NEWPORT — Town officials have adopted a unified development ordinance and several other amendments to Newport’s ordinances to meet state statute changes.
The Newport Town Council met Monday in the town hall boardroom, with Mayor Pro Tem Bob Benedict absent, for a special meeting. The meeting was a follow up to a June 10 regular meeting to ensure the council had a quorum. Due to state regulations on virtual meetings, the council had to continue public hearings to allow enough time for comments to be submitted before taking action.
On Monday, the council unanimously adopted the proposed UDO, a master ordinance the town did not previously have in place. The council also unanimously adopted amendments to the town’s minimum housing code and appointed the town planner as the official ordinance administrator. These three separate actions bring the town’s ordinances into compliance with N.C. General Statute 160D.
Town planner J.P. Duncan briefly recapped the UDO and minimum housing code changes before the council took action Monday.
“What’s recommended isn’t changing it substantially,” he said of the housing code. “(The UDO) takes the subdivision ordinance and combines it with the zoning and development ordinance. The subdivision ordinance remains largely intact.”
According to Mr. Duncan, many of the changes to the housing ordinance are simply to reference the new state statute.
An earlier draft of the UDO included notifying Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point officials of any proposal to build a structure more than 50 feet tall if the base commander determines it creates an airport obstruction or interference, as well as a prohibition on certain buildings and structures 200 feet or higher within 5 miles of Cherry Point. This prohibition would be waived if the building or structure complies with the 2013 Military Lands Protection Act.
The language was removed from the final, adopted UDO, however, due to the council voicing concerns June 10 about the proposed height restrictions. Councilman Mark Eadie, a former U.S. Marine, said he’d rather not approve any “blanket restriction.”
“We’re not the end-all-do-all for encroachment protection for the Marine Corps,” Mr. Eadie said, “I’d like to take a look at this and make a decision next month.”
The UDO and housing amendments weren’t the only action items held over from the June 10 meeting. In other news at Monday’s meeting, the council unanimously adopted, with three separate actions, three amendments to the fiscal 2020-21 budget. One is a $30,400 amendment to the water/sewer fund, one is a $23,380 amendment to the fire fund and the last is a $213,267 amendment to the general fund.
Town Manager Bryan Chadwick said these three amendments were to account for revenues and expenses that came in under or over budget, which he said is a housekeeping adjustment made toward the end of a fiscal year.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.