STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                           BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                                   JANUARY 19, 2006


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 4:00 p.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.


Those present were:  Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chairman Charlie Messer, Commissioner Larry Young, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin, Commissioner Chuck McGrady, Interim County Manager Justin Hembree, Interim Assistant County Manager Selena Coffey, County Attorney Russell Burrell, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley.


Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Planning Director Judith Francis, Planner Autumn Radcliff, Planner Anthony Prinz, Planner Matt Card, Planner Matt Cable, Elections Director Beverly Cunningham and Finance Director J. Carey McLelland.  



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.



Commissioner McGrady made the motion to approve the agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



This item had been rolled to this meeting from the January 18, 2006 agenda. Senate Bill 223, Public Confidence in Elections, had prompted the decertification of all existing voting equipment across the state and in the end, allows for only one vendor, ES&S, to now be certified. The Board had no indication that the General Assembly would convene and delay the implementation of the new guidelines. Therefore, Henderson County was in the position of having to determine whether or not to purchase new equipment by a deadline of January 20, 2006. The County’s Board of Elections had recommended the purchase of DRE’s (Direct Recording Electronic) for the precincts, and optical scan for paper absentee mail outs from ES&S. The Finance Director had provided cost and financing estimates for the equipment.


There followed a lot of discussion on the issues surrounding the elections equipment, and the best way to proceed. Russ Burrell stated that the Board’s only options were to approve the system recommended by the County Board of Elections, or to not approve that system. The Board could not buy a system the Board of Elections had not recommended to them. Therefore the Board could purchase the recommended DRE’s, or proceed to hold the primary with paper ballots. Ms. Cunningham answered questions from the Board regarding the recommended purchase, and the impact if the Board opted to proceed with use of paper ballots.   Commissioner McGrady made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Board of Elections related to the purchase of 259 DRE voting machines plus the required optical scanners.


There followed much additional discussion. Ms. Cunningham estimated that if the Board opted to proceed using paper ballots, they would need to hire an additional 500-600 people to come in at the close of the polls to count the ballots. She also estimated that to purchase the additional equipment necessary to vote paper ballots, would cost $50,000 to $100,000. There was concern about whether ES&S would be able to fill orders in a timely fashion, especially if a lot of counties opt to purchase this equipment. A vote was then taken on Commissioner McGrady’s motion. The motion carried 4-1 with Chairman Moyer voting in opposition.  



Judy Francis reviewed the following PowerPoint presentation with the Board:




















During the presentation, Ms. Francis noted the additional following points:

·        A number of other jurisdictions were operating under Unified Development Ordinances (UDO). The counties operating under such ordinances were: Cleveland, Currituck, Nash and Wake. Brunswick, Catawba, and Orange counties were going through the process to adopt and operate under UDOs.

·        With regards to density, the following was proposed per the Comprehensive County Plan

o       Urban Services Area – 2-16 dwelling units per acre

o       Rural Urban Transition Area – .5-2 acres per dwelling unit

o       Rural Agricultural Area – 1-5 acres per dwelling unit

·        The current LDO had Zoning, Subdivision, Watershed, and Flood Plain Ordinances consolidated into one, but also had provisions for mobile home parks and cell towers.

·        Article V: Subdivision Regulations – Road standards were an issue Staff continued to look at. They want to make sure that the roads are passable, but not overbuilt particularly in areas that the County would try to protect from extensive slope development.

·        Article VIII: Access Management – This is an emerging issue for rural counties that are beginning to urbanize. This portion of the Code was drafted by a professional planning consulting firm that specializes in transportation issues. Parking standards were also in this Article, though there were mixed feelings about parking standards for both Staff and the Planning Board.    

·        Article XI: Nonconformities - Uses abandoned for longer than six months must comply with new rules. This was under staff review, as there was concern that six months was not long enough, and might be changed to one year.

·        A subcommittee of the Planning Board had been formed to work on issues that required more discussion, such as density issues. The members of that subcommittee were: Tedd Pearce, Mike Cooper and Renee Kumor.

·        The Planning Board had given Staff a directive to go back and look at 12 months of subdivisions that had already been done, and see what the results might have been using the LDO. Ms. Francis stated that directive was a hefty task, which she anticipated would take about three weeks.


Ms. Francis answered several questions from the Board. There was discussion about the best way to proceed from this point. Commissioner Baldwin suggested that the Board look at the models already being used in other jurisdictions. Commissioner McGrady felt that with the number of other groups that would be hearing this presentation, the Board should at this point just consider scheduling the next workshop while Staff continued the public education. Commissioner Messer felt it was crucial that the Board get some information from the counties operating under UDOs.


It was the consensus of the Board to schedule the next LDO workshop at their February 6th meeting.  



Commissioner McGrady made the motion to adjourn the meeting. All voted in favor and the motion carried.






Amy R. Brantley, Deputy Clerk to the Board                 William L. Moyer, Chairman