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Board looks at zone changes

By Staff
Council has final say on boat-storage rules
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
Washington’s Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend the City Council amend the city’s zoning ordinance by adding a new use — dry- stack boat storage — as a special use in the B2 (business) , I1 and I2 (industrial) zoning districts and adding new definitions concerning dry-stack boat storage.
The board’s recommendation will be taken up by the council, possibly at its meeting on Monday.
Park Boat Co. wants to use part of its property on U.S. Highway 17 between Washington and Chocowinity as a dry stack, boat-storage facility, according to city officials. The company is moving its sales operations to the former Pamlico Supply facility on West Fifth Street in Washington.
Terry Smithwick, representing Park Boat Co., spoke in favor of the amendment during the board’s public hearing on the matter. Danny Leggett, representing National Spinning Co., voiced his company’s support of the amendment. National Spinning has empty warehouse space it’s not using but could be used for boat storage, he said.
The new definitions regarding dry-stack boat storage are as follows:
The board recommended the following requirements for dry-stack boat storage:
For a boat up to 30 feet in length, minimum aisle width is 65 feet. For a boat from 31 feet up to 36 feet in length, minimum aisle width is 70 feet. For a boat from 37 feet up to 45 feet in length, minimum aisle width is 75 feet.
Thirty-five feet of maneuvering space must be provided on either side of an aisle that provides access to a boat rack.
The amendment requires off-street parking be provided at the ratio of one parking space per six dry-stack storage racks and one parking space for each wet slip.
The amendment also requires all on-site lighting be directed away from adjacent properties.
In other business, the board agreed to meet with the council to review height requirements for new construction in all of the city’s zoning districts, including its waterfront. That review could result in changes to existing height regulations for new construction in the city.
Although the council has not selected a date or time for the meeting, board members said they prefer a time on Feb. 27 or Feb. 28.
Bobby Roberson, director of planning and development for the city, said the city is gathering information from other coastal cities and towns such as Morehead City and Elizabeth City about their height regulations.