Who Planned This?

Jenny Scarborough

Picture the Ocracoke you want to live in, even if it is one that is gone.

Then click here and read the minutes from the July meeting of the Ocracoke Planning Advisory Board. It's a good read. Scroll down this page and you'll find minutes from all their meetings, and links to the CAMA Land Use plan and the Ocracoke Development Ordinance.

The August meeting was last Thursday – a story is in the works! Really! The next meeting is Thursday, September 19th at 5:30pm at the Community Center. Will we see you there?

Just for fun, here are a few selections from the actual Ocracoke Development Ordinance, which supposedly is the law of the land. The planning board is at work on the document.

Is the document working?

Sec. 36-169. Appointment of development ordinance officer.

The county board of commissioners shall appoint a development ordinance enforcement officer who shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this article.

Sec. 36-145. Definitions and rules of construction.

(1) The term "sign" means any surface, fabric or device bearing letters, pictorial or sculptured matter designed to convey information visually and exposed to public view, or any structures, including billboard or poster panels designed to carry visual information.

(2) The term "sign" does not include the following in the application of these regulations:

a. Signs not exceeding one-square-foot in area and bearing only property numbers, post box numbers, names of occupants of premises or other identification not having commercial connotations;

b. Flags and insignia of any government, except when displayed in connection with any commercial promotion;

c. Legal notices, identification, informational or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies or public bodies;

d. Integral decorative or architectural features of buildings, except letters, trademarks, moving parts or moving lights; and

e. Sign directing and guiding traffic and parking or private property, but bearing no advertising matter.

Sec. 36-176. Signs.

All signs shall meet the following standards:

(1) Location of the sign shall not be in a street right-of-way;

(2) Location of the sign shall not obstruct the clear vision at driveways and intersections;

(3) Illuminated signs may be illuminated from within if neon type signs or from an external source, but such illumination must be in a manner which avoids glare or reflection which in any way or manner interferes with traffic safety. Any external source of illumination such as a spotlight or floodlight shall be placed so that it is not directly visible from any adjacent property;

(4) All signs shall be constructed and illuminated in accordance with the applicable provisions of the state building code. All illuminated signs shall be installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the state electrical code. All illuminated detached signs shall have underground electrical service;

(5) All signs shall be maintained in good structural and aesthetic condition. Chipped paint, broken plastic, missing letters and exposed lightbulbs are evidence of inadequate maintenance; and

(6) Obsolete signs and their supporting structure shall be removed within 90 days after they become obsolete. An extension of 90 days may be granted by the development ordinance enforcement officer.

(c) All commercial signs shall meet the following standards:

(1) No sign shall be permitted which exceeds 24 feet in height or 32 square feet in area;

(2) No sign shall be permitted within ten feet of a road, street, path, way or other such passageway;

(3) No freestanding sign shall be placed within 50 feet of another freestanding sign on the same lot; and

(4) Any lighted sign must be so lighted as not to interfere with the operation of a motor vehicle or the use and enjoyment of another's property.

Sec. 36-177. Parking.

Parking spaces outside the public right-of-way and any private easement shall be provided according to the following schedule:

(1) All residences shall provide one parking space for each bedroom;

(2) Motels, inns, hotels and other buildings designed to accommodate three or more families shall provide 1½ parking spaces for each lodging unit and one parking space for each bedroom within a dwelling unit. Parking spaces shall be clearly defined, when parking area is gravel, it may be defined by tire stops. Each parking space shall be readily accessible by motor vehicles;

(3) Restaurants shall provide one parking space for every four seats. Parking spaces shall be clearly defined, when parking area is gravel, it may be defined by tire stops. Each parking space shall be readily accessible by motor vehicles;

(4) All other commercial structures, home occupation or cottage industry with up to 200 square feet of floor area shall provide two parking spaces. One parking space shall be provided for each additional 200 square feet of floor area. Each parking space shall be readily accessible by motor vehicle;

(5) All required parking spaces will be clearly designated, marked and usable as such on the lot prior to an occupancy permit being issued by the county inspection department;

(6) Loading zones. Any business establishment regularly supplied by vans or trucking exceeding 14 feet in length or any establishments consisting of more than 2,000 square feet of commercial space on the same lot shall provide a clearly marked loading zone which shall be at least 12 feet by 50 feet with at least 15 feet of height clearance;

(7) Drystack boat facilities shall provide parking spaces to satisfy the formula in this section for all other commercial structures multiplied by the number of levels provided to store boats; and

(8) The owner of a boat slip shall provide parking space for service and loading. For users of the boat slip, the owner shall either provide parking on-site or elsewhere, and shall in any event take steps to ensure that users will park their vehicles in permitted locations, not in a public right-of-way and not on private property without the consent of its owner.

Sec. 36-146. Penalty.

Under G.S. 153A-123 any person found in violation of this article shall be charged with a fine of $50.00, per day. Each day the violation exists will be a separate offense and an additional $50.00, per day, will be assessed the violator.

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