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By  on April 3, 2014


The resort wanted to add a third floor. (Sanderling)

The Duck Town Council turned down a request by The Sanderling resort to add 10 feet to the town’s hotel height limit, saying it could open the door to more requests for taller buildings.

Increasing the height limit from 35 to 45 feet would have allowed the Sanderling to add a third floor and several additional suites to its north wing.

But the council declined the request 5-0 Wednesday night.

“The concern throughout the town was that this text amendment would set a precedent,” Mayor Don Kingston said Thursday. “And the public sentiment was really running against this.”

The mayor said the town’s vision statement, crafted in 2012, calls for a coastal residential style and scale in Duck. Such a text amendment contradicts that vision, he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Monica Thibodeau said The Sanderling has been a good neighbor in the town and its most recent owners have breathed new life and millions of dollars into the resort. The expansion, she said, would have looked good and blended in well.

“But what it came down to for me was that it would open the door for others to ask for the same thing,” Thibodeau said. “If we adjust height rules in this zone, what would be different when someone asked to do it in another zone?”

Most of the public opposition when the Planning Board considered the request centered on the same concern.

The requested text amendment was narrowly worded to specifically apply only to hotels in the C-2 General Commercial zoning district.

While Duck is sprinkled with bed and breakfast inns, the Sanderling is the only hotel town.

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