By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on June 27, 2022
A 44-acre tract of Kill Devil Hills property located just south of Bermuda Bay and north of the Run Hill State Natural Area is one of a number of sites being eyed for essential housing as part of Dare County’s efforts to address the housing crisis here.
The parcel, owned by the Town of Kill Devil Hills, is the last remaining undeveloped portion of the 322-acre Baum Tract partially donated and sold to the town in 1983 by one-time Mayor Diane Baum St. Clair. It includes at least a portion of the Casey Logan Disc Golf Course that is located just off of Veterans Drive. At this early point in the process, there has been no estimate of the number of housing units that would be proposed there.
Earlier this month, at their June 13 meeting, the Kill Devil Hills Commissioners gave town staff the green light tafforabelo begin investigating the feasibility of such a project, which has been identified by Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC. The Raleigh-based consortium was selected by Dare County in February to oversee its affordable housing efforts using a $35 million pot of money the state allocated to the county last year. Since then, it has been searching for possible locations for such housing.
At the June 13 meeting, Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul made the motion to have staff explore the possibility of such a project as well as initiate discussions with county leaders, set up public meetings to get citizen input and research the technical and zoning details related to the site. The motion passed unanimously.
“I know there is a lot of history there, I know that there is a lot of opportunity there,” Sproul said during the meeting. “But before we went down the path of really getting into the details of what the scope for design, size or scale, I just wanted to ask the members of this board if [we] are interested in looking at what the possibilities are on the tract when it comes to housing.”
“There’s nothing set in stone, this is just the early days of this,” he added. “But I wanted to take everybody’s temperature.”
As for other commissioners who spoke on the issue at the June 13 meeting, Commissioner Terry Gray said he was in favor of staff investigating what possibilities may exist. “Kill Devil Hills has always stepped up to the plate and done what it could do for housing…but that doesn’t mean you can’t do more,” he said.
While Commissioner John Windley said he was “somewhat hesitant, somewhat reluctant to develop the Baum Tract,” he stated that he was okay with advising staff to look at what the options are.
“I do have a real appreciation for how, over the years, the town has used [the tract] for community, government resources,” he noted. The original 322-acre tract is now home to a number of community facilities including the First Flight schools, the Kill Devil Hills Municipal Complex, the Dare County Recreation Park, a library and a senior center.
Sproul told the Voice in a later interview that it’s too early in the process to know whether the site would be a good location for such a project. He added that his hope is staff will come to the commissioners with a report in the coming months regarding the pros and cons of housing units at the site, as well as the obstacles and opportunities.
“It’s not exactly a perfect fit,” Sproul said. “But if we can do something, I’m cautiously optimistic we can make something work. But it’s way too early to tell.”
Speaking to the disc golf course currently there, Sproul said its footprint falls on both the upland buildable area of that tract as well as some unbuildable portion. That would likely require the course to either be altered or moved if the project moved forward.
But the mayor said if that was the case, the board would make it a high priority to keep the disc golf course.
“There are other sites in town that we’re looking at…basically building a new disc golf course somewhere else,” he said. “Our top priority is to make sure we don’t lose disc golf, that we find a way to keep it in some form, hopefully in a bigger and better form.”
Sproul, who said the site is just one of a few in Kill Devil Hills identified by Coastal Affordable Housing, added that once commissioners get more details about the technical aspects of such a project, a next step would be to hold a public meeting where all stakeholders can be brought into the conversation.
“We have a moment to decide as a county what we want to do and how Kill Devil Hills fits into that equation,” the mayor concluded.
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS: BIDDER PRE-QUALIFICATION REQUEST: Barnhill Contracting has been selected as the Construction Manager at Risk by Dare County and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade and specialty contractors to submit bids for furnishing Labor, Material, Equipment, and Other for the new “Dare County – EMS 1 / Fire Station 14” (KDH) located in Kill Devil Hills, NC. PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The scope of the project encompasses approximately 36,000 sqft of new construction and 18,000 sqft of demolition on a 3.5-acre site located at the 1630 N Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills, NC. The project includes masonry bearing walls supporting a Standing Seam Metal Roof over Light Gauge Trusses housing administrative, living and support spaces along with 6 apparatus bays. Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages: BP750 – Turnkey Siding. Additional Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business participation is encouraged. Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals to Meredith Terrell by December 2, 2022, via email at email@example.com or mail to PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (Office Location – 4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612). PREQUALIFICATION FORMS CAN BE OBTAINED from BuildingConnected through this Invite under the “File” tab or from BuildingConnected link on the Barnhill, Bidding Opportunities website at app.buildingconnected.com/ by selecting “Dare County – EMS 1 / Fire Station 14 – Prequalification”, or by contacting Meredith Terrell firstname.lastname@example.org (919-604-2367). Please submit completed prequalification forms A and B along with all required supporting documentation and with All Bid Packages you are Prequalified for Checked. Form B must be submitted for this project. Form A is good for 1-Year and if you have submitted one to Barnhill within the last year, it should still be valid. If you are unsure, please verify this with Meredith. Target Bid Date: January 2023