Application for controversial Southern Shores development withdrawn after pushback

SOUTHERN SHORES — SAGA Realty & Construction doing business as Ginguite, LLC, has withdrawn its special use permit application for a mixed-use development at 6195 N. Croatan Highway in Southern Shores that was slated for a public hearing Tuesday before the town council.

The proposed development — consisting of luxury condos, retail, restaurant and office space and, originally, a marina — spurred significant community pushback and an upwelling of concern in recent months that led to the planning board unanimously rejecting the application.

The planning board provides guidance to the town council, which was the next step for the ultimate decision on the project.

But the public hearing originally planned for Feb. 6 is not on the town council meeting agenda.

Both Town Manager Cliff Ogburn and Deputy Town Manager/Planning Director Wes Haskett confirmed that the applicant withdrew the application on Friday, Jan. 26.

“No reason was given, and there was no indication that it would be reworked and resubmitted,” Haskett said in an email response to questions from The Virginian-Pilot.

However, it remains unclear if a future resubmittal will occur.

SAGA CEO Sumit Gupta “is out of the office this week,” but, “We withdrew the application to reevaluate our plans,” his executive assistant, Denise Michaud, said in a Thursday email.

The planning board unanimously rejected the application at its Nov. 20 meeting, following three lengthy meetings over as many months that each saw significant public turnout to speak against the proposed development.

Before the vote, the board cited concerns over SAGA’s wastewater treatment plant not functioning as intended, per its permit; its continued noncompliance with state standards; the proposed project’s density; the proposed digging and filling of the site; and the proposed project not being in line with the town’s land use plan.