Indian Beach commissioners agree to allow mixed-use residential in business district

Indian Beach Commissioner Joel Fortune, left receives a plaque from Commissioner Dale Williford, right for his 10 years of service to the town Wednesday during the regular board meeting. (Mike Shutak photo)

INDIAN BEACH —  Town officials created a new permitted use for the town business district as a longtime commissioner prepares to depart the board.

The Indian Beach Board of Commissioners met for its regular meeting Wednesday in the town hall boardroom on Salter Path Road. The meeting was Commissioner Joel Fortune’s last as an elected official, since he chose not to run in this year’s municipal election. Commissioner and Mayor-elect Dale Williford presented Mr. Fortune with a plaque in recognition of his 10 years of service on the board.

Mr. Fortune led the board and those in attendance at the meeting in the invocation prayer, which has been his duty for many years.

“It’s been a great honor for me for 10 years and eight months to be a commissioner here,” he said. “Next month will be the beginning of a whole new board up here.”

Mr. Fortune prayed for “great wisdom” for newly elected commissioners Lilla Wieseler and Randall Bentley. They will take their oath of office at the regular board meeting Wednesday, Dec. 8.

During his last board meeting, Mr. Fortune joined the board in unanimously approving a land-use ordinance amendment, adding mixed-use residential development to the allowed uses in the B1 (general business) district.

Local property developers Fred Bunn and Sammy Ballou requested the amendment, which will enable them to pursue building a mixed residential unit project on two lots to the immediate east of the Ocean Club on Salter Path Road.

While the ordinance affects all B1 property in town, not just the two lots in question, two members of the Ocean Club voiced their thoughts Wednesday on the proposed project. Hugh Blackman said he’s walked the property with Mr. Bunn and Cullipher Group principal engineer Ron Cullipher, during which Mr. Blackman’s concerns about tree removal, setbacks and stormwater drainage were addressed.

“I was encouraged by what I was told about the tree removal,” Mr. Blackman said. “We’d prefer the trees were taken down in sections and replacements occur before the end of the project. I have a lot fewer concerns about drainage now.”

Town manager Tim White stressed Wednesday’s amendment approval doesn’t permit the project itself. Additional opportunities for public comment and discussion of specific elements of the development will be included in the permitting process.

The following also occurred during Wednesday’s meeting:

·     The board unanimously accepted a $15,766 N.C. Emergency Management grant to fund the purchase of water rescue equipment for the fire department.

·     The board unanimously approved a $35,000 budget amendment to record revenue from the sale of surplus town property.

·     The board unanimously approved minutes from the Oct. 13 regular business meeting.


Note: This headline was updated at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. 


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

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