STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON
OCTOBER 19, 1999
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the County Administration Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
Those present were: Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager, David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Angela S. Beeker, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn and Julia Cogburn from BenchMark.
Also present were the following Planning Board Members: Jack H. Beattie, Rebecca G. Nesbitt, Charles W. McGrady, Walter Carpenter, Mary Jo Padgett, William M. Blalock, Tedd M. Pearce, Raymond Ward and the Planning Board Secretary Kathleen Scanlan.
Absent was: Planning Board member Michael Case.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. He particularly thanked the Planning Board members for taking the time to attend this meeting to work on the Zoning Ordinance rewrite. The last workshop was with some of the representatives from BenchMark. There was discussion of having some public input before holding the next workshop. This has happened. He called attention to the printed agenda stating that he would like to concentrate on item #5 for the majority of the meeting.
Karen Smith reminded the Board that when they last met on this subject, the Board gave some direction to Bench Mark to solicit some community input. At that time the Board listed some specific interest groups that they wished to hear from. Following that meeting, the Board of Commissioners set up an informal Steering Committee composed of Bill Moyer, Marilyn Gordon, Chuck McGrady, Karen Smith, Angela Beeker, and Julia Cogburn.. The Steering Committee has helped guide the public input process. Staff drafted an implementation plan for this portion of the overall set of priorities the Board of Commissioners sent to the Planning Board: open use zoning, rewrite of the zoning ordinance, zoning in areas adjacent to municipalities, and zoning corridors and growth areas.
Eight focus group sessions were held with representatives from 36 different business organizations, groups, and other individuals. These sessions were held to listen to what citizens would like to see in the zoning ordinance rewrite. They received a wide range of comments. Some of the most prevalent comments from the focus groups were:
comprehensive land use planning
citizens would like to see the Board deal with the manufactured housing
standards and other means
Two public meetings were also held. They also met with the Zoning Board of Adjustment to get their insight. She also mentioned a survey that came from the steering committee.
Julia Cogburn is a Senior Planner with BenchMark, Inc. She works out of the Asheville office and has taken over the main work of this project. Ms. Cogburn explained that Henderson County currently has a Zoning Ordinance which is a 1981 or older model ordinance. It is difficult to read with poor references. She noted some omissions which may be desirable to include in a rewrite.
Some future ordinance needs have been identified:
She discussed the Comprehensive Land Use Plan
adopts approach of Asafety net@ zoning except in areas where zoning is desired by
residents and in areas (to be defined) of high growth and corridors
land use plan and regulation guide
The County has a number of ordinances that they have put in place because there is not county-wide zoning to deal with specific issues as they arose: watershed; motor facilities; junkyards; outdoor advertising; incinerators; telecommunications; manufactured home parks; mountain ridge law; farmland protection. These are confusing and she was concerned about consistency. These ordinances apply to the entire county for the most part.
Her suggested approach:
1) Proceed with new ordinance based on Land Use Plan, Land Use Regulation Guide and
PUDs; conditional use zoning; incentives; density transfers, etc.; what level of review the
commissioners and board desire; and other core issues to the zoning ordinance
2) Address those who want more planning at this stage:
zoning as needed upon adoption)
and safety net adopted
Her Initial Suggested Zoning Ordinance Improvements:
1. Address major and minor issues as listed above.
2. Overlays needed as improved tools:
b. Corridor - with ability to have each corridor have unique standards based
on plan for area and its character
3. Since will have countywide zoning with open use, absorb all ordinances into zoning to
make the land development process in Henderson County much easier to understand
(This is underway with the Asafety net@ zoning draft).
4. Combine districts.
5. Improve PUD for increased flexibility as floating zone with special use permit provisions.
6. Make processes as simple as possible; look at level of formal review and leave only what is
necessary at that level (including reducing number of special and conditional uses). Clarify
processes in ordinance and put all in one place.
7. General organizational improvement; better tables; addition of charts; cross references, etc.
8. Look at affordable housing issues (incentives?).
9. Landscaping improvements.
10. Develop districts that reflect infrastructure (esp. sewer/septic) situation and need for open
Julia Cogburn then reviewed Issue Papers on various zoning concepts:
Planned Unit Developments (PUDS)
Conditional Use/Special Use Zoning
Incentives in Zoning
Density Transfers/Transfer of Development Rights
There was much discussion, following which she briefly discussed how overlays work.
Chairman Hawkins then reviewed a list of APending Issues@ and there was discussion:
#1 Consider combining and/or eliminating existing districts - should this be done? Which ones should be combined? Eliminated? Should any existing districts be changed (adding or deleting uses, amending standards, etc.)?
There was some discussion that some districts could be eliminated and/or districts combined. The county currently has about 21 zoning districts. Chairman Hawkins felt that some of the lesser used districts should be considered for deletion and some of the similar districts considered for combining. It was the general consensus of both Boards that the number of districts could be reduced.
There was much discussion about what the Board would like to accomplish with the rewrite. Goals of the rewrite were to make it more user friendly and to address housing and open space. There was much discussion re: sewers, density, topography, and roads.
#2 Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) - what procedure should be used? Which districts should allow them?
There was much discussion. The Board wanted flexibility and open space. They would like to take a look at the PUD and the RO district and then decide which is the best way to include the flexibility into the ordinance that they want.
#3 Allowing Commercial Uses in More Districts - Which districts should allow them? What standards should apply?
The Board would be open to looking at commercial uses in more districts.
#4 Manufactured Housing - Which districts should allow it? What standards should apply?
There was some discussion that the T districts could be eliminated and standards set for manufactured housing to go into other districts. A decision would have to be made as to where to allow manufactured home parks.
#5 Roles of the BOC, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment and Staff - What level of review should each have? What standards should apply?
Following much discussion, it was the consensus to leave this pretty much as it is. It is working for us.
#6 Basic Site Standards - Should every use have them? Should there be landscaping requirements?
No consensus was reached here. The Board was open to recommendations from the Planning Board.
#7 Nonconforming Uses - Should provisions be revised to include Vested Rights Ordinance language?
There was some discussion of vested rights. It was felt that this should be included for flexibility.
#8 Conditional/Special Use Zoning.
Following much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board that the Planning Board look at #8 and bring back a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.
#9 Development Incentives.
This was discussed very briefly. This could help with open space and with affordable housing. The Board was interested in this idea.
#10 Density Transfers/Transfer of Development Rights
It was the consensus of the Board that they did not wish to use this option. Stay away from #10.
#11 Overlay Districts.
The Planning Board showed some interest in this concept. This could help with our corridors.
Karen Smith reviewed a timetable with both Boards which had been distributed in the packets.
Staff will combine discussions from this meeting and get this information back to the Board of Commissioners by the first meeting in November.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk Grady Hawkins, Chairman