STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON SEPTEMBER 21, 2000
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 5:00 p.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.
Those present were: Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn. Commissioner Don Ward arrived after Karen Smith had started her presentation.
Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith and Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson.
Absent was: County Manager David E. Nicholson.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance, stating that this is a workshop on proposed amendments to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance. He also stated that a Public Hearing on this issue will be held today at 6:30.
Chairman Hawkins asked Karen Smith to go through each of the sixteen (16) proposed amendments. If the Commissioners have questions, they can stop Ms. Smith and ask them at any time.
First of all, Karen Smith distributed comments she had received from Luther Smith. Chairman Hawkins stated that Mr. Smith would have a chance to address the Board if he wished during Public Comments at 6:30.
#1 deals with driveways - the reason for the change was to reduce confusion about Adriveways@ and to provide standards for roads serving up to three lots.
Following much discussion - change Avehicular access@ to Ashared driveway@ and delete all requirements except for right-of-way which will stay 30'. The Board also changed the number of residential lots served to 2 - 24 for a local road and 2- 3 for a shared driveway.
#2 deals with shoulder width - the reason for the change was to provide flexibility in the shoulder width requirements of private local residential roads.
Change - private local residential road may have a shoulder width of 4-6 feet if travelway width is 18 feet. The Board also added the language Aeach side@ to the shoulder width.
#3 deals with site analysis, sketch scale - the reason for the change was to provide a more reasonable scale for site analysis sketch (currently 1" = 50').
Change to a scale that provides sufficient detail to describe the general location and natural features of site.
#4 deals with erosion control plan - the reason for the change was to streamline review of subdivision disturbing less than 1 acre of land.
Change to applicants must provide professional certification that they will disturb less than 1 acre of land and change the word Averifying@ to Acertifying@ in section 170-19.
#5 deals with lot area - the reason for the change was to clarify the terms Alot area@ and Alot size@ and make the terminology the same in both the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Ordinance.
Change to minimum lot square footage or lot size will be termed Alot area@. Lot area excluded right-of-way.
#6 deals with Subdivision Administrator - the reason for the change was to enable more efficient review of subdivisions and provide better public service.
Change to appointed staff members can carry out the official duties of the Subdivision Administrator. The Board wanted it to be Karen and one other person and name the other (person=s) job title.
Following much Board discussion, Jennifer Jackson suggested an additional paragraph to be
added to section 170-9 AUnless other provisions of this Chapter or any other law, rules, or regulation expressly prohibits the Subdivision Administrator may delegate duties under this Ordinance; however, the Subdivision Administrator shall remain responsible for the overall administration of the Chapter.@
#7 deals with minor subdivisions - the reason for this change was to clarify the conditions under which an approved minor subdivision may be expanded.
Change to a minor subdivision may be expanded under minor procedure.
The Board changed Section 120-13.A-2 as follows - add A#1 and >that is= and add a #2
Awhich has been in common ownership with the original tract at any time within the said
three year period.@
#8 deals with road frontage and existing off-site access - the reason for the change was to explicitly require that all lots have a right-of-way to a public road and that lots with less than 30' of public road frontage and no off-site right-of-way apply for a variance to the road standards.
Change to all tracts to be subdivided must have frontage on, or a right-of-way to a public road and tracts with less than 30' of public road frontage must meet the same density restrictions as for limited off-site access. Additional change in Section 170-28 was to change the word Amay@ to Ashall@ and in Table 2 change AIf existing off-site access@ to AIf road frontage on existing off-site access@.
#9 deals with upgrading existing roads - the reason for the change was to require some existing private roads within a development tract be upgraded when a subdivision is proposed.
Change to certain existing private roads must be upgraded to meet the private road standards in the Ordinance. Jennifer Jackson suggested adding a couple additional words to Section 170-21 and the Board was in agreement.
#10 deals with subdivision notice sign - the reason for the change was to better inform the public regarding the location and nature of proposed major subdivisions.
The suggested change was to require a notice sign to be posted on the property of a proposed major subdivision. The majority of the Board was in disagreement with this requirement.
Angela Beeker reminded the Board that the Public Information Session was noticed for 6:30 p.m., stating it might be prudent to take a break and give those folks who came for that a chance to ask staff some questions.
Chairman Hawkins called a recess.
7:00 p.m. Chairman Hawkins called the meeting back to order.
PUBLIC HEARING - on Proposed Amendments to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance
Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins asked Karen Smith to continue with the review of the sixteen amendment changes, the Board had earlier gotten through # 10.
# 11 deals with building permit requirement - the reason for the change was to remove a section that may be unnecessary.
Change to developers intending to sell lots must build improvements or bond them. Allows model homes.
#12 deals with major subdivision application - the reason for the change was to clarify the procedure for reviewing major subdivisions.
Change to reduce wait between preapplication conference and submission of application. Specifies deadline for Master Plan. Allows joint Master/Development Plan for single-section projects.
#13 deals with review of private roads - the reason for the change was to clarify who has approval authority for private roads in minor subdivisions.
Change to allows Subdivision Administrator to approve private roads for proposed minor subdivisions.
#14 deals with flag lots - the reason for the change was to clarify who has approved authority for flag lots in minor subdivisions.
Change to allows Subdivision Administrator to approve flag lots for proposed minor subdivisions.
#15 deals with administrative and grammatical changes - the reason for the change was to correct various administrative inconsistencies and grammatical errors.
Change to Ordinance is more consistent and easier to interpret.
#16 deals with bridge standards - the reason for the change was to allow for flexibility in bridge design on private roads while maintaining safety of the structures.
Change to bridges on private roads must meet state road standards for drainage, hydraulics and load but the Planning Board may approve reduced travelway widths under certain conditions. An additional change was suggested to Table I of a minimum vertical clearance for a proposed private bridge shall be 13 ft. 6 inches.
There was much discussion regarding bridges - the Board wanted to provide liability for the county and allow flexibility for the developer.
Prior to accepting public input, Karen Smith was asked to review the changes to the proposed amendments:
Amendment #1 - There was discussion of what term should be used to define these shorter roads that would not have to meet the same standards as the private local residential roads, page #1. Vehicular access and shared driveway were the suggested terms.
On page #2 the Board proposed putting Anot applicable@ under the Vehicular Access column on all the standards except for the 30' right-of-way width requirement and putting Avertical clearance of 13'6" all the way across the table for bridges. Anywhere the term driveway or vehicular access was used, it will be changed to be consistent. On number of residential lots served, the first entry in the table - number of residential lots served was changed to 2 - 24 under local road and 2 - 3 under vehicular access and will be changed likewise anywhere else it is discussed. Commissioner Moyer questioned whether it should not remain 1-24 under local roads. He asked staff to research the definition of local road.
Amendment # 2 - The Board did add on shoulder width in Table I Aeach side@.
Amendment # 4 - The Board changed the word Averifying@ to Acertifying@.
Amendment # 6 - The Board changed the definition of Subdivision Administrator to read AThe official responsible for the overall administration of this Chapter, such individual shall be the Henderson County Planning Director and (name the particular position). Unless other provisions of this Chapter or any other applicable law, rule, or regulation expressly prohibits, the Subdivision Administrator may delegate duties under this Chapter; however, the Subdivision Administrator shall remain responsible for the overall administration of this chapter.
Amendment # 7 - The Board made a change to page 11 under #2 to read AExcept in cases of expansions of approved minor subdivisions allowed in (1), above, the minor subdivision procedure may not be used a second time within three years on property (1) that is less than 1,500 feet from the original property boundaries of the original tract which was the subject of a previously approved minor subdivision application and (2) which has been in common ownership with the original tract at any time within the said three year period.@
Amendment # 8 - The Board changed the word may to Ashall@ and in Table 2 changed the title of the left column to read AIf road frontage or existing off-side access ROW at the narrowest point is@.
Amendment # 9 - The Board made a change on page 13 AIf the tract to be subdivided is located on both sides of an existing, recorded private right-of-way that contains an existing private road, the applicant shall be required to upgrade such portions of the existing private road which are contained on the tract that is being subdivided to meet the road standards found in this chapter@.
The other changes had been covered after the Board went into public hearing.
1. Ed Hernando - Mr. Hernando was not present when his name was called.
2. William Patterson - Mr. Patterson spoke regarding the 200 ft. length driveways. He spoke about cul-de-sacs, stating that you have to clear 1.5 acres of trees just to put in a cul-de-sac. He asked the Board to strike 200 ft. driveways and not have a limit on length of driveway. He also stated that a 30 ft. deeded right-of-way is sufficient, its main use is to serve the utility companies at the expense of the property owners.
He spoke to Building Permits - asking the Board to leave amendment # 11 as originally proposed, not to strike it.
3. Tom McHugh - Mr. McHugh spoke to bridges - he asked why not put bridges in the road disclosure and require that the developer indicate whether or not it was engineered, who the engineer was, etc. and leave it up to the developer.
He also addressed roads and driveways. He is not pleased with what has been suggested as far as road widths. He felt the Board should definitely drop the 200 ft. requirement on driveways, you can=t get across a one acre lot to access a lot you have behind it with a 200 ft. driveway. He stated that driveways often have to be longer than 200 feet.
Mr. McHugh stated that developers are having to build superhighways to get into developments. He=s got to build 18 ft. roads and pave them so his lot sizes are getting smaller and smaller - out in the country. These are private roads that will never be taken over by the state. He asked the Board to take into consideration topography and density of housing. Shoulder widths become a major problem along with topography.
Mr. McHugh stated that the Board of Commissioners is encouraging developers to make lot sizes smaller and the Board is increasing development costs. He said this is zoning in a subtle way! Board of Commissioner control is zoning!
Much Board discussion followed. There was discussion that the Board would like to offer more flexibility to developers but it is very hard to write this flexibility into an ordinance, you almost have to get a variance.
Bill Patterson - Mr. Patterson came forward again and said he would like to see the Board ask the Planning Board to take a new look at Table I , particularly turning radius and amount of gravel.
A copy of Luther Smith=s comments was given to all attendees so they could be considered a part of this public hearing.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board had a good workshop and a lot of interesting things came up in the public input of the public hearing. The Planning Staff has some rewriting to do and bring it back to the Board.
Commissioner Gordon stated that these public comments warrant serious consideration by the Board of Commissioners and by the Planning Board. There was some discussion that we=re asking developers to build roads like they are building them in big cities, Charlotte and Raleigh, where they have no mountains, no grades to deal with. Commissioner Moyer felt that the Fire Advisory Committee should be asked to look at the turn around radius and talk with developers at the same time.
The issue of building permits was discussed again, stating the impact on that could be significant (amendment # 11). Staff will make the discussed changes and bring this back to the Board for review at another Commission meeting. At this point, nothing will be dropped or stricken. These items will be voted on separately at another meeting. The only wording changes staff will make are those they have been directed to make by the Board of Commissioners. Staff will put changes in Aitalics@. Commissioner Moyer stated that with respect to amendment # 11, the flexibility to build one spec. house might be something we would be willing to consider but beyond that he has serious problems with.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman