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Manteo Gets Go-Ahead for Downtown Park

MANTEO — With county approval on a lease, the town is moving forward on a project to build a Town Common, a downtown open green space with recreational facilities and water quality protections.

The three parcels, shown prior to demolition, will be turned into a green space with public parking and recreational opportunities Photo: Dare County

The Dare County Board of Commissioners Monday approved a 25-year lease agreement with Manteo for three adjoining parcels in downtown Manteo. Demolition that began in August of the buildings and a parking lot is nearly complete on the county-owned parcels on Ananias Dare Street and Budleigh Street.

Manteo  will be responsible for the costs of construction and maintenance of the Town Common, according to the county. To help resolve long-standing parking issues in downtown Manteo, commissioners requested that a minimum of 65 parking places be included in designs for the space.

James Ayres, Manteo town manager, told Coastal Review Online that the twin goals for the Manteo Town Common include economic development by improving key downtown infrastructure to better accommodate downtown visitors and attractions as well as community development in the form of park area and green space.

“Phase 1 of the Town Common will include the design and construction of parking as well as park area, green space, stormwater reduction, and amenities for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians,” he said.

Ayres explained that plans are to incoporate principles of low-impact development, or LID, into the project as they transition from conceptual planning to engineering design in the coming months.

“The percentage of impervious surface on this site will be reduced, green space will be increased, and the final design will select from a menu of LID options that may include bioretention cells, bioswales, pervious concrete, or permeable paving,” he said. Currently, the town is applying for grants and other funding sources needed for this project.

“The project is expected to move from the conceptual planning phase to the design phase as funding is identified, and more details will be available as the project moves forward,” Ayres said.

About the Author

Jennifer Allen

Born and raised in Swansboro, Jennifer Allen graduated from Appalachian State University in 2002 and picked up a second degree from UNC-Charlotte the following year. She joined the staff of the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City in 2005 and completed her master's at UNC-Wilmington in 2008. Jenn spent nine years writing and editing at the News-Times before joining the staff at the Town of Beaufort in 2014, where she served as public information officer and town clerk. On June 1, 2017, Jenn came aboard as assistant editor for Coastal Review Online. She has also written for Our State Magazine and other regional and statewide publications. She lives in Morehead City with her fiancé and their pups, Z, Gus and Willa.