STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                             OCTOBER 11, 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, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Planner Director Karen C. Smith, Environmental Planner Nippy Page, and Zoning Ordinance Administrator Dan Gurley.  Ted Pearce arrived at approximately 3:10 p.m.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.  The purpose of this meeting was a workshop on the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite.  He turned the meeting over to Karen Smith.


Zoning Ordinance Rewrite

Karen Smith informed the Board that Ted Pearce (Chairman of the Planning Board) would be arriving shortly, he had another meeting just prior to this one.


Draft of a proposed new residential district

This was an attempt by staff to put on paper what the Board has talked about at previous work sessions, trying to develop a more flexible, open, or general residential district where a variety of residential uses are permitted, where there=s no minimum lot size, where there are minimal set-backs and where there are a variety of retail business, some office and institutional uses permitted as well. Staff had done additional research from the time of the last workshop and has not found anything in North Carolina that is quite like this.  Generally there are districts that are designed to be residential and agricultural in nature.  The thing that made this different was the lot size.  You usually do find some sort of minimum lot size.


Karen had taken the basis of our ordinance as far as residential uses and combined them with some small commercial uses into what she called a MR district or Mixed Residential.  She also revised the Table of Uses with an additional column for the MR district.


She had planned for the workshop to focus on the following:


1.               A review of a draft of a proposed Mixed Residential District

2.               Continued discussion about the other residential districts in the proposed New Zoning Ordinance (particularly in light of the discussion about proposed MR District)

3.               An overview of the conditional zoning process that is used by Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and other municipalities within Mecklenburg County.


Chairman Moyer felt that the proposed new district was a key issue in moving forth with the Zoning Ordinance because it is fundamental to a lot of decisions that need to be made.  He felt that the concept works and offers flexibility that they=ve been looking for.


Ted Pearce arrived at this point in the meeting.


Commissioner Hawkins raised the issue of the number of districts.  As he reviewed the six pages of suggested uses in the MR district, he wondered what was left out of that that wasn=t in the Open Use district.  He asked if you didn=t have the companion special use or conditional use districts with them would it simplify it if then you had the Mixed Use district which has an awful lot of things in it which would preclude the 13 other special use districts. Whatever wasn=t in this, there=s still the Open Use district which basically just has some things you can=t do.  This leaves a lot of other flexible applications of whatever type zonings that you come up with.


Chairman Moyer felt that if the Board adopted the MR district and scrapped the Mixed Use district and scrapped all the special use districts and moved forward with the reduced number of districts that Karen and the Planning Board had proposed, then you would have 10 - 11 districts for moving forward out of the twenty some districts proposed.  He felt the districts could be reduced even further but felt it would cause a problem.  He felt the Board needed to keep the existing districts, grandfather them, but not let them go forward with respect to future areas of the county.  These districts would continue but only for where they are in place right now.  Going forward, they would be limited.       

There was some discussion about labeling the MR district to more clearly explain that it also included some light business.


There was some discussion that the Board did not wish to have parallel districts as Charlotte and Mecklenburg County do. 


Chairman Moyer asked if the Board supported:

1.               The concept - there was general consensus

2.               Getting rid of all special use districts - there was general consensus

3.               To preserve the current zoning classifications as is wherever they can be

4.               The only districts used going forward will be the ones that Karen and the Planning Board have identified as usable in the future: R-40, R-20, R-6, two industrial and two commercial and the conservation and the waterfront districts, Open Use and Mixed Residential.

The Board seemed to be in consensus on all these.


It was the Board=s decision to focus on the new districts first and then go back and look at the old districts.


There was much discussion regarding special uses and conditional uses.


Following much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to freeze the existing districts and have a limited number of districts going forward. There was some discussion regarding the mobile home park overlay district and it was decided that it could be eliminated now with the MR district because the MR district allows manufactured homes on individual lots. The Board will look at aesthetic standards of mobile homes in the MR district at a later time.


There was much discussion regarding special uses and conditional uses as well as special requirements.  The Board felt a need to review this in much detail at a later time.  They do not want the Zoning Board of Adjustment to become a full time job because of all the things that have to come before them for review. 


Chairman Moyer asked Karen Smith if she had any questions.  She and Julie Cogburn will take into consideration all these discussions and do a  rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance incorporating these key elements discussed. 


There was some brief discussion regarding open space requirements, density bonuses, school areas and what would be allowed adjacent to schools.   Ms. Beeker asked some questions of the Board and it was the consensus of the Board to have the old Ordinance be enforced until a date certain and then have the new Ordinance be enforced from that date forward with a freeze on the old districts.  The old Ordinance will stand to govern the old districts and it won=t be changed. 


Ms. Smith was asked to come back to the Board with five recommendations here.  The Board does not wish to rezone the old districts here. 


Karen Smith informed the Board that in the new Ordinance manufactured homes are not allowed as a temporary use any longer.  The consensus of the Board was to continue to allow them as temporary uses.  The Board felt it could be by staff approval with appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.


The Board will look at the details at a later date, such as set backs, aesthetics, sign provisions, parking, buffers, etc.


Karen informed the Board that the Board of Adjustment had asked if they could take a look at the draft.  They had some input early on.  Karen keeps telling them that a new draft will be ready soon.  The Board preferred that they wait and look at the new draft but authorized Karen to use her discretion.


The Board wants to see a clean draft of the rewrite, hopefully within a month or so.


In Article 6, the Board has not discussed what the uses will be yet.  Karen said in the rewrite she can add MR to the Table of Uses and add it where it needs to go but not define the standards yet.  The Board was in agreement.


Staff all agreed that the rewrite of the rewrite is a major task.  Karen will talk with Julie Cogburn and come back to the Board with a date of when they can expect to see it.


Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:12 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 






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