STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON OCTOBER 9, 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 Charlie Messer, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy R. Brantley.
Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Planner Nippy Page, Planner Josh Freeman and Planning Board member Tedd Pearce.
Absent was: Commissioner Don Ward.
WELCOME AND CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order, stating that the purpose of the meeting was a workshop on the Howard Gap Road/Brookside Camp Road Zoning Study.
HOWARD GAP ROAD/BROOKSIDE CAMP ROAD ZONING STUDY
Josh Freeman presented a PowerPoint presentation which outlined the Planning Board=s recommendations. That presentation is attached and hereby incorporated as a part of these minutes. He stated that the study area in question was approximately one mile south of Fletcher, two miles north of Hendersonville, and entirely on the eastern side of I-26.
In September 2001, Janice Moore submitted re-zoning application #R-05-01. The Planning Board examined the application, and determined that while it constituted a large and appropriate request for a study, the proposed area was too small and disconnected from existing zoning districts to the north. The Planning Board requested Ms. Moore table her application, initiated their own study, and referred that study to the zoning and land use subcommittee.
Commissioner Hawkins questioned why the area was so greatly expanded from what had been originally requested. He also questioned whether there had been any discussions with Fletcher and Hendersonville since the area was so close to those boundaries. Mr. Freeman stated that he had not spoken with Fletcher or Hendersonville, but had used some information that had been gathered in the Mills River land use study since it overlapped to a certain extent. He felt that based on what Planning staff knew of annexation plans for Fletcher and Hendersonville, the relevance would be a few years down the road.
Chairman Moyer stated that there was a procedure in place to deal with such communication. LGCCA members had adopted a policy that when things like this came up, especially with regards to annexations, it would be brought to the LGCCA to advise the other municipalities involved. He stated that he would take this to the LGCCA, but wanted to first ensure that the Board wished to go forward with the study.
Mr. Freeman then explained that with respect to expanding the borders of the study, the Planning Board=s primary intention had been to find a way to link this zoning area with other zoned areas. Though the original study area was a large area, in relation to other adjacent zoning there was nothing within about a mile. It would have been a relatively small, stand alone residential zoning district totally disconnected from any other broader issue facing that community. Karen Smith stated that the Planning Department had been aware of a previous movement in the community to pursue a satellite zoning area prior to open use zoning. Tedd Pearce added that another reason had to do with the road systems and topography, and that zoning in the added areas was easy to determine given that topography.
Chairman Moyer questioned whether the original area was large enough to comply with the ordinance. Mr. Freeman answered that it would not have complied. Since it was not adjacent to existing zoning it would have needed to be a square mile in size. Chairman Moyer asked if anyone on the border of the study had requested to be allowed out of the study area. Mr. Freeman stated that no one had opted out, and in fact there was a subdivision on the northern boundary which had wanted to be included but was taken out by staff.
Mr. Freeman continued discussion of the background on the project, specifying the location and the basic characteristics of the area. He discussed the current land uses providing percentages for uses such as residential, commercial and industrial. He also discussed the types of structures found in the study area, and presented a structural composition map which showed where those structures were located. He outlined the methodology used by the Planning Board during this study, highlighting the key factors used in determining the most suitable zoning classification.
Mr. Freeman answered several questions from the Board on the boundaries selected for the study area. He stated that the southern boundary was largely defined by the Planning Board based on several large subdivisions and the natural boundary of Mud Creek. Commissioner Messer questioned why that boundary was not extended to Highway 64. Tedd Pearce answered that the Planning Board had felt a responsibility to move forward and get as much accomplished as possible in a reasonable period of time. He also stated that the Board did not wish to take on too much, but did wish to address the area within the original re-zoning application.
Mr. Freeman went through the various sections designated by the study, and outlined the proposed zoning for those sections. The maps used to outline those sections are a part of the attached PowerPoint presentation.
Commissioner Hawkins questioned the proposed zoning of Section 11 which encompassed an area at the intersection of Brookside Camp Road and Howard Gap Road. It had been proposed to be re-zoned C-4, but was co-located with a group of land to be zoned C-2P. Commissioner Hawkins felt the C-2P zoning would be more appropriate than C-4. Tedd Pearce answered that the recommendation from the study committee to the Planning Board was to zone that area C-2P. However, members of the Planning Board, at the request of the property owner, decided to change that recommendation to C-4. There followed much discussion on the pros and cons of C-2P versus C-4 for the area, and the genesis of the final C-4 recommendation.
Commissioner Messer questioned if the zoning along Patty=s Chapel Road went all the way to Jackson Road. Mr. Freeman answered that it did not go that far, and in fact went only a short distance out Patty=s Chapel Road.
Chairman Moyer pointed out that what staff had proposed be done, would not be allowed under the new zoning ordinance. Mr. Freeman agreed that some of the districts being recommended could not be recommended under the new zoning ordinance especially with regards to manufactured homes. He noted that there was considerable debate over the manufactured housing issue, but felt that the boundary lines that had been drawn were very good and accurately depicted what was on the ground.
Chairman Moyer questioned again whether the boundaries were drawn to reflect what was on the ground currently, or what the people wanted to see in the future. Tedd Pearce answered that if it were based on public comment, the T-15 district would have been much smaller. The T-15 District had been larger in the beginning of the study, but following public input some of that area had been designated R-15. Chairman Moyer confirmed that the change to R-15 was based on what people in the area requested. Mr. Pearce stated that he felt the Planning Board had tried to balance the wishes of the people, what was on the ground, the ability to grow, and the positive and negative effects of zoning. He felt that all thing being considered it was the best mix possible, and he recommended the Board act on it prior to enacting the new zoning ordinance.
Commissioner Hawkins questioned what type of response was received back from the approximately 1,200 letters sent out by the Planning Department. Mr. Freeman answered that there was very little response from the public. Commissioner Hawkins pointed out that there was no way to tell how the public felt based on that. Tedd Pearce stated he believed that since many of the changes dealt with residential, there was not a high level of discomfort among those affected.
Commissioner Messer referenced the area north of Howard Gap up to the southern study boundary, questioning what those residents see for future change. Karen Smith stated that some of that land was now in the City of Hendersonville=s ETJ. Commissioner Messer expressed concern over what would eventually happen in that area if the zoning was not addressed now. Josh Freeman agreed that the area should be addressed, but that when was up to the Board. There followed discussion regarding the timing of the zoning ordinance rewrite and the areas in need of study.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he was very concerned over the divergence in thought between Planning Staff and the Planning Board. He felt there was a philosophy in the county that anything residents didn=t want in their neighborhood could be zoned out and into another area of the county. He questioned whether staff and the Board should have consensus before bringing recommendations to the Commissioners. Karen Smith noted that the Planning Board had been aware of Planning Staff=s opinions from the beginning, so the staff comments contained in the study would not come as a surprise to the Planning Board. She stated that though there are differences of opinion, Planning Staff did support the Planning Board=s recommendations.
Commissioner Gordon stated that she felt it very important that staff include their opinions because they are so important to the rewrite. She hoped that the zoning ordinance rewrite would resolve the controversy from arising each time there is a re-zoning. She felt that future zoning would be very important when considering what Henderson County would look like 20 years from now, what is done now will set the pattern for the future.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that they had requested the Committee of 100 and the Chamber of Commerce look at key industrial areas in the county that needed to be reserved, identified and protected. He questioned whether the study area had been considered for this need, especially based on its proximity to I-26. Mr. Freeman answered that he did not believe the Committee of 100 recommendation touched on the area.
Tedd Pearce stated that the study had been sent to the Commissioners by the Planning Board by a unanimous vote. He felt the study was a good study, though there was some disagreement about some of the commercial designations. He also felt there was strong community support in the area for it, and recommended moving forward with the re-zoning.
Karen Smith stated that there had been some discussion on having text amendments made to the current zoning ordinance. She expressed that with being in the middle of the zoning ordinance rewrite, she was hesitant to embark on such a project. Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Board not to pursue any amendments to the current zoning ordinance.
Chairman Moyer stated that he would be ready to schedule a public hearing once the proposed C-4 zoning was changed to regular commercial. Karen Smith advised the Board that they could advertise multiple districts, and make the final decision after hearing public input. Commissioner Messer stated that he had some concerns about how to tie in areas outside the study area, but that the study was good and he would support going out for public input. Commissioner Hawkins agreed to the public input, but wished to ensure that the advertising was done such that the Board would have some flexibility in the Brookside Camp Road/Howard Gap Road intersection, and a portion of the Schenimann property.
Karen Smith clarified that regarding the advertising for the public input, the Board wished to advertise the Schenimann property, Section 6, as either R-15 or C-2P. She also clarified the advertising for Section 11 at the intersection of Howard Gap Road and Brookside Camp Road as either C-4, C-2 or C-2P.
Following several additional questions regarding Section 1, it was the consensus of the Board to hold a Public Hearing with respect to Sections 2-13 including flexibility in the advertising with respect to Sections 6 and 11. David Nicholson stated that he would discuss a date and time for the public hearing with staff, and bring that recommendation back to the Board.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at approximately 4:25 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman