Legislative Briefing ~ 5.8.18

Legislative Briefing ~ 5.8.18

Primary Election – Tuesday, May 8th

If Real Estate or Development is your profession, then politics IS your business!
The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. till 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8th for the NC Primary Election.

Below are sample ballots for Currituck and Dare to prepare you for your time in the voting booth:
Dare County Primary Election Sample Ballots:
Democratic Primary
Republican Primary

Hatteras Precinct includes a multi-use path referendum:
Democratic Primary
Republican Primary
Nonpartisan

Currituck Primary Election Sample Ballots:
Democratic Primary
Republican Primary

Go Vote – “You Don’t Have the Right to Complain if You Don’t Have the Heart to Help!” -Abraham Lincoln

Currituck Flood Maps Update

It was previously reported in a Legislative Briefing that Currituck County’s flood maps would likely not become effective until sometime next spring or summer – similar to Dare County’s flood map timeline.
Currituck County Planner Jennie Turner informed us today that Currituck’s Letter of Final Determination (LFD) on the maps will be issued on or near June 21, 2018. Once the LFD is issued, there is a six month adoption/compliance period before the maps become effective. Therefore, Currituck’s flood maps could have an effective day of December 21, 2018 or somewhere soon afterwards.
While the flood maps show many properties no longer in the special flood hazard area, OBAR/OBHBA would like to remind homeowners that the maps are temporary. New maps will be developed in the future and will incorporate storm data and other hazard modeling data that was not included in the development of these maps thus likely causing an increase in base flood elevations. It would be wise for all homeowners to carry flood insurance whether it is a flood map requirement or not. If coverage is not consistent, it cannot be grandfathered if the maps change in the future. Rates continue to go up and keeping your current policy based on elevation may be less expensive that a preferred risk policy. Discuss all options with your insurance agent and remember that “Low Risk Does Not Mean No Risk”!

Nags Head Postpones Re-Nourishment Until 2019

The Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners decided to conduct its first beach re-nourishment project over the summer of 2019 due to bids for a summer 2018 project coming in significantly over budget. Plans for the Town’s maintenance project call for 2.3 million cubic yards of sand to be placed on 10 miles of Nags Head’s beach, from Bonnett Street south to the town’s boundary with the National Park Service, over four to five months starting in the spring of 2019. In 2011, this area received 4.6 million cubic yards of sand during Dare County’s first large scale beach nourishment project.
Funding for the project will come from a combination of revenue from a special oceanfront tax district levy of 17.5 cents per $100 of value, an additional 2.7 cents on the property tax town-wide and Nags Head’s portion of Dare County’s beach nourishment fund.

In addition, the Town has been determined to be eligible for a Public Assistance grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace 1.43 million cubic yards of sand lost to Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. The Town is continuing to work with FEMA and NC Emergency Management officials to pursue a joint project that would include the Town re-nourishment portion of work plus restoration of sand lost from Hurricane Matthew.
Awarding of the nourishment contract is contingent on Local Government Commission (LGC) approval of the financing of the project, which the Town hopes to receive at the LGC’s July 10, 2018 meeting.

Additional information on the bids can be found by visiting the Town’s shoreline management web page.

Settlement Reached on Homeowners Insurance Rate Filing

Last month, NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced that the NC Department of Insurance had reached a settlement agreement with the NC Rate Bureau regarding its November 2017 Homeowners Insurance Rate Filing. The Filing called for an average statewide rate increase of 18.7%. In Dare and Currituck Counties, the proposed increases for homeowners and wind only policies were capped at 25%. The Commissioner originally denied the Filing and called for a hearing to begin in late July. The settlement agreement is the result of negotiations between NC DOI and the NC Rate Bureau over the last several months and eliminates the need for the hearing.

Commissioner Causey negotiated a statewide average homeowners insurance rate increase of 4.8% and a 12% increase cap on tenants and condominium insurance rates. Dare, Currituck and Hyde County Homeowner and Wind Only Insurance policyholders will see a 5.5% increase when the new rates become effective October 1, 2018. The new rate for homeowners insurance (full coverage – fire, liability and wind) in the barrier island areas of Currituck, Dare and Hyde will be $2,383; the wind only rate in those areas will be $1,826. In the mainland areas of Currituck, Dare and Hyde, the new homeowners insurance rate will be $1,516; the wind only rate for will be $1,223. The rates are based on $200,000 of dwelling value with a $1,000 deductible/Class 5 frame construction.

Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® President Lori Brooks responded, “I applaud NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey for reaching a fair and equitable settlement agreement with the NC Rate Bureau on homeowner policy insurance rates. The announced 5.5% increase for Currituck and Dare mainland and barrier island homeowner insurance policyholders is welcome news compared to the very high increase originally proposed. Our position was that the proposed 25% increase on homeowners and wind only policies was unwarranted and unjustified. We thank the Department for their extensive review of the filing and for hearing our concerns.”

However, Lori continued, “we recognize more work needs to be done.”
NC REALTORS® President Amy Hedgecock issued a similar statement, “It is important to take steps at both an administrative and legislative level to ensure consumers are not additionally harmed by actions like consent to rate letters distributed by companies who want more significant rate increases. We look forward to working with Commissioner Causey and legislative leaders over the coming months.”

Planning to Travel and Want to Know Road Conditions?

Access NC DOT’s Travel Management System at by clicking here.

Town/County Updates

Currituck– The Planning Board meets this Thursday and will discuss/review the following:
• Text Amendment to modify the Unified Development Ordinance, Chapter 10. Definitions and Measurements regarding the craft distillery definition to regulate the use by production volume instead of building size;
• Text Amendment to modify the Unified Development Ordinance, Chapter 10, Definitions and Measurements to allow medical aesthetics tattooing in the General Business Zoning District; and
• Text Amendment to modify the Unified Development Ordinance, Chapter 5, Development Standards to address sign lighting.

Duck – The Planning Board meets this Wednesday and will continue discussion on a text amendment that would establish a maximum residential building size/occupancy.

Southern Shores – At last week’s meeting, Town Council enacted implementation of a trial “No-left Turn” directive for eastbound traffic at the intersection of US Highway 158 and South Dogwood Trail from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on both Saturday June 23, 2018 and Sunday June 24, 2018. This action was taken with the knowledge and concurrence of the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Kitty Hawk. Appropriate traffic devices placed by the Town of Southern Shores will entirely block the US Highway 158 eastbound left-turn lane at the intersection during these hours. With the knowledge and concurrence of the Kitty Hawk Police Department, the Southern Shores Police Department will be on-site at the terminus of South Dogwood Trail observing eastbound traffic on US Highway 158 and enforcing traffic laws, with a zero-tolerance enforcement policy for any vehicle drivers ignoring the “No-left turn” directive during the effective hours. As of now, this will be a one-time trial for the stated weekend only.

Kill Devil Hills – On Monday, May 14th at 5:30 p.m., the Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners will hold a work-session on the Town Manager’s Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2018/2019. This work-session will be held in the Meeting Room at the Administration Building, 102 Town Hall Drive, off Colington Road. The Recommended Budget is available for public inspection in the Town Clerk’s Office, 102 Town Hall Drive, off Colington Road; at the Dare County Public Library, 400 Mustian Street in Kill Devil Hills; on the Town of Kill Devil Hills Facebook page; and, on the Town’s website, www.kdhnc.com.

Nags Head – At last week’s Board meeting, Commissioners agreed to move forward with a zoning text amendment to consider requiring the construction of sidewalks as part of new commercial development or to require paying a fee in lieu of actual sidewalk construction.
Town Manager Cliff Ogburn gave a presentation on his FY 2018/2019 recommended budget. Included in his budget are the following recommendations:
• A one cent tax increase
• Fill an existing full-time position (Planning Director)
• Add two new full-time positions (Facilities Maintenance Technician and Sanitation Equipment Operator (to begin May 1, 2019));
• Add two new seasonal part-time positions (Cart Roll-back employee and Events Coordinator).
The first Budget Workshop is scheduled for May 9th at 9 a.m. in the Board Room.

Also during the meeting, Deputy Town Manager Andy Garman provided an update on Dowdy Park. He reported on the efforts of the Arts and Culture Committee (which has been budgeted $15,000 by the Board) and on activities being taken on by the Committee for Dowdy Park. The Committee’s top priority is a Farmers Market and interviews are currently taking place for the hiring of a part-time person to assist with Park activities. Other planned activities at the park include yoga, a concert in September, and the Artrageous Festival.

In the News

Outer Banks Voice: Nags Head sticks with plan to wait a year for re-nourishment

Outer Banks Sentinel: Nags Head opts for 2019 nourishment project

Outer Banks Voice: So. Shores group wants answers to water-quality questions

News and Observer: NC Elections are Tuesday. On the coast, Republicans are fighting about offshore drilling

New beach parking fee – Currituck residents flock to get a permit

Upcoming Meetings

Tuesday, May 8
6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Primary Election, Polls Open

Wednesday, May 9
6:30 p.m. – Duck Planning Board

Thursday, May 10
11:30 p.m. – OBAR General Membership Meeting, Avon Fire Station
7:00 p.m. – Currituck Planning Board

Monday, May 14
NAR Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, Washington DC
(through Saturday, May 19th)
5:30 p.m. – Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners
6:00 p.m. – Dare County Planning Board
7:00 p.m. – Dare Waterways Commission

Tuesday, May 15
9:00 a.m. – Nags Head Planning Board
9:30 a.m. – Oregon Inlet Task Force
5:30 p.m. – Kill Devil Hills Planning Board

Wednesday, May 16
4:00 p.m. – Manteo Board of Commissioners Workshop

Advocacy, Legislative Briefing