre undeveloped lot at the corner of Highway 58 and Pine Knoll Boulevard.
The final plat will go before the board of commissioners at its next regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 14 in the town hall boardroom.
The Cullipher Group President and project engineer Ron Cullipher was present at the meeting. He said he thinks if the board of commissioners grants final plat approval, lot sales should begin within 60 days.
“The developers are trying to move post-haste,” he said. Baker & Smith Properties LLC are the developers of the project; the LLC consists of Worth Baker Jr. of Grimesland and Kenneth Smith of Ayden.
The project is to build a 38-unit subdivision.
While the board unanimously approved the final plat, member Doug Browne said he was voting in favor because at this point in the permitting process, approval was practically a requirement.
“I hope this has been a learning process for everyone,” Mr. Browne said, “and we’ll never again rush through something this important. Taxes were chosen over the environment.”
Meanwhile, members Bob Holman and Michelle Powers seemed to stress future homeowners are aware of the requirements they’ll need to follow as residents of the subdivision. Mr. Cullipher said there will be a homeowners’ association created to ensure covenants are followed.
While Mr. Browne thinks the review and permitting process for Maritime Woods was rushed, the project has been in the public eye since early 2017, when the developers made a rezoning request for the property from OP (office and professional) to R-2 (single family residential).
The project was hotly contested, in particular by neighboring residents, resulting in multiple public meetings of the planning board and board of commissioners being heavily attended. The primary concerns raised at the time were the potential for excess removal of maritime forest from the property, potential increases in stormwater runoff coming from the property onto neighboring lots and the proposed subdivision’s potential density.
In the end, the rezoning was granted and the developers broke ground on the subdivision in December. As of Wednesday, only parts of the infrastructure have been built at Maritime Woods.
Town Planner Kevin Reed said in an email Wednesday the street, sidewalk, electrical system and water system have been installed to serve the development.
“The developer still needs to complete the roadway drainage system, two drainage swales and the sidewalk along Pine Knoll Boulevard,” he said. “No permits for construction of homes have been issued (as of Wednesday).”
In other news at the meeting, the board established three subcommittees to address long-term planning issues for Pine Knoll Shores.
Ms. Powers, Mr. Holman, member Bud Daniels, member Kathy Werle and Town Manager Brian Kramer agreed to serve on a conservation subcommittee. This subcommittee will discuss adaptive reuse and property acquisition for conservation purposes, including how town officials should address the N.C. Department of Transportation’s project to extend Interstate 42 into Carteret County, particularly in regards to preserving the environment.
Ms. Powers, Mr. Browne and Ms. Werle agreed to serve on a legal guidance subcommittee. This subcommittee will discuss securing legal guidance on the town’s police powers, regulating home building practices, imposing fines and other related issues.
Additionally, Chairman Paul Payne and member George Greene agreed to serve on a rental property subcommittee. This subcommittee will discuss strategies to better manage rental property effects on the quality of life in town.
Meetings of the subcommittees will be open to the public. Times and dates for the first meetings of each subcommittee hadn’t been set as of presstime.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-726-7081 ext. 206, email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.