STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON FEBRUARY 5, 2002
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‑Chairman Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy R. Brantley, Assistant to the County Manager Selena D. Coffey, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson and Consultant Dennie Martin.
Also present were Steering Committee members: Wayne Carland, Tedd Pearce, Bill Blalock, Jack Lynch, Hall Waddell and Paul Prosky.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. This is a joint meeting between the Board of Commissioners and the County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee on the Comprehensive County Plan. He thanked the Committee for their patience during the process of seeking a consultant.
The last County Comprehensive Plan was written in January 1993, and was meant to last 10 years. The Board=s goal has become to have the revised plan in place by the third quarter of 2002, so the plan could be implemented in 2002 and 2003. The Comprehensive County Plan will be used to guide growth in the County for years to come.
Chairman Moyer stated that the Board would like for everyone involved to have a good understanding of the various roles of the Board and the committee members, and how those roles will help this plan move forward. The Board feels that it is extremely important that the county have a good document that will guide our growth and development over the next 10-15 years. It is not a zoning plan, though land use and zoning may comprise a part, but a comprehensive county plan. That includes schools, roads, water, sewer, housing, economic development, anything that is vital to the county should be included in the plan.
Chairman Moyer suggested that given the charge of the committee, the Board consider changing the name of the Board from the County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to the County Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.
REVIEW OF STATEMENT OF PURPOSE & OBJECTIVES
Dennie Martin thanked the members of the Steering Committee for their time in meeting with him last week. Those meetings were very helpful, and he gained a lot of insight into how people feel about the issues in the county. He stated that the "Statement of Purpose" should emphasize the philosophy of the members of the Board of Commissioners, and that is where his efforts have been concentrated. Now that the Commissioners have a AGeneral Purpose@, feedback would be appreciated from the committee.
REVIEW OF STATUS OF THE PROJECT
Selena Coffey led off with a demographics overview to give the Commissioners, committee members and the public, the opportunity to see what has been done on the plan to date. She has been in the process of gathering demographic data. She has gathered information from several sources, and is dropping that information into spreadsheets to most accurately predict future population trends. This has been data relating to population trends and projections, and economic trends such as employment and income statistics. Additionally, Commissioner Gordon had requested staff look into issues associated with social services, those enrolled in social service programs within the county and how that affects employment.
Karen Smith discussed work that the Planning Department has done. She stated that the main function so far has been to learn the new GIS software. In doing so, they have been mapping current conditions such as sensitive natural areas, soil limitations, existing land uses, infrastructure, water and sewer districts, water lines, transportation facilities, educational facilities, and county owned properties. This type of mapping will help identify some areas that might be more appropriate for future growth.
ROLE OF STEERING COMMITTEE
Chairman Moyer stated that the Commissioners will not turn this process over to the committee and expect them to bring back a document. Setting policy in these areas is the responsibility and obligation of the Board of Commissioners. The role of the Steering Committee is to provide advice to the consultant, staff, the Board, and help in pulling this document together. The Board will steer the policy decisions. The various pieces will be pulled together in cooperation between the Board and the Committee.
Commissioner Gordon also believes the Board has a responsibility when it comes to the policy making part of the plan. This is not a Comprehensive Land Use Plan, but a Comprehensive County Plan. She reminded the committee members that they do not just represent themselves and the backgrounds from which they come. She emphasized that the completed plan should reflect the whole community, not just the members of the Committee. Cause and effect plays a large role in the dynamic of any community, and anticipating that will be a challenge. The plan should not be a wish list, but should be true to what can be accomplished.
Commissioner Hawkins stated two elements, critical to the development of the county, the Board has very little control over. One of those elements is transportation (the road system and the thoroughfare plan). One of the key ingredients in where the Comprehensive Plan ends up, will be determined by where roads go or where roads will be widened. Watching the development that occurs in those areas will help prevent the high cost problem of getting rights-of-way.
The second ingredient, one that we have a little more control over, is where sewer lines go. The primary sewer system that serves Henderson County is operated by the City of Hendersonville. One of the critical inputs will be the advice the Board gets on the plans developed by the Mud Creek Sewer Advisory Committee. It is very important to address these key issues in the plan, because they will be difficult to deal with.
Commissioner Messer stated we should take our time and do this right. There are a lot of things we have got to do right in this plan because it will be a guide for years to come. He stated that he was pleased with the diversity of the committee, stating that there are different backgrounds and different areas of the county represented. The Comprehensive Plan should be just that, a plan that ties all aspects of planning together.
Commissioner Ward stated the 1993 plan was a guide which was never adopted by the Commissioners. There was not enough principle and meaning behind that plan. This plan should be adopted by the Commissioners and really used as a tool to guide growth in Henderson County.
Chairman Moyer asked the members of the Steering Committee to introduce themselves and talk briefly about their experience.
1. Paul Prosky ‑ Mr. Prosky moved to the area about 12 years ago because he found the area so attractive. He owns a manufactured home park which is a retirement community. He is thrilled to be in Henderson County, and would like to do what he can to see Henderson County recognizable in years to come.
2. Hall Waddell ‑ Mr. Waddell is a native of Henderson County. He is part of a local family business along with his son. Like many people he has a vested interest in seeing the community continue to grow and be a viable place for families.
3. Jack Lynch ‑ Mr. Lynch retired to Henderson County 7 years ago, and serves on many boards. He believes it is the committee=s function to know what is going on in the community, understand that, and help the community move forward.
4. Bill Blalock ‑ Mr. Blalock retired here 6 years ago. He has done a broad spectrum of volunteer work in the county. He has seen what happens when growth goes unchecked, having lived in the San Francisco area for 50 years. He felt that growth will continue to accelerate. The process they are about to undertake will be a complex and daunting task. He supported a name change from steering committee to advisory committee.
5. Tedd Pearce ‑ Mr. Pearce is a local building contractor. He is heavily involved in planning. He is also in favor of a name change from steering committee to advisory committee. He does see some problems in transportation and utilities, and hopes there can be a more metropolitan control of those issues. He hopes that after the process is over, the end result will be a document that is adoptable.
6. Wayne Carland ‑ Mr. Carland is a native of Henderson County. He is a farmer in the community, and he and his family own a small local business. He would like to continue the rural feeling of the county, while providing a stable economy.
Chairman Moyer thanked the committee again, stating that they bring a breadth of experience and commitment to the county. He is looking forward to working with the committee.
Dennie Martin stated that he is comfortable with both the role of the committee and the Board. He feels the next step is to get the research that has been done to the point where it can be shared and discussed with the committee. Previous discussions have indicated that the Commissioners will be providing direction for the project, and the committee will be working within the community for deeper input.
Mr. Martin indicated that discussions were ongoing related to the community input process. There are many groups that should be contacted in this process. At their next meeting, Mr. Martin planned to discuss with the committee how to involve the people in the community group in the process. Selena Coffey stated that work continues on the list that will comprise the community group.
Bill Moyer requested the name of the committee be changed to the County Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee. It was the consensus of the Board to make that change.
Dennie Martin had come up with a timetable so everyone would know what the targets are. There are four pieces to this plan.
1. Present a summary of the findings from the discussions Mr. Martin had with the
Commissioners and committee members.
2. Develop a revised general outline for the plan. That outline addresses the scope of the process.
a. Demographic analysis and assessment of factors influencing growth should be finished
b. The growth management strategy component to be finished by the end of April
c. A draft of 2020 plan for Henderson County to be completed by June
d. County approval and final report by August.
4. Statement of Purpose and Objectives.
Mr. Martin stated that the most important thing is to come up with a plan that will meet the county=s needs, be a product that the Board is pleased with, and that the community supports. Not everyone will agree with the end result, but everyone present today should agree on it. Whatever it takes to get to that point is the most important part of the process.
Chairman Moyer mentioned that the municipalities do some of their own planning, and the Board feels strongly that the plan must be acceptable and incorporate the plans of the municipalities. This will be difficult, but it is a key part to integration of planning that will work for everyone.
Charlie Messer agreed that a crucial piece of this is the water and sewer issue. He is excited about working with the municipalities, and coming out with a good plan at the end.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he sees this starting with the 1993 plan, because many things have not changed in the last 10 years. A lot of the changes will be in demographics and the infrastructure. Things will start coming together once all these issues are seen.
Commissioner Gordon challenged the committee to cast off their assumptions. A lot of information will be heard, and it is important that there not be any preconceived notions of where this will come out. An example is that the 1993 plan did not predict the growth of the Hispanic population or the effect on the community. We cannot be fortune tellers, so we must allow some flexibility. We must look at what we are talking about when we talk about the heritage of the County. Part of that heritage is that we have not been defined as one type of community in the past, and that makes Henderson County a more interesting place to live.
Chairman Moyer stated that it is clear that this is one of the most important projects that will be taken on this year. It will be one of the most important things in the county=s future if it is done right. He thanked the Committee for their willingness to serve, stating that it will be a lot of work but is extremely important to the future of the community.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:38 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried .
Amy R. Brantley, Deputy Clerk to the Board
William L. Moyer, Chairman