STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                      NOVEMBER 7, 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.


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager David E. Nicholson, 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.



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.


Chairman Hawkins stated that the first order of business was to approve the agenda.  He made the motion to approve the agenda.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  One item had been added to the agenda that was not advertised - ANC DOT Unpaved Road Improvement Pilot Program@.


NC DOT Unpaved Road Improvement Pilot Program

Karen Smith had sent a memo to David Nicholson on this item and David had shared it with the Board of Commissioners.


Both Karen Smith (Planning Dept.) and Lee Smith (Benchmark) had reviewed the program description and the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance.


The Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance allows for both public and private roads.  If the roads are proposed to be public, they must be constructed in accordance with NC DOT standards.  Private roads, however, have minimum construction standards that are not equivalent to NC DOT standards. Two of the most obvious discrepancies between the private road standards in the Subdivision Ordinance and NC DOT standards have to do with paving and with the road travelway width.  NC DOT standards require that public subdivision roads be paved.  The Subdivision Ordinance allows private roads to remain unpaved.  In addition, NC DOT standards require that the travelway width of public subdivision roads be at least 18 feet.  Under the Subdivision Ordinance, private roads may have a travelway width of 16 feet if they serve less than 25 existing or proposed dwelling units.


Because of the differences between our private road standards and NC DOT standards, Henderson County would not be eligible to participate in the pilot program.  If the County was interested in participating, amendments to the Subdivision Ordinance to require that all subdivision roads be constructed to NC DOT standards would be necessary.


NC DOT has requested that counties respond by November 14, 2000 regarding whether they would be able to comply with the requirements of the pilot program.  While Henderson County would not be eligible at this time, if the County was willing to amend the Subdivision Ordinance to require road construction according to NC DOT standards, it could notify NC DOT of its intentions prior to November 14, 2000.  It would take a minimum of 60 days to take any such amendments through the review and hearing process.


Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Board not to participate in the Pilot Program. The Board did not wish to amend the Subdivision Ordinance to require private roads to be built to NC DOT standards. The Board felt that there should be a lot of public input if Henderson County was interested in making this change.



from September 21, 2000 Work Session

Staff had brought back to the Board the results from the workshop on September 21.


Karen Smith stated that out of the sixteen proposed amendments to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance, the following needed to be discussed because of changes: #1, # 8, #9, and # 10.


Amendment # 1 (Driveway)

Revisions:       1.         Changed all references to proposed new term for Adriveway@ from

Avehicular access@ to Ashared driveway@.

2.               Added a vertical clearance standard for roads to Table I

3.               Deleted all proposed requirements in Table I for Ashared driveways@

except for right-of-way width and vertical clearance.


Discussion Item(s)      1. The definition of Ashared driveway@ limits its length to 200 feet.  A

comment at the hearing questioned the length limit. 


Amendment # 2 (Shoulder Width)

Revisions:       1.         Added Aeach side@ in Table I after AShoulder width@


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 3 (Site Analysis Sketch)

Revisions:       1.         None


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 4 (Notice of Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan)

Revisions:       1.         Changed word Averifying@ to Acertifying@

The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.

Amendment # 5 (Lot Area)

Revisions:       1.         None


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 6 (Subdivision Administrator)

Revisions:       1.         Added language to show who designates an AAssistant Subdivision


2.               Added language allowing Subdivision Administrator to delegate duties

while maintaining ultimate responsibility under the Ordinance


The Board was comfortable with the new language.


Amendment # 7 (Minor Subdivision Review)

Revisions:       1.         Added language to clarify that the three-year time frame regarding expansion

of minor subdivisions applies to tracts that were once in common ownership

with a previously subdivided tract.


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 8 (Road Frontage and Existing Off-Site Access)

Revisions:       1.         Changed Amay@ to Ashall@ in Section 170-28A

2.               Added ARoad Frontage or@ to column title in Table 2


The Board did wish to come back to this one for discussion.


Amendment # 9 (Upgrading Existing Private Roads)

Revisions:       1.         Added two phrases to clarify that the upgrading of existing roads would be required on portions of the road within the tract to be subdivided.

2.               The Planning Board discussed and sent a favorable recommendation on Amendment # 9; however, in thinking further about this amendment, current

Planning Staff has some concerns that not all of the road standards required

by the Ordinance could be met on a portion of a road within a tract to be subdivided without upgrading the entire road.  Changing the road grade or drainage, for example, on one portion of the road may affect the rest of the road.  The issue may be more about how much development should be permitted if the grade or level of improvements of off-site access, for example, is not at the standards required by the Ordinance.  Currently, Section 170-28A limits the number of lots that can be developed if off-site access consists of a right-of-way of less than 30 feet in width.  Section 170-28B states that if 5 or more lots are to be created and the grade at any point along an off-site access right-of-way exceeds 18 percent, then the Planning Board will review the application on a case by case basis.  Perhaps Section 170-28 could be expanded to address other standards for off-site access or the proposed Amendment #9 (to Section 170-21) could be expanded to require the Planning Board to look at improvements to existing roads on a case by case basis.  The Board of Commissioners may want to further discuss how to proceed with this amendment.


The Board wanted to revisit this amendment.


Amendment # 10 (Proposed Subdivision Notice Sign)

Revisions:       None


Discussion Item(s)      1. A majority of the Commissioners indicated that they did not favor this amendment.  The Board did not remove any amendments from consideration at the workshop and hearing; therefore, the Board will need to discuss how to proceed with this amendment.


The Board wanted to revisit this amendment.


Amendment # 11 (Plat Approval Required for Building Permit)

Revisions:       1.         Rather than delete the entire section as proposed by the Planning Board, the Commissioners asked for language that would allow a developer to construct model homes.  Such language has been added to the paragraph as it currently exists in the Subdivision Ordinance.  The section as now drafted would allow one structure (be it a single-family dwelling, a duplex, etc.) to be constructed for each approved development plan.  In some subdivisions, this would allow one structure per phase as each phase can have its own development plan.


The Board was satisfied with the proposed new language.


Amendment # 12 (Deadlines for Submission of Major Application)

Revisions:       None


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 13 (Review of Private Roads)

Revisions:       None


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 14 (Flag Lots)

Revisions:       None


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.

Amendment # 15 (Administrative and Grammatical Amendments)

Revisions:       None


The Board was in agreement with this, no discussion needed.


Amendment # 16 (Bridge Standards)

Revisions:       1.         The proposed travelway width standards for bridges on private roads in residential subdivisions have been rewritten to require that the travelway width on bridges be, at a minimum, equal to the travelway width of the road the bridge is on, but in no case can it be less than 12 feet.

2.               The language regarding the Planning Board reviewing private bridges in residential subdivisions on a case by case basis has been removed.

3.               The previously proposed paragraph regarding the Planning Board/Subdivision Administrator having the ability to hire an engineer to review plans for private bridges in residential subdivisions has been removed.


The Board was happy with the revised language.


Amendments for Discussion

#1, #8, #9, and #10.


Amendment # 1          The Board wanted to discuss the turn around and the 200 foot length requirement.


Option B          Increase the length limit.  Staff had proposed that the Commissioners could consider increasing the length limit of a Ashared driveway@.  For example, if the length limit was 0.1 mile (528 feet), then any private road serving 3 or fewer lots/dwelling units that is less than 0.1 mile would have to meet the standards for Ashared driveways@ and a private road serving 3 or fewer lots/dwellings that is greater than 0.1 mile would have to meet the standards for a Private Local Residential Subdivision Road (see ALocal@ column in Table I).  Under this option, the number of lots listed as being served by a ALocal@ road (A1 to 24" per Table I) should, therefore, be left as written.

Note:               Section 170-21H requires turnarounds at the end of all dead-end roads that exceed 300 feet.  Since a Ashared driveway@ would be considered a Aroad@ by definition, the requirement for a turnaround would apply if the driveway was greater than 300 feet.


Planning staff recommended this option in order to maintain some standards for Ashared driveways.@ After looking at several subdivisions where such Adriveways@ were either proposed or used in the past, Staff found that all of them were greater than 200 feet.  For this reason and because of a recent conversation between Planning Staff and Fire Marshal Rocky Hyder about running hoses from water sources for certain distances, Planning Staff suggested that the length limit be 0.1 mile.  Finally, Staff suggested that the Board consider whether to establish a maximum grade for Ashared driveways.@

There was much discussion regarding the radius of turnarounds.   It was discussed that turnarounds don=t have to be a cul-de-sac, some are a T-turnaround. Some of the above language is in other areas of the ordinance. 


It was the consensus of the Board to go with 0.1 mile in length or 528 feet but the Board was quite concerned about a turnaround and wished to send this amendment back to the Planning Board for work to make it compatible with 528 feet. Even more discussion followed and 1,000 feet was discussed. The board suggested having three breakdowns of road length: 200 feet and under, 200 feet to 500 feet and 500 feet to 1,000 feet, asking Planning to come back with some sample diagrams showing the turnaround locations.  Commissioner Moyer suggested that it might be wise to consider whether the T or the turnaround should be within 50 feet of each house. 


There was then discussion about grade of the road.  The Board discussed adding 15% and 18% on the grade of the road with a turn radius of 90 feet and 16 feet on the width of the road. 


Chairman Hawkins suggested asking the Planning Board to look at two lengths on the Ashared driveway@, 528 feet and 1,000 feet and ask them to come up with language about turnarounds and whether there should be any additional restrictions on 1,000 feet in length Ashared driveways@. It was the Board=s feeling that a road 1,000 feet in length should be more restrictive than a 200 foot road. It was finally decided to offer the three options for roads: 200 feet and under, 200 feet to 500 feet, and 500 feet to 1,000 feet.  The Board would like to see the Planning Board=s comments regarding this and pay particular attention to centerline radius, maximum grades, and shoulder width.


The Board talked with the Chairman of the Planning Board and the Board would just like to see what the Planning Board recommends.  The Board of Commissioners does not wish to restrict the Planning Board=s imagination.


Amendment # 8 

There was discussion concerning right-of-way. It was the consensus of the Board to leave #8 as revised at the September 21 workshop.


Amendment # 9    Roads in General

The Board agreed to send this back to the Planning Board.  Karen Smith had a concern about this one. 


Amendment # 10    Proposed Subdivision Notice Sign

The consensus of the Board was to delete this amendment.



Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to approve amendments as discussed, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, and #16, effective immediately (all except # 1 and #10) except for those subdivisions currently under construction.  To send # 1 to the Planning Board per discussion at this meeting and to delete #10.  A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Kumor voting nay.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned.






_______________________________________    _______________________________________

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