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Carolina Shores P&Z gets help for UDO update

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CAROLINA SHORES—The town has begun working with a state consultant to continue updating its Unified Development Ordinance.

Shanelle Bullock, community development planner with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, was introduced at the town planning and zoning board workshop Feb. 16.

“It’s been a team effort to get to this point,” said new town administrator Mike Hargett, who will serve as acting chairman of the board until a new one is appointed. “Shanelle is going to help till we get to the finish line.”

Bullock said she has about six months to do a full review of the Carolina Shores document covering zoning and other land use ordinances such as landscaping, buffers and subdivision and parking regulations. She is doing the work free of charge to the town except for mileage, meals and other general expenses.

“I can make whatever changes so that it works for Carolina Shores,” she said.

It was noted town clerk Nicole Marks and former town administrator Linda Herncane have already done initial groundwork.

Marks said much of the existing document is “template,” involving general statutes and “bits and pieces of what we had before.” She said they can have different definitions in the inches-thick book. A UDO update will provide for uniformity so there is only one place for definitions, Marks said.

She said there has been very little review by the P&Z board, which has previously reviewed landscaping, off-street parking, signs, trees and subdivisions.

Hargett suggested starting from scratch because some things overlap. He does not foresee any dramatic changes.

“The content of this is probably not going to change dramatically unless we recommend [it],” Hargett said, noting their goal is to organize it.

He said Bullock could work with Marks and town building inspector Chuck Riggins to help organize the book “in a way that makes sense.”

Hargett suggested the board, including three new members who will be sworn in at the board’s next meeting at 3 p.m. Feb. 28, familiarize itself with the draft ordinance.

He said no dramatic changes are expected. Rather, it’s combining content and making the document a little more concise.

Board member Ron Capps asked what kind of time frame the board is looking at in completing the update.

Hargett said the P&Z board will spend time on it until the board is comfortable enough to make recommendations that will be forwarded to the town board of commissioners.

“The intent of this is to improve what’s there,” Hargett said.

Also at the P&Z board’s upcoming meeting Monday, new board members Ellen Pecina, Mark Brown and John Manning will be sworn in.