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North Topsail Beach: Special Use Permits for "Larger Houses" PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 June 2014 13:56

On Wednesday, May 13, a Public Hearing of the North Topsail Beach Board of Aldermen was held to receive citizens’ comments on enacting a moratorium on building homes with more than six bedrooms. THANK YOU TO THE CITIZENS, BUSINESS OWNERS, BUILDERS AND REALTORS THAT TURNED OUT IN FORCE.


Nonetheless, the Board of Aldermen voted to move forward on doing “something” on larger homes and the issue was advertised for a public hearing on June 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM. This accelerated timeline put the Town’s Planning Board in the precarious position of having to consider a staff proposal on Special Use Permits for homes “exceeding 6 bedrooms and 5,000 heated square feet.”


The Planning Board did a very thorough job in debating the issue at hand and making an alternate proposal to “require a Special Use Permit for Single Family exceeding 8 bedrooms and 5,000 heated Sq Feet or Duplex exceeding 10 bedrooms and 5,000 heated Sq Feet”


The Planning Board proposed alternate criteria increased the threshold to 8 bedrooms (from 6) and amended setbacks, height and impervious coverage limits (example below). The planning Board made similar amendments for Duplexes.


Sec, 4.03.21 Single family greater than 8 bedrooms and 5,000 heated sq. ft.

(A) General Requirements

(1) Side setbacks are 10’ required for zoning district.

(2) Height is limited to 48 feet.

(3) Maximum impervious surface is limited to 30% outside the ORW

(4) Parking Plan

(a) To include 1 space per bedroom up to 10 and 2 spaces per bedroom over 10.

(5) Engineered Stormwater plan for all impervious surface.

(6) The proposed development is harmonious and compatible with surrounding area.


The Planning Board and Board of Aldermen had a productive work session last week to discuss the issue and potential solutions. Planning Board member Paul Dorazio did an excellent job of illustrating why the initial staff proposal was flawed due to a number of existing factors.


BASE feels that the Planning Board’s alternative language is a much better option than staff’s initial proposal. That said, creating additional criteria for larger houses still does not address the alleged existing problems (parking, trash, etc.) which initiated this discussion in the first place.


Since Oak Island has been used as an example of why North Topsail needed to have a moratorium to amend the ordinances to address the issue of larger homes, the following story is interesting. Essentially, in their haste to get out from their illegal moratorium and amend their ordinances, Oak Island actually created “thousands” on non-conforming uses, impacting the ability of existing homeowners to build back in the event of a hurricane or fire. E_ UDO Amend 4_1 and Use Specific Standards SF Dup.pdf

In Their Haste To Fix A Non-issue, Oak Island Creates "Thousands" Of Non-conforming Uses! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 May 2014 13:36

From page A15 of the State Port Pilot (May 28, 2014)
USPS Formally Notifies Municipal Planners of Cluster Box Requirements PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 07:57

The US Postal Service formally notified municipal planners of changes to their policies on cluster box mailboxes. The new regulations will primarily affect new development. These are some of the new reguations that were rolled out this year. 

·   Centralized and Cluster Box Units (CBU’s) delivery is now the default mode of delivery in business areas. 
·   For new residential delivery, CBU is now the default.  Exceptions to permit curb line delivery must be approved by the District.
·   New deliveries within an existing block with an established mode of delivery no longer assume the existing mode of delivery.  We can require a more efficient mode of delivery.
·   While we do not control addresses for buildings, we do control the sequential ordering of addresses within any centralized delivery equipment.
·   If more than one building in a complex has the same street address, the delivery equipment must be grouped at a single location even if some of the units are in a different building.
·   Centralized delivery or CBU is the default option for delivery in mobile homes or trailer parks that are permanent residences.  Any exceptions to centralized or CBU delivery mode must be approved by the District.
·   Delivery equipment must conform to USPS standards for CBUs and high-rise delivery equipment, USPS STD 4C wall mounted mail receptacles.  Local offices do not have the authority to approve anD other centralized delivery equipment. 

You can read the Postal Service's builder and developer information packet and their letter to municipal planners by following the links below, Guide for Centralized Delivery(1).doc Planners Letter.doc

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