STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                               APRIL 26, 2001


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 8:30 a.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: Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Environmental Planner Nippy Page, Fire Marshal Rocky Hyder, Assistant to the County Manager Selena Coffey, and Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order at approx. 8:37 and welcomed those in attendance, stating that this workshop would be devoted to Open Use Zoning discussion.  Chairman Moyer added one item to the agenda.  There have been some changes in the Septic Permitting Process and he asked Commissioner Gordon to comment on that.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the revised agenda.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Blood Drive

Chairman Moyer thanked the County Employees for a very successful blood drive yesterday.  Our goal was 45 pints and we ended up with 53 pints. 


He also informed those in attendance that today is Selena Coffey=s 30th Birthday and wished her a happy birthday.


Septic Permitting Process changes

Commissioner Gordon stated that the Environmental Health section of the Public Health Department had initiated changes in the past week or so in the septic permitting process which requires a follow-up inspection, after the installation of the system and prior to the final occupancy permit on the property. 


She has had a phone call on the change and some of the other Commissioners have also had phone calls.  She stated that the language in the memo that was sent out (to developers) referred to final landscaping and driveway installation, those are the two issues she checked with Robert Smith about.  Robert Smith plans to do a clarification memo on just what they are referring to regarding landscaping and driveway.  She thinks they will change it to final grading or some similar term instead of landscaping and an established driveway meaning the bed needs to be there, the gravel and/or paving is not necessary at this point. 

Commissioner Ward stated that the Board needs to take a good look at this at budget time to be sure we are charging enough to cover the costs by fees.  He felt that a clarification memo was a good idea. Chairman Moyer will work with Commissioner Gordon to follow up on this issue.




Chairman Moyer made the motion to continue the Public Hearing on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Application by Regency Development Associates, Inc. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


David Nicholson was in receipt of the application from Regency Development Associates, Inc. and distributed it to the Board for review.  There have been some changes regarding deadlines, now it is mid May before the application has to be filed.  They are currently working on tax credits for the project.


David Nicholson explained that CDBG is Federal money that flows to the State of North Carolina.  It is administered by the Division of Community Assistance.  Regency has asked for Henderson County to get a grant of $112,500 for water and sewer for the proposed apartment complex for the elderly at the old East Flat Rock School site. He stated that there is very much competition for the grant monies this year. Should this grant be given to Henderson County then the County would do a loan document with Regency for a $99,190 loan.  Our Legal Department would have to do a deed of trust and a promissory note with Regency.  This is part of their way of getting additional tax credits.  Of $112,500 of the CDBG, $99,190 would be a loan to Regency Development from Henderson County.  It would be repaid back to Henderson County after 30 years. It is a 30 year loan to be paid off after 30 years at 1%.  The money would come to Henderson County at $25,000 a year until the loan is paid off plus the 1% interest.  Also in this grant are funds for administration.  There are substantial rules and regulations associated with this CDBG and Mr. Nicholson has asked for administrative assistance from Land of Sky.  Regency Development would get $3,500 for preparing the application.  Henderson County hopes to contract with Land of Sky for the remaining balance of administrative fees to make sure the project meets all stipulations. 


Mr. Nicholson explained that no county monies are involved. He requested approval of the application and authorization for the Chairman to sign the document. When those monies start coming back to Henderson County, the Board would like to see those funds used for future housing programs in Henderson County.


Public Input

There was none.


Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Commissioner Ward made the motion to approve the grant application and authorize the Chairman=s signature.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 


Chairman Moyer expressed that he would like to start the workshop with discussion regarding distance from schools. 


School Superintendent Dr. Burnham and Chairman of the Board of Public Education Ervin Bazzle were present and Chairman Moyer asked if they would like to make any comments.


Ervin Bazzle stated that there are 21 campuses with over 11,000 children in our county and more than 800 employees.  He stated that one of the vital concerns is the safety and well-being of both the children and the teachers and employees.  He stated that our sites are secure and safe.  He asked that the Board of Commissioners be aware of what development goes in around schools, to try to keep our schools as safe and environmentally friendly as possible. 


Dr. Burnham asked for protection for what types of businesses would go around school sites.  He and Mr. Bazzle delivered correspondence today to the Board of Commissioners.  Mr. Burnham stated that the NC General Statutes provide for some protection to school properties but they are very limited protections in terms of the type of businesses primarily that can exist around school properties.  There is very little protection in terms of environmental issues.  There is very little protection in terms of noise and very little protection in terms of what can be referred to as heavy industries.  He asked that the Board exercise discretion in regards to the 2 mile separation, stating that would be very appropriate.  He felt that residential and light commercial growth would be best around school properties.  He stated that the schools normally take the lead and then development follows.


Commissioner Gordon expressed concern because the Board of Commissioners have no input or ability to say where future schools go. 


Mr. Bazzle stated that the Board of Education has worked with the Joint Facilities Committee, trying to forecast where schools need to go and what infrastructure is needed for those sites.


Chairman Moyer stated that the Board of Commissioners has an obligation to decide where industry goes in our community and if the Board had done that in the past, the schools would know where to place their schools.  The Board needs to move forward and that will help solve the problem of where schools go in our community.  


Commissioner Gordon stated that the infrastructure that is necessary for schools and for industries is sewer and water.  That is in short supply.  The Board of Commissioners need to move forward to make the infrastructure more available in more areas of our community, it will alleviate some of the problems of being so limited on where you can access sewer and water.


Schools normally look for between 20-35 acres for a new school site.


Commissioner Hawkins also touched on the special needs of schools in airport areas.


Staff had copied the letter that Dr. Burnham and Mr. Bazzle brought with them and distributed it to the Board at this time.


Henderson County Partnership for Health

Chairman Moyer referenced a letter he had received from Jack Reed which addressed distances.


Chairman Moyer referenced a letter dated April 25 from Erica Thompson, Cardiovascular Health Program Coordinator for Henderson County Partnership for Health.  The letter expressed concern for the need for a walkable, bikable community.  A copy of this letter was distributed to each Commissioner. There were no questions from the Board.


New Map with Schools and Health Care Facilities

Angela Beeker showed the Board of Commissioners a large map that staff had worked on which was a grid map of the county which showed every existing school and health care facility.  Pam Carver pointed out, from memory, the location of many of the schools for the Board for reference purposes. 


Much discussion followed regarding distances from schools.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to adopt the Planning Board=s recommendation of 2 mile from schools for all uses.  A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Hawkins voting nay.  Chairman Moyer stated that the Board can revisit all these again but the motion was for purposes of moving forward.


Residential Density

Chairman Moyer stated that staff had done a lot of work on residential density since the last meeting.  In looking at each of the uses, one of the tests was what the residential density would be around each of the uses.  Should there be any restrictions?  The Board had asked staff to take a hard look at this and come back with ideas and suggestions on ways to approach this issue.


Commissioner Gordon asked for a good definition for schools.  Jennifer Jackson read the modified definition which does not include home schools. The modified definition includes AAny elementary or secondary school, whether public or private, that is essentially recognized by the State as a School.@


The Board was desirous of having the schools marked on the large map with a 2 mile circle drawn around them, especially Marlow Elementary and Clear Creek Elementary Schools. It was felt that Pam Carver had the capability of providing that to the Board.


Angela Beeker explained how residential density is currently figured and explained a new process that staff had been working on to help clarify residential density:


            1 mile radius with 250 units = 1 unit per 8 acres

2 mile radius with 250 units =           1 unit per 2 acres

1/4 mile radius with 250 units =         1 unit per 2 mile or 2 units per 1 acre

Staff felt that it was easier to comprehend number of residences per acre rather than drawing circles around proposed uses and visualizing the number of units in that circle. Residential density currently is defined as the number of dwelling units within a specified distance from the use.  The new process shows the number of units per acre. The residential density will be calculated by the Assessor=s office.  Due to the type and use of the equipment we have, the Assessor=s office recommended that we go from the centroid of the subject parcel to property lines to measure the distance.  Ms. Beeker showed an example of this on paper.


Ms. Beeker asked the Board to think about two things:


1.               What is the density that the Board does not want these uses to go in, an area that is more dense than one unit per 2 acres or one unit per 4 acres, or what?

2.               How big the Board wants the circle or sphere of influence to be.


Staff could go back and change the ordinance to read appropriately.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to keep the residential density requirement in and proceed to give staff guidance with respect to the number of units per acre for each of the uses.  A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Gordon voting nay.


Following much discussion, direction to staff was:


Heavy Industry -                                              1 unit per 1 acre in 2 mile radius

Solid Waste Management Facility -                1 unit per 2 acres in 1 mile radius

Mining & Extraction Operations -                   1 unit per 2 acres in 1 mile radius


Chairman Moyer called a 5 minute technical recess at approx. 10:30 a.m., to change videotapes.


Concrete Plants -                                             none

Asphalt Plants -                                               1 unit per 1 acre in 2 mile radius

Incinerators -                                                   1 unit per 1 acre in 2 mile radius

Junkyards -                                                      none

Motor Sports Facilities -                                 1 unit per 2 acres in 1 mile radius

Slaughter House -                                            1 unit per 2 acres in 1 mile radius

Amusement Park -                                           1 unit per 2 acres in 1 mile radius

Chip Mills -                                                    1 unit per 1 acre in 2 mile radius


Chairman Moyer asked staff to get all this changed and get it back out to the Board for review before the next work session. The Board has not looked consciously at health care facilities yet nor finished discussion on protected mountain ridges.  He asked staff to bring a map back with schools marked and a 2 mile circle around each state licensed school.






Chairman Moyer made the motion to continue this work session to May 3 at 9:00 a.m.   All voted in favor and the motion carried at approx. 10:50 a.m.







Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                        William L. Moyer, Chairman