KDH Board votes against rezoning Baum Tract

By on August 8, 2022

Move effectively stops possible housing development

Speakers at the Aug. 8 meeting voiced their support for the disc golf course..

During its August 8 meeting, the Kill Devil Hills Commissioners voted 4-1 against rezoning the town-owned 44-acre Baum Tract – home to the popular Casey R. Logan Disc Golf Course – from its current permitted government/recreational use to a high-density multifamily use. Mayor Ben Sproul cast the dissenting vote.

The vote followed a public comment period in which nearly a dozen local residents voiced their opposition to such a change, as well as a staff report that included a laundry list of concerns cited by community stakeholders and town department heads regarding the potential negative impact such a change of use could have.

While the vote was specifically against any change of use, it ultimately halts any further consideration of that tract as a potential site for high-density multifamily units.

In June, the commissioners directed staff to investigate the possibility of the parcel being used for the development of essential housing. That request was in response to an inquiry from Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC., the group that has been contracted by Dare County Commissioners about specific plans to construct as many as 400 units on the parcel.

In the early 1980s, one-time Mayor Diane Baum St. Clair partially donated more than 322 acres to the town, with the 44-acre tract accounting for the western portion of that parcel. At the time, Baum St. Clair asked that the land be used for the benefit of the entire community. The Kill Devil Hills municipal buildings, First Flight Schools and Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce also sit on the Baum tract.

“Let’s stop it right here,” Commissioner Terry Gray asserted before he introduced the motion against pursuing a change of use, a comment that garnered applause from the audience. “This tract is not for [that use].”

Commissioner John Windley seconded the motion. Windley said that he would like to see the town add enhancements to the disc golf course, adding that, “Character matters and we had an agreement with the Baum family that [the tract] would be used toward the benefit of the public.”

According to the staff report, the concerns of stakeholders ranged from traffic, environmental impacts, and the loss of open space to the incompatibility with surrounding areas, the impact on the First Flight schools, increased costs to the town and the parcel’s isolated location.

Among the community stakeholders who offered opinions in the report were representatives of Dare County Schools, Nags Head Woods, the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the Dare County Sheriff’s Department.

The majority of those who spoke during public comment voiced their support for the disc golf course and the positive impact it has had on the community and beyond. One of those speakers was Bob Sanders, a Nags Head Commissioner and one of the volunteers who helped clear and develop the site into the course.

“It’s just a huge asset to the community…a big community draw,” Sanders said. “It’s a unique space and it’s just a beautiful part of the Outer Banks and Kill Devil Hills.”

 

 

 




Comments

  • S wrenn

    How interesting, after Bermuda Bay WAS approved in a “win-win” due to sewage treatment agreement. That development has all the negatives described here.

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 2:05 am
  • Currituck

    I guess there will more meetings soon about how to solve the housing “crisis”. Dan Quayle was right. “A mind is a terrible thing not to have.”

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 6:18 am
  • Josh

    Why is Mayor Ben Sproul voting in favor of this proposed change against family and public wishes? Vote him out!

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 7:54 am
  • Frank Moore

    BEN SPROUL has to be related to our “missing in action president”, JOE where and who am I. I am doing this for your own good so dare you question ME

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 9:49 am
  • Bob and Lin Logan

    Thank you very much. We are thrilled that more will be able to enjoy this preserve. Thanks, too, to all that spoke out for Casey R. Logan’s Disc Golf Course.

    Casey’s Mom

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 1:18 pm
  • Travis

    At least two others on this board spoke frequently about the great possibilities this area had to offer, nudge-nudge-wink-wink wouldn’t it be nice if our buddy Eddie could build some nice houses for workers here. But when the public showed up with pitchforks and torches they scuttled backwards faster than ghost crabs at high tide. I disagree with him, but I give Ben credit for sticking to his guns on this one and we’re on the same page with other issues so I don’t fault him on this one.

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 2:52 pm
  • Tri-Village

    All of the arguments used against this project should be applied to the entire Outer Banks. Stop building rental houses and condos. Same for the convention center. Traffic, environmental impacts and loss of open space.

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 4:27 pm
  • Shartacus

    So you can’t have your cake and eat it too… what is it you want? To solve your area wide “housing crisis” or to keep kicking that can around and hope the next town over deals with it?

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 5:21 pm
  • Ken Fucci

    I’m scared…for once they voted like I wanted them to vote….don’t know if it will help but I won’t vote for the mayor again

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 5:51 pm
  • Billnc

    Good!

    Why are the same people against development, “mini hotels” and loss of green space unless it’s affordable housing??

    Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 9:19 pm
  • obxron

    Thank you commisioners for being both practical and true to the intended use of this land donated by a wonderful woman

    Wednesday, Aug 10 @ 7:00 am
  • Rich

    Ben Sproul…what a disappointment he has been. And didn’t the 2 others that backed out due to the public outcry? Shame on all of you! You are the reason this town has list it’s small community charm. Greed has taken over this whole country’s government systems, as well their corporate favoritism. And thank every one of you towns people for showing up with those pitchforks sharpened & torches burning!!!

    Wednesday, Aug 10 @ 7:42 am
  • Daryl Davies

    Because the agreed so quickly to not vote for rezoning, a lot of details were never brought up. Things like the town would have to sell that land, the mulch pit goes away which we need most right after a hurricane, and out of the 400 units they were discussing buiding, only 1/3 were going to be considered affordable. Even Mayor Sproul said we need at least 1200 units to start to fix this problem and we would be giving up this Baum tract and not even come close to solving our issues. At least Ben was clear on his position, willing to discuss it with citizens who approached him, everyone else was not so open. Its not over, the commissioners kept mentioning the “other” things they want to do back there. That why they dont want any holes sponsored. I tried to get them to keep the spo sponsorships to avoid any town memever who was not i to disc golf having their taxes uses to maintain the course. But tha k you in advance citizens for now offering to help pay. Go out there and have fun playing your course now!

    Thursday, Aug 11 @ 9:03 am
  • Sara obx

    Didn’t former Mayor Davies spouse get the contract to design and build the disc course?

    Friday, Aug 12 @ 6:23 pm