MOREHEAD CITY — After letting a previous preliminary plat approval expire, developers are now moving forward with the next several phases of Park Villas, a combined townhome and condominium development off Old Murdoch Road.
The first two phases of Park Villas were completed in the mid-2000s, and construction has begun on phases three and four. In April 2018, the Morehead City Planning Board granted preliminary plat approval for phase five of the development, but it expired before the developer, Elkview Holdings LLC, secured final plat approval.
“Since phase five never received final plat approval and the preliminary plat expired, it is necessary for the preliminary plat to be approved again for the developer to move forward with requesting final plat for the final plat of the development,” Morehead City planner Mackenzie Todd explained when the matter came before the planning board during its July 21 meeting, held via Zoom.
The preliminary plat planning board members reviewed last week was identical to the one the board approved two years ago. The developers made no changes, and Planning Director Sandi Watkins confirmed there have been no regulatory changes in the past two years that could impact the development.
“This was approved by you a couple years ago, we missed the deadline submittal to keep it active and we’re asking just to renew the preliminary approval,” said Ron Cullipher of local engineering firm the Cullipher Group, which made the preliminary plat request on behalf of Elkview Holdings. “…We’ve finally got a lot of building going on, I don’t think that we’ll retire next time before you see the final plat.”
The first two phases of Park Villas contain 16 condominiums units, and phases three and four are platted for a combined 36 townhouse lots. If the Morehead City Council gives its approval to the plan, phase five will contain an additional 15 townhouse lots.
The planning board recommended approval of the preliminary plat in a unanimous vote.
In other business, the planning board also recommended an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to adjust the definitions for “junked motor vehicle” and “motor vehicle.”
A junked motor vehicle, according to the new definition, is one that fulfills any of the following criteria: it is partially dismantled or wrecked, it cannot be self-propelled in the manner in which it was originally intended to move, it is more than five years old and worth less than $500 or it does not display current license plates. The planning board had the option to keep the defined value of a junked vehicle at less than $100, but several members said that seemed like an outdated figure and recommended raising it to $500 at Ms. Watkin’s suggestion.
Junked vehicles are processed under the city’s nuisance ordinance, Ms. Watkins said.
“The nuisance ordinance allows one vehicle defined as a junked vehicle on a lot, provided it is in a rear yard and concealed, and that’s an existing requirement,” she said.
The proposed text amendment also updates the definition of a motor vehicle to include machines designed to travel by water by self-propulsion.
Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.