Wanchese cluster home plan not on March 6 Dare Board agenda, but it gets talked about anyway

By on March 9, 2023

Lorraine Tillett asked the commissioners to oppose the cluster home development.

While a discussion and vote on a special use permit for a 60-unit Wanchese cluster home project were not on the agenda for the March 6 Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, those in attendance got a little taste of what is likely to occur when it does come to the board, perhaps next month.

As proposed, the project is planned for a 10.5-acre parcel of land off Old Wharf Road in Wanchese. The proposal, by developer Brad Alexander of Aria Construction & Development in Creswell, calls for 36 two-bedroom houses and 24 three-bedroom houses with one car allowed for each bedroom.

While Dare Commissioner Chairman Bob Woodard explained that the item was not on March 6 agenda because the board is “waiting for a transportation study from NCDOT,” a half dozen Wanchese residents took the podium during the public comment portion of the meeting to voice their opposition to the project.

This comes in the wake of the Feb. 7 Dare County Planning Board meeting at which the members voted that a special use permit “was reasonable and appropriate for the proposed use” and moved the project forward to the county commissioners.

Among the Wanchese project opponents who spoke at the March 6 meeting, Lorraine Tillett told the commissioners that “Our community trusted you to protect our zoning. Please do not betray our trust [and] protect our village and our way of life.”

Sandra Barile asserted that, “We are not against development, but this is not what Wanchese wants.” In his comments, Ralph Barile stated that some of his friends who had looked at the proposal told him that “this looks like Section 8 housing.” Section 8 is a federal program that provides housing subsidies for low-income, elderly and disabled individuals.

Toward the end of the meeting, Woodard appeared to directly address Barile’s remarks when he asserted that, “I would like to make it very, very, very, very clear that this is not, and I repeat not, Section 8 housing. It is a proposal for market rate housing…Not sure where the misconception comes from.”

Woodard did not say when he expected the NCDOT transportation study to be ready, so it’s unclear if the cluster home project will be on the agenda for the next commissioners’ meeting. In the meantime, a Wanchese source told the Voice that another community meeting on the issue will be held on March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wanchese Community Building.

SEE ALSO: Dare Planning Board moves Wanchese project forward

SEE ALSO: Battle brews over cluster home project in Wanchese


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  • Steven

    Pirates Cove is all cluster houses and apartments that were not permitted. So what’s the issue..

    Friday, Mar 10 @ 5:12 am
  • Concerned

    I wish that someone in Dare County would be FOR some affordable houses. Maybe it would bring some workers to the county. We sure do need some workers around here. Maybe if they wanted to build 10 bedroom homes back there, everyone would be FOR that…..

    Friday, Mar 10 @ 9:06 am
  • Charles

    Everyone wants housing for residents, just not where they live…

    Friday, Mar 10 @ 11:06 am
  • Cluster Vacation Cottages

    These cluster houses are not necessarily for Dare County workers. The developer intends to sell these small houses at full market price and the buyers could be people from out of state buying them for vacation cottages. This project will not help our worker housing problem, it will make it worse.

    Friday, Mar 10 @ 3:24 pm
  • Freenusa

    This project should never be permitted on Roanoke Island for so many reasons. Sewage pumps 24/7/365, is first, what happens with heavy rains?traffic as well. Roanoke Island is very small. About 8×2 miles. Dare County is moving forward to “already” build Affordable Housing, on Roanoke Island. The only question is how many units?? All this new traffic will head East. A small Island can not handle all that is projected. Take a look at what has been developed in the last 3 years. Dare commissioners need slow down. Roanoke Island has boomed!! Ask the DC sanitation department.

    Friday, Mar 10 @ 10:23 pm
  • lippy

    Keep any federal government money out of planned housing for the OBX.

    Saturday, Mar 11 @ 10:12 am
  • surf123

    The only place left is the mainland…

    Monday, Mar 13 @ 11:44 am
  • Steven

    Before folks started breaking Dare County laws by converting a portion of their residence to Airbnb, there was no shortage.

    Enforcing that ordinance already on the books will greatly improve the situation in numerous ways..

    Monday, Mar 13 @ 7:00 pm