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Property Owner To Request Permit Extension For Fairfield Inn

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Carolina Beach Land Holdings LLC, is requesting the Carolina Beach Town Council consider a one year extension to their Conditional Use Permit for a 90 room hotel that involved road closures on the properties just north of the Marriott on the Boardwalk.
The Council will consider the request at their upcoming October 8th meeting at 6:30PM.
The Fairfield Inn project was approved on January 8, 2008. The Town's zoning ordinance states that a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is vested for 2 years and was originally set to expire in January 8, 2010. Because of State Session Law that extended the time frame for permits the CUP is valid until December 31, 2013. The request is to extend the permit for another year until December 31, 2014.
According to Town senior Planner Jeremy Hardison, "The Council may extend a CUP for up to twelve (12) months at the applicant’s request. The CUP extension is not a quasi-judicial hearing. No aspect of the hotel has changed since it was originally approved by Town Council on January 08, 2008."
The applicant is requesting the Hotel to be approved under the same terms and conditions from the original grant order.
According to Hardison, "The logical review for staff was to go back and analyze what has changed since January 8, 2008.  Many text amendments have passed since that time, but no changes to local ordinances or the 2007 LUP were discovered that would impact the approval of this project. The proposed hotel is also present on the Central Business District Master Development Plan as an “approved development.”  The title approved development was used only to show what projects in the CBD had a vested right to build at the time the CBD Master Development Plan was created. There are no statements in the plan that speaks in favor or against any of the approved developments."
Hardison explained, "The Division of Coastal Management (DCM) has passed new graduated setback rules that are not an issue for the Fairfield or other development projects in Carolina Beach.  The new rules are not applicable to Carolina Beach due to DCM classifying the Town of Carolina Beach as a “beach fill community.”  This basically means that the Town is still under the rules that were in place when the Fairfield Inn was originally approved."
The distance between the existing Marriott and the previously approved Fairfield Inn will be 11' 4". The 11 story 115' foot tall building would offer 90 rooms and have 87 parking spaces. 3 parking spaces and 2 loading spaces have been waived. The total building will be 70,646 sq. ft. with a building footprint of 8,589 sq. ft. The building site is 31,138; and the parking lot on Canal Dr. is 10,350. Another lot on Cape Fear Blvd is  7,000 sq. ft.
Landscape buffers will be required, stormwater will be managed on site and a 12” water line will be installed from Hamlet Avenue to Harper Avenue. As for the road closing, that includes:
• Eastern end of Cape Fear (Tract 1) – 10,530 square feet
• Portion of Carolina Beach Ave. South (Tract 2) – 3,750 square feet
• Alley off of Carolina Beach Avenue South (Tract 3) – 1,063 square feet.
The street closure request is to close the eastern end of Cape Fear Blvd., a portion of Carolina Beach Avenue South and a portion of a 20’ foot right-of-way that leads off Carolina Beach Avenue South. All within the area of the Boardwalk.
If the roads and alleys are closed, the applicant has agreed to deed the estimated northern 74’ feet by 110’ feet of the Cape Fear right-of-way back to the Town for a park area. That means a small portion of the gazebo area at the Boardwalk would become part of the hotel property, with the larger portion given back to the Town for a park.
The project will be required to make water and sewer line improvements in the area and install curb, gutter and sidewalks on all sides of the hotel facing Carolina Beach Avenue South and Cape Fear Blvd.
An outdoor pool will be located to the east of the structure. The hotel will have direct access to the oceanfront Boardwalk to promote the use of the Boardwalk facilities and entertainment while working to enhance pedestrian interconnectivity from the Boardwalk to the south.
In 2009 the developers have agreed to donate an existing vacant lot near the Gazebo area to the Town for public open space.