“Extreme circumstances” required to allow non-resident owner into Dare County

By on March 22, 2020

County Manager Outten says “something dire” is required in order to get an exception. (Photo credit: CURRENTtv)

Dare County can approve an exception to its current restrictions on non-resident property owners entering the county. But it is one that would only apply to “something dire,” according to Dare County Manager Bobby Outten.

This issue emerged into public view on March 21 when the Nags Head Board of Commissioners called an emergency meeting to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a post that appeared on his Facebook page, Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon explained that one of the actions taken at the meeting was “to ask the Mayor to ask the County if there is a mechanism to allow non-resident property owners, who may have been in the middle of a project when they were barred from entry Friday night, and whose property may be in a compromised state, to finish what they were doing. And to do so without adding excessively to the Deputies’ burdens at the checkpoints.”

In his post, Cahoon added that in regard to that question, “I have learned, and reported to the Board, that the County was already responsibly addressing this issue on a case-by-case basis countywide.”

In an interview with the Voice, Outten stressed that any such exception to allow a non-resident property owner into Dare County would require “extreme circumstances…For the most part, the Control Group has said that that non-resident property owner is out.”

Outten added that, “We have a team that is evaluating [requests for exceptions] on a case by case basis.”

At the same time, in an apparent acknowledgment of the passions and tensions that have erupted over the county’s move to restrict non-resident property owners, Dare County Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard posted a message on the morning of March 22 on the OBX Locals site.

“As you know, the Control Group voted to restrict visitors and non-resident property owners form entering the OBX,” he wrote. “These are hard decisions but the right decision…Please know we have to make tough decisions during tough times. This is hard on our businesses, but they are behind this decision too. There are now 6 States locked down and I’m sure there will be more coming.”




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Recent posts in this category


  • David Murphy

    I have owned a beach box in Rodanthe since 1998. Rt 12 washouts is usually the only reason I can’t get there. Now I cannot get there to work on my house.
    I had already planned a trip to put on a new roof through local contractors.
    Since I can’t get there the local contractor doesn’t get the work.
    Dare County, you are shooting your self in the foot With this decision to bar non resident owners from Hatteras island!

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 9:59 am
  • surf123

    No one is shooting themselves in the foot except you. Your roof can wait. Do you not understand there are limited resources here and currently zero cases? Should the situation get worse do you really think Dare County will be a priority for food and supply deliveries or that the hospital will be handle extra, unnecessary cases.

    You like plenty of others continue to act like you run the plantation and own the residents of Dare County. I can assure you that you do not own me.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 12:54 pm
  • carl

    So are you also going to pay our mortgages since we are disbarred from our houses?? This is simply overreach!

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 1:01 pm
  • Bill Schreiner

    The argument about the limited resources on the island is wrong.
    If anyone gets really sick with the covid-19 they will be moved to hospitals on the mainland.

    Should we restrict them from going across the bridge to get help there because they are bringing their dirty germs with them?

    The virus is coming to OBX, in spite of this illegal travel ban.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 1:06 pm
  • Jm waters

    We are non resident property owners that do not rent our HOME on the OBX but do reside there 50% of the time. Our medical provider and specialty care provider are located on the OBX. The logic put forth by the control group is flimsy and will have long term repercussions. We have been ardent supporter of local businesses as well as local charities. Short of a complete lockdown, your full time residents will commute the virus to the island. You need to allow property owners access to their homes and refund the taxes without any representation.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 1:14 pm
  • Ronnie

    Read all the above comments. The one that makes the most sense is the comments concerning letting the locals go off the island to work, shop or what ever they want to do and come back on the island. You think maybe one of them or the delivery guy,, UPS, FedEx might have the Covid 19 and pass it on. I know, the argument will be we need our fuel and food deliveries and I stuff from Amazon, so we will take the chance on those drivers and hope for the best, same as for the locals who travel to the Hampton Roads area (where 4 people) have died, but let them back on the island with out any issues. Definitely a two edge sword.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 2:19 pm
  • George

    This is my home for the winter months and has been for the last four years. How would you react to someone telling you that you can’t get to your home. This is an abuse of power! If you want me off the island bring me a big check, otherwise be ready to pay a large settlement for violating my rights.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 2:54 pm
  • DC

    Wow. No one planned for this..
    Get over yourselves..selfish people. It does not become you. If your lucky the OBX will be here when you are allowed entry. We are all just trying to survive and hopefully be here for the tourist season.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 4:19 pm
  • Sharon martz

    I have a rental in Corolla and rent through and manage it myself. This is the time of year I do the power washing and painting and cleaning of pool areas and check listing all replacement electronics and furniture , and so many other things. I’m not sure HOW I’ll ever get it ready for Memorial Day. I live in Currituck on the mainland and property is on the Currituck beaches and therefore pass through Dare coming and going. Dare County is causing economic damage to owners who care for their properties themselves this time a year. I’m not sure how this can be legal when Dare residents can roam as they wish. My rental season could be severely affected.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 6:13 pm
  • Paul Revere

    Please define, “ extreme circumstances “ water leaking in the home, mold mitigation, broken water heater, roof replacement, home renovation project, Repair termite wood damage, addition to the property etc.?

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 7:04 pm
  • Chad

    David….it can’t wait? And why couldn’t a contractor work without you?

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 9:25 pm
  • Chaf

    Carl…..why do you need to come in?

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 9:27 pm
  • Chad

    Sharon….it can’t wait? Who is telling you it’s illegal?

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 9:28 pm
  • livinobx

    THANK YOU Dare County for urging people to follow the CDC guidelines and heeding calls from hospitals & medical staff to better protect our fragile community. You have made the most difficult decision imaginable and the only one you could make under these dire circumstances.

    It’s best for our medical staff, seniors, residents and “long term” economic future. Please stand your legal ground!! You know the capabilities of this county better than anyone.

    This is national emergency – everyone is urged to stay home as much as possible! Those warnings could not be more clear or concise.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 9:37 pm
  • Penny

    To: Bob Woodard, Thank you for making the decision to limit non-residents access. As you stated, “It was a hard decision but the right one.”

    To: George, I would try to be more understanding of this situation. This is not an abuse but a safety issue. You are very fortunate that you have two homes. Be a little more thankful and grateful.

    To: Sharon, If we do not take precaution now there maybe no rental season. I think your maintenance can wait!

    To: Everyone out there, We all know who is in charge. HE will not forsake us. Pray and have faith.

    Monday, Mar 23 @ 10:54 pm
  • dan haggerty

    Non resident homeowners and visitors cry babies,
    Long time resident here not that that’s a big deal. Its Tuesday morning and now there are more and more lockdown and emergency only travel and stay at home orders in many states, many up north too, Nrw york is the epicenter, medical suppliers are dwindling and there are logistical issues with shipments nationwide, over 40,000 infected nationwide and spreading, new Jersey governor said no non resident homeowners or vistors at the shore as they call it, possible Great Depression….possibly, possible social unrest, stay in place orders coast to coast, and IT MAY GET WORSE. Let me get this straight you NROs and visitors are complaining about a Temporary restriction on coming to the the OBX. Some of you are talking about doing repairs, constitutional violations and class action lawsuits. Given the current situation…ARE YOU FOR REAL? For the life of me I dont know why anyone would want to drive long distances possibly risking infection to their families, etc, the possibility of being stuck here…then you would cry about not being able to get home, possible more supply issues here, limited healthcare resources, etc the list goes on. You would think you would want to protect your primary residence and stay where your healthcare plan are centered. I know about 3 NROs that were here and they left and went back North to their primary residence to shelter in place and protect their primary residence and families. Folks we are talking about a serious worldwide situation the requires certain actions that noone wants to implement. Its temporary and may last a few months. Please quit with the belly aching. I know it’s a temporary infringement on Freedom but it’s happening all over the World and will continue to happen. It’s about containment right now. Health officials are trying to figure everything out and congress is still bickering and cant get a relief bill approved which most of you NROs probably are not concerned about. Your repairs and beach visits can wait as this virus and economic and social changes will last well into Summer imo. I, and many other applaud the quick proactive decisions that Dare County Officials have made. It’s not about votes and government job retention right now. It’s about containment and preventing spread of Covid as best that can be done. Yes residents can travel but most are not. We cannot handle a massive non resident influx at the moment. Even if I lived out of state and was an owner here…i would not want to travel to a 2nd home. I do not understand the logic. Remember its temporary and as the English say ” Keep calm and carry on.”

    Tuesday, Mar 24 @ 5:00 am
  • Also in Currituck

    @Sharon martz: Currituck residents are allowed to enter Dare County, and always have been excluded from the restrictions. All details on the Dare County website. It requests that you keep your window closed at the checkpoint and place your driver’s license on the glass for the officer.

    Tuesday, Mar 24 @ 6:14 am
  • D Smith

    I used to vacation in the Outer Banks in the ’70s and ’80s. Then I made the mistake of going back in 2008. I was shocked. Strip malls, big box stores, huge lines of people waiting to get into the Corolla Lighthouse that used to be accessible only by 4 wheel drive. The resident community decided to allow and profit off of unbridled development. And now those residents want to avoid the consequences by barring the people they profited off of from coming to their houses? Give me a break.

    Tuesday, Mar 24 @ 7:49 am
  • sandflea

    So did all of your houses get sick at once? If you don’t have a friend or contractor or rental company that can look after it for you; well, you most likely have other issues.

    Tuesday, Mar 24 @ 8:51 am
  • Allen

    I think it’s great that OBX wants to shutdown due to the dire medical situation and I understand that you don’t want folks bringing this medical situation to your island. Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth, don’t travel off the island, don’t drive to the mainland or God forbid Virginia to work, we also do not want viruses and other diseases you may have contaminating our folks. Live by your own rules and stay at home on your island, this works both ways and you also OBX should do your part to stop the spread of the virus

    Tuesday, Mar 24 @ 8:51 am
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