STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JULY 29, 2002
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 4:00 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 Charlie Messer, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn and Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy R. Brantley.
WELCOME AND CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order, stating that the purpose of the meeting was a workshop on the zoning ordinance rewrite.
ZONING ORDINANCE REWRITE
Karen Smith reminded the Board that there were several items staff needed to get final direction on prior to finalizing the draft for a public input session. The first item in question was the concept for Planned Unit Developments. Staff had devised a template of how a PUD should work, and outlined that concept for the Board. One main difference between the concept in the proposed template versus the current zoning ordinance dealt with the mixing of commercial and residential uses. Ms. Smith proposed that a mix of uses be allowed in PUDs, in those districts zoned to allow a mixing of uses. She also stated that the Board would need to provide direction on whether or not to change how PUDs are developed under the current zoning districts. Angela Beeker reminded the Board in the draft as is presented currently, PUDs allow only the uses that would be allowed in the district in any manner.
Commissioner Hawkins remembered that some time back the Board had adjusted, to allow for flexibility, some of the PUD standards. Ms. Smith answered that had happened for one particular PUD, but there had been several requests since that one. The only standard she had seen change considerably was the minimum acreage required to begin a PUD. Commissioner Hawkins stated that the Board had tried to build in some flexibility, and questioned whether that flexibility was working. Karen Smith answered that the current PUD concept did allow flexibility on how lots and roads were laid out. She further stated there may be some economical reasons why people would want to use that concept, and for the county to have it available.
Angela Beeker explained that there was a difference in having the flexibility up front to put together a PUD, versus having the flexibility after the plan is approved. Trying to build in flexibility after a plan is approved was what had created the many procedural steps necessary to deal with such an allowance. She felt that the proposed PUD template had been designed to give up front flexibility in the development of a plan. Once a plan is approved and the rules are written, an applicant would have to come before the Board to change the plan. Following several additional questions from the Board, Chairman Moyer requested staff draft the language for the PUDs, and bring that language back to the Board as soon as possible.
Commissioner Gordon expressed concern over the procedural issues, that it can be difficult sometimes to go through the process, and that it discourages that type of development. She wondered if there might be some way to reduce the procedures, and provide more information up front. She questioned whether there might be instances when PUDs would not need to come to the Board. She felt that if uses were mixed the Board might wish to see those, but perhaps not in instances where the PUD stayed within the terms of the existing zoning. Angela Beeker reminded the Commissioners that what is lost if these do not come before the Board is the ability to tailor the PUDs to the surrounding community.
Chairman Moyer stated that he felt the Board would need to see the language and conditions, and then decide whether to bring all the PUD applications to the Board. He believed that given the size and potential impact of some PUDs, he would lean toward bringing them to the Board under most circumstances. Ms. Beeker stated that she would check with the Institute of Government, but believed that staff could interpret, but not add conditions.
Ms. Beeker reminded the Board that there had been several discussions concerning how to treat manufactured home parks in the new districts. There was no recommendation from staff to treat them any differently than they are currently in Open Use, where they are regulated by the Manufactured Home Park Ordinance. It was staff=s recommendation to treat them under those same standards in the Mixed Use District.
Several questions arose regarding how the Board wished to treat manufactured home parks in the NR-40, NR-15, NR-6 and OI districts. Ms. Beeker asked the Board if they wished to allow them in all those districts, and if so how should they be allowed. She felt that the Board would want to consider different standards for parks in NR-40 versus those in an MU.
Ms. Beeker then outlined some of the ideas staff had come up with for how to allow manufactured homes in the NR-40 district. She suggested manufactured home parks be treated as a PUD. A PUD of that type would have to meet the density requirements, and the same size specifications that are already required, but it would treat manufactured homes just as conventional homes are treated. Ms. Beeker presented several maps to the Board showing scenarios of how manufactured home parks, and manufactured home parks with accessory dwelling units could be set up in the different districts. There followed much explanation and discussion on the real density of all the districts, how manufactured home parks might appear in each district, and whether these parks were right for all districts.
It was the consensus of the Board to plan to permit manufactured home parks in the NR-6 and NR-15 districts, but not the NR-40 district. The final decision on allowing them in the NR-15 district could be made following public input on the draft. Ms. Beeker questioned whether the Board wished to permit manufactured home parks in the NR-6 and NR-15 districts under the manufactured home parks ordinance rather than the PUD concept. Chairman Moyer felt they should continue to administer these with the manufactured home parks ordinance. Commissioner Hawkins discussed how sewer issues complicate the issue, and stated that he would prefer to see manufactured home parks allowed only in NR-6 and administered under the manufactured home parks ordinance.
Angela Beeker then questioned how the Board would wish to allow manufactured home parks in the districts, as a CU, SU or SR? Ms. Smith explained that currently in the residential districts they are allowed as a conditional use, and in the Open Use District they are allowed by right with staff approval. Under the new ordinance in MU and Open Use, a manufactured home park would be SR, staff review. Chairman Moyer felt that in the NR-6 and the NR-15 districts, they should be required to come before the Board of Commissioners or the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Commissioner Ward felt they should be required to come before the Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Gordon stated that she felt the NR-15 would need review, but that in the NR-6 it should be staff review.
Angela Beeker stated that in the NR-6 district, any other type of housing that would be a PUD would come to the Board of Commissioners. The numbers would be close, with only slightly fewer lots being allowed under the manufactured home parks ordinance. Chairman Moyer questioned whether the densities could be made the same by adjusting the PUD, so that manufactured homes and conventional homes would be treated the same as far as density was concerned.
Karen Smith explained that in the Neighborhood Business District, staff had tried to incorporate nodes of mixed commercial and residential. This district evolved from the C-2 District and the Highway 25 South study. Angela Beeker stated that she viewed NB not as a district, but more of a blending district. It was the consensus of the Board to have the same requirements in NB and OI that are in the Mixed Use and Open Use, which was SR. Ms. Beeker stated that she did not feel parks were an issue in the HB District.
Ms. Smith then spoke to manufactured homes on individual lots, and how they would be allowed in the districts. The draft currently states that they would be allowed in all residential districts, however there are standards specified. The standards proposed covered areas such as roof pitch, the type of siding, size restrictions that deal with the length not exceeding four times the width, etc. One standard in need of revision dealt with the type of permanent masonry foundation. Since foundations in manufactured homes are different from those in conventional housing, Ms. Smith felt that what was meant in the current ordinance was underpinning. If that is indeed the case, she felt that was what the ordinance should say to eliminate confusion. It was the consensus of the Board to require underpinning on manufactured homes in the residential districts, NR-40, NR-15 and NR-6. The Board also supported Ms. Smith including language requiring the underpinning to match or be uniform with the rest of the home.
Commissioner Gordon stated that currently there is a requirement that swimming pools be surrounded by a four foot high fence. She stated that there is a locking cover for swimming pools that is better than a fence, and wondered if such a cover could also be allowed. David Nicholson stated that he had received several questions from the public on such a possibility, and discussed insurance regulations on pool fencing. It was the consensus of the Board to remove the fence and gate requirement around pools.
Angela Beeker reminded the Board that they had previously been presented a definition of churches. Following research on this definition, staff suggested modifying the definition so it would read AA structure (or structures) and parcel(s) on which it is located, in/on which persons regularly assemble for religious worship. The term Achurch@ includes all facilities which are on or part of the church premises and their associated uses which are (1) traditionally operated or conducted by church congregations in furtherance of their mission, and/or (2) actually being operated or conducted by the church congregation in furtherance of its mission, including but not limited to family life centers, church offices, ASunday School@ classrooms, daycare, preschool, schools and fellowship halls.@ Ms. Beeker felt that the use of this definition would allow the Zoning Administrator to take situations on a case by case basis, and prevent uses not truly associated with a church from being carried out in a district where they would not otherwise be allowed.
There followed discussion on putting standards on churches. Angela Beeker reminded the Board that standards already exist for churches, and questioned whether the Board wished to remove those standards. Commissioner Ward stated that everyone is accustomed to the current standards, and his concern is for the newly proposed standards. It was the consensus of the Board to leave the revised definition in the draft, but to change Aand/or@ to just Aor@. Angela Beeker asked the Board if there were specific church organizations that should be sent the definition for feedback. It was the consensus of the Board to have staff send the definition out to several organizations.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he would like to see some community input on buffering, especially between different types of uses. He felt one of the key issues in buffering would be who was required to provide the buffer. Chairman Moyer stated that the Board did decide the later person providing an incompatible use would be responsible for the buffering. Angela Beeker stated that there are two different issues in buffering between commercial and residential. There is residentially zoned, and residentially used. For example if a Mixed Use District was abutting an NR-15, the NR-15 could only be used for residential. Would the Board wish a commercial use in the MU to have to provide a buffer if no residential use in the NR-15 currently existed, or would any future residential use be responsible? Following much discussion it was the consensus of the Board that within a district, a commercial use would only be required to buffer along an existing residential use. If a commercial use in one district borders a residential district, the commercial use would be required to install a buffer along that border.
At a previous meeting, Karen Smith requested direction from the Board on dealing with manufactured homes being used as storage buildings. Staff had taken care of this issue in terms of accessory uses, stating in the definition a list of things that cannot be used as a storage building. She questioned whether the Board wished to deal with somebody using something like a storage trailer as a principle use in a commercial or industrial district. Currently, these types of storage trailers can not be used as an accessory structure. Staff will proceed with language to allow storage trailers as accessory structures in the LI, GI, HB and Open Use.
Ms. Beeker informed the Board that relative to adult businesses, staff had not yet had a chance to fix the text to include all the potential NAICS uses. She questioned whether the Board wished to have that fixed before going out for public input. Chairman Moyer stated that he had hoped the Commissioners would have a chance to ask questions on the draft, and that while the draft did not have to be perfect prior to presentation, he wanted to make sure all policy statements were cleared up.
Ms. Beeker reminded the Board of discussion from the previous meeting that dealt with separation from schools for certain uses. That discussion had been to have that be a two way street, meaning that if industry could not go within a half mile of a school, then a school shouldn=t go within a half mile of industry. Chairman Moyer clarified that the Board=s intent in that discussion was that if an area is zoned industrial, an industry can go anywhere within that district. If a school chooses to go within a half mile of that border, it would be the school=s issue. A school placed along an industrial border would not be able to negate the zoning for a half mile within that district.
Chairman Moyer asked Karen Smith to look at how long it would take the get the draft reasonably clean, and to come back to the Board with a time frame on when a date for public input could be set. It was the consensus of the Board to allow public inspection of the draft for at least three weeks prior to the public input session.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:05 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman