Duck Planning Board okays permit for mixed-use project

By on August 12, 2022

Development would include restaurant, residential and retail

Rendering of the proposed mixed-use development.

By a 3-2 margin, the Duck Planning Board on Aug. 11 voted to recommend to the Duck Town Council that it approve a special use permit for the redevelopment of a piece of soundfront property at 1248 Duck Road into three commercial structures that would include a mix of retail space, a 49-seat restaurant and residential units.

The property, just north of the Duck Waterfront Shops, is owned by The Promenade at Duck LLC and is currently the site of the former Resort Realty office, built in 1985. That building has been vacant for more than a year and would be demolished as part of the project.

Earlier this year, the town council unanimously denied approval of a site plan for the project, primarily citing concerns about the applicant’s request to reduce the number of parking spaces required at the site. The newly submitted plans, however, maintain the 30 parking spaces required under the ordinance and include a reduction in residential units and square footage of commercial space.

Under the new proposal, two of the buildings would have retail space on the first floor and one two-bedroom residential unit on the second floor. A third building would consist of a 3,310-square-foot, two-story restaurant with a portion of the second floor featuring outdoor seating.

The planning board’s approval this week is in line with staff’s recommendation to approve the special use permit with a list of conditions the applicant must meet. The site plan has preliminary been reviewed by the N.C. Department of Transportation, but still requires a driveway permit from the department to move forward.

The project has received a significant amount of public attention since it was proposed earlier this year, with residents’ concerns focusing on density, traffic safety and parking. A number of residents were also at the Aug. 11 meeting to voice their opinions on the proposal.

Duck Road resident Ron Forlano told the planning board that although he believed the project needed some tweaking, he was in favor of it.

“Right now we’re looking at, for the last year, a vacant building and a fallow property. Nothing has been done on that property,” Forlano said.  “I think all it needs now is a little bit of tweaking, but we need to get rid of that eyesore that’s up there now. It’s going to do nothing but give us tax money…”

Bill Gray spoke on behalf of Duck Ridge Shores Civic League, which owns the property to the north of the project. He expressed the group’s opposition to the project as it stands.

“We do want to stress that we would love to see a mixed-use development on this property, but it needs to be a smart development as well as safe,” Gray said, stating that the NCDOT has indicated that the driveway entrance to the north of the site does not meet North Carolina regulations. “We would ask that you not approve this application and at least ask the applicant to recover that northern driveway.”

In the end, a narrow majority of the planning board agreed to grant the special use permit with conditions. Chair James Cofield and Vice Chair Joe Blakaitis voted against approving the permit.





  • Greg

    Being familiar with the size of this property one would have to ask how all of this can fit. Also where will the waste water treatment be? This will be a potential water pollution situation.

    Friday, Aug 12 @ 7:41 pm
  • Just a local

    Oh thank the heavens! We got the parking straight! Thank you thank thank you! And congrats on the two bedroom residential unit. That solves so much! Good lunck with staffing. We can’t even staff what we have, but I’m glad this got approved!

    Friday, Aug 12 @ 8:33 pm
  • Justin

    I’d check the bank accounts for recent deposits from the 3 that voted for this. Has anyone walked out there and seen how small this is? Just remember that decades of traffic issues have come from this town council. They also won’t allow the public on their beaches, but want public county tax money for beach nourishment.

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 7:51 am
  • Lulz

    Lol… here come the complainers… Its funny how when you come across the split to go north/south how most from Southern Shores to Carova act like the Howell’s from Gilligan’s Island and most from Kitty Hawk south act more like normal society.

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 11:25 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Lulz, by normal, you don’t mean Gilligan and the Skipper, do you?

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 1:49 pm
  • lippy

    I would like to know the reason the chairman and vice chairman voted against it.
    Seems to me one of the conditions should be the 2 apartments are to be for long term rentals, not AirBnB.
    From observations, there looks to be many apartments above the waterfront shops and Scarborough Faire….are they used as AirBnBs? I’ve been reading business owners complaining about not having enough workers due to housing shortages, but on the other hand if you have the housing space for long term rentals and are using them as AirBnBs short term, you can help solve your own problem. The business owners and landlords need to be on the same page.

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 11:26 am
  • Surf123

    The question why are special use permits routine. They should be rarely if ever allowed and this is not a valid case. Why bother with zoning and planning if deviations are allowed. Of course only those with financial backing and name recognition pull this stuff off. Keep this in mind at the next election cycle and flush those in favor of bc any special use permit.

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 12:34 pm
  • Mike Fulcher

    I wanna know about the marshland/wetlands that was filled in this year for a parking lot beside the water tower in Duck. It was turned into a overflow parking lot at the shopping center!

    Saturday, Aug 13 @ 4:46 pm
  • John VanderMyde

    Why all the mixed materials? Is this trying to look like three houses crammed together?

    Please take a look at other projects that have tried to mix styles in one building. It doesn’t work.

    For such a highly visible location, they need to send this one back to the drawing board.

    Sunday, Aug 14 @ 10:50 am
  • Billy

    It’s all about the money…if a project puts reoccurring tax revenue in the county and local gov. pockets….it’s approved. Why so few public parks and green spaces? They don’t usually generate revenue and cost money to operate, therefore, they are not a priority. With any level of government the option including the most taxation and revenue for them wins.

    Monday, Aug 15 @ 9:50 am