STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                   BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                               MARCH 7, 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, Interim County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Planners Nippy Page and Josh Freeman, and Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.


Absent was: County Manager David E. Nicholson.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order, stating that the purpose of this meeting was a workshop on Land Use Issues.  The Board would discuss and continue discussion of items discussed at the last land use workshop. The first item of business will be the Laurel Park ETJ.


LAUREL PARK ETJ - Letter from Mayor Johnson

Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that a letter was sent to Laurel Park to see what their current position was on possibly giving up some of their ETJ areas and have the county zone those.  The Board has since received a response from Mayor Johnson.


Karen Smith stated that on behalf of staff, they are looking for some direction from the Board.  They have halted any continued effort on that project until they get direction from the Board.  Notices have gone out to invite people to the drop-in sessions that County Staff held.  There was some fairly good attendance.  Staff have also received some written and oral responses regarding peoples feelings about the study.  If this is something the Board does not intend to pursue at this time, Staff needs to know so they can clarify to those folks about what is going on in their area.   Some people were opposed to what the County was doing with the initial study but they need to know that the Open Use Zoning is a totally separate project.  The Laurel Park ETJ study was initiated based on some of the folks in the ETJ and the Open Use is a completely different zoning effort. 


Chairman Moyer stated that based on the letter received from Mayor Johnson, he proposed that the Board put this subject off until after finishing the deliberations on the Open Use Zoning, just set it aside for the next two months or so and then revisit it based on how the Open Use Zoning issue stands at that time.


Following some discussion, it was the consensus of the Board that these two items were totally different issues and that the Board did wish to revisit the Laurel Park ETJ issue after finishing up with the Open Use Zoning issue.  Laurel Park ETJ will be placed back on the agenda after taking action on Open Use Zoning District.  The Board=s next priority would be to get the new Zoning Ordinance (rewrite) completed.  They will then revisit Laurel Park ETJ to see how it fits into the time table.  


Chairman Moyer felt it would be appropriate for the Board to send a letter to the Mayor and Council of Laurel Park, indicating that the Board of Commissioners will defer action on this for a period of time until finished with the Open Use Zoning District.  Staff can then copy that letter to interested persons in the area.                           


FLAT ROCK - Letter from Mayor Hicks

Chairman Moyer referenced a letter from Mayor Hicks and asked Karen Smith to review the letter. 


Karen Smith read the short, two sentence letter, AThe Village of Flat Rock would like to enter into discussions with Henderson County about the Land Use Zoning on our borders.  We would like to start these discussions within the next 60 days.@


Chairman Moyer made the same recommendation as above with the Town of Laurel Park. He felt that the Open Use District may help address their concerns.  He felt that the County should have their plan in place before sitting down with Mayor Hicks and the Flat Rock Council.


There was much discussion regarding involvement of the municipalities and when that should take place.  There was particular discussion regarding ETJ extension and annexation.


Commissioner Hawkins put forward his thoughts for consideration by the Board of Commissioners as follows.  He suggested that the quickest approach would be to take the areas that are contiguous to the municipalities and apply zoning in the context of the current zoning ordinance, feeling this might make for more productive meshing.


Commissioner Hawkins had missed the last workshop the Board had on Land Use but had read those minutes to get the feel of the Board=s actions from that meeting.


Chairman Moyer explained that there were several points raised in the discussions from the last meeting, reasons why they did not take the same approach that Commissioner Hawkins just suggested.  First of all, the Board wanted to get a certain level of protection in as broad an area of the county as they thought was appropriate, not just around the municipalities.  This is not being done just to deal with around the municipalities although that is certainly where some of the growth areas are.  He stated that if you wanted to do an appropriate job of a zoning study in all those areas, it would take a lot of time.  Chairman Moyer stated that the third and most important reason discussed was they did not want to do anymore zoning by districts under the old zoning ordinance until the rewrite was complete to offer some flexibility.  Even though it doesn=t afford the appropriate level of zoning the Board thought was necessary, they thought it would be better to get some level of protection in as much of the county as they thought was appropriate, maybe all of the county, so that we would not have another situation like we had with the asphalt plant, racetrack, etc.  This would give the Board some time to do the job right.  It was felt that this was the best option the Board had as an emergency plan (3 month plan).


Much discussion followed.  It was the consensus of the Board to deal with the Village of Flat Rock the same as the Town of Laurel Park.



Chairman Moyer asked Karen Smith to elaborate on the former Steering Committee and make a recommendation to the Board.  The Board felt the need to proceed and wanted to have the revised Comprehensive Land Use Plan ready in 12 months.  It should be the basis of the new Zoning Ordinance and any planning the Board does.


Karen Smith felt that a Steering Committee would be a great way to proceed.  She did express that the former Steering Committee was quite large to work with, at 22 members.  She distributed a copy of the former Steering Committee list to the Board.


It was felt that the Commissioners should appoint representatives to the new Steering Committee from some of the more newly formed committees, such as the EAC (Environmental Advisory Committee),  the TAC (Transportation Advisory Committee), the Greenways Committee, and others.


Chairman Moyer asked each Commissioner to draw up a list of Steering Committee members and pass them to him.  The Board will set up a new Steering Committee at an upcoming meeting, possibly at the March 21 meeting.



Chairman Moyer stated that Jennifer Jackson and Karen Smith have pulled together the information the Board has discussed previously, including the last workshop.  He turned the meeting over to Jennifer Jackson and Karen Smith at this time for discussion of the draft document.


Jennifer Jackson and Karen Smith had distributed several hand-outs which they reviewed in some detail:

$                Discussion Item 1: Heavy Industry Definition

$                Discussion Item 2: Portable/Temporary Uses

$                Several definitions and proposed regulations:

Heavy Industry

Chip Mills

Solid Waste Management Facilities

Mining and Extraction Operations

Concrete Plants

Asphalt Plants



Motor Sports Facilities

Slaughtering Plants

Amusement Parks

Vehicle and Mobile/Manufactured Home Graveyards


They also distributed a new chart (ivory colored) to be inserted into the draft document.  There were some errors in the chart in the draft document.  This was a chart of the Uses that require Special Use Permits in the Open Use District.


Discussion of Heavy Industry Definition

To be AHeavy Industry@ the use must meet a two-prong definition.


Definition, first prong:

Must be an industrial use establishment which includes the following:

Manufacturing Assembly, Processing, Fabricating, Machining, Warehousing,

Transforming materials into new products, Blending material.


Definition, second prong:

Must be a large quantity generator of hazardous waste (2200+ lbs. per month) or be

required to obtain one of the following permits:

Air Quality Permit, NPDES Water Quality Permit, Mining Permit,

CERCLA Permit (?).



There were things discussed that were not decided, the Board will revisit at a later time:


Residential density requirement?


Whether there should be a size threshold in the definition for heavy industry.


Whether the Board wanted to capture the smaller quantity generators of hazardous

waste since the current definition provides a large threshold (2200+ lbs/mo).


The concept of a temporary use permit with some conditions.



Discussion of Portable/Temporary Uses

The following uses itemized in the chart may have portable facilities: Asphalt Plants, Chip Mills, Mining and Extraction Operation (sand).


It was the consensus of the Board to make portable asphalt plants, including plants that regrind asphalt for reuse, subject to the same standards as other asphalt plants.  It was the consensus of the Board to not regulate portable chip mills.  It was the consensus of the Board to only require those mining and extraction operations that have to apply for one of the permits to be controlled by our standards.


Discussion of Adult Establishments

Karen stated that on page 55 - Open Use District, Adult Establishments are listed as a prohibited use.  They would not be allowed anywhere,where the County was zoned as Open Use.  In order to prevent zoning them completely out of the county, they have been added as special uses to the I-2 (General Industrial Category) and to the C-4 (Highway Commercial Category).  In doing so, staff added a list of standards for the use that would have to be reviewed along with the special use permit. 



Staff had prepared a draft map of a Proposed Open Use District, if not zoning the entire county and it was shown and discussed.  If the Board advertises the two alternatives, the Board could then do either or anything in between.


Option I:            Zone entire county as Open Use District.


Option II:            Zone somewhat less than the entire county (like on proposed draft map).


The Board wanted to set a session for public input and see where the citizens and the municipalities stand with respect to Open Use Zoning.  The majority of the Board was ready to set a public input session.


Commissioner Gordon had real concerns because the Board really doesn=t have a good draft yet. 

She said that Open Use Zoning is a totally new approach and that a more defined draft would be easier to understand.  She thought one additional workshop should be held before going to public hearing.


Some of the other Commissioners didn=t like the idea of taking stuff out and then taking it to the public.  It was felt though that it is time to take the concept, the maps, the whole idea out to the public and see what they think about Open Use Zoning and whether they wish to be included or not.  There may be several input sessions needed.  There was discussion of holding the sessions out in the community.


Following much discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to set up a public input session to see if the Board is headed in the right direction, set the date for the public input session at next Monday=s meeting (on March 12).  A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Gordon voting nay.


Commissioner Ward made the motion to adjourn the meeting at approximately 5:10 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.






Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk                                                William L. Moyer, Chairman