The Town Council may, by special use permit, modify certain development standards to facilitate development that maintains and enhances the character of Duck Village.
   (A)   Purpose.
      (1)   The Village Commercial Development Option is intended to help implement the town's adopted vision and CAMA Comprehensive & Land Use Plan by allowing development or redevelopment of a size, scale and architectural character that complements Duck Village.
      (2)   The Village Commercial Development Option provides opportunities for custom site-specific development review to implement town policies encouraging shared access and parking, limited vehicular access, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, a mix of land uses, compatible building design, tree preservation, adequate stormwater management, and public infrastructure and amenities; thus reinforcing the Village Commercial District as an exceptional and distinctive place to live, work, shop, dine, and recreate.
   (B)   Criteria. The Town Council may approve modifications to the development standards contained in this chapter, subject to the following limitations:
      (1)   Minimum structure setbacks cannot be reduced by more than 50%.
      (2)   Maximum lot coverage may be increased by no more than 10% provided that stormwater improvements meeting the following criteria are provided on the development site:
         (a)   Stormwater runoff from the built-upon area of the site must be directed into an approved stormwater management system designed to accommodate the volume of runoff generated by a 4.3 inch design storm. Interstitial soil storage can be included in the design storm calculation.
         (b)   The stormwater management system shall be designed in accordance with the standards, methodology, and procedures prescribed in the state Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual (NCDENR BMP Manual) with the exception of the design storm which shall be 4.3 inch rainfall event over a two hour period as noted above.
         (c)   Project designs shall utilize low-impact development principles and best management practices as the primary method for the treatment of stormwater.
         (d)   Stormwater plans must be prepared by a state licensed professional engineer. Prior to the issuance of a certificate of completion for the project, a state licensed professional engineer must certify that the proposed improvements have been constructed in accordance with the project design.
      (3)   Reduction in the amount of required parking for the site is limited to a maximum of five parking spaces or 20% of the minimum parking requirement for the site, whichever is greater. Additionally, the amount of reduction cannot exceed 50% of the minimum parking requirement.
      (4)   Landscape buffers against abutting residentially zoned or used properties cannot be reduced to less than five feet in width unless an opaque fence or wall is provided.
      (5)   Building size or height increases are not permitted.
      (6)   Proposed uses must be included on the list of permitted uses for the Village Commercial (V-C) zoning district.
      (7)   The requested modification cannot be used to remedy existing violations on a property.
   (C)   General findings. In order to grant approval of a special use under the Village Commercial Development Option, the Town Council must find that the applicant has provided substantial evidence that the development proposal complies with all the following general criteria:
      (1)   The development proposal is consistent with the town's adopted vision and Comprehensive & Land Use Plan; and
      (2)   The development proposal is consistent with the desired scale, character, and function of Duck Village; and
      (3)   The subject property, including the development proposal, contains many of the characteristics outlined in the guidelines listed in § 156.065(E); and
      (4)   The requested modification is the least necessary to accommodate the proposed development and meet the intent of the Village Commercial Development Option; and
      (5)   The requested modification will not negatively impact adjacent properties or the surrounding area.
   (D)   Exemptions. Due to their modest scale, the following types of projects are not required to comply with the guidelines listed in § 156.065(E) and Town Council does not have to make a finding as outlined in § 156.065(C)(3):
      (1)   Change of use. Change of use with no site improvements resulting in an increase of five parking spaces or fewer to the minimum number of parking spaces required.
      (2)   Small development projects. Proposed development not exceeding either of the criteria listed below:
         (a)   New construction or expansion of structures not exceeding 1,000 square feet or 10% of the existing structures on the property, whichever is lesser; or
         (b)   Site development or improvements not exceeding a footprint of 1,000 square feet or 5% of the lot  size, whichever is lesser.
   (E)   Guidelines. During its review, Town Council will consider the following guidelines in determining if a Village Commercial Development Option proposal is consistent with the desired function and character of the Village Commercial District.
      (1)   Mixed uses. The property contains a mixture of complementary uses with special emphasis on the provision of long-term accessory dwelling units.
      (2)   Building design. Building design is consistent with the commercial design guidelines outlined in § 156.111.
      (3)   Building location. The preferred location of buildings and related site improvements includes orientation toward the street, dual orientation for soundfront properties abutting the boardwalk, preservation of significant site features, parking to the side or rear, and minimizing impacts on adjoining residential properties.
      (4)   Lot coverage. Minimizing lot coverage can include, but is not limited to, use of semi-pervious surfaces for parking and enhanced stormwater drainage such as that outlined in the state's stormwater best management practices.
      (5)   Parking areas. Parking is minimized in the front yard and enhanced landscaping is included in the parking area design.
      (6)   Pedestrian-friendly. The building location is in close proximity and has a connection of sufficient width to the public sidewalk and/or boardwalk.
      (7)   Bicycle-friendly. The site contains convenient connections to the public bike path. Bike racks and/or public bike equipment or amenities are provided for public use.
      (8)   Inter-property connections. Provides vehicular and/or pedestrian connections between properties.
      (9)   Trees/vegetation. Preserves significant trees and vegetation. The landscaping plan exceeds required planting requirements.
      (10)   Historic preservation. Preserves historic structures or other features.
      (11)   Public amenities. Amenities offered for public use and enjoyment, including but not limited to, water fountains, benches, artworks, and rain/sun shelters. Such features can be public owned or privately owned, but permanently available to the public.
      (12)   Public infrastructure. Provides desired public infrastructure improvements meeting a public need. Public infrastructure includes facilities essential to the function of the community, including but not limited to, sidewalks, fire hydrants, stormwater improvements, and equipment.
   (F)   Submission requirements. A complete special use application for the Village Commercial Development Option must include a site plan containing the following information:
      (1)   Building locations, building heights, number of dwelling units, proposed uses and gross square footage of all uses;
      (2)   Total area of the application property;
      (3)   Proposed setbacks from all property lines;
      (4)   Proposed methods and layout of landscaping and screening;
      (5)   Proposed methods of ingress, egress and internal circulation;
      (6)   Topographic contours and conceptual grading plan;
      (7)   Proposed improvements to adjacent rights-of-way;
      (8)   Proposed layout of parking area showing individual parking spaces and landscaping;
      (9)   Proposed on-site pedestrian walkways and other pedestrian/bicycle accommodations;
      (10)   Calculations for proposed lot coverage and required parking;
      (11)   Proposed development schedule outlining the phases of development, if applicable;
      (12)   Locations of existing and proposed easements and property lines;
      (13)   Location and description of any structure proposed to be moved or demolished;
      (14)   Conceptual architectural elevations depicting the proposed architectural design, materials, and dimensions of all elevations; and
      (15)   Other information deemed necessary for the Town Council to understand the details and design of the proposed project.
   (G)   Site plan approval.
      (1)   The Town Council may impose conditions as part of the approval of any Village Commercial Development Option application as deemed necessary in the public. Surety in a form acceptable to the Town Attorney may be required to ensure compliance with conditions imposed by the Town Council.
      (2)   Approval of the site plan accompanying the application for the Village Commercial Development Option will also constitute approval of the proposed development as to scale, heights, setbacks, parking, required public improvements, and other development standards specifically addressed.
      (3)   The Director of Community Development may permit minor deviations from the footprints of structures and improvements on the approved site plan, provided that the proposed deviations are in substantial accord with the conceptual development plan, will not result in increased square footage of development, and will not result in increased height of any structure.
      (4)   Unless otherwise granted during the approval process, a village commercial development option designation will expire 18 months following the date of approval by the Town Council unless construction of the proposed development has commenced. The Director of Community Development may grant a single 12-month extension provided that the applicant adequately demonstrates due diligence toward initiation of the development.
(Ord. 19-04, passed 12-4-2019; Am. Ord. 21-01, passed 6-2-2021)