Court sides with Currituck County in campground dispute

Currituck County received a favorable ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals on August 17, 2021, in a lawsuit involving a local campground.  The court’s decision reversed a 2020 ruling by the NC Superior Court and affirmed previous determinations made by the Currituck County Planning Department and the Currituck County Board of Adjustments.

In the case of 85’ and Sunny, LLC v. Currituck County, the owners of the KOA Outer Banks West campground in Waterlily were seeking affirmation of its claim to more campsites and the right to construct additional facilities on the property, including a swimming pool. In January 2019, Currituck County had determined that the property could have 234 campsites for RVs, trailers, or campers and a to-be-determined number of tent camping sites based on minimum campsite size. The county also determined that the owners could not build any additional facilities on the property.

After the campground was purchased in 2018 by 85’ and Sunny, the plaintiffs sought an increase to 314 campsites and 78 tent sites allowed on the property. It also sought permission to build a swimming pool, pool house, restrooms, and bathhouses. However, the Currituck County Board of Adjustments ruled in the county’s favor and denied each of the plaintiff’s requests.

The case went to the North Carolina Superior Court, and, in January 2020, it partly ruled in favor of 85’ and Sunny, LLC. The Superior Court found that the campground could have the larger number of campsites but could not build a swimming pool. Both parties appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals.

Now, the Aug. 17, 2021, ruling by the NC Court of Appeals reverses the Superior Court’s decision and finds that Currituck County was originally correct regarding both the number of campsites allowed and the disallowance of a swimming pool and other new facilities. The campground will be allowed 234 campsites for RVs, trailers, or campers and a tent camping area with the number of spaces to be determined based on a minimum campsite size. It will not be allowed to build a swimming pool or the other new facilities.

Currituck County is very pleased with the court’s ruling, as it proves that Planning Director Laurie LoCicero and her staff were accurate in their initial findings and procedures in 2019.