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Shallotte planning board OKs plans for childcare center expansion

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SHALLOTTE—The planning board on Tuesday approved the site and landscaping plans for expansion of Kids Connection Child Care Center on Old Shallotte Road.

Owners Joe and Grey Memory, along with Phil Tripp of Tripp Engineering explained that the center would be adding 5,400 square feet to the building, making room for 75 additional children.

Planning board members questioned the owners and their engineer about parking and safety issues, and they agreed to extend the parking lot and sidewalks, to add another handicap parking space and to install a chain-link fence around a retention pond.

“Our first priority is keeping the children safe,” Joe Memory said.

His wife agreed, saying they appreciated all the suggestions.

In other business Tuesday, the board learned from town planner Chris Rogers that a waterfront district map that board members discussed last month has been added to the town’s Coastal Area Management Act Land Use Plan.

The map is the latest step toward implementing the town’s 10-year vision plan.

Rogers said he was in the process of updating the town’s unified development ordinance (UDO) to reflect the changes, as well.

Rogers and planning board member Bobby Lewis said the UDO was a work in progress and, although a good document, it is being changed and improved upon often due to the changing nature of development.

Planning board member Gene Vasile expressed his approval of the new waterfront district.

“It’s critical,” he said. “Our stewardship of the land will improve. By having this [district], we will have requirements on how to preserve the land.”

Rogers said having a specific district will give the town a better chance at CAMA grant.

Alderman Larry Harrelson, who attended the meeting to represent the town board, said the aldermen were proud of the work that went into creating the waterfront district.

The town board of aldermen approved the vision plan in September, after urban planner Allison Platt presented it at a special meeting.

The vision plan, which Platt and her staff began work on in January, includes an expanded waterfront area off Cheers Street, new streets, a riverwalk and a mix of commercial and residential development.