The Henderson County
Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at in the auditorium at WestHendersonHigh School.
Those present were:Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chairman Charlie
Messer, Commissioner Larry Young, Commissioner Chuck McGrady, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Justin
Hembree, County Attorney Russell Burrell, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy
Also present were: Planning
Director Karen C. Smith, Planners Autumn Radcliff and Matt Cable, Planning
Project Manager Lori Sand and Zoning Administrator Natalie Berry.
Absent was: Commissioner
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called
the meeting to order at approx. 6:05 p.m. and welcomed all in attendance. He
explained that two public hearings were scheduled for the meeting. The first
would be on Economic Development Incentives for Raflatac. The second would be
on the proposed zoning map amendments for the U.S. Highway 25 North Zoning
Study Area and re-consideration and potential re-adoption of the Interim
Development Ordinance for the U.S. Highway 25 North Interim Development Area.
PUBLIC HEARING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES RAFLATAC,
Commissioner Messer made the motion for the Board to go into
public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The Board had been asked
to consider granting economic development incentives to Raflatac, Inc., a
business having a manufacturing plant located in HendersonCounty
and wishing to expand production at their facility by purchasing new machinery
and equipment. The public benefit to be derived from the capital project was an
initial taxable capital investment in the machinery and equipment upgrade that
is expected to be $24,000,000, and the creation of 110 new jobs by the end of
2010, with an average starting weekly wage of $604.00 plus benefits.
Raflatac, Inc. was
requesting economic development incentives from HendersonCounty
in the amount of $672,000 to be paid over a seven year period at $96,000 per
year, toward a portion of the cost associated with its upgrade plan.
required that the Board hold a duly advertised public hearing on the proposed
economic development incentives prior to approving the same. If the Board
wished to approve the request at the close of the public hearing, it would be
appropriate to condition the approval on an economic incentives agreement being
entered into after being duly approved by all parties to the agreement, with
the Chairman being authorized to enter such a contract on behalf of the Board.
introduced Dan O’Connell, the President of Raflatac, who provided some
background on the project. Mr. O’Connell stated that for 20 years Raflatac had
been part of the HendersonCounty community.
Approximately five years ago Raflatac had come before the Board and announced
their intention of building their first North American facility in HendersonCounty. That had been a very successful venture,
and approximately a year ago they had announced plans to expand their facility.
The project was well underway, and things were moving along well.
Mr. O’Connell felt they
had supported and encouraged the community, and had developed strong
partnerships with the Partnership for Economic Development, Blue Ridge
Community College, and the JobLink Center to name a few. Because of the success
they’d had, especially with the quality of the workforce and the strength of
their ties to the community, it made sense to look at expansion in this area.
He outlined the investment proposal presented, and thanked the Board for their
1.Carroll Justus – Mr. Justus stated
that he was opposed to giving economic development incentives to manufacturing
industries because they do not work. In the last seven years manufacturing jobs
had been lost almost every month. Such incentives give the government more
power over our lives, and make it harder to find jobs. Such incentives
ultimately cost the tax payers, and will continue to cost more and more. Mr.
Justus felt that the Board should take a different approach to ensuring jobs,
like trying to get back the jobs being sent overseas.
Scott Hamilton stated
that HendersonCounty’s incentive policy was threshold
and performance based. Before a manufacturer is eligible for any incentive,
they must perform to the threshold set in the contract between the County and
the manufacturer. Additionally, the incentives do not take money out of the
general fund before a project makes an investment, but rather after the company
is paying their taxes. Additionally, the incentives received do not exceed the
amount of tax paid to the County, so the County does realize a net cash flow.
Chairman Moyer agreed
that western North Carolina
was facing an exodus of jobs to other places in this country, and other
countries as well. He felt the county should take the steps necessary to try to
retain the good businesses that we have. He asked how many jobs Raflatac had
added to the community in the past five to ten years, and what their investment
had been. Scott Hamilton answered that five year ago Raflatac had contracted
with the County to invest $45 million and create 200 jobs over the next seven
years. Currently, they were at the job mark within five years, and had so far
invested $65 million. With the recent expansion, they contracted for an
investment of $38.5 million additional dollars and 70 additional jobs. When
this project is completed, the investment Raflatac will have made in HendersonCounty is over $126 million.
McGrady made the motion to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the
Russ Burrell stated that
prior to considering the contract, a date within that contract needed to be
changed in two places. On page 4 of the document in paragraphs 6 and 7, the
date should read January 31, 2008, rather than 2007.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion for the Board to enter
into an economic development incentives contract with Raflatac Inc. on the
terms stated in the Board’s agenda packet with the change of that date, and
that the Chair be authorized to execute the contract on behalf of the Board. All
voted in favor and the motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED
ZONING MAP AMENDMENTS FOR THE U.S. HIGHWAY 25 NORTH ZONING STUDY AREA (REZONING
ACTION #R-05-01) AND ON RE-CONSIDERATION AND POTENTIAL RE-ADOPTION OF THE
INTERIM DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE FOR THE U.S. HIGHWAY 25 NORTH INTERIM DEVELOPMENT
Messer made the motion to go into public hearing. All voted in
favor and the motion carried.
Smith reminded the Board that the next public hearing dealt with the proposed
amendments to the official zoning map of Henderson County that relate to the US
Highway 25 North Zoning Study. The zoning study had been in progress for about
two years, and Mrs. Smith updated the Board on the more recent activities of
the project. She presented and discussed the following PowerPoint presentation:
Smith discussed the recommendations made by the Planning Board in a written
report regarding the study area. The Board had tried to balance existing
conditions with policies of the Comprehensive County Plan (CCP) concerning
issues of growth management, economic development, housing, natural resources
and the like. The report stated that the Planning Board also gave special
attention to the ongoing improvements on US Highway 25 North, and its
recommendations were intended to help protect the capacity of that roadway as
future development occurs. The Board noted that its recommendations could
better implement policies of the CCP if the tools recommended in the plan were
currently available. The Planning Board also noted that it would like to be
able to revisit the study area following the completion of the land development
code to modify its recommendations and better implement the CCP.
Smith then discussed the maps included in the above PowerPoint presentation,
pointing out the particular areas on the map entitled “Revised Planning Board
Recommended Zoning U.S. Highway 25 North Zoning Study”. For the record Mrs.
Smith noted that the hearing had been advertised in accordance with the
Henderson County Zoning Ordinance and State Law. Notices of the hearing were
published in the Hendersonville Times-News on April 22nd and 29th,
2005. The Planning Department had notices of the hearing sent via first-class
mail to owners of properties within the study area and adjacent to the study
area on April 21, 2005. Planning Staff posted signs promoting the public
hearing at various locations within the study area on April 22, 2005.
Moyer questioned whether Planning Staff had held meetings with people who
objected to the proposed zoning, and made a list of those individuals. Karen
Smith answered that a list had been prepared prior to February, with concerns
raised at the drop-in sessions noted on a different list. She stated that
Planning Staff had not recommended any changes to the map from the Planning
Moyer stated that at this point the Board would receive public comment. Rather
than having two hearings as shown on the agenda, one record would be created
for the U.S. Highway 25 North issues.
Carr Swicegood – Mr.
Swicegood owns and leases property on Highway 25 on both sides of the
interstate. He felt it was wrong for the Board to put a moratorium on
permits. He was not against planning, but did not feel that permits should
be halted along a five lane highway. He requested that if the moratorium
remained in place, the Board should reconsider the taxes being charged on
Doug Thigpen – Mr. Thigpen was present
speaking for William B. Taylor. Mr. Taylor owned property adjacent to Mr.
Swicegood. On March 10th he signed a contract to sell his
property, and then found out the moratorium had been passed. Mr. Thigpen
stated that Mr. Taylor would be happy with the C-4 zoning recommended for
the property. The moratorium put the contract on the property in jeopardy,
and Mr. Taylor wished to opt out of the moratorium or have the Board
proceed with the C-4 zoning. On Mr. Taylor’s behalf and as a precautionary
measure, Mr. Thigpen had filed an application for determination of a
Fred Barbour – Mr.
Barbour stated that he was representing Bill Tabor. Mr. Tabor and his
family owned several parcels at the corner of Highway 25 and Naples Road. One
of the parcels was recommended for C-4 zoning, and the Tabor’s would
accept that zoning if it would allow them to opt out of the moratorium.
The second, larger parcel, had a portion recommended for R-15. Mr. Barbour
presented some photographs for the Board’s consideration. He noted that
Mr. Tabor would accept the proposed C-4 zoning recommended for the
majority of the property. Regarding the smaller portion recommended for
R-15, Mr. Tabor requested that portion also be considered for C-4 zoning
as it was not really suitable for residential uses, but would accept all
recommended zonings if it would allow him to opt out of the
Tom Ramer – Mr.
Ramer owned a parcel about 300 yards from the intersection of I-26 and
Highway 25, about 300 yards from Hardee’s. The property was recommended
for commercial zoning, and Mr. Ramer hoped such zoning would be adopted.
He requested that if the property were not zoned commercial, that he be
allowed to opt out of the moratorium. He did not feel that to hold those
properties up for 18 months would be in the County’s best interest.
Barbara Darden – Ms.
Darden spoke to a development she had planned. The proposed zoning for the
property was R-15. R-15 would only allow her 7,500 square feet per unit
for two units. The chalets proposed in her plan were four units, and 20
chalets were planned. They had also planned for a four story building for
condos, as well as medical facilities for assisted living and intermediate
care. The project was planned for 65 acres. She hoped the moratorium could
be waived on the property, and that the property could remain zoned Open
Ed Groce – Ed Groce
stated that he represented Larry Holbert, Ronnie Gray and a third party.
He had previously submitted photographs and written statements, but to no
avail. He discussed each of the four parcels involved.
The first was just north of Industrial Drive, and six to eight feet
below the level of the road. There is industrial zoning behind and to the south
of the parcel. For some reason there was a portion of property proposed for
O&I which would destroy the value of the property. In order to be used, the
property will require substantial infilling to bring it to the level of the new
road, which would not be financially feasible with the proposed zoning. He felt
it should be zoned C-4.
The second piece of property was located just
across the road. He stated that there was a similar issue with the need to
infill this property. Additionally, O&I was not suitable for this property
due to the rerouting of a branch by DOT. He felt it should be zoned C-4.
The third piece of property was just north of
the intersection of Mountain Road
and Hwy. 25. Mr. Groce stated that parcel needed to be zoned C-4 because it was
being used as commercial property.
The forth piece of property was located to the
north of Rugby Drive,
and to the west of Hwy. 25. The property was located above the road bed, and it
would again be cost prohibitive to have it zoned RC. He felt it should be zoned
Mr. Groce stated that he and his clients were
against continuing the moratorium because it held everybody in limbo. The
property should be zoned for its highest and best use. There was an Interstate
highway, a railroad and a 5 lane road impacting each of these parcels and he
felt that indicated an industrial and commercial use.
Kerry Bodenhamer – Mr.
Bodenhamer stated that he was the owner of a race car fabrication shop in
Mountain Home, at the corner of Holbert
Road and Hwy. 25. He’d had a residence there
since 1977, and the business since 1981. The DOT was planning a turning
lane at that intersection, and there were businesses on both sides. The
proposed zoning was C-2, which he believed would make most of the
businesses in that area non-conforming. He felt the area should be zoned
Danny Goodrich – Mr.
Goodrich stated that he and has wife owned a piece of property on Blade Street
and Highway 25. He’d had a business there since 1981. Businesses create
jobs, and we need to try to maintain good jobs in HendersonCounty.
He felt that if C-4 were not granted for everything in contact with
Highway 25, it would jeopardize current and future businesses that serve HendersonCounty.
Craig Justus – Mr.
Justus was present representing Bryan Vaughn and Gene and Cathy Wilkie.
Mr. Justus stated that the Board had a unique opportunity to determine the
future of Highway 25. He felt the job done by the Planning Board and
Planning Staff was very commendable. However, he sited the following
reasons why the property of his client should be zoned C-4: it was in the
urban services area, it was on the main corridor between Fletcher and
Hendersonville, the corridor is already 5 lanes, water already exists
along the corridor and sewer is planned, the property is located at an
intersection, the current uses are already predominantly C-4, C-4 is a
regional zoning district and Highway 25 is not a neighborhood road, there
are not existing environmental issues, most people want C-4, and C-4 best
meets the location and scale of use.
Bryan Vaughn – Mr.
Vaughn stated that he had been serving the motoring public for 29 years
from his location on Holbert
Road. He felt that his property should be
zoned C-4 because it was located on a regional highway and all the
businesses located around that intersection were regional as well. As it
stood it the area, there were no other businesses offering the service of
offering any major repairs. He requested the Board allow him to continue
to provide that service to HendersonCounty residents and
those traveling through the area.
Tommie McCraw – Mr.
McCraw stated that US 25 had always been a commercial highway. On old maps
it was called Old Dixie
Highway from here all the way to Florida. He felt it
should be left a commercial highway to help the people of HendersonCounty.
John Pace – Mr.
Pace stated that he owned approximately 17 acres which he had purchased 20
years ago. His intent when buying the property was to locate his office
and repair garage. He had obtained all the necessary permits from the Army
Corps of Engineers and DENR, the property had been filled accordingly and
the property currently has buildings on it. He requested the Board look at
his property, and consider I-2 zoning which would be in harmony with
Angela Beeker – Ms.
Beeker was present representing John Pace. She stated that they felt I-2
would be appropriate for the property for the following reasons: it was
immediately adjacent to a proposed I-2 district, that I-2 district was
adjacent to existing industrial uses in the City of Hendersonville, the
CCP calls for the Board to zone uses compatible with the municipalities,
the property has direct assess onto US 25, public water was available, the
property was in the urban services area, though in the flood plain it had
already been filled, and there was an existing industrial use on the
property. She discussed portions of the CCP and how case law would support
an I-2 zoning district.
Ronnie Smith – Richard
Cort, with the law firm of McGuire, Wood and Bissette spoke in place of
Mr. Smith. Mr. Cort stated that he was representing Eleanor Kemp as the
manager of KEM Corp, LLC, which owns the building formally occupied by
Diamond Brand. Mr. Smith was present in his representative capacity as a
member of KEM Corp. LLC. Mr. Cort stated that the owner was satisfied with
the proposed zoning of C-4. They wished to have that property exempted
from the IDO, as it was currently being marketed for sale or lease. Being
free from the IDO may expedite the process of getting that property
George Pendleton – Mr.
Pendleton stated that he and his family currently live at 35 North Cureton Place.
That property has frontage on both I-26 and Highway 25. He purchased the
property 19 years ago, recognizing the potential value of commercial
property. He estimated that on a daily basis, 70,000 to 75,000 cars passed
within 300 feet of his property. The Planning Board recommendation for the
property was C-4. He stated that the question was not whether zoning
should take place, but how. He questioned whether property you could not
develop or improve had any value whatsoever, and requested his property be
zoned C-4 and dropped from the IDO.
Ed Benson – Mr.
Benson was opposed to the re-zoning. He felt that zoning stole the value
of the property from the people.
Cathy Wilkie – Ms.
Wilkie stated that in the early 1980’s she and her husband had bought
three tracts of land at the intersection of Highway 25 and Holbert Road.
They built an office building there in 1985 and she had been running a
real estate office from there since 1992. Her clients all travel Highway
25 to get to her office. About 60% of her clients arrive from the north
and 40% from the south. She felt Highway 25 should be considered a
commercial area. DOT had told Ms. Wilkie that the daily traffic count by
her property was: 15,000 in 2002, 20,000 in 2003, with a 7% increase
anticipated for the coming years. She felt that Highway 25 could have
successful commercial and residential activity.She discussed the success of uses along
the other sections of Highway 25.
Kenneth Miller – Mr.
Miller stated that he had a small trucking company located around the
intersection of Holbert Road
and Highway 25. He felt the area should be zoned to allow that business to
Buster Brown – Mr.
Brown stated that he was currently under contract to purchase a piece of
property which was located at the southern tip of the IDO. It was zoned
C-2 prior to the zoning study, and was still recommended for C-2. He felt
the 12 month moratorium on the property, especially in light of the fact
that no zoning change was recommended, seemed to be unnecessary.
Gary Jones – Mr. Jones
stated that he was representing several property owners in the sale of
their property. The first of which was Art Veach, who owned Veach’s Auto
repair on the corner of Holbert
Road and Highway 25. That property was
proposed to be C-2, but the moratorium was the real problem holding up any
interest in the property. The other property belonged to Mike Justus, which
was proposed for C-4. There was a similar issue regarding the moratorium
on this property. Mr. Jones discussed the value of the commercial
development with regard to the tax base in BuncombeCounty.
Scott Jarvis – Mr.
Jarvis stated that he grew up in Naples.
When I-26 was built in the 1960’s, his family moved. There were problems
with Highway 25 back then. There was a lot of commercial traffic, and it
was all C-4 even when it was a two lane highway. He stated that people had
invested their lives and their work in businesses that were dedicated to
C-4 activity on a commercial highway. He asked that the Board give those
people some consideration.
Jerry King – Mr.
King stated that he was the owner of King Auction Company and King Auto
Auction. When the DOT widened the road, they left part of his property
above the road level, causing him to lose the income he’d had for ten
years renting that property. He was in the process of settling that with
the DOT, but with the moratorium in place rental on the property would
continue to be on hold.
David Bayless – Mr.
Bayless stated that he had purchased property in 1987, and in 1993 had put
together a master plan for the properties. A portion of that plan had been
for commercial properties. He was concerned about the moratorium putting a
halt to all plans for the next year. He requested the Board consider not
applying the moratorium to his property because they already had a plan in
place which would be a good thing for HendersonCounty.
Tedd Pearce – Mr. Pearce,
Chairman of the Henderson County Planning Board, made a few comments from
the Planning Board’s perspective regarding how some of the decisions were
made. There was considerable thought even from the CCP and how it applied.
There were some exceptions however. The Planning Board had looked at the
present Zoning Ordinance and its inability to solve many of the problems
the CCP wanted to solve. Therefore, in their recommendation, the Planning
Board specifically made recommendations knowing that when there was a
better tool to work with, they would immediately make recommendations to
Looking at adjoining properties from this area
to Fletcher, and even up to BuncombeCounty, there are similar
zonings to C-4, but they also have a lot more conditions to those zonings, such
as access management and design standards. Mr. Pearce recommended that if the
Board did not go with some type of moratorium, they adopt the Ordinance as
presented. He answered several questions from the Board regarding recommendations
on some specific properties.
Moyer questioned the CountyAttorney regarding the
options available to the Board. The moratorium was currently in place for 12
months, so the Board would need to take no action with respect to that unless
they wished to change it. With respect to the zoning, Chairman Moyer questioned
whether the Board had the option of adopting zoning on all the properties on
which no question had been raised. Mr. Burrell answered that the Board did have
the option to adopt all or part of the Planning Board’s recommendation. The
Board could then set a workshop at which action could be taken with respect to
all contested cases.
made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Board took a brief recess.
Moyer proposed the Board adopt the zoning study as put forth by the Planning
Department and Planning Board for all of those properties where there had been
no dispute or question raised respect to the zoning on that property. He
further proposed continuing the hearing to a date certain where the Board of
Commissioners would examine the facts on each of the cases raised. The Board
would then lift the moratorium with respect to all of the properties.
McGrady questioned how the properties which would be subject to the motion were
to be identified. Chairman Moyer stated that he had spoken to Karen Smith about
that matter. Already identified and listed were all of those properties where
any question had been raised at any time. Ms. Smith would contact the owners of
those properties, and let them decide whether they wished to stay on the
disputed list for additional review.
McGrady questioned whether the Board could review that list at this meeting. He
discussed the areas where he was comfortable with the recommended zonings,
stating that he would be comfortable taking those properties out of the
moratorium and adding them to the group of properties proposed for zoning.
Messer stated that he was in agreement with Chairman Moyer’s proposal. He felt
the moratorium should be lifted, as evidenced by the discussions of properties
owners in that area. He supported lifting the moratorium, accepting the zoning
as is, and listening to those property owners with regards to contested
Moyer stated that with respect to Commissioner McGrady’s earlier question, a
complete list of those properties in question could not be provided at this
meeting. However, that list would include every property which had been
questioned at any time. Commissioner McGrady questioned whether Chairman Moyer
anticipated adopting a motion to zone all of the property not being contested,
with staff drawing up a map to reflect that motion. Commissioner McGrady stated
that property owners needed clarity, and should be able to know within a few
days whether or not their property had been zoned. He stated that he would
support a motion to direct staff to bring back such a map for adoption at the
followed discussion among the Board about the direction to take. Chairman Moyer stated that his motion was to
adopt the zoning map and study as presented by the Planning Department and
Planning Board except for those properties where there is a dispute, and lift
the moratorium. He further moved that this meeting be continued with a pledge
to hear the problem cases and get them resolved. Russ Burrell clarified
that the Board was directing Planning Staff to develop a list of all the
properties in dispute, and attempt to contact those property owners.
Burrell stated “I think you have a difficulty with asking people whether they
opt out between now and a, when there’s already a final adoption but they could
opt out of a final adoption. I think you run into a real contract zoning
question at that point, and that could invalidate at least that parcel’s zoning
one way or the other.”
Moyer stated “Well they can’t opt out of a final adoption.”
Burrell stated “But they may be effectively opting into a final adoption by
saying they no longer dispute, and that is effectively, that really brushes up
pretty hard against contract zoning at that point.”
Moyer stated “Okay, well then we won’t do it that way. We’ll adopt all of those
where there’s no dispute and we’ll take action with respect to any that are on
the list, they can’t opt in or out, we’ll take specific action on each of those
at a later date.”
Moyer stated that the motion was on the floor was to adopt the Zoning Ordinance as recommended by the Planning Department
and Planning Board except for those properties where a specific challenge,
objection, to the zoning put forth in that study has been raised. The Board would
lift the moratorium effective immediately and continued this hearing to a date
certain when the Board would start plowing through each of the challenged
cases. No one can opt in or out, the Board will look at each case brought
forward by the Planning Director that’s not on the map being approved at this
meeting, and will take action with respect to that.The motion carried 3-1 with Commissioner
McGrady voting nay.
Chairman adjourned the meeting at approximately 8:30 p.m.
R. Brantley, Deputy Clerk to the Board William
L. Moyer, Chairman