North Carolina

An Outer Banks town may require people to get permission before having a party

Residents in a town on North Carolina’s Outer Banks soon could need permission before hosting private parties.

The town of Southern Shores is considering a proposal that would require hosts to get a “special event permit” before having a party with more than 25 guests at their house.

The permit would be free but, depending on the number of guests, the requirements for getting it would vary.

For smaller parties, the owner of the property, or someone with permission from the owner, would need to apply for a permit five days in advance, provide the town with when and where the party is and their contact information, and must certify that their party will comply with town ordinances, the proposal said.

But for larger parties, hosts would need to apply further in advance and provide additional information like proof of sufficient parking, the location of hazardous materials on the property, and, in some cases, would need to allow inspections of any outdoor decks, among other requirements, according to the proposal.

If the party is going to have alcohol, the host would have to get permission from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, according to the proposal.

Only three events that require such a permit could be held at one property each year, and those who don’t obtain permits would face a $500 fine the first time and an additional $250 tacked on to the $500 for every violation after that, the proposal said.

The plan stems from the town’s concerns about safety and a trend on the coast to build “single-family dwellings” that are designed and used for “commercial event facilities,” it said.

The proposal was discussed by the Town Council at the beginning of the month but was sent back to the Planning Board, according to the Outer Banks Voice. The council may revisit the proposal in early July, the Outer Banks Voice said.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.