SAGA withdraws plan for Southern Shores project

By on February 1, 2024

Planning Board had rejected application for mixed-use development

A parcel map of the property where SAGA was hoping to locate its multi-use project. (Photo: Dare County GIS)

After a two-year process of trying to win town approval, SAGA Realty & Construction has, at least for now, abandoned its efforts to build a mixed retail and residential development on a roughly five-acre tract of land between Martin’s Point Road and Landing Trail in Southern Shores.

The proposed development had faced strong resistance from some members of the community, particularly those living in neighboring Southern Shores Landing.

SAGA’s application for a special use permit (SUP) for the project was slated to be on the table at the Southern Shores Town Council’s Feb. 6 meeting. But Southern Shores Town Manager Cliff Ogburn told the Voice that the town learned via email on Jan. 26 that the applications was being withdrawn—with no reason given.

A representative with SAGA told the Voice that SAGA CEO Sumit Gupta had indicated the company had withdrawn the application in order to re-evaluate its plans.

SAGA set up its real estate limited liability company “Ginguite, LLC” three months before buying the undeveloped land at 6195 N Croatan Highway in Southern Shores in June 2014. The property borders U.S. 158, a section of Southern Shores Landing and John Guite Creek (called Ginguite Creek on site plan maps), and it includes the Ginguite Creek Basin.

The long and winding process leading up to SAGA’s decision to withdraw from the project began with the company’s request for a zoning text amendment (ZTA) in February 2022. After several iterations from the owner and planning board over several meetings, the Southern Shores Town Council in June 2022 passed a reworked ZTA that had multiple conditions which the planning board had suggested beyond what the owner put forth.

In June 2023, the owner submitted a site plan and the SUP application to the town. The planning board began a review process and there were several meetings on the matter, with citizens in attendance and speaking out. That process culminated with the planning board unanimously rejecting the SUP on Nov. 20, 2023, largely based on concerns about inadequate wastewater treatment from a facility owned by the company and concerns about a buffer zone with the Southern Shores Landing community.

Had SAGA not withdrawn from the effort, the final decision on the development would have been in the hands of the Southern Shores Town Council, which most likely would have resolved the matter on Feb 6.



Comments

  • Jay

    Mark J. A friend told me SAGA, who owns the sewage treatment plant serving Southern Shores Landing, doubled their monthly sewage fee. The reason given for the fee increase was SAGA bought the sewage treatment plant and made improvements to accommodate their new mixed use development. Since SAGA’s plans have fallen through they are now charging to recoup the money spent on the treatment plant.

    Thursday, Feb 1 @ 4:26 pm
  • Steven

    Saga Destruction, big contributor to the demise of our communities and livelihoods

    Friday, Feb 2 @ 7:49 am
  • WBN

    A good news story.

    Friday, Feb 2 @ 8:42 am
  • Thomas

    Glad Saga is reevaluating but I hold little hope that they will propose anything useful or attractive. They are all about a fast buck and profit. This project would have been an eyesore and a traffic problem. The town should offer to buy the property and make it into a park. That would be a solution that would beautify the area and provide a resource for kids.

    Friday, Feb 2 @ 12:16 pm
  • Charles

    Great news. I am sure Sugar Planet will scarf it up !

    Friday, Feb 2 @ 12:58 pm
  • surf123

    @Charles Sugar Planet is at least a small business and not another franchise or chain like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Marshall’s, 5 Guys, Jersey Mikes, Starbucks, etc. All beach towns have candy stores so nothing out of the ordinary.

    Friday, Feb 2 @ 9:45 pm
  • Corolla Dee

    Would love to see SAGA abandon the OBX completely and get the heck out. Hopefully the currituck county commissioners see this and realize it’s ok to have the courage to stop SAGA’s greed.

    Saturday, Feb 3 @ 7:26 am
  • james

    @surf123 the Sugar Planet is virtually across from the Welcome Center and is going to be an eyesore to the entire OBX as visitors arrive at least they could have put in a Chick-Fil-A or a Bojangles so you could grab a bucket of chicken to take to the beach 😀

    Saturday, Feb 3 @ 9:37 am
  • Charles

    @surf – Please tell me you are joking. Have you seen the size of these things ?

    That reminds me, time to do my laundry.

    Sunday, Feb 4 @ 9:01 am
  • surf123

    @James & @Charles…I am familiar with the footprint and appearance, but they are legally entitled to open any business they see fit so long as it fits in the zoning regulations. I never want to be the one thinking I can decide what businesses are allowed or not allowed when they meet all existing requirements. My point was Sugar Planet is better than any chain store or restaurant in terms of the money staying in the county. As for SAGA no one apparently likes them, but so long as they follow the letter of the law we have to live with it. What needs to stop is kowtowing to their whims by making exceptions (variances) for their “projects to work or make sense financially”. Variances should be used to fix a problem and not to workaround the existing rules to get a better use. A reasonable example might be reducing the number of required parking spots for a business situated on an odd shaped parcel from the hypothetical 27 to 25 to workaround the odd shape and maintain all other restrictions. Completely reasonable. Wanting to add a floor to motel in Manteo which would exceed the height limit restrictions is an example of an unacceptable use and is something SAGA tried and failed on.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 5:31 pm
  • surf123

    @James…most all of 158 is an eyesore, but more so in KDH. Sugar Planet will just blend in with the rest after driving by it a few times.

    Tuesday, Feb 6 @ 5:33 pm
  • Larry

    Sugar Planet is certainly a chain despite what has been stated and probably takes three people to run it. Secondly the property has been for sale for years and if SS wanted it they certainly had ample time to purchase it. A public boat and canoe launch would be great , but best believe that if SS owns it , nothing about it will be public.

    Wednesday, Feb 7 @ 9:20 am