BEAUFORT — A request to rezone two lots at the intersection of Live Oak St. and Fairview Drive is going to the Beaufort Board of Commissioners with a recommendation from the planning board.
The planning board met virtually Monday via Zoom for its regular meeting, with board member Aaron Willis absent. During the meeting, the board held a public hearing on a rezoning request for two vacant, adjacent lots at 100 Fairview Drive and 1310 Live Oak Street from B-1 (general business district) to TCA (townhomes, condominiums and apartments).
After the hearing, the board unanimously recommended the board of commissioners approve the request.
The requested zone doesn’t conform with the Beaufort’s future land-use plan for the area; however, planners agreed the proposed zone would be appropriate.
“While thisis nonconforming with our land-use plan, the current zoning is less compliant,” board Chairperson Ryan Neve said. “We’re also in the process of revising our land-use plan.”
Board member John LoPiccolo seemed to agreed.
“Although this isn’t completely conforming, it’s more appropriate for this property to move to higher density,” he said.
While the board supported rezoning the property, it still had some concerns. The lots are just south of the triangular intersection of Live Oak Street and Highway 101, where the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to install a roundabout. The traffic could lead to a problem with higher-density development nearby.
Board member Diane Meelheim said she thinks the property, if rezoned, shouldn’t be accessed by Live Oak Street.
“I don’t think, regardless of the purpose of structures on the property, that access to Live Oak should be granted,” she said. “I think it would have to be through Fairview.”
This option has its own concerns, however. Board member Ralph Merrill said there have been issues with stormwater drainage on Fairview Drive.
Town planner Kate Allen said drainage would be addressed at the site plan phase of any development on the property.
Cullipher Group principal engineer Ron Cullipher represented the property’s potential buyer Monday. He said during the hearing he believes his clients would prefer to access the property from Fairview Drive and Live Oak Street, the latter of which would likely be used for emergency vehicle access.
“TCA is more restricting than the current zoning,” Mr. Cullipher said. “It could potentially have less impact on traffic and less impact on noise. It’s normally seen as a good thing to change a business use to a residential use.”
In other news at Monday’s meeting, the board granted approval 3-2, with Mr. Merrill and Mr. LoPiccolo opposed, for a proposed site plan for a transportation center at 2361 Lennoxville Road for the Front Street Village development. The site is currently used as a gravel parking facility for the Beaufort Hotel & Bistro, as well as dry stack facilities.
Ms. Allen said the building plan for the proposed facility was previously approved in 2014. The proposed facility would be used for parking and limited office space.
“We’ve been reviewing this project for the last four months,” she said.
Mr. Merrill said he wanted to see more sewer capacity at the site, beyond the 100 gallons per day proposed for the office space and included in the plan. Developer Bucky Oliver agreed.
Both Mr. Merrill and Mr. LoPiccolo also said they wanted the facility’s name changed, since it would no longer incorporate a shuttle system.
This wasn’t the only Front Street Village project the board approved Monday. The board also unanimously approved the preliminary plat for phase four of Front Street Village. The project would subdivide at 10.44-acre tract on Chadwick Road into 34 residential lots.
The following also occurred at Monday’s meeting:
- The board unanimously approved the final plat for phase two of Palmetto Plantation at Olde Beaufort Village. This plan is to subdivide a 1.11-acre tract on Professional Park Drive into four residential lots.
- The board approved 4-1, with member Jeff Vreugdenhil opposed, the final plat for Live Oak Commons at 1107 and 1111 Live Oak St. This plan will subdivide a 1.28-acre tract into eight residential lots.
- The board unanimously approved minutes from the May 17 regular board meeting.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.