NTB requires special-use permit for large homes

By Michael Todd, JD News
NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH – Anyone who wants to build a house with more than eight bedrooms and 5,000 square feet now must acquire a special-use permit in North Topsail Beach, the town’s Board of Alderman ruled unanimously at its meeting last week.  The measure would require builders to acquire the additional permit to build a structure of such size in the town.

“We’re trying to find a balance,” Planning Director Deb Hill said after the meeting Thursday night at Town Hall. “We’re trying to make it fair for the builder and their neighbors.”

The decision trailed a failed vote recently for a moratorium on houses larger than 5,000 feet with more than six bedrooms.

Houses of such immensity do exist on the narrow barrier island.

On Thursday, Hill received an application for someone building a 16-bedroom house that would be 8,250 square feet, she said.

Tyler Newman of the Business Alliance For A Sound Economy spoke during the public comments session before the vote. He said the “knee-jerk” decision would not address problems that have been uttered by board members at previous meetings: chaotic parking overflow from weekly beach rentals; reasonable access for firefighters; for example.

Newman said he was representing the realtors who manage the properties.

“You certainly can do something, but it’s not going to address the issues,” Newman said.

He said Oak Island has been reeling in the wake of an “illegal moratorium.”

In addition, the board no longer is seeking Coastal Area Management Act express permits for a parking lot south of St. Moritz condos on Island Drive, Town Manager Stuart Turille said.

The town’s comprehensive parking plan instead will advance at three locations that will include about 50 more parking spaces at a site on the North End and a site near Town Hall. Those still in line for express permitting would add up to 335 parking spaces on the island, Turille told the board.

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