The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a Public Input Session on the Land Development Code at at the Justice Academy Gymnasium.
Those persons present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chairman
Also present were: Planning Director
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
OVERVIEW OF LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE
New junkyards operated as a business will be allowed in the industrial Zoning district with a special use permit issued by the Board of Adjustment. Existing junkyards in the County will be grandfathered. Junk, such as trash and junk vehicles on individual properties are regulated under the County’s Nuisance Prevention Ordinance, not the LDC. The LDC will not change the Nuisance Ordinance.
Currently there are numerous zoning districts that add to confusion about how the County should grow. The draft Land Development Code reduces the number of zoning districts and makes it a lot simpler for everyone to understand. The County zoning changes will not affect anyone within a municipality’s zoning jurisdiction. Maps of the proposed zoning are available at the Planning Department Office and online at www.hendersoncountync.org – click on the link to the Land Development Code.
The Open Use Zoning District was intended to prohibit a few uses that have very negative impacts on neighbors. It does not limit how dense (number of homes per acre) new developments can be. If you are currently in Open Use Zoning a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial uses are permitted without limit. With the draft Land Development Code, areas zoned open use will be classified into a residential, commercial, or industrial zoning district.
Businesses already legally operating in the Open Use area will be allowed to continue operation and even expand. You could say that they are “grandfathered” under the proposed code.
R-1, R-2, R-2MH and R-3 Zoning Districts are all residential zoning districts and the primary difference is the density, or number of homes per acre, that each district allows. The R-1 district is the most urban with an average of 4 homes per acre for detached single-family home development. Multi-family developments, such as townhouses, condos, and apartments, are permitted to have 16 homes per acre in the R-1 district. The R-2 and R-2MH districts allow single-family homes at 1 home per acre on average. Multi-family development would be allowed to have 2 homes per acre on average. The R-3 district allows 1 home per 1.5 acres on average. There is no real difference in the R-2 and R-2MH districts other than R-2 does not allow manufactured homes and R-2MH does.
The majority of uses in the rural areas of the County are currently agriculture, forestland, residential or vacant. Residential zoning is proposed for these areas because agriculture and forestland are exempt and existing businesses and commercial establishments are grandfathered. It was also intended to allow residential development to continue, with restrictions, until a small area plan is completed for these areas. Community residents will be involved in the development of these small area plans to determine where commercial development should occur.
The New Land Development Code
does allow manufactured homes in
A sign can be placed at a business under the proposed Land Development Code. Some signs do not require a zoning permit while larger signs will require a zoning permit. Freestanding sign sizes range from 18 to 75 feet high and sign size ranges from 72 to 200 square feet. Wall signs can be up to 10% of the wall face up to 250 square feet.
The new code includes the current floodplain regulations and makes no changes to the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. There are no regulations proposed regarding steep slopes.
Chairman Moyer explained that one of the significant changes is the elimination of the open use type zoning. Those few items that were prohibited before will continue to be prohibited. This is a more restrictive type zoning. Also, as long as property is in an agriculture use, it is not governed by this, by state law.
Chairman Moyer asked each person who had signed up for informal public comments to limit their time to about 3 minutes.
AC & Barbara Lackey – Mr. & Mrs. Lackey own a
beehive farm. They like the area and
want it to stay the same; to keep the cottages.
They feel this area is land rich and dollar poor and would like growth
to slow down. Building three schools at
one time is a load. They are concerned
with traffic issues; pulling onto highway 64 from
2) Jack Dublynn – Mr. Dublylnn moved here to Grey Stone community and discovered it was a manufactured home. It was an affordable home and his family was locating here to take care of his parents. He called about engineering of MFH, and was told it was as good as a site built home. Zoning laws would now restrict MFH and the code states that they are second class citizens because they live in a MFH and that his home is not worth as much. Because they live in a MFH they would be located too far from services. His home is worth $100,000.00 and is suitable for young folks, low income, and older folks.
3) Peggy Messer – Ms. Messer has lived here her entire life. Many people have been here since the 1700’s. She couldn’t place a MFH on her property in the future if needed. The County needs to give more consideration to the people who have always been here.
4) Greg Messer – Mr. Messer feels that change needs to take place but the zoning rules show no thought. Land here has been passed down for generations. The LDC as proposed means that he may not be able to keep his land because of taxes and it would not allow for a MFH. He cannot put a home on land for his parents that he cannot afford. He stated that if the sight of a single or double-wide is offensive to people they should live in a gated community. The citizens pay their taxes and should be considered. They own a lot of land but some of the parcels are too small to build on under R-2 zoning. Take serious consideration with the LDC and future generations and older folks.
5) Karen Justice Davison – Ms. Davison has lived here most of her life. Her family has lived here for five generations. The LDC will restrict what citizens can do with their property and what can be put on it. The average cost is too high for his children to afford. Citizens should be able to pass down land to their children. Young and old should be allowed to put a MFH on the property if it is all they can afford. MFH is not substandard housing. MFH are going in areas where Katrina hit and they can withstand hurricane winds.
6) Ray Lyda – Mr. Lyda stated that his forefathers had lived here generation after generation. They have been able to hold on to land by making sound business decisions. It is a citizen’s right to do with his land what he pleases. So many rights have already been taken away such as prayer in schools, etc. MFH is okay. What happened to the land of the free, home of the brave?
Ed Overcash – Mr. Overcash grew up in
8) Sherry Murphy – Ms. Murphy has lived here for a long time. Her family bled from blisters for their land the hard way and passed it down to generations. The Country is becoming Communist.
Walt Sheppard – Mr. Sheppard stated that everyone is
talking about a utopia plan and making all of these promises. They need to plan a utopia around the
Constitution of the
Young – Mr. Young wondered what kind of future his one week old had in
Rhodes – Mr. Rhodes stated he wanted to know why the County was growing so
fast. Look around, the ancestors had
done nothing to destroy the County.
Everyone is equal under the eyes of God and we will all leave the world
with nothing. It is advertised
everywhere in every state to come join us in the NC Mountains. Look at
Davis – Mr. Davis came here from Gerton.
Manual Woodworkers and Weavers is one of the largest employers in this
area of the County. They would not have
been allowed under the LDC. They started
with a few buildings and have expanded.
They can’t get another permit to build on in Gerton so they moved to
13) Larry McKay – Mr. McKay complimented the people of Edneyville. He feels that you should be allowed to put a MFH on the property. He started out in an 8 x 28 MFH. All of his children started out in MFH and moved up from there. Only people with money will be moving here and they are not going to like the area as it is going to grow under the LDC. Simplify the LDC we don’t need any more regulations.
14) Matt Cooke – Mr. Cooke has lived here for twelve years, is married, and has 5 acres with commercial all around him. His property is zoned R-2 and he would like to be in a general commercial district.
15) Lorraine Corn- Ms. Corn is related to many people; Stepp’s, Justice’s, and Jackson’s. Her house burned down 2 years ago and she will not be able to put a MFH back on her property that she has lived on for sixteen years. She can’t afford a modular home. Ms. Corn is against the nuisance ordinance and was arrested today. Older and disabled people cannot afford a modular or stick built home. They need to be close to services. She is moving out of the state because she can’t afford it and this is not fair.
Gilbert – Mr. Gilbert questioned why the Board of Commissioners felt they had
the right to do this to someone’s property that they bought with their hard
earned money. The land owners must get
permits and must go by rules and regulations.
Where is the freedom? He wanted a
published list of the Board of Commissioners and the Planning Committee who was
responsible for this and a copy of the LDC.
Citizens can’t help their level of income and can’t have all of the
luxuries of life. The people that are
affected by this are the ones that work hard for a living and do what is
hard. He makes a special trip to town to
make an appointment to get a permit but is not notified of zoning changes that
may take place on his land. The Board of
Commissioners work for the citizens and the citizens would like the
consideration of being asked. The
citizens work for a living and don’t have time to go to the
17) Carolyn Brown – Ms. Brown lives on a farm that has been passed down from generations. One of her children lives on family land with a MFH. This land is proposed for R-2. She is a hairdresser and her business is in a MFH. The appraisal on her business was the same as what the MFH cost new so the value does hold. Ms. Brown is against the LDC, zoning, and restrictions of MFH. She owns her property and will not be able to do what she wants to expand her business.
Freeman – Ms. Freeman has worked in many places until they closed down and now
19) Eben Franz – Mr. Franz understands why most people are complaining about the LDC. He is a member of the Henderson County Affordable Housing Coalition and is concerned about developers building up-scale housing. Many people are living in homes that are substandard. Service workers are forced to move away from services and even further out in the County. Many things are marked reserved in the LDC, especially the affordable housing section. This issue cannot be ignored any longer. He had written to the Board of Commissioners with suggestions. Children stay out of trouble when they live in suitable housing.
Wilkie – Mr. Wilkie just moved to Edneyville a few weeks ago. The LDC states that reducing the zoning is a
good idea, but it should be reduced even more.
Some Commissioners will be affected by future votes. He is for Open Use Zoning. Many businesses can’t happen because of
residential zoning. People will not be
able to pioneer and start their own businesses.
He feels there should be more allowance for homes in R-2 and R-1 homes
should be reduced. The LDC will drive
the cost of land up and push most people of
21) Evelyn Hill Nichols – Ms. Nichols is from East Flat Rock and feels that their zoning is working and doesn’t need to be changed. You can’t come up with a plan overnight. It took years to study East Flat Rock. She is concerned about MFH and massive parks. The MFH parks have ordinances. There are no existing MFH park conditions. The Planning Board needs housing members with common sense. This plan needs lots of work and needs to be amended. If the citizens don’t want zoning, don’t zone them.
Barnwell – Mr. Barnwell is a farmer and feels that they need strong guidance of
how the area is developed. The LDC will
affect property that is not already owned.
The property already owned will be grandfathered in. This is a one time thing and changes will
need to be made such as variances and rezoning.
There is a reason that the 1 to 1.5 acre lots were put into place. There needs to be mixed zoning on Highway
64. Without planning in this area there
would be problems. He does not feel that
R4 zoning is needed in
Lancaster – Ms. Lancaster attended the meeting at
Redman – Mr. Redman stated that local people are not getting a fair shake on
the LDC. Country people do not want to
live on top of each other. Many citizens
have to live in MFH. Restricted MFH is
nonsense. She questioned why farmland
was being zoned. Local people cannot
afford 1 to 1.5 acre lots. The Board of
Commissioners must find more jobs for the County. Industry will not locate here with the way
the County is zoned. Public services are
going to big developments and the tax payers will have to pay for it. The Board of Commissioners should be working
to add more services for the people who have worked here all their lives and
not the new, big developments. Put the
restrictions on the subdivisions, but not the local people that pass the land
down through generations. Mr. Redman was
upset about the reappraisal. Farm land
was appraised based on lots in a nearby subdivision. There is nothing wrong with MFH and at least
¼ if not ½ of the
McKay – Mr. McKay had expressed concerns the prior week. He had spoken with the Planning Staff and had
more concerns. He feels that zoning at
this time will hurt the little people.
26) Lisa Souther – Ms. Souther is an elementary school teacher and feels that MFH is not just against the lower income people, but the state workers; the teachers. They can’t afford anything else but MFH. Modular homes or stick built homes are more than they can afford due to the quality of life; a vacation besides making a mortgage payment. Her mother is at retirement age but still working in the health care field. She would like to have the option to take care of her mother in a MFH beside her as long as possible.
27) Vic Pryor – Mr. Pryor has a farm in the community. MFH should be allowed everywhere and on denser amounts of land. Let the septic and well permits regulate them. New businesses are not allowed with the proposed zoning. Leave open use zoning or make it the least restrictive as possible.
28) Ed Murphy – Mr. Murphy owns a business and feels that we need to get more industry in this area. We need jobs for the young folks. He requests that the Board try not to restrict businesses as it cuts down on driving in the local community.
29) Ernie Sheppard – Mr. Sheppard purchased a copy of the LDC and feels that it should be renamed Land Developers Code. There is no room in the LDC for the locals and families that grew up here. Industry is not welcomed in the LDC. He understands that other places and counties have adopted a similar LDC and suggests anyone who wants it should move there. He is against the LDC.
Pryor – Mr. Pryor grew up in
Rollins – Mr. Rollins would like the issue of family subdivisions
addressed. Rezoning had been discussed
32) Meryl Corbin- Ms. Corbin stated that her neighbor had a tree fall on their home and could not have put the same type home back under the LDC because of the need for an acre of land. The County is restricting MFH for the community but allows her child to attend class in a MFH unit.
There being no further public comments the meeting adjourned.