STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                       FEBRUARY 22, 2000


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, and County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager/Interim County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith and Environmental Planner Nippy Page.



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order at approximately 3:15 p.m. 


Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that January a year ago the Board had a retreat out at the Kellogg Center.  One area that was reviewed at that time was what has eventually developed into the Countywide Land Use Regulation Guide.  That particular document had about a three phased  approach to looking at some land use issues.  The first part of that dealt with a concept that the Board was working with called Safety Net Zoning, for lack of a better term.  


The Board had been looking at a list of Aquality of life@ issues for some time.  This was one of those issues.  The Board had to issue several moratoriums to try to get caught up on a variety of things that the Board had interest in as far as land use. The Board had taken action on a variety of things from Mobile Home Parks to Noise Ordinances to Motor Sports Facilities Ordinances, Telecommunications Tower Ordinance, etc.    The Board and Staff had been working on a rewrite of the Subdivision Ordinance and the old Zoning Ordinance to try to make them more user friendly and more flexible. 


Commissioner Kumor stressed that it was important for the Board to all agree to restate what their intention was for Safety Net Zoning (goals):

C                     Provide a level of protection for the community from uses having the potential

to have substantial impact on the community.  The items the Board felt would have a

substantial impact have been listed in the safety net zoning.

C                     Provide an adequate level of flexibility to property owners.

C                     Provide neighborhoods smaller than 1 sq. mile to be able to apply to zone themselves

in the way they feel best suits them.

C                     Manage the growth and development in high areas.


She stated that this process was started partly to not have to pass any more moratoriums.  This Board thinks that is not the way to govern.  Safety Net Zoning is basically not prohibiting anything.     



Karen Smith and Angela Beeker made a PowerPoint presentation on Safety Net Zoning / Open Use District, addressing the following:


C                     Brief History

C                     Open Use District

What is it?

C                     What does it do?

C                     Will it affect me?

C                     Will it protect me?

C                     Other Impacts


The Open Use District would apply to all the unzoned areas of the County.  It would regulate the following specified uses:



Solid Waste Facilities

Mining and Extraction Operations

Concrete and Asphalt Plants


Vehicle and Manufactured Home Graveyards

Motorsports Facilities

Slaughtering and Processing Plants

Amusement Parks

Chip Mills


Manufactured Home Parks


It would also prohibit the following specified uses:


Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities

Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities

Adult Establishments


The Open Use District would allow all other uses by right with no zoning permit required. The Manufactured Home Park Ordinance and the Communications Tower Ordinance will continue to apply as they do today.


Karen reviewed several examples of how the district would affect property owners.



Chairman Hawkins explained that the only phase for an implementation plan that the Board had worked on was phase I which dealt with two subjects, one was completion of the Open Use District Text which was just reviewed, and the completion of the updated or new Zoning Ordinance.  The rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance is currently being worked on by Benchmark and the Planning Board.


Commissioner Moyer felt that the Board should re-assess some of the guidelines and whether or not the Board was still committed to moving along with safety net as the first step in the plan.  Much discussion followed, pro and con.  There was discussion that the Board should establish a plan of action and a timeframe.


Chairman Hawkins stated that the next very critical thing that needs to happen is the Zoning Ordinance rewrite.  


Direction to Staff

It was the consensus of the Board to continue to make the Zoning Ordinance rewrite the number one priority.  As time permits, work on these other things like corridors and ETJs, but do not slow down the rewrite process.  These things can happen concurrently.


Chairman Hawkins stated that as the rewrite nears completion, then times can be set for phase II and phase III of the project. 


Commissioner Moyer stated that he would be glad to sit down with a group to try to come up with an implementation plan for phases II and III with time frames, to try to capture what the Commissioners want.


Commissioner Moyer asked if the Board was ready to impose safety net zoning on all of the unzoned areas of the county?  He felt that is was a key issue.  There were mixed feelings among the Commissioners.


The Board should review the proposed document in detail with the suggested changes from the Planning Board and have a level of comfort with the document before holding public meetings on the document.


Commissioner Moyer expressed concern about imposing this level of what people think would be protection, when it isn=t, on the entire county.  There are areas that need immediate protection. He would be reluctant to impose safety net zoning throughout the county.  He spoke of the option of making safety net an available district.  Either of those alternatives will need a good rewrite to proceed.


It was the consensus of the Board to proceed on two fronts.  Commissioner Moyer will work with staff on an implementation schedule for phases II and III and the Board will hold another workshop after further study of the document to take another stab at finalizing the wording of safety net.  Whether it becomes a district and is used as part of the Zoning Ordinance rewrite or whether the Board proceeds to implement it in all the unzoned areas of the county is still an unanswered question.  The Board wanted staff and Benchmark to keep up the same pace with the Zoning Ordinance rewrite which is a critical piece of the puzzle.  The Zoning Ordinance rewrite is the Board=s highest priority.


It was the consensus of the Board to request, through the Chairman, from the Planning Board what areas they have set out to study and ask for that information.  The Board can review it, supplement it or change it and then hold a workshop.


There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at approximately 4:50 p.m.






                                                                                                                                                              Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                 Grady Hawkins, Chairman