STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                             JANUARY 9, 2001


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 Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson,  and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Senior Planner for Benchmark, Inc. Julia Cogburn, Planning Board Chairman Tedd Pearce, and Planning Board members Chuck McGrady and Walter Carpenter.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order at approximately 3:04 p.m and welcomed those in attendance.  The purpose of this meeting was a workshop to review the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite that has been underway for some time, conducted by the Henderson County Planning Board.  He stated that the Commissioners had received a draft of the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite earlier for review and have had some time to study it.



Karen Smith stated that the Planning Board has made a recommendation on the Draft Zoning Ordinance Rewrite.  The Planning Board completed it=s work in October, 2000.  The Commissioners had a joint meeting with the Planning Board in May, 1999, when the Commissioners asked that in conjunction with the Consultant, Benchmark, Inc., that there be a chance for some public input. That was done in August of 1999 and staff came back to the Board of Commissioners.  The Commissioners gave staff some objectives at that time to use while working on this rewrite:


1.               Make the Ordinance more flexible for the developer while considering the interest of

neighboring property owners.

1.               Increase options for development within the districts.

2.               Maximize staff review to minimize processing time for developer.


2.               Simplify the Ordinance - Make it more user-friendly.

1.               Combine existing districts into fewer districts where justified.

2.               Consider options for reorganizing the Ordinance.

3.               Clarify definitions to simplify interpretation, eliminate redundancy, address

inconsistencies, differentiate between use intensities (commercial, industrial, etc.).

4.               Eliminate redundancies and inconsistencies between Ordinance sections.

5.               Incorporate illustrations, sketches, etc.

6.               Incorporate other ordinances into the Zoning Ordinance.


3.               Be mindful of affordable housing as other issues are addressed.

1.               Allow developer incentives for dedicating a portion of the same or another

development for affordable housing.

2.               Permit accessory units in conjunction with some/all single-family dwelling

units [manufactured homes under special circumstances].

3.               Allow manufactured homes in residential zoning districts on single lots with aesthetic standards.

4.               Encourage multifamily housing, e.g. apartments, town homes, etc. where utilities

(Public water and sewer) are available.

5.               Have some districts which would allow more houses especially where transportation, jobs and utilities are available.

6.               Use overlay districts to allow manufactured and/or multifamily dwellings where

transportation is available.


4.               Consider environmental factors.

a.         Encourage the preservation of open space.

2.               Encourage connections to public water and sewer.

3.               Consider topography as a factor on development as districts are created and site

standards are developed, particularly in regard to public safety [for example, road

standards including maximum grade and curve radius].


5.               Address aesthetics and community impacts when developing site standards.  Such standards should be reasonable but not burdensome.

1.               Consider landscaping requirements [maintenance is an issue].

2.               Incorporate standards for on or off premise signs [for safety].

3.               Consider buffers [maintenance is an issue].

4.               Consider curb cuts [DOT issue; perhaps address in an overlay].

5.               Consider separation and setback requirements.

6.               Consider hours of operation limitation as appropriate [be careful].

7.               Use developer incentives to encourage the above.


6.               Consider impact on infrastructure in establishing or changing districts.

[See how Benchmark addresses in rewrite].

1.               Consider transportation issues.

2.               Consider water and sewer master plans when developing site standards.

3.               Bear in mind potential impacts on school system associated with zoning

districts as they are created/combined.


7.               Use overlay districts to provide special standards for certain areas if necessary.

[Question for Benchmark - Can they be used as transition districts?]

1.               Consider corridor overlays.

2.               Consider overlays for manufactured home parks.

3.               Others?


They have tried to meet as many of those objectives as possible through the Zoning Rewrite Project. Some cannot be met strictly through zoning, there are other means that would need to be used as well.


Karen explained that one of the big changes is in the formatting.  The document now contains a table of uses.  It was structured to be more user-friendly.  Another big change is the use of overlay districts.



Julia Cogburn told the Board of Commissioners that they should be very proud of the work that the staff and the Planning Board has put into this project. 


Julia briefly reviewed the AOutline of Significant Changes from Current Ordinance@.  This was an 11 page typed document. She recommended that the Commissioners review this outline in detail.


She also reviewed the Objectives (listed above) one by one and elaborated on how she felt that they were met in this ordinance.  There was discussion from the Commissioners, the Planning Board members, etc.


Ms. Cogburn stated that the new Zoning Ordinance should be used as a tool box and there will likely have to be revisions as staff works with it.  She suggested that animals not be addressed in the new Zoning Ordinance but that the Board address them in an Animal Control Ordinance.    The new Zoning Ordinance has 13 general use districts, 13 special use districts, and 5 overlays districts.


A number of free-standing ordinances were incorporated into this new Zoning Ordinance:

Telecommunications Towers Ordinance

Watershed Ordinance

Manufactured Home Park Ordinance

Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance

Outdoor Advertising/Billboard Ordinance


Chairman Moyer thanked Ms. Cogburn for her review, stating that she had covered a lot of territory in the time allowed. He asked for comments from the Planning Board members who were present.



The Planning Board had reached a consensus on a number of things but they may need some fine tuning as they are worked with.


Tedd Pearce, Chairman of the Planning Board, stated that he was very pleased with the efforts of everyone involved with the rewrite project.  He stated that they are aware that it is an imperfect document but if they waited until they had a perfect document, it would have taken considerably longer.  They do intend to send some changes to the Board of Commissioners in the future as they can address some specific issues.  He asked the Commissioners to give it strong consideration.


Chuck McGrady, Vice-Chairman of the Planning Board, asked the Board to pay particular attention to two sections of the new Ordinance - table of uses and zoning districts.  He urged the Board of Commissioners to hit the high policy issues and make decisions on those key policy issues.  This Zoning Ordinance assumes that the Commissioners will zone the entire county and will have to have an accompanying map with it.


Walter Carpenter, Senior Member of the Planning Board, explained that the new approach is better than what we=ve got as a whole. There will need to be amendments to the new ordinance.  He felt that the new ordinance promotes the Commissioner=s Mission Statement. 


Chairman Moyer recognized Leon Allison who was in attendance.  The Board had recently appointed Mr. Allison to the Planning Board, after this rewrite project was complete.


Chairman Moyer stated the need for another workshop on this issue and stated that the Board will set that workshop at the next meeting under Important Dates, January 17 Commission meeting. There was a reminder that this new ordinance is a draft document.


There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Gordon made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:58 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                       


William L. Moyer, Chairman