STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON MARCH 28, 2002
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special-called meeting on Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 5:00 pm in the Commissioners= Meeting Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, NC. The purpose of the meeting was to: (1) discuss the Governor=s Highway Safety Grant Request from the Village of Flat Rock; (2) conduct a workshop on the Henderson County Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Review-Article III of the Draft-In-Progress dated 11/30/02; (3) convene Closed Session in accordance with NCGS 143-318.11(a)(4): to discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the area served by the public body.
Present were: Chairman William Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Don Ward, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board, Elizabeth W. Corn.
Staff present was Planning Director Karen C. Smith and Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.
WELCOME\CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order.
GOVERNOR=S HIGHWAY SAFETY GRANT
Chairman Moyer explained that the Board had been asked by the Village of Flat Rock to consider either supporting or making application for a Governor=s Highway Program grant to accommodate having a traffic enforcement officer for the Village.
Mr. Nicholson had spoken to Sheriff George Erwin, Captain Rodney Raines of the Sheriff=s Department Traffic Enforcement and Officer Gary Mintz, Director of Traffic Services of the Sheriff=s Department. He explained the reason the Village of Flat Rock is interested in the Sheriff=s Department applying for the grant was because a law enforcement agency has to apply for these funds. Sheriff Erwin had explained to Mr. Nicholson if the Village=s request were granted, it not only would require additional equipment but the creation of a staff person.
Officer Mintz explained the Village of Flat Rock had recently decided they wanted to pursue applying for the Governor=s Highway Program. The deadline for filing the grant application was March 31, 2002. The Village of Flat Rock requested one full-time person to do traffic enforcement within the Village of Flat Rock. The grant would provide a person, a vehicle, and some equipment for a three-year period. After three years, the County would be responsible for the costs. During the first year of operation the personnel would be completely paid for by the State. The second year the Governor=s Highway Safety Program would pay seventy-five percent of the personnel and fifty percent of any additional equipment. In the third year, the Governor=s Highway Safety Program would pay fifty percent of the personnel and the Village would pay the other fifty percent. If the Governor=s Highway Safety Program approves the pre-application, a more detailed final application would be required. Although the Village of Flat Rock had indicated to Officer Mintz they would match this grant, the Board did not have an official letter of commitment from the Village of Flat Rock to do so.
Mr. Nicholson suggested that if the Board wished to approve this grant application, it should do so subject to receiving a letter of commitment from the Village of Flat Rock. Also he suggested the Board consider what would happen after the third year about the funding. Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that a few years ago when the Town of Fletcher opted to establish their own police force that the County had to absorb the costs of six staff people.
Chairman Moyer clarified with Officer Mintz that if the Board opted to approve this pre-application and then the Village opted not to pay the match or continue the program, the Board could back out of the agreement. Officer Mintz stated that was his understanding.
Commissioner Hawkins noted that the budget showed the source of funds was from the Federal government, not the State. Officer Mintz explained these are Federal-matching funds that are disbursed to the State for this Program. The Village would pay $19,632, but there is a possibility that cost to the Village would be greater after the State has reviewed the pre-application. There may be some equipment, such as a duty weapon or shotgun, the State would not pay for so the Village would be responsible for those costs. The State will pay for the uniform, shoes, and jacket, but as far as weapons, mace or asp or all the tools that an officer usually carries, the chances are the State will not pay for, but the State wanted those items listed on the pre-application for their consideration.
The Board posed several questions about this request. Had the Village of Flat Rock indicated that it would at some point want to establish its own police force? Chairman Moyer commented that all discussions with the Village of Flat Rock had been for one or less officer either part-time or possibly a full-time officer.
Commissioner Ward stated that if the Board grants this request, the Board would be setting a precedence. If Mills River incorporates, would the Board do the same thing for them? Chairman Moyer commented he felt the Board was just facilitating the Village because it would be no cost to the County if the Village submits a transmittal letter stating its intent about the match for the personnel, the equipment and what happens at the end of the 3-year term.
Commissioner Ward thought there would be a need for a long-term contract or a 3-year contract. He remembered when the Town of Fletcher was granted such a request and everything went well for a while and suddenly the Town of Fletcher decided to establish its own police force and the County inherited six people at a cost of approximately $600,000 that was absorbed in that year=s budget which equated to a penny on the property tax rate.
Commissioner Gordon commented that the Board was actually making it easier for a municipality not to perform municipal functions when the Board agrees to do this. She too agreed the Board is setting a precedence and with other areas of the county talking about incorporation, this type of Board approval just makes it easier for that to happen.
Mr. Nicholson further suggested another thing that would have to be worked out with the Village is if an officer were hired, that officer would work five days a week and an eight-hour shift. So all the remaining hours of enforcement for twenty-four hours, seven days a week would have to be absorbed and what was Flat Rock=s intent for that additional coverage. Would the Village expect the Sheriff to provide a higher level of service in those other hours when the officer is off-duty?
Chairman Moyer made a motion that the Board authorize the grant pre-application be filed with a cover letter as suggested by Mr. Nicholson stipulating the conditions for the Village of Flat Rock subject to the Board=s satisfaction. Commissioner Hawkins wanted clarification that what Chairman Moyer was filing a motion on was the pre-application and the Board would still have the latitude of withdrawing that request if the other terms were not met. Chairman Moyer affirmed that was the intent of his motion.
Commissioner Ward inquired of Officer Mintz how the Sheriff anticipated handling vacation time with the officer? Sergeant Dunn of NC Highway Patrol had informed Officer Mintz that during the absence of an officer, the Highway Patrol would do coverage of traffic accidents and Sheriff=s Patrol Division would answer the calls. Sergeant Dunn had stated that the Highway Patrol was not in a position to provide the coverage that an officer assigned exclusively to the Village could provide. The Highway Patrol could occasionally assist when there is a special need but they cannot afford to have someone there remotely the same amount of time the Village officer could provide.
Chairman Moyer called for a vote on the motion that the pre-application be submitted with the conditions as suggested earlier. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
General Electric Retained Jobs Proposal
Chairman Moyer received a phone call from Tony Hartman, Human Resources Director for General Electric in Hendersonville, who indicated that the joint-venture in Mexico of the lighting fixtures and the roadway product lines that was moved from the local facility about two years ago would be dissolved, pending working out incentives and other arrangements with local and State. Approximately seventy-five jobs at the local facility would be saved and there would be approximately two million dollars in additional plant investment. However, G.E. would also be evaluating possibly moving their coil winding operation from this local facility, which would result in the loss of forty-two jobs.
Chairman Moyer made a motion for the Board to go into Closed Session pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(4) to discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the area served by the public body. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Gordon made a motion for the Board to adjourn Closed Session. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
ZONING ORDINANCE REWRITE REVIEW-ARTICLE III OF THE DRAFT-IN-PROGRESS DATED 11/30/02
Planning Director Karen Smith reminded the Board that at the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite workshop on 2/14/02, the Board gave specific direction to staff concerning formatting changes to be made to the Zoning Ordinance Draft-In-Progress dated November 30, 2002 for Article III. Staff had made those changes and provided the Board with the revisions. Those changes included:
1. Added a new subsection for those uses which are permitted, but no zoning compliance permit is required. This had been done in each new district as subsection AA@.
2. Reverse the order of Special Use Permits and Conditional use Permits in each new district. Conditional Use Permits were Subsection AC@ and Special Use Permits were Subsection AD@.
3. Changed the name of ALandscaping/Buffering Standards@ in each district to ABuffering and Parking Lot Landscaping@.
4. Divided the lists of uses by type, in accordance with the use table categories. Primarily the order of the uses was not changed but broken into groups.
5. Deleted NR-20 and changed NR-10 to NR-15. At the Board=s direction, multi-family as allowed in NR-10 was allowed in NR-15.
Additionally, draft purpose statements were amended as directed by the Board. Nursing and convalescent home, and continuing care retirement facilities had been inserted in the residential districts as directed by the Board.
The Board posed several questions.
Q. Under NR-40 schools and homes were included as educational and institutional uses. Does that include churches? Is that considered a school under the permitted uses, no zoning compliance permit required?
A. Those are schools within a person=s home, or home schools, but not a church school. Those would be under the church definition, which still had to be finalized with the Board, or under a regular educational facility with the schools, public and private.
Q. Under Planned Developments, Other Uses, what=s the difference between that and planned unit developments?
A. This was added at the Board=s direction to allow some flexibility in commercial uses in residential developments, such as subdivisions, without them having to go through the special permit process. The planned development concept was developed where someone could propose a certain percentage of their subdivision with a use that would be compatible with that subdivision and have that reviewed at a staff level rather than going through the full-blow special use permit, quasi-judicial process.
Q. Under NR-40, Conditional Uses, Residential Uses, Accessory Dwellings-What are the standards for accessory dwellings?
A. There is a new definition for accessory dwellings. This was introduced into the ordinance to provide more flexibility for additional residential units, i.e. for a family member or extra income, but the standards regulate how they are allowed in certain districts. They are currently reflected in all residential districts including the pre-existing districts. Currently, the only way an accessory dwelling can be included is on a temporary basis. In the new districts, staff had added accessory dwellings as conditional uses which would have to go the Board of Adjustment in the pre-existing districts. Currently, accessory dwellings are allowed only in hardship cases as a temporary use. This new concept on accessory dwellings would be more permanent.
The Board expressed concern about attempting to change standards or conditions for the pre-existing districts. The Board was in agreement not to change anything in the pre-existing districts. Any changes would apply only to the new districts. The old districts would be grandfathered in as is.
Ms. Smith reminded the Board it would have to decide which districts to allow manufactured home parks in. Staff had proposed allowing them in the new higher density districts with certain standards and perhaps in other districts with a different set of standards. In the higher density districts, there would be requirements for water and sewer and such amenities. Manufactured homes on individual lots are allowed in the new districts. The definition of manufactured home park in the new districts is three or more units.
The Board wanted to discuss manufactured home parks standards and guidelines at a later date.
Ms. Smith advised the Board that produce stands were allowed in all new R districts. She further reminded the Board that another new use was manufactured homes as storage units. The Board directed staff to submit its recommendations on those uses at its next workshop.
The Board gave staff direction on other changes it desired to see at the next workshop scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 4:00 pm in the Commissioners= Meeting Room.
Chairman Moyer made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:00 pm. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
WILLIAM L. MOYER, CHAIRMAN
HENDERSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board