The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a Public Input Session on the Land Development Code at 7:00 p.m. at West Henderson High School Auditorium.
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. This is the fourth public input session. All Commissioners have been present at every session. This is a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners just to receive public input on the Land Development Code. There will be no discussion between the Board members. Staff and Board members will try to answer any questions that are presented. Previously a public hearing was scheduled for April 24 for the Land Development Code. This has been canceled and a workshop date will be scheduled at our next regularly scheduled meeting.
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. The only difference in the R-2 and R-2MH districts is 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 there were a couple of additional changes particularly with the map in which Mr. Starr had pointed out…open uses which were now either residential or commercial which reflects more restrictive zoning. In certain places the classification has been changed which may also put additional restrictions on the land that is subject to that classification. As Mr. Starr indicated you just have to go through the map and through the book and see how that affects you. There were sign up sheets at the door if anyone wished to speak. Chairman Moyer requested that the comments be specific.
Chairman Moyer asked each person who had signed up for informal public comments to limit their time to about 3 minutes.
1) Fran Hudelson – Mrs. Hudelson asked the Board of Commissioners if there were any restrictions of how close a community could be developed next to another and if buffers were demanded. She felt communities should not be any closer than a quarter mile to each other and should require buffers. She doesn’t like to see developments built close to streams.
Nancy Snowden – Ms. Snowden has lived in
Rebecca Pittman – Ms. Pittman is a native of
David Weintroud – Mr. Weintroud is the executive
director of ECO and was representing the members. They are in support of the Land Development
Code. He feels that
5) James Taylor – Mr. Taylor stated that the Planning Board and Commissioners should consider an impact fee for revenue to all of the developers who ‘hit and run’. (Legislature will not allow this per Chairman Moyer.)
6) Judy Nicholson – Ms. Nicholson stated that she was offended by the scalping of the ridgelines. She doesn’t feel that the State guidelines are sufficient and the Board should come up with a better plan.
Stan Kumor – Mr. Kumor has been a resident of
8) Martha Sachs – Ms. Sachs sees a problem in that there is nothing in the code that prevents the developers from clearing trees before thy begin building and only adding back a few shrubs which take years to grow back. She is concerned that too many golf courses are being built and that the run-off water would be contaminated.
Judy Smith – Ms. Smith lives 50 feet from
10) Carolyn Brown – Ms. Brown feels that manufacturing and industry is too limited. Small businesses are being limited in the R-2 and R-3 zones. The new zoning would not allow expansion of her beauty shop.
Brown – Mr. Brown is a small business owner and lifelong resident of
12) Tony Laughter - Mr. Laughter started out in a mobile home. The LDC is running mobile home owners out. He feels that there needs to be more area in the County that is affordable.
13) Bill Laughter – Mr. Laughter stated property owners should be allowed to put in MFH. Remember the natives.
14) Alan Bowen – Mr. Bowen agrees that MFH should be allowed. They can’t afford anything else.
15) Dale Heeman – Mr. Heeman is a disabled vet. He can’t afford housing. Natives can’t afford these $300-400,000 homes. There is no room for natives. He was concerned about the ridgelines and felt that the County did not have to go by the State Stamdards.
16) Katie Breckheimer – Ms. Breckheimer asked the Board to look at where there was no infrastructure and direct growth in those areas. Take a realistic view at the hidden costs of development. The more house, the more it costs the county in services. Please calculate the true costs of the ridge top houses with the million dollar views. They can be asked to blend in with their surrounding or they can forbid them to build on steep slopes altogether. Ms. Breckheimer is in favor of the LCD and realizes it is a work in progress.
17) Carolyn Blalock – Mrs. Blalock is the Coordinator of the Natural Resources Committee, League of Women Voters of Henderson County. They feel that manufactured homes, by today’s standards, are not easily distinguished from stick built homes and are much more affordable. Restricting their use in only R2MH and R3 zones is limiting and it should be expanded as a permitted use or at least a special use in R1 and R2 zoned areas. It is also important to clarify the difference between manufactured homes and mobile homes in the LDC. They suggested the R3 zone description be reclassified as Rural/Agriculture. Overlay maps provide excellent visual tools. Overlay maps for flood plane, farmland, natural heritage inventory, and historic cemeteries would be invaluable.
18) Patrick Kennedy – Mr. Kennedy stated that the LDC does not provide affordable housing.
19) Ben Campen – Mr. Campen was the founder of Smiley’s Flea Market. Smiley’s is thriving because they responded to the public. He is now the sole owner of Smiley’s. Small businesses are very important and the LDC needs more room for the small businesses. He is concerned with the definition of “flea market”.
20) Judy Abrell – Ms. Abrell encourages the adoption of the LDC. She feels that there needs to be more restrictions on steep slope development. Ms. Abrell stated that there needs to be a more an equitable way to manage growth; impact fees.
21) Cathy Burroughs – Ms. Burroughs is a realtor and lives in a double-wide. She is concerned with affordable housing. She is the owner of a mobile home park. For each retiree moving into the area, two service people are needed.
22) Mary Jane Pell – Ms. Pell was concerned about development without soil erosion and sedimentation control. She feels that developers should put down earnest monies to guarantee follow-through.
23) Bonnie Musselwhite – Ms. Musselwhite was concerned about affordable housing. The County needs to retain farmland. The County doesn’t need more golf courses. Steep slopes should not be built on.
24) Larry McKay – Mr. McKay agreed that the LDC needed to be revised before more discussions are held. “Money drives everything and money is behind the LDC”. The way to stop development is to stop selling your land.
Reed – Mr. Reed lives in rural
26) Sam Creech – Mr. Creech feels that the LDC is as close to acceptable to most people as possible. There are areas which need improvement and always will be. Mr. Creech is a homebuilder. He encourages the Board to approach the state and work toward impact fees. Erosion control information needs to be shared. There should be a back-up for erosion control. Consider height limitations and ridgelines.
Hatfield – Mr. Hatfield encouraged the citizens to come to the May 22 meeting
28) Jim Brissie – Mr. Brissie agreed that County zoning needed to be updated. He is concerned about zoning errors. Don’t do away with R-40 and take a look at R-2 zoning.
29) Shawn Miles – Mr. Miles would like the Board to consider deferred tax rates for new farmers.
Thomas – Ms. Thomas has lived in
31) Leon Allison – Mr. Allison sees the need for affordable housing and land. He has lived here for 53 years.
32) Robert Kuykendall – Mr. Kuykendall feels that the community is growing too fast. Housing is becoming unaffordable to the natives.
Sheppard – Mr. Sheppard is a native of
34) Angela Beeker – Ms. Beeker requested an amendment to the text – the use table. She asked that light industrial uses be removed as permissible uses in the community commercial district.
35) Jack Oechslin – Mr. Oechslin spoke in regards to the sedimentation and soil erosion ordinance. He questioned if there was a moratorium on high-density developments. (No was answered)
Stamey – Mr. Stamey lives on one of the ridge tops.
37) ? – This gentlemen had already spoken. He is for R-40 zoning.
38) Ernest Sheppard – Mr. Sheppard stated that his passion is for protecting the rights of his family. He does not feel that the LDC will slow down the growth. Industry needs to be brought into the County.
There being no further public input the meeting adjourned.