Cape Carteret

CAPE CARTERET — Cape Carteret Planning Board Chairperson Susan Hall and other members of the panel are not yet satisfied with the draft of a unified development ordinance by Summit Design and Engineering Services of Hillsborough.

The board met and discussed the firm’s latest draft Monday night in town hall and virtually on GoToMeeting.

Ms. Hall said she believes there’s “still a lot of work to do” by Summit before the document is ready for endorsement by the board and review and approval by town commissioners. For example, she said, there are inconsistencies in language and style and the online version – likely to be used by developers and others for general information – still doesn’t have hyperlinks to references.

“We have to … make sure it reads well,” she said.

A UDO, which many towns in the area already have, is intended to streamline development rules and put them into one document to ease the process for developers and town decision-makers.

Earlier this year, Summit got the contract for the consulting work for $20,236.80 in a competitive bidding process.

The inconsistencies and language issues that remain in the latest draft are a major issue, Ms. Hall said, because those were the biggest problems in the existing code of ordinances the UDO is set to improve and replace.

The planning board, Ms. Hall said, should get a new draft as soon as possible from Anne Darby of Summit and it draft needs to clearly identify changes.

The planning chairperson said she wants the board to able to endorse the document “as soon as possible,” and members indicated they’d probably meet to discuss a new draft later in the month.

The original intent was to have the UDO completed by July, so commissioners could review it at their Monday meeting. Now, town manager Zach Steffey said during the meeting, it looks like the UDO won’t be adopted before October.

“We want it to be something we can all be proud of and feel good about,” he said.

One major aspect of the UDO is to bring the town’s development and decision-making rules into compliance with a 2019 state rewrite of local planning and development rules, Chapter 160D.

The revised general statutes combine previous chapters and changed rules local governments must follow in the development, zoning and land-use appeals processes. The law is in effect now, and local governments were supposed to adopt changes by July 1. Some have done that, but many haven’t.

Policy amendments needed by most local governments include adjustments to the language regulating authority of elected and appointed town boards, requirements for comprehensive land-use plans, the rules for board of adjustments’ decision-making process, rules for addressing special-use permit applications and decisions and judicial review of land-use decisions.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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