State News

Judge OKs completion of 24-bedroom house on NC Outer Banks

Posted July 9
Updated July 10

A nearly 20,000-square-foot structure north of Corolla is the subject of a legal fight over whether it qualifies as a single-family residence. (Photo from Google Maps)

— A New England woman has won a court case allowing her to complete work on her 24-bedroom rental home along North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports that a judge ruled last in favor of Elizabeth LeTendre of Needham Heights, Mass. A Currituck County judge told the county to rescind both a stop-work order issued in September 2016 and a February notice of violation.

LeTendre says the $4.6 million house located north of Corolla is a single-family home, which neighbors have contested.

Judge Walter Godwin said the house is 95 percent complete and that the county must issue all approvals once it's finished.

County Commission Chairman Bobby Hanig says he's unsure how Godwin could overrule the state Court of Appeals, which also issued a stop-work order.


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  • Elizabeth Scheller Jul 10, 9:22 p.m.
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    Application to the Army Corp of Engineers in 2014 describes the intended use as a wedding venue:

  • Kelly Paris Jul 10, 4:18 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    that's like saying what right does a fire department or police department (government entities) have in coming onto private property to put out a fire and rescue people. You can't have it both ways.

  • Nicolle Leney Jul 10, 3:58 p.m.
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    Safety standards. Commercial properties have a higher level of safety standards because they are bigger and have more people.

    Residential zoning. Residential zoning means that... residential. A 50-person event rental building (that is not on one single foundation) should not be considered residential single-family.

    Not ALL regulations are bad. Some are there for a reason. If the compounding pharmacy from my earlier post hadn't tried to get around proper regulations, 64 people would be alive. And hundreds of other people who managed to survive wouldn't have lifetime disabilities.

  • Nicolle Leney Jul 10, 3:51 p.m.
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    You know what this reminds me of? The compounding pharmacy that killed many people because they were trying to get around the regulations required for traditional manufacturing. There are very specific rules for compounding pharmacies, which produce a small amount of custom product, versus a traditional (even small) pharma company that produces larger non-customized quantities.

    This is a commercial property that has been allowed to skirt around the proper safety regulations for a commercial property. There is a reason that commercial properties have stricter regulations than residential ones! Just like there was a reason why pharma companies had stricter regulations than compounding pharmacies.

    Is it going to be the same thing, people getting killed because owners wanted to avoid what should be a proper level of safety standards?

  • Gary Thompson Jul 10, 3:50 p.m.
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    One again i see a problem here. People if the property belongs to her what buisness is it of yours or anybody else's in cluding government how many rooms she has. Quit being nosey or jealous and get over it.

  • Nicolle Leney Jul 10, 3:43 p.m.
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    From other articles, it was ALWAYS intended as a rental property. The rental site described as a "seaside retreat [that] is the perfect place for your next vacation, event, or reunion." "Special Events welcome for no additional fee in 2017. Please contact our office if you would like to make arrangements for a Special Event reservation."
    Another article noted "As a single-family home, it is not required to meet commercial standards for sprinklers, marked exits, floor loads or handicapped access." Also, it is in a residential area, which would not have been allowed if it was considered a commercial property.
    How are the fire risks any different whether it is 1 rental or 24? It will be the same amount of people. This is insane.

  • Rod Runner Jul 10, 2:19 p.m.
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    But anyway, what recourse do they have when this pops up with 23 rooms to rent on Airbnb?

    They've argued it's not really a single family home. And it's clearly not. But with enough money, you can build whatever kind of house you want your family to live in. You can have lots of guests.

    I have a 5 bedroom single family home, but I don't have that many people living there. I can have guests.

    If those rooms end up on airbnb though, I think there should be some consequences.

  • Rod Runner Jul 10, 2:16 p.m.
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    Finally I can move in.

  • Janet Ghumri Jul 10, 2:12 p.m.
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    24 bedrooms, single family? Sorry that doesn't compute

  • Nicolle Leney Jul 10, 2:09 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Problem is, when that happen, it's going to be coming out of ALL of OUR homeowner's premiums. There were articles around the time of the last big hurricane to hit the Outer Banks. It was years ago, but basically, claims will overtake premiums and the insurance companies are going to be coming after us in the rest of the state to make up the difference.