Last month's court decision in the case of a 15,000-square-foot residential structure in the Outer Banks county of Currituck leaves policymakers and property owners pondering their choices. The house, with 24 bedrooms and 24 baths, is designed as a rental property for large gatherings. But it was permitted as a single-family dwelling — an improper decision, the North Carolina appeals court has ruled (see "Judge Rules Outer Banks Vacation Complex 'Not a Single-Family Home'," Coastal Connection 6/28/16).

This month, Currituck officials took a step back to listen to input from residents on both sides of the issue (see: "Public meeting examines rules for extra-large beach houses," by Dee Langston). "Commissioner Mike Payment said he was contacted by people in the wedding industry, along with residents and property owners," the paper reported. "Those on the business side of the issue say the so-called event homes provide jobs and bring revenue into the county, while residents say the big homes don’t fit with their neighborhoods, Payment added."

Currituck officials have suggested a variety of new limits for oceanfront construction, according to the Virginian-Pilot (see: "Currituck proposes more restrictions on big beach houses," by Jeff Hampton). "Possible changes to the development ordinance include a limit on square footage to 1.5 times that of the average size of adjacent homes, requiring more parking spaces, and lot sizes of at least 120,000 square feet or 2.75 acres," the paper reported.

Big Beach House, Corolla, North Carolina
The 15,000-sqft structure in Corolla, North Carolina, dwarfs its nearby neighbors — one of whom sued to block construction.
The 15,000-sqft structure in Corolla, North Carolina, dwarfs its nearby neighbors — one of whom sued to block construction.

Meantime, the owner of the project on the beach (see map) in Corolla, North Carolina, that triggered the policy review is considering his choices, according to the Daily Advance (see: "Lawyer: Mega-house owner weighing options," by Barry Ward). "Greg Wills, a Grandy-based attorney representing Elizabeth Letendre, said last week he and Letendre disagree with the court’s decision in Long v. Currituck and Letendre, but haven’t determined what their legal response will be," the paper reported.