New members sworn, planning board approves driveway, pier requests

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Staff photo by Joshua Curry

The Ignite Restaurant Company is asking for a text amendment for a staircase to be added to the south side of the pier house for Joe’s Crab Shack.

New board members Susan Snider and Hank Miller III, and reappointed member Walt DeVries were sworn in by town clerk Sylvia Holleman at the start of the Wrightsville Beach Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12. 

The new board first considered a text amendment to allow Joe’s Crab Shack to complete three additions to the pier house that would allow the seafood chain to go forward with plans to open on Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. The additions would include a new wheelchair ramp along the south side of the building, the enclosure of the main entryway and the construction of a cooler to store the restaurant’s trash on top of the existing concrete pad on the northwest corner of the building. 

With few questions for town planner I Eryn Moller, and Jeff Losee, the attorney representing Johnnie Mercer’s Pier owner Matt Johnson, the planning board approved the text amendment to allow the additions. Moller said in March the planning board would be asked to give its recommendation for a conditional use permit for the restaurant to operate on Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. 

Another text amendment concerned the ability of homeowners with existing driveways that extend into the side yard setbacks to replace those portions of the driveway with pervious materials. The issue was originally raised by residents Hank Miller II and Bill Morris. Their properties on Lollipop Bay have driveways within the setbacks in need of repair. 

Although the amended ordinance allows for the replacement of driveways within the side yard setbacks with pervious materials, those repairs cannot create any additional nonconformities and cannot encroach on any town right of ways. The board approved the amended ordinance that only applies to driveways within the side yard setbacks approved by the town prior to the amendment or on lots with structures dating prior to the establishment of the town’s Flood Insurance Rate Map. 


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