Cape Carteret

CAPE CARTERET — After a Thursday meeting of the town’s unified development ordinance steering committee, it appears Cape Carteret won’t meet the Thursday, July 1 deadline for adoption of its UDO.

However, in an interview Friday, committee member and former Mayor Dave Fowler said he thinks the town will be able to get the most important part of the ordinance – rules to comply with a 2019 state rewrite of local planning and develop statutes – adopted shortly after the deadline.

The committee met Thursday in town hall and on GoToMeeting.

“I feel good that we got the most important part, compliance with 160D, ready,” Mr. Fowler said. “I think the steering committee did a good job given our time limitations. We couldn’t do all that we wanted to do.”

The state rewrite, Chapter 160D of the general statues, combined previous chapters and changed some of the rules local governments must follow in the development, zoning and land-use appeals processes. The law is in effect now, but local governments have until July 1 to adopt amendments to bring ordinances into compliance.

Policy amendments that are needed include adjustments to the language regulating jurisdiction of elected and appointed town boards, requirements for comprehensive land-use plans, the rules for the board of adjustment’s decision-making process, rules for addressing special-use permit applications and decisions and judicial review of land-use decisions.

Cape Carteret town manager Zach Steffey said during the meeting he hopes to get the 160D-compliancy proposals, developed by staff and the steering committee, with the aid of consultant Anne Darby of Summit Design and Engineering Services of Hillsborough, before the planning board Tuesday, July 6 for consideration and a recommendation to town commissioners.

Mr. Fowler said it’s apparent the rest of the UDO development work – he called it a much needed “cleanup” of the town’s zoning and development rules – will come later, with work by the commissioners, planning board and perhaps a new committee.

“I think our work is done,” he said of the committee.

During the meeting Thursday, Ms. Darby said she didn’t think there would be any consequences from the state for failing to meet the July 1 deadline.

“The consequences of doing it wrong are far greater than the consequences of not getting it done by the time you wanted to get it done,” she said.

Mr. Steffey said the only problems he could foresee would occur if a development case arose before the new rules for 160D compliance are adopted by commissioners, and he called that unlikely.

He did say, however, he hoped the entire UDO process would be farther along by now.

“I don’t feel like we got enough feedback from the committee,” he said.

A UDO, which many towns in the area already have, is intended to streamline development rules and put them into one document to make it easier for developers and town decision-makers to understand and move through the processes.

Summit got Cape Carteret’s contract for the consulting work for $20,236.80 earlier this year in a competitive bidding process and also won a $40,082.40 contract to guide the development of an update of the land-use plan. The goal for completion of the land-use plan is July 2022.

Town officials, including Mr. Steffey, have said getting the UDO and the land-use plan right are essential to managing current and expected growth in town, especially in light of the state’s development of Interstate 42, which will more directly connect Carteret County to the Raleigh area.

 

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

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