STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON SEPTEMBER 6, 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 (arrived during Karen Smith=s opening remarks, approx. 3:15), Commissioner Charlie Messer, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Zoning Administrator Dan Gurley, Environmental Planner Nippy Page, and Deputy Clerk to the Board (videotaping the meeting) Amy Brantley.
Absent were: County Manager David E. Nicholson and County Attorney Angela S. Beeker.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order at approx. 3:10 p.m. and welcomed those in attendance, stating that the purpose of the meeting was a workshop on the proposed New Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Ordinance Rewrite).
Chairman Moyer stated that he wished to correct something that was in today=s e-mail from WHKP Radio Station, which stated that the Chairman had stated that the Board might vote today on this issue. This is an incorrect statement. The Board will certainly not be voting on the Ordinance or any aspect of the Ordinance today.
Staff=s Opening Remarks
Karen Smith reminded the Board that at a previous work session, the Board had indicated that they wished Staff to bring back some information on two issues in particular, one being manufactured homes on individual lots and the other being manufactured home parks. The Board had issues with the proposals in the current draft of the new zoning ordinance. Staff hoped to be able to work through some of those issues with the Board at this meeting.
Ms. Smith reviewed some definitions with the Board as follows.
Excerpts of Definitions from the Proposed New Henderson County Zoning Ordinance
(Draft Recommended by the Planning Board on 10/30/00).
Manufactured Home Park
Manufactured Home Park, Major
Manufactured Home Park, Minor
There was much discussion of these definitions. Ms. Smith stated that these definitions parallel definitions that are in our current Zoning Ordinance.
Basically mobile homes are pre 1976 (manufactured prior to the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 which became effective June 15, 1976) and manufactured homes were built after the Act. The terms mobile home and manufactured home are used interchangably in the Ordinance. The basic difference is that anything built since the Act has a higher level of safety protection. The homes built since the Act are built to HUD code. Ms. Smith stated that we are not discussing modular homes at all today, which are built to NC Building Code specifications and are treated the same as a stick built or site built home.
Jennifer Jackson explained that manufactured homes are built to HUD standards and they pre-empt any State or County regulations with their construction and design standards. If homes are built to HUD standards we cannot impose any higher level of regulation on them.
Zoning regulations for manufactured homes.
Karen Smith reviewed with the Board NCGS 160A-383.1 which was adopted in 1987. This statute includes some findings the General Assembly made that manufactured homes are an affordable means of housing and some local governments at that time were severely restricting the placement of manufactured homes through zoning. The intent of the General Assembly was to have local governments look at their land use practices for compliance with the statutes and to consider allocating more land for manufactured housing, based on local needs. The statute does not allow the Board to completely exclude manufactured housing from their jurisdiction. It does allow the Board to regulate the appearance, dimensions, and location of manufactured homes. It does briefly talk about the use of an overlay district
Options for manufactured homes on individual lots.
Ms. Smith stated that her understanding from the Board from the July workshop was that the Board wanted Staff to try to look at ways to maintain the old residential zoning districts (both in text and map) while allowing the new residential districts to apply to areas where the Board would propose to change zoning in the future. She stated this was a challenge. She had prepared a table with six options and there was some review of the table.
Chairman Moyer stated that going back into the existing districts and making such changes would be very difficult. He suggested the use of a general purpose residential district or flexible residential district with maybe a front set back and some neighborhood commercial allowed in those residential districts. Following discussion on this concept, Chairman Moyer asked if the Board wished to pursue this concept any further and it was the consensus of the Board to do so.
Chairman Moyer stated that from a good land use study, the Board would determine where industrial, residential and other uses should be and then instead of putting to a map what R-15 is and what R-20 is, etc. you would have residential without detailed limitations.
There was some discussion of allowing water and sewer to determine where high density residential units would go.
Ted Pearce, Chairman of the Planning Board, stated AMr. Chairman, I think from a Planning standpoint especially as you=re going into these corridor areas and things that we=ll be looking at which is probably the primary areas that we=ll be hitting - the concept of having a general residential district is great but when people bring them, but most of those areas when they come to the Planning Board for, come before anybody are going to come through as a subdivision or some project and they=ll carve off a piece of that and put it into something and in all probability a good deal of those signs, whatever density is allowed, they=ll probably do the general density that seems to be working with the market right now which tends to be somewhere in the R-30/R-40 range most of the time or they=ll come in with manufactured home parks and if they come in with a subdivision in all probability the restrictive covenants will exclude manufactured housing.@
Chairman Moyer stated the Board would have to decide whether they want to continue that practice in the County or whether it is the best thing for the future of the County.
Karen Smith stated that once the text is completed, the Board and Staff would have to deal with the map in some way. Probably more detailed studies would be done at that time of district areas.
There was some discussion of when and what to take to the public, one map or two. Chairman Moyer felt that before the Board goes to the public with any of the concepts and what has been received from the Planning Board, give the Board of Commissioners a chance to look at it all and make their recommended changes.
There was some discussion of keeping the existing zoned districts which would be grandfathered and still maintain the classifications which have been discussed, R-40, R-20, R-10, R-6 and WR. Then there could be a much more flexible district that would be general residential.
Commissioner Gordon stated that the topic here is manufactured housing and that is the issue for the old zoning districts as opposed to the new zoning districts. She asked if it would be workable to use the new zoning districts but have an overlay for the areas that are already currently zoned to prohibit manufactured housing so that they retain that protection.
Ms. Smith put up the Zoning Map and showed the Board what areas the Board would have zoning jurisdiction over. They do not have jurisdiction over the municipalities. Everything marked in dark gray on the map was in municipal limits. The lighter gray indicates ETJ and our Zoning Ordinance does not apply in either of those areas. Most of our conventional residential zoning in located in the East Flat Rock area, Haywood district, south of Laurel Park, to the west of the Village of Flat Rock. The RM-II district which is about seven square miles in the Edneyville area is a mixed use district having both residential and commercial and manufactured homes on individual lots. The RC, much of the Hoopers Creek area, is somewhat of a mixed district with manufactured homes on individual lots already. Lake Summit has a special type of a residential zone.
Karen Smith then showed a map with an overlay of Fire Districts. The Edneyville and the Blue Ridge Fire Districts have the highest concentrations of manufactured housing in the County with 17% of all manufactured housing in the County being in Edneyville and 20% in the Blue Ridge Fire District.
Chairman Moyer stressed that there are other issues to consider which aren=t on the table today - commercial and other flexibility that is being built into the R-40 and asked if the Board was ready to impose that on the existing R-40 districts. He would like to think that we could come out with one set of R-40s, etc. but from a practical standpoint he doesn=t see how to get there. He felt that we can continue to try to work towards that.
Ted Pearce again expressed that it would be better to get to the new Zoning Ordinance. He felt that having the old classifications and the new classifications would prove to be a nightmare. He felt that there are a lot of problems with all of a sudden allowing manufactured housing in areas where they couldn=t have them before along with concerns about property values. He expressed that he would like to see the following:
1. Use one new ordinance and rezone the county accordingly
2. Come up with a general residential district
3. Go with the concept of overlaying the new areas where manufactured housing on any new district (after the ordinance) would be allowed in those areas but not be allowed in the old residential districts that currently do now allow them.
Chairman Moyer asked Staff to move in that direction. The Board realized that we would be putting mixed pieces together and they would have to be refined as we go along.
Manufactured Home Parks
Commissioner Gordon stated that the existing zoned areas are pretty much established and where we=re getting our bulk of growth is in the outlying areas of the County. That=s where we have to be concerned with standards so that we can impact the availability of housing in our community.
Chairman Moyer asked if Staff had any additional issues on Manufactured Home Parks at this time.
Karen Smith stated that the Board had asked for Staff to take a look at how else we could deal with manufactured home parks. The proposed ordinance suggests that we use overlay districts. The Board had some concerns about how to deal with that.
Staff was asked to bring back to the Board some examples of how overlays would work, how they could be applied.
There was some brief discussion of the fact that Asheville and Kannapolis allow manufactured home parks only in overlay districts and Karen explained that they were prohibited everywhere else. Certain standards are applied.
Chairman Moyer stressed that what we have under the new ordinance is that manufactured home parks are allowed as an overlay. It is not mapped yet, no one has predetermined where the parks would go. When we start to work on our map we would have to lay out where we would want these parks to be. In the future, people could come in and ask for the overlay to be applied.
Karen Smith explained that the overlay applies to all districts except Open Use. In Open Use Districts, it is by right no matter what.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Moyer adjourned the meeting at approximately 4:25 p.m.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman