EMERALD ISLE, CARTERET COUNTY -

Tuesday night Emerald Isle commissioners voted unanimously to deny a rezoning request at Island Harbor Marina that would have allowed for development that concerned many residents.

Nearly 200 people packed the Emerald Isle commissioners room but because of a fire code violation the meeting was moved to a nearby gymnasium
   
Cheers and applause erupted as a plan for a 127 lot RV park at the site of Island Harbor Marina was shot down Tuesday night.  The rezoning request by the owners of the property was unanimously denied by town commissioners following a public hearing.

"What I wanted to happen was what the commissioners voted for tonight," said Emerald Isle resident, Bill Allison.

Almost every person who signed up to speak at the hearing spoke against the issue but there was one lone supporter.

"I believe genuinely that the mobile home parcel in question should be changed to Marina Village. I think that is a wonderful concept," said supporter Mike Stanley.
     
The owners of the marina sat in the front row with their lawyer and the meeting took place. Residents say the rezoning and potential development would be a detriment to their neighborhood. Speakers cited concerns over traffic volume, crime increasing and property values decreasing and even some with mobile homes at the property now, being put out.

"I feel like I've been deceived by the people that own the land. I've been there only three months. I had no idea that this was in plan," said one woman who leases a lot on the owners property for her mobile home.

The owners lawyer, Andy Harris, said his clients, Maritime Siblings LLC, have been working on this for about a year and submitted the rezoning paperwork to the town around a month ago. Harris said he believes the permitted uses of the property as it's currently zoned are of greater negative impact to the surrounding community than what his clients were proposing.

It's likely the issue will come up again as it was referred back to the town planning board for further guidance on the future of Marina Village. Officials will reassess the towns land use plan and come back with recommendations concerning all 14 acres of the property.

Maritime Siblings LLC and their lawyer will also regroup and decide how or if they want to proceed. Due to the denial of the rezoning request, there was no need to hear a special use permit request that was also on Tuesday night's agenda concerning the property.