The Northern Outer Banks are pristine and unspoiled. From the end of the paved road to the Virginia line, residents, property owners, and visitors enjoy unspoiled nature, wildlife, amazing beaches, and peaceful serenity.


We appreciate your support and will continue to keep you posted in the event of other issues that might come up in the off road area. We are sure that the developers will try again. Your help was tremendous!

Over 1000 people signed the petition -- including 433 tourists, 560 Currituck County property owners and residents (of which 318 residents signed and 140 residents in the off road area)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


A request to bring commercial development to the Currituck Off-Road Beaches will be heard by the Currituck County Board of Commissioners at their November 17, 2008 meeting.

Presented by Bissell Professional Group for developer Gerald Friedman of Ocean Associates, the proposal, a reintroduction of a 2005 request, includes an amendment to the County Unified Development Ordinance to allow commercial zoning in the RO2 (Off-Road) zoning district through a floating “Off-Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District”. It also requests an immediate rezoning of 25.77 acres in Swan Beach from residential to commercial. If passed, the proposed “Historic Village Commercial Overlay District” would also apply to any large parcel of land in the Currituck Off-Road beaches, not restricting it to Swan Beach.

The Proposal would permit construction of a Post Office, county satellite offices, churches, synagogues, and temples, convenience store(s), a hotel, real estate offices, professional offices, and apartments. Conditional uses would include retail shops, seafood market(s), theaters, outdoor recreation areas, and restaurants.

This proposal first appeared before the Currituck County Board of Commissioners (BOC) in 2005, but was removed from the agenda, following advisement by the Currituck Planning Board to deny the request. At that time denial was primarily based on concern over the inadequacy of infrastructure services to support commercial development (e.g. limited water availability for fire suppression, insufficient vehicle passageways to handle the increase in traffic), the potential to stimulate growth in the area, and its inconsistency with the Currituck County‘s 1990 Land Use Plan. The Land Use plan serves as a policy document for the County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
In November 2006, the Land Use Plan was revised following a broad consultation and review process, in accordance with the NC Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) and the NC Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) Land Use Planning Requirements. The Land Use Plan benefited from analysis of key variables (e.g. economic growth trends, environment, land suitability, water resources) to determine the best use of Currituck County’s valuable land resources. The current Land Use Plan strongly states that “concerning the Off-Road area of the Outer Banks, Currituck County shall not permit or encourage the provision of growth-inducing facilities and services to these areas, including for example, commercial services, centralized sewage treatment and hard surface roads.” (LUP OB7) In keeping with its overall goals “to protect and conserve the area’s natural beauty and coastal resources as the County’s greatest asset for economic development and a high quality of life”, and “to avoid taking or approving actions related to infrastructure and the provision of services that could induce intensive development in environmentally fragile areas; examples include the northern beaches of the outer banks…” the Plan further states that “the best means of minimizing adverse impacts is by holding firm on policies against providing infrastructure and commercial services to the (four wheel drive) area.”

In the current UDO, the county development code, commercialization of the Off-Road area is clearly prohibited, consistent with the county’s development standards of promoting “health, safety, and the general welfare of the public.” The UDO also established an Outer Banks Overlay District for the entire outer Banks. “The purpose of the Outer Banks Overlay District is to preserve and protect unique aspects of the Outer Banks area that do not exist anywhere else in Currituck County….”

Historically, commercial development in the 4wd has been met with opposition by property owners and residents of the area. A significant majority of Off-Road residents and property owners have not and are not requesting the services that the developer is proposing, nor are they wanted. Opposition is based on what commercialization will take away, not what it will offer. Opponents contend that commercialization will have a negative impact on public safety and the environment. They also contend that Off-Road residents, property owners, other residents of Currituck County, and visitors to the area come specifically for the relatively undisturbed environment, remoteness, pristine beaches, solitude, waterfowl and wildlife, and the freedom of the wild horses. Commercialization will bring increased density, increased demand on water resources and land utilization, and accelerated growth. It will threaten the freedom of the wild horses, and jeopardize the habitat of local waterfowl and wildlife. It will detract from the area’s appeal for many of the county’s residents and tourists by changing the character of the Off-Road beaches. These beaches, this environment, draw thousands of tourists to the area and millions of dollars to Currituck County. Opponents contend that the economic value of the four wheel drive area and its position in the tourist industry (and ultimately its contribution to the county’s tax base) can be maximized by preserving its unique environment.

Friday, September 26, 2008

If This Happens.....

Cheryl said...
If this happens, I can guarantee you this beach will be like all the others "nothing special". Why do you think the tourists come here in the first place? Because it is the only protected beach in the area where they can see horses roam freely and take a step away from the hustle and bustle of commercialization. I guarantee if you asked them why they chose this beach, it would not be because they were looking for hotels and shops on the beach. God Bless Carova Beach the way it is!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Add Me to the List

Please add me to the list of people objecting to the hotel proposel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What do the candidates think?

Marie and Richard Baecher said...

Thank you for the work you are doing. We would like to know the position each candidate for BOC takes on this proposal.

Citizens of the Northern Outer Banks said...

We are trying to arrange a forum with the candidates for Columbus Day weekend or earlier. We can post the answers to the questions that the candidates raise.

We can also ask the candidates for a written statement to this question.

UDO Amendment Request

Proposal to be provided to the Board of Commissioners for Consideration

PB 04-71

Bissell Professional Group and Currituck County Board of Commissioners request the following amendment to the Currituck County Unified Development Ordinance:

PB 04-44: Amendment to Section 127 of the UDO to create an Off Road
Historic Village Commercial Overlay District

BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of the County of Currituck, North Carolina that the Unified Development Ordinance of the County of Currituck be amended as follows:

Part 1. That the following sections be amended:

Section 127 Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District

1. The Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District is a floating district intended to provide a vital, place-appropriate and community-enhancing area of limited commercial activities to serve existing or developing residential subdivisions in the County. These uses are in addition to the RO2 uses authorized in Article 13.

2. The Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District Designation shall only apply to contiguous parcels of land greater than 20 acres with common ownership, and shall have a specific height limitation of thirty-five feet (35’).

3. The Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District Designation shall only apply to parcels within the RO2 zoning district.

4. Permitted Uses – The following uses shall be permitted by right and require only a zoning permit(s):

a. Post Office
b. Fire/Emergency Medical/Sheriff’s Satellite Office (County Leased Facilities)
c. Churches, Synagogues and Temples
d. Convenience Store
e. Inn (not to exceed 50 lodging units)
f. Real Estate Offices
g. Professional Offices
h. Accessory lodging units not to exceed 15 2-bedroom units total

5. Conditional Uses: The following uses may be permitted subject to the requirements of this district and additional regulations and requirements imposed by the Board of Commissioners.

a. Retail Shops
b. Seafood Market
c. Theaters
d. Outdoor recreation areas, including parks, picnic areas, nature trails, playgrounds, boat ramps and customary concessions connected therewith
e. Restaurants – Restaurants may be permitted subject to other requirements of this chapter and provided that the following minimum conditions be met: (i) the restaurant shall not feature a drive-thru window service whereby patrons are served while seated in a motor vehicle; and (ii) the restaurant shall include facilities for indoor seating and consumption of food and/or beverages.

6. Dimension Requirements – Unless otherwise specified in this ordinance, dimensional standards in Article 2 shall apply.

7. Specific Development Requirements:

a. Street Designs and Construction Standards

i. All streets serving any uses within the Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District shall meet the requirements of NCDOT.
ii. “Hatteras” Ramps shall be a minimum of twenty four feet (24’) in width and shall be provided in those areas that are consistent with dynamics and character of the site.
iii. All streets serving any uses within the Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District shall be constructed in a manner consistent with NCDOT guidelines but will at a minimum utilize compounded subgrade materials and surfaced with a minimum of three (3) inches of shell or other similar substance
iv. Roadside drainage swales shall be installed at a minimum depth of fifteen inches (15”) with side slopes not greater than 3:1. Associated drainage plans and improvements shall be required and approved by the Currituck County Engineer and meet the requirements of Article 16, Part II.
v. All Construction Standards shall be made in accordance with Exhibit A, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.

b. All utilities shall be placed underground for all uses within the Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District in accordance with Section 510(2).

8. Parking

a. All required parking shall meet the use standards in Article 4.
b. All vehicle accommodation areas shall be improved in accordance with the street construction standards in paragraph 7(a).

9. Signs

a. All signs shall comply with Article 17, Part 4, On premises signs – Outer Banks Overlay District for all uses within the Off Road Historic Village Commercial Overlay District.

Part 2. That the following sections be amended:

That the following sections be renumbered accordingly.

Part 3. This ordinance amendment shall be in effect from and after the _____ day of ____________, 2005.

Chairman, Board of Commissioners


Gwen Keene
Clerk to the Board

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Northern Beaches of the Outer Banks

This blog is created to bring people together to help save one of the eastern seaboards most beautiful beaches! The blog seeks to give northern outer banks residents, currituck county residents, visitors to the outerbanks and concerned citizens a space to discuss the challenges facing the Northern Outer Banks.

We seek to help ensure safe access to clean, pristine beaches for the residents of Currituck county, property owners, and visitors, and protect the unique nature of the Northern Outer Banks.

The most current issue before us is a proposal for commercial zoning in the four wheel drive area and establishment of a "historic overlay" that will allow inns, shops, etc. in Swan Beach.