Pine Knoll Shores planners recommend less impervious surface, more vegetation protection

Vegetation covers the dunes recently in front of oceanfront lots in Pine Knoll Shores. (Mike Shutak photo)

PINE KNOLL SHORES — Town planners are recommending the Pine Knoll Shore Board of Commissioners reduce the amount of impervious surface coverage allowed on lots being developed and more protection for oceanfront vegetation.

The planning board met for its regular meeting Tuesday at the town hall boardroom and online via webinar. During the meeting, the board recommended to the board of commissioners, in a 4-3 vote, amend the town ordinance to reduce the permitted amount of impervious surface on a given lot from 35% to 30%.

Members Bud Daniels, Kathy Werle and Doug Browne opposed the motion, while Michelle Powers, Bob Holman, Ike Pipkin and George Green voted in favor.

The recommendation will go to the board of commissioners at its next regular meeting Wednesday, July 8.

Board Chairperson Paul Payne said the proposed amendment was part of a suite of other development ordinance amendments the board considered for recommendation at its May 26 meeting.

“We passed all but one part,” Mr. Payne said, “that (part) had to do with impervious surface.”

The original version of the proposed amendment would have reduced coverage to 25%. However, after some discussion, Mr. Green suggested changing the amendment to reduce the coverage to 30%.  

Mr. Browne said the board has discussed reducing impervious coverage more than once.

“Anything above zero isn’t the best thing for the world,” Mr. Browne said. “Twenty-five percent is perfectly reasonable.”

Board member George Greene expressed concern that commissioners should be made aware the recommendation wasn’t unanimous. Town Planner Kevin Reed said he would report the vote to the commissioners at the July 8 meeting.

The planning board Tuesday made a second recommendation, as well. The board unanimously recommended approval of an ordinance amendment to protect oceanfront vegetation.

Mr. Reed said the proposed amendment will make all oceanfront vegetation regulated. The existing ordinance only protects oceanfront trees.

The amendment will also require plans for pruning and other maintenance to be submitted to town staff, and permits will be required to completely remove any oceanfront vegetation.

“This change is going to be critical when something like this becomes law,” Mr. Reed said. “We’ll need to do some public outreach.”

The amendment is being recommended in response to incidents of oceanfront homeowners removing all vegetation from the oceanfront dunes.

The board also unanimously approved Tuesday’s consent agenda, which consisted of minutes from the May 26 board meeting.  


Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

(2) comments

the secret life of man

Its about time! Now,can you persuade Morehead city,Beaufort,Shady Brady and his band opportunitist.

David Collins

No one that matters will listen , they never do . No money in vegetation and that is all that matters .

Welcome to the discussion.

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