CAPE CARTERET — Cape Carteret commissioners Monday night took public comment during a formal hearing but did not vote on requests to rezone lots at 106 and 108 Manatee St. to B20, from B10 and R13, respectively.
The monthly session of the board was held via GoToMeeting, and the board delayed the vote because state law requires elected officials to wait at least 24 hours before voting on items discussed in public hearings held digitally.
The board later in the meeting decided to hold a special meeting Monday at 6 p.m., again on GotoMeeting, to vote on the requests.
The B20 zone is intended for retail sales and shopping centers, the B10 zone is intended for business and professional uses, such as offices, and R13 is a residential zone with a minimum lot size of 13,500 square feet. The B20 zone also allows offices.
The two business zones each require a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet.
Two speakers during the public hearing, both of whom said they live in the Old Cape Carteret area near Manatee Street, said they were concerned a restaurant, allowed in B20, would increase traffic in the neighborhood.
However, Paxon Holz, who is the registered agent for Manatee Investments, which owns the lot at 106 Manatee St., said her brother, John McLean, wants to move his engineering office to 108 Manatee St. to be beside her office. He has no plans to build a restaurant and owns the three residential lots just south of 108 Manatee, she said.
Ms. Holz is vice chairperson of the town planning board but recused herself with that board’s permission from voting earlier this month when the planning board unanimously recommended commissioners approve both rezoning requests.
Mr. McLean, who requested the 108 Manatee St. rezoning through his own holding company, said Monday he plans to move his existing office from Taylor Notion Road and doesn’t plan to build a restaurant. He added he might build a garage to store equipment.
Another speaker in the hearing said the town didn’t post signs to properly notify others of the rezoning requests, but Town Manager Zach Steffey said the town posted the required signs on the Manatee Street side of the properties, as well as on the Bonita Street side.
Commissioner Mike King asked Monday if the board could discuss the requests even though it couldn’t vote, but town attorney Bret DeSelms said that wouldn’t be appropriate, because the purpose of the state law is to give commissioners the opportunity to read any written public comments that come in after the virtual meeting before they discuss them and vote.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.