Southern Shores re-examines requiring permits for parties

By on June 21, 2019

Construction of two large “event” houses on the oceanfront spurred more discussion about controls. (Voice)

The following article is provided by the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®. The opinions belong to the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® and not necessarily The Outer Banks Voice.

The Town of Southern Shores could be inviting itself to your party, and if you plan to serve alcohol, it might be inviting the State of North Carolina as well.

On June 4, the Town Council discussed limitations and permitting requirements on large private gatherings at residential properties.

A proposal under consideration would require residents and renters to ask for the town’s permission to host more than 25 people at one house, and to get approval from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission if alcohol is to be served.

The ordinance would scale additional compliance burdens to the size of proposed events, including site inspections by police and fire personnel and licensed professional engineers, and submission to the town of detailed parking plans, site maps, traffic management plans, hazardous material plans, temporary wastewater facility certifications, first-aid supply certifications, and a list of all attendees.

It would also restrict the number of permit-required gatherings at one site to three annually, with an exception allowing family members related by blood or marriage to a property owner to host religious ceremonies, funerals, holiday parties, birthday parties and weddings.

While it is unclear from the text of the ordinance whether property owners could hold more than three events per year of types beyond those specifically enumerated, it is clear that guests or renters unrelated to the property owner could hold no more than three events per year of any type.

The proposal was sent back to the Planning Board for clarification on some of the details and the council could take it up again on July 9.

If the new ordinance is adopted, renters hoping to host multi-family parties or dinners in the Outer Banks would have to do so someplace other than Southern Shores.

Article written by Porter Graham, Government Affairs Director, Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® & the Outer Banks Home Builders Association.

Recent posts in this category

Recent posts in this category


No fun police…. like the Beastie Boys said “you gotta fight for your right to party!!!” bunch of rich old snobs taking over this place.

Please note, Outer Banks Voice readers, that Mr. Graham’s grossly inaccurate article was rewritten after I submitted my critical comments. It still gives you no news about what the Southern Shores Town Council actually did at its June 4 meeting in regard to special events. The alleged proposal was not sent to the Town Planning Board for clarification of some of the details. Perhaps Mr. Graham or an editor at The Voice should review the videotape of the June 4 meeting and make another attempt at getting it right. Thank you.

Ann — I did and that’s exactly what happened.


Looks like socialist takeover to me. Did Nicolas Maduro get elected to the board?

The Outer Banks Voice has hit rock bottom. The opinion piece by the OBAR’s new paid lobbyist, Porter Graham, is not only biased, it’s grossly inaccurate. The Voice has responsibility for ensuring that it is not publishing “fake news.” This is fake news. We now know that Mr. Graham, a hired gun for the Outer Banks Home Builders Assn., as well, does not let facts get in his way. There is no proposed ordinance being considered by Southern Shores. All the SS Town Council has done is take another look at a proposed Town Code Amendment drafted in December 2015… Read more »


Long time resident thinking, yep this is why I live here for the more regulations and the lack of personal freedoms. Granted some rental properties need to have some regulations placed on the size and containment’s of their beach fun but to pass this type of hypocrisy on to a long standing permanent resident is lunacy. Most parties that are had by our local residents already conform to a certain set of standard guidelines because most local residents already respect the town that they live work and play/pay to live in. Less government is better government. Respected guidelines are usually… Read more »

Mike who is not a realter

This is completely misleading. Not “Parties”. Major EVENTS. OBAR is talking out of both sides of their mouth. When they wanted to support the building of 12-bedroom event homes that were against local building codes, they called them “Single Family Vacation Homes.”

Then, before the homes even opened, they helped Carolina Designs run ads stating the structures were “Event Facilities Capable of handling 100 guests!”

They are not being truthful. Is it the developers who are ruining the Outer Banks? Or is it OBAR as well?

The Huntsman

“SS”??!!!! You have absolutely got to be kidding me. Let the fascist puns begin right here with myself. This is really just too easy.


This is utterly ridiculous. Is the Southern Shores police department’s time really considered so expendable that it should need to investigate private gatherings? Are we really going to charge people with “Partying Without a Permit?”


Just another way the government is forcing itself into our lives. They will claim it protect neighbors and stop underage drinking….but it will be another fee tool.


The problem is that residents who live in residential neighborhoods should not be subjected to these house parties in their neighborhood. The tourists come down and run roughshod over everything because they are on vacations. Had this stuff been cracked down on day one people would know this type of activity is not acceptable. I’m located on HI and we don’t have this problem thankfully, but we did have 4th July from mid-June to Labor Day until fireworks were banned. There is a way to put an end to this and the town can do it.

Betsy Thiede

We do not need the TOSS of passing such regulations. We just need rental agencies to do their jobs. No harm in having large gatherings unless doing damage to property. Already ordinances about noise, and under age drinking and any number of perceived infractions. We already have a law that covers it.

Jim Braithwaite

I’ve never commented on any of these articles but this proposal is absolutely ridiculous.


I like the way this reads and sounds. It is time to put the residential back into these rental areas which are quickly morphing into party zones. No one should be using a rental house in a such a way as to subject adjoining properties to their shenanigans.