Thursday, October 2, 2008


I think this a shame of wasting a house of history just so they can make more money off of visitors. This is a part of the Outer Banks that will never be able to enjoy again. All the memories people have had in this house. Now someone wants to destroy this house and build a multi-bedroom structure. Like they don't have enough as it is there! I just wanted to share one of my passions with you. I love the Outer Banks NC and I love these Cottages there. Thanks for looking.

(newspaper for the Outer Banks NC)
Nags Head's Cottage Row will soon see changes.
According to Nags Head Planning and Development Deputy Director Bruce Bortz, property owner Robbie Morris is in the process of obtaining the required permits to demolish his property at 3935 S Virginia Dare Trail, formerly owned by Buddy Davis. He plans to build a larger multi-bedroom structure in its place.
Because Cottage Row is not a town-designated historic district, Bortz said there isn't much the town can do to discourage the demolition.
During 1970's, Cottage Row received the National Historic Register's District designation, which can be given either to individual houses or districts.
However, the designation does not include any protection for the properties. Each town or community that receives the designation is responsible for deciding whether to create ordinances to preserve the historical value of the homes or district. Nags Head has never adopted such ordinances.
"If it were a true town historic district, the town could help preserve it," said Bortz. "But there's not been much support by the property owners to establish a historic district."
Property owner John Wilson explained that he had been appointed twice to conduct meetings that explained the needed ordinances.
"I would say it's a divided audience," said Wilson. Some owners have wanted town protection, others have not.
He said that Cottage Row spans only a fraction of the more than 100 miles of Dare County beaches, and "it's disgraceful that the town cannot preserve and protect the historical properties."
Wilson noted when the house was still on the market, the agent tried to find a buyer that would protect the house.
"There was even a group of five people that were going to step up and buy the house if the current owner hadn't bought it."
He added that several property owners on Cottage Row were assured the property was going to be restored, never demolished.
"This is the beginning of the end much like the economy and the bailout plan," said Wilson. "It's all short-sighted for immediate profit and it surprises me." Wilson agreed with Bortz in that the town's hands are tied now since ordinances aimed at protecting the property were never adopted.
Commissioner Bob Oakes said that the town has discussed making the area an historic district, but residents opposed that idea.
"There's been more support from elected officials and other residents than property owners." He added that the topic rises regularly and noted that about two years ago, he urged the board to pass ordinances, but the opposing property owners "were more vocal than those that supported it."
Terry Daniels, owner of 3945 S Virginia Dare Trail believes demolishing the structure is "a shame," and will take away the historic feeling that makes the town. "It's awful to tear down this structure and build an eight bedroom house with a garage and swimming pool; it's not going to come close to resembling the house."
The Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) permit for the project was applied for Sept. 9 and letters to adjacent property owners Joseph Jenkins and Deborah Hill were sent Sept. 10. Public comments were accepted until Sept. 29. According to the CAMA application, Second Wind Builders, on behalf of Morris, are planning to construct an eight-bedroom, seven-and-a-half bath, with a two-car garage, swimming pool and walkway to the ocean.
In a letter sent to Scott Williams, contractor for Second Wind Builders, Inc., Peter Sandbeck on the NC Department on Cultural Resources indicates the office is slightly disapproving of the new construction.
"We very much regret that Mr. Morris has determined that he cannot rehabilitate the historic cottage and make it work for him as a year-round residence," he wrote.
"Certainly the new house will be very nice. It will, however, not be historic."
Morris also owns property 4507 S Virginia Dare Trail, located directly south of Winslow Cottage. According to the letter from Sandbeck, Morris intends to rehabilitate it as a rental property.
As of Sept. 19, Morris had not applied for either a demolition or a development permit, according to Bortz. As long as all requirements are met, the town can do nothing to stop the demolition.
"Our only prohibition policy is that we will not participate in the burning of a historic structure," said Bortz.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder why home owners don't want Nags Head Historic District protection? This being the first article on this house, do you think someone will move house? This house dates back to 1929, as listed in Susan Byrum Roundtree's book, Then and Now Nags Head.

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