44-acre Kill Devil Hills site eyed for housing

By on June 27, 2022

Property includes part of disc golf course

The disc golf course would likely move or be altered to make room for new housing.

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.


  • J Bird

    Affordable housing. Who knows what that means. It’s so elusive. And when it’s elusive you know that means they’re up to no good. They need to stop thinking about wasting our taxes (yes, our, despite the tourists are paying the taxes who do you think does the physical labor to earn it? Us) to build the dumbest event center imaginable, hello Lee Nettles. Motivated by hotel owners and vacation rental companies who aren’t rich enough yet apparently. Leave it to Dare county to wait decades before trying to pretend they want to take preventative action. It’s too late. We’ve lost control and have embraced the theory of “quantity over quality” and nobody is willing to admit we have been taking short-term financial gain over long term preservation of our community. Time for change. Vote everyone out. Elect new, younger, caring individuals who can think about the future.

    Tuesday, Jun 28 @ 6:41 pm
  • why not the old kmart

    If there was only an already developed piece of land that a failed corporation left behind…but no, Target is more important. Nevermind how to staff another corporate big box store either.

    Tuesday, Jun 28 @ 7:59 pm
  • Freenusa

    So it is planned. Affordable housing on RI. Site Bowsertown Rd, county owned. Around same time, they announced, Nags Head affordable housing, but the parcel was under contract. There were 2 parcels under contract when the news broke. One has closed and will be an eventual motel to accommodate the new “Event Venue”. The other is a highly visible site. Will Nags Head conform?

    Tuesday, Jun 28 @ 9:31 pm
  • Freenusa

    And now KDH, which is overcrowded joins in.

    Tuesday, Jun 28 @ 9:33 pm
  • Are You Kidding Me?

    “This is a great location; you’ll be living near affordable housing!” – said no realtor ever.

    Wednesday, Jun 29 @ 1:22 pm
  • WindyBill

    YES, we need afordable housing. NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY!!! (not in my backyard). BS BS BS

    Wednesday, Jun 29 @ 6:50 pm
  • Billsnc

    Not just NIMBY but NIABY – not in anybody’s back yard. Why not keep that open space as something that benefits all citizens? I think at this point it’s more important to have open / recreation space than another apartment complex.

    Thursday, Jun 30 @ 9:14 am
  • Daryl

    This gets more interesting the more questions you ask. Many of the town emoyees and the commissioners do not know hardly any details, why is this? What I have been able to find out is that they are looking to build 400 apartments, 4 pods with 100 units each. Supposedly there are 3 main investors, the state and 2 private, each putting in roughly 35 Million. The afdordable housing will be divided by investors, so roughly 133 affordable units and 266 roughly more expensive units. Im not sure how 133 affordable apartments are going to solve this so called crisis. A local private business is lines up to manage the apartments, not sure how they were chisen with so many qualified local businesses? I dont think its worth paving this maratime forrest connection? The town would be selling this property to private investors which means we no longer will own it or control it. Even if the town says there is vebiabe in the deed to protect the property and town, I dont believe its worth the paper it was written on as the town ignored this in the affordable housing previously but that they let the first owners out of the deed restriction to simy take all the equity out of those units as they were allowed to sell them ar market rate. If they build this, the town loses the mukch pit. That mulch oit is extremely important to us right after a major storm. It allows us to start cleaning up here immediately and were not dependent on a 3rd company in a crisis to be able to transport our debri off the island. That property is worth more to our citizens as a green area, a deposit for debris, and a crossing between the two larger maratime forrest. 35 million, is a lot of money and I think people are trying to psoition themselves to caoiralize on it rather than make good community decisions. EVERYBODY needs to send the town clerk of KDH an email, even better, attend a commissio ers meeting and voice your opinion. This is quietly getting slammed through!

    Saturday, Jul 2 @ 11:14 am
  • losingreal obx

    kdh is now suburbia. Lets make it a city. We have the busiest over crowded ugly retail highway and largest hotels. So all we have to do is get low income housing and destroy natural lands / wildlife left. kdcity new name. Thanks to all who have profited, we can be just like Virgina beach.

    Wednesday, Jul 13 @ 10:34 am