Shared Values

The Town of Nags Head is a unique coastal community built upon a legacy rooted in shared values, including our most recognized common bond - a love for the Outer Banks. We recognize that the town must be a good place to live before it can be a good place to visit. We strive to preserve and protect the Nags Head character, environment, tourism based economy, and sense of place in order to ensure a high quality of life for residents and a memorable family vacation experience for present and future generations.


We uphold our legacy by protecting and promoting our small town character that includes a sustainable local economy based on family vacation tourism, a high quality beach experience, and small, locally owned businesses. Fundamental to our legacy and quality of life are preserving the historic architecture and culture that distinguishes our town; providing residents and visitors with excellent public services and well-maintained recreational amenities; and ensuring access to a well-protected natural coastal environment.

Our legacy will be strengthened and preserved by a focused, transparent decision making process that is comprehensive and consistent with the community’s vision. In order to maintain that focus, our decisions are directed by the five goals described below.


  1. Preserve our community’s distinctive heritage and unique lifestyle
    1. A relaxed-paced, family beach community comprised primarily of low-density development and open spaces
    2. A healthy, well-maintained oceanfront beach that is visually and physically accessible and usable; not blocked by large structures
    3. An environment that reflects the heritage of “Old Nags Head” with unique and eclectic architectural styles, scenic views, and coastal landscapes
  2. Protect our critical natural resources and coastal ecosystem
    1. Build and promote a sustainable economy that supports residents and visitors
    2. A natural environment typified by clean water and a coastal barrier landscape with noninvasive, salt tolerant vegetation
    3. Ocean and estuarine shorelines that are carefully managed to preserve the natural and beneficial functions of the environment while balancing the need to respect private property rights and public access
    4. Plan for the future impacts of sea level rise; ensuring proper policies, plans, and practices for stormwater and wastewater management are in place to sustain the natural environment and maintain a viable family, tourism-based economy
  3. Build and promote a sustainable economy that supports residents and visitors
    1. A diverse supply of housing, including single-family homes and multi-family dwelling units, that meet the needs of residents in all phases of life and for varying income levels
    2. A diverse supply of visitor accommodations, including single-family homes, hotels, cottage courts, and multi-family dwelling units for visitors who desire both short-term and long-term stays
    3. A thriving local business community that offers a wide range of goods and services available to residents and visitors
    4. A premier family beach destination on the Outer Banks, providing an enjoyable and memorable experience
  4. Plan for orderly and sustainable growth and redevelopment
    1. A well-organized and compatible pattern of land development and redevelopment through proactive land use and transportation policies
    2. Development that is designed to reduce private property damage and loss of life from major storm events and natural hazards
    3. Safe connectivity and accessibility between neighborhoods, businesses, and recreational opportunities for a variety of travel modes, lessening traffic congestion, and enabling an active and healthy lifestyle for residents and visitors
    4. A place with active and passive recreational opportunities that serve all ages and abilities, creating opportunities for community interaction and healthy living
    5. Preservation and maintenance of legacy commercial businesses
  5. Maintain a well-run and efficient government that provides high quality and cost effective services
    1. Develop, fund, and prioritize the Capital Improvement Plan annually to provide for the infrastructure, equipment, and facility needs of the community
    2. Provide the highest quality public safety services possible, and routinely review the public safety needs of the community to ensure that resources are available to meet these needs
    3. Provide friendly and accommodating customer service
    4. Communicate town information to residents and visitors through a variety of media that demonstrates the results of measurable goals and objectives
    5. Advocate for the provision of high quality, responsive services, legislation, resources, and policies from government partners and other organizations that further the vision of the Town of Nags Head.


The mission of the Town of Nags Head is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens, property owners and visitors of the town, to fulfill the requirements placed on it by the State of North Carolina and to facilitate the achievement of community goals by providing municipal services in a flexible, cost effective, customer friendly manner and to achieve this through an open, consensus driven process that treats all with respect.