Outer Banks Sentinel: Hearing process fraught with missteps

From the Outer Bank Sentinel (2/23/11): In response to a request from the Outer Banks Sentinel, the Town of Nags Head has provided redacted minutes from a closed session meeting held on Feb. 2. The closed session was held at the end of a public hearing on a request by Andy and Laura Deel for a Conditional Use Permit for a three-house cluster project in Nags Head Woods.

After coming out of the 40-minute closed session requested by board attorney Ben Gallop of the law firm of Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, LLP, the board voted 3-2 against granting the permit and presented its findings. Voting for approval were Commissioner Doug Remaley and Mayor Bob Oakes.

The Sentinel questioned the legality of the closed session due to concerns that policy issues may have been discussed.

The redacted minutes state that “Town Attorney Gallop advised the Board of the risks of legal action/liability exposure associated with interpretations of the Town Code by the Board re: consideration of the conditional use permit application of Andy/Laura Deel. Attorney Gallop advised the Board that the evidence introduced and arguments made at the public hearing raised several areas of the Town Code for which they will have to consider the facts presented and apply them to their interpretation of the Town Code. Town Attorney Gallop advised the Board of the following risks: …”

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