Planning Board

The purpose of the Board is to advise the Town Council (Council) and Manager on planning and zoning issues to include, but not be limited to, establishment or revision of districts, regulation and restriction of the erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or use of buildings, structures or land in accordance with G.S. § 160D-109. The Board shall work on other issues assigned by the Council or Manager.

Planning Board Members

Town Council Liaison: Buddy Sheffield

Linda Cummings

Keith Boulware

Kathleen Fleming

Kelly Forrest (ETJ)*

Robert Kohn

Egon Lippert

Jon Hall


*Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) Representative

Powers and Duties of the Planning Board (§ 3.05.037)

POWERS AND DUTIES (§ 3.05.037)

Pursuant to G.S. § 160A-361, the Board shall report to the Town Council and shall have the following powers and duties:

A.     At the direction of the Council and Manager, conduct studies and make recommendations on matters relating to planning and zoning issues.

B.     At their request, assist the Council and Manager in the resolution of complaints and concerns registered by the town’s citizens, governmental agencies, or other entities.

C.     All Board reports, recommendations, or requests for actions shall be coordinated, as appropriate, with other town boards working through the Manager and Council.

D.     Because the Board is advisory in purpose, no Board member shall make, or have the authority to make, any contractual or financial obligations or arrangements on behalf of, or for, the town.


A.     There shall be seven (7) members of the Board, six (6) being appointed by the Council for 2-year staggered terms. The seventh member shall be a citizen living in the town's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and shall be appointed by the Craven County Commissioners in accordance with G.S. § 160A-362. All members shall serve without compensation. The terms of office shall commence on July 1 and end on June 30, 2 years later, unless appointed to fill a vacancy, in which the term would begin immediately and end when the term was scheduled to end.

B.     All members shall be residents of the town.

C.     The Council may remove a town-appointed Board member only by vote in an open meeting. A Board member who misses 3 consecutive meetings without being excused by the Board shall be considered to have resigned membership in the Board. The vacancy shall be filled by the Council as soon as practicable.

D.     Only the Craven County Commissioners have the authority to remove the ETJ member from the Board. Any ETJ vacancy shall be filled by the Commissioners.

E.     All members of the Board shall have equal rights, privileges and duties with regards to all matters within the town’s planning and zoning jurisdiction.


A.     At the first regular meeting each year following June 30, the Board shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair and a Secretary. The Secretary need not be a member of the Board. The name and contact information for each officer shall be immediately forwarded to the Town Clerk. Any subsequent change in officers shall also be forwarded to the Town Clerk.

B.     The Board shall set a date (Ex: 2nd Thursday of each month), time and place to conduct its regular meeting. The schedule of regular meetings for the Board shall be maintained in the Office of Town Clerk.

C.     The Board shall hold a minimum of 4 scheduled meetings per year. Special meetings may be called by Chair, the Manager, or 2 members of the Board. All meetings of the Board shall be conducted in a public, accessible place. All meetings shall be open to the public, shall be conducted under the rules of order established by Council, and shall be in accordance with state laws, in particular, the Open Meetings Law. A written agenda shall be prepared and distributed to all Board members and the Liaison at least 48 hours prior to all meetings. Copies of the agenda shall be available to the public at all meetings. A written record of minutes of each meeting shall be kept by the Secretary or, in their absentee, a designated person and shall include information on attendance, findings, recommendations, and actions taken by the Board. A draft copy of the minutes shall be provided to the Town Clerk within 10 business days of the meeting. At the next regular meeting of the Board, the draft minutes shall be presented to the Board for official acceptance. Within 10 days of adoption by the Board, a signed copy of the minutes shall be provided to the Town Clerk for retention. In accordance with applicable law, minutes of Board meetings are public record. Board minutes shall be posted on the Town’s web page in a manner consistent with the process of posting Town Council minutes.

D.     A quorum, comprised of more than half the current membership, shall be present at the meeting to take any official action required or authorized by this subchapter. Only appointed Board members are eligible to vote. The Chair is eligible to vote on all matters.

E.     The Board may adopt by-laws, rules, and other procedures not inconsistent with the town's ordinances and laws of North Carolina, with approval by the Town Manager.

F.     Pursuant to G.S. § 160D-109, members of appointed boards providing advice to the Town Council shall not vote on recommendations regarding any zoning map or text amendment where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on the member.

G.     Any official recommendation, arising out of the Board, shall be submitted in writing to the Town Council through the Board’s liaison or the Town Manager.

Quick Links


Advisory Board Application

Please submit application to Town Clerk:

Comprehensive Plan

2021 Census Update

Public Comment Policy

Meeting Schedule

Regular Meeting 1st Thursday 6:00 PM

River Bend Municipal Building