Our community has a great opportunity to benefit from a 23-acre piece of property that could give rise to an award-winning boat dealership and a first-class senior active living center. This property is located on Hwy 24 directly across from Walmart in Morehead City. Licensed engineers, surveyors, architects, and NCDOT have worked tirelessly together to ensure that this use will not only benefit Morehead City and all tax-paying citizens, but also the adjacent neighbors in Spooners Creek.
What could be a greater opportunity than to protect the Environment forever? Unlike a residential development scenario, our conditional zoning proposal secures the protection of undisturbed wetlands and forests. In addition, we have performed environmental studies and are proposing a large natural buffer to ensure additional protection from the lights and noise from the Walmart shopping center that the residents currently experience. In our conditional zoning proposal, we have agreed to pay to have Morehead City water and sewer run to the property to avoid the septic tanks that surround Spooners Creek currently. In order to ensure any possible runoff is captured, we will be installing a full stormwater run-off system designed by licensed engineers and permitted and approved by the state of NC, which would not be performed if developed residentially. The Environment is very important to Starling Marine and we are very excited to bring these improvements and enhancements for the environment to improve this property.
What could be a great opportunity to minimize traffic impacts on Hwy 24? Starling Marine has been working with NCDOT since the inception of this project to establish a responsible traffic plan for the development. NCDOT has reviewed all our engineered plans and recommended a turning lane and 2 separate entrances. We have agreed to these recommendations and have implemented them into our site plans. The daily traffic count for the proposed project is considerably less than if the property was developed residentially. Not only is the traffic countless with the proposal compared to residential development, but the traffic is not at peak travel times of the day like residential development will be. We have also agreed in our conditional zoning to install a sidewalk across the entire front of Hwy 24 to offer additional safety to those pedestrians that are currently walking along the highway. Traffic safety for our community has always been a priority for Starling Marine and we will continue to support and promote necessary improvements for traffic safety in Morehead City.
What could be a greater opportunity to utilize the new Conditional Use Permitting Process? This new development is submitting to greater scrutiny and control – no alternative uses or changes without further City review and approval. The Planning Board has approved this request and it is now before the City Council. The Land Use Plan (2005) itself says: (p. 21) “It should be noted, however, that the Land Use Plan is one of a variety of guides in making a public policy decision. The Plan should be viewed as a tool to aid in decision making and not as the final decision.” Policy 4 (p. 99): Medium-density residential and mixed-use development will be encouraged in those areas with public water and sewer, with vehicular access to major streets, and in transitional locations between intensive nonresidential uses and existing low-density residential areas.” Since this property is on highway 24 immediately behind Walmart and has no access to a residential community, this opportunity seems to fit this clearly!
What could be a greater opportunity than to enhance the financial well-being of our City by voluntarily annexing valuable property, increasing the tax base of our City by millions of dollars, increasing revenue, and adding new jobs? What a great opportunity to offset future tax increases for our tax-paying citizens? Starling Marine proudly represents and supports the residents of Morehead City and we strongly believe in giving back to the community. We try to give back in many ways, but we are especially excited about being able to partner with Ridge Care and help bring a first-class Senior living center to Morehead City. This is a service that we do not currently offer anywhere in our community and feel it will benefit many of our current residents and families.
One thing is certain, the property will be developed in the future with either our conditional zoning request or as its current residential zoning. Change is inevitable and rather than wait for it to happen, we have chosen to embrace it with a responsible development plan. We have an opportunity with the conditional language in this request to secure a better environmental impact than the current zoning, make less of a traffic impact than the current zoning, promote a better financial impact for Morehead City and its residents than the current zoning, and offer a service for our Seniors that is not currently available in our county. Our City Council has a very important vote Tuesday night for the residents of Morehead City……What a great opportunity!