Despite concerns, Nags Head Planning Board approves site plan for 90-unit hotel

By on August 16, 2022

Rendering of the proposed hotel. (Town of Nags Head)

By a 4-2 vote on Aug. 16, the Nags Head Planning Board recommended that the town commissioners approve the site plan for Inn at Whalebone, a four-story 90-unit hotel being proposed for 6632 W. Pheasant Avenue.

Board members Molly Harrison and David Elder cast the dissenting votes, citing concerns about traffic flow and safety as well as stormwater management at the site. Other members voiced similar concerns about the project, but in voting to recommend approval, they acknowledged that the site plan complied with town standards.

The property, situated near the Duck Thru gas station, is just south of Nags Head Golf Links and the Village at Nags Head and just north of the Soundside Event site where the event center is being proposed. The hotel would be accessed off of Lakeside Street, which is used as an access to the residential subdivision of Roanoke Shores, which lies west of the proposed hotel.

House Engineering, P.C. of Kitty Hawk is the applicant for the project, which would be located in the Village at Nags Head Hotel District. There are 93 parking spaces proposed for the hotel, which includes architectural features such as dormers and a covered porch area.

During the planning board discussion portion of the meeting, Elder addressed the potential traffic conflicts at the site. “There are just a lot of minor conflicts and what I’m hearing and seeing is that none of it is really conflicting with the zoning as it is.  But in a community where, with service and infrastructure we are already at peak…how are we going to deal with this,” he said.

Harrison and others echoed Elder’s comments. “I understand that they are compliant with everything, but I have serious concerns about the traffic,” Harrison said.

For his part, Planning Board Member Meade Gwinn voiced concern over hotel guests trying to cross U.S.158 on foot. “You have a lot of people who might want to walk over to the beach,” she said. “I’m concerned about not only vehicles coming out onto U.S. 158 from Lakeside, but I’m also concerned about foot traffic – [people] with little kids and umbrellas and stuff trying to walk across the street to get down to the ocean.”

Board Member Kristi Wright added that, “I can tell you that I turn down Lakeside on a regular basis and it’s a problem now before you even put that hotel there,” she said. “It’s hard to maneuver…It’s hard to get in there.”

Gary Ferguson expressed concern about the project as well but added that it meets the zoning ordinance and thus, leaves the planning board with no other choice.

“Given that I think it’s totally out of character with the area…that’s not the issue. I mean, the issue is really that they meet the zoning [requirements], and therefore, I think our hands are somewhat tied. It’s a permitted use. It’s like building a single-family house in a residential zoning district,” he said.

In the end, Gwinn made the motion to recommend approval.

“This does meet all of the requirements, is consistent with the vision and the focus of Nags Head and will be a wonderful complement to the event site that will be built over on the soundside,” Gwinn said, adding that traffic issues remain.

“I do believe that [between] the time of approval to the time that construction begins on this project, that there would be considerable thought and some action taken that would focus on the safety of pedestrian traffic, as well as vehicular traffic coming off of Lakeside,” Gwinn added.

The Board of Commissioners are expected to take up the site plan at its September meeting.


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BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

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BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

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  • surf123

    That does not even remotely fit into Nags Head’s architecture.. It is really a shame the developer did not make a better effort to fit in.

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 5:47 pm
  • Tri-village

    Environmental impact, loss of open space and traffic issues. As I wrote before. The same argument used against the housing project can be used against any new construction for tourism. Lee Nettles stated in an article that we need to operate at 80% capacity to perform at a satisfactory level. Another article highlighted the lack of county employees. Not enough medical services. The list goes on and on why the Outer Banks does not need, no screw that, can not handle any more tourists. The infrastructure here is not designed for the amount of people here. Maybe everyone should start playing frisbee golf in empty lots. That seems to be the only way non developed land can be saved on the Outer Banks.

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 5:47 pm
  • Glenn

    Wow…the building just doesn’t stop. How many employees is this going to require? Is a section of the hotel being set aside for housing for local employees?

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 7:06 pm
  • Phoebe

    This won’t stop until every last piece of land has a business or house on it. How many times have there been warnings posted about the quality of the water this year? Keeps getting more and more frequent, but THEY don’t care. I guess the Albemarle isn’t polluted enough? You already can’t swim in it. There is NO saving the Outer Banks…. It’s already lost!!! Glad to be finally moving away from the worsening traffic, poor healthcare, and greedy politicians that just don’t give a ________!!! Feel free to fill in the blank. Truly sad….

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 7:26 pm
  • bob

    Please anything but another stop light.

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 7:35 pm
  • Sandy

    Every time there is an event at the Soundside Event Center there is a huge traffic mess requiring law enforcement to direct traffic. Residents living off of Bay Meadow Drive can’t cross the road in the summer and must drive through the community to get to the stop light on Seachase. Nags Head residents need to examine the current zoning requirements. Just because a project meets the current standards does not mean it is good for our community!
    Who is going to work at this hotel, where are they going to live, how much more pollution will run off into the sound? Shame on you Nags Head! I thought we were better than our neighboring fast food alley neighbor.

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 8:36 pm
  • Profree

    This is just awful. This is exactly what we don’t need.

    Tuesday, Aug 16 @ 9:07 pm
  • Old Man

    Just what we need. When is enough, enough?
    If You Build it, They Will Come – until there is too much. Then they will stop coming.

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 12:25 am
  • Beach Life

    Money talks/BS walks….. Isn’t every town in Dare County already screaming about being in desperate need of affordable residential housing? Who’s going to run this thing, except Foreign Exchange Students? Is that the reputation we want to put out there that we have to bring in foreigners to do the work of locals, while in reality, the locals can’t afford to live on the Outer Banks due to the high cost of living? I’m waiting for the day that our fearless leaders of each town in Dare County starts thinking about the locals it already has more than they do everybody else. You want to build something shiny and new, how about an affordable apartment complex for the working class and even the hospital and medical staff. They’re short on staff as well because of cost of living and shortage of affordable housing. Give Mr. Sloan a call at the OBX Hospital and let’s start doing things that means the most in Dare County right now.

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 12:40 am
  • Betty B

    funny no affordable housing for the working man ,, but we can ok another hotel to be built ,,, i hope you choke to death on your greed and you dollars ,, after living here over 40 years i have seen this place go down the shit tubes all for money ,,,, f**** destructing,,, damn shame all the implants have taken over to fill there pockets ,,,,,, let me go throw up now,, the obx ,, (suck hole)

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 5:36 am
  • Jeff Walker

    Use eminent domain to acquire then demolish a couple of those bottom barrel Saga mini hotels and you’ll have plenty of space and about equal amounts of traffic. Sounds like a win-win if we’re being honest.

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 6:40 am
  • Ginger

    How many more people do y’all think this outer banks can take!? Insane!

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 7:36 am
  • M

    I can’t believe the leaders of Dare and Currituck continue to approve all of this growth with no concern for the infrastructure; roads, medical, emergency personnel, etc. This is totally irresponsible and the Community needs to move towards changing out those in charge! You can’t keep bringing in more people with the lack of medical personnel and facilities we have here. We don’t have the personnel to handle employment needs, currently, and now you have allowed more! The bridge is NOT going to handle all our problems!

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 8:23 am
  • Patricia Merski

    Do we in Dare County NEED a 90 unit hotel? Oh, I know, its’ for the TOURISTS…..that area could have been used for AFFORDABLE HOUSING for the PERMANENT residents of Dare County instead of the rude and entitled tourists that swamp us each year. MONEY, MONEY, that’s what this all about and again TOURISTS, the hell with the locals who support this county year in and year out

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 10:11 am
  • charlie

    seriously?……….blind greed… we thought the owner of the property would do much better…

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 11:03 am
  • resident

    We need more transparancy as to what the planning board plans for our community. It appears as though what the residents want does not matter. So the planning board acknowledges that this location is dangerous with tourists crossing the street etc. yet we should go ahead and just do it. Lets go ahead and jam up this area like Duck on the weekends. This is ridiculous . you are all selling the Outer Banks out. Mr. Nettles- I hope you are happy now. You are destroying the Outer Banks . What happened to all the bull…. about sustainable tourism ?you talk a good game but do not deliver. You should be ashamed of yourselves. how many more people have to die on our roads before you realize that we are at capacity?

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 11:40 am
  • WindyBill

    90 rooms. 93 parking spaces. ? So only 3 employees will be able to take care of guests in 90 rooms? Seems like a formula to Never have a guest return. Or will employees and extra guests be able to park on the grass?

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 2:18 pm
  • Kathy

    I certainly hope that adequate CAMA access is available for visitors on the Atlantic Ocean side. Our condo has enough trespassing from a few rentals on 12 as it is. Will a public or private sewage system be in place? What market is this venture serving?

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 4:30 pm
  • Karen

    You got to be kidding me. If this fits our current standards and requirements then we need to review our standards and requirements. Who is going to staff this 90 unit hotel? We don’t have enough people to work the businesses we currently have.
    Are they going to house them at that 90 unit motel?

    Wednesday, Aug 17 @ 7:08 pm
  • Ed

    Well …. you moved to a tourist area so this is what you get! Too much traffic? too bad! Beaches way too crowded? Suck it up! Hate all the parking and cars and congestion and crap that comes with it?? Just sit there on your keyboards and whine! Ha ha ha ha!

    (I don’t actually feel like that. But if this crap was going up in Southern Shores, where the residents have to fight every day to stop overdevelopment, all of you would ream them a new one for being whiners, like you do every time a story comes up about the town.)

    Thursday, Aug 18 @ 6:51 am