Oak Island Town Council approves special use permit for hotel, tables mini golf discussion
OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) - Oak Island Town Council approved a special use permit for a 106-room hotel during its continued quasi-judicial hearing on the matter on Monday after tabling a discussion about a proposed mini golf course.
“This is being presented as, I’ll call it a boutique hotel with unique designs, pedestrian friendly with lots of public access and amenities,” said Mayor Pro Tempore John Bach.
According to the request from Demarest Company Landscape Architects, the plans for Boardwalk Place also include a restaurant, retail space, 190 parking spaces and parking for 58 bicycles on 2.46 acres. The other 1.75 acres of the area would remain wetlands.
“When you passed your zoning ordinance and you had your comprehensive plan, you legislatively determined back then that a hotel was allowed as a matter of right in a CB district provided it went and got a special use permit,” said attorney Grady Richardson, representing the applicant.
Boardwalk Place would be built at the corner of 3rd Place East and East Dolphin Drive, about 350 feet from the Middleton Avenue Bridge into Oak Island. The developer also plans to provide the town with 19 more parking spaces on Third Place East.
Richardson tried to dismiss rumors that this hotel will be affiliated with a national chain. He says that as the plans are currently written, an independent, boutique hotel will go up on the property. However, it’s modeled after Hilton Garden Inn and owners could choose to sell the property after it’s built.
Though much of the crowd seemed to be against the development, many weren’t able to voice their concerns. That’s because it was a quasi-judicial hearing, meaning community members who wished to speak needed to have concerns of special damages unique to themselves or their property that did not apply to the rest of the community.
Edward Lovitt, president and founder of Davis Canal Marsh Cleaners, hoped to speak as an expert witness on the impacts a hotel might have on the environment. When he took to the podium, he was asked to go back to his seat since he did not fit the “special damages” criteria.
The first quasi-judicial hearing took place on Feb. 13 over about four hours, with some supporting the benefits to local businesses and others expressing concerns about traffic. The town decided to recess at about 10 p.m. and continue the discussion on March 20.
At the end of the hearing, council members agreed with the applicant and unanimously approved the application for the special use permit.
Developer looking to create mini golf course
Council discussed a special use permit for an 18-hole mini golf course between Southeast 58th and Southeast 59th streets.
Conceptual plans for the course include several pirate-themed props, such as a treasure chest full of candy and octopus tentacles spread across the course. The proposal was brought by Rafi Adi, who is a resident of Oak Island according to the special use permit application.
Council voted unanimously to recess the item until May 9 for the developer to provide additional information.
You can find the full meeting agenda on the town’s website.
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