STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                                    BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                                          JUNE 18, 2004


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building. The purpose of this meeting was a workshop on the County Comprehensive Plan (CCP).


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Bill Moyer, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin, Assistant County Manager Justin B. Hembree, County Attorney Angela Beeker and Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley. 


Also present were: Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Planning Director Karen Smith, Project Planner Josh Freeman, Planners Anthony Prinz and Nippy Page, and Public Information Officer Chris Coulson.


Absent were: Vice-Chairman Larry Young and County Manager David E. Nicholson.



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.



Chairman Hawkins noted that neither Commissioner Young nor David Nicholson would be present at the meeting. He suggested that following the presentation by Josh Freeman and Karen Smith, the Board have some discussion and have each Commissioner articulate the things they felt needed to be worded differently. Staff would then compile a list of those for additional Board discussion and consensus at their July 6th meeting.


Josh Freeman stated that several public input items had been received and distributed to the Board. Those comments are attached hereto and incorporated as a part of the minutes.


Commissioner Messer stated that he had questions on the last piece of information received. He had received numerous phone calls from organizations, land owners, and Planning Board members who had questions about items in the document. He stated that when the Plan called for joint ventures with the municipalities, the County should have understandings with the municipalities concerning those items. Municipal representatives had conveyed to him that they had just finished budgets, and had not had time to really review the Plan and discuss it. He suggested scheduling a workshop with Mayors and Councils.  


Following some discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to either share their concerns at this meeting, or to compile a list to be submitted to the Planning Department. Planning would then, for the July 6th meeting, compile a master list including the latest revision versus the suggestion. The Board would then be able to select which of those wording choices they preferred. It was also the consensus of the Board that if any municipalities wished to have additional input, individual Board members could include that feedback in their dialogue for consideration.   


Chairman Hawkins then discussed the concerns he had with some changes that had been made, referencing the following page numbers and his concerns:

§         A-3 – Item A - Preferred the original language regarding the Farmland Protection Fund - “Henderson County should consider establishing a farmland protection fund.” He also wished to consider such establishment with the municipalities.

§         A-5 – Item F - Preferred the original language regarding ongoing training and technical assistance to farmers. The new language directed the County to work with organizations, and without knowing what those organizations are he did not wish to be locked into that decision.

§         N-6 – Sedimentation Control and Storm Water items. He felt that was a very good issue for the County to revisit, but without study did not feel the County should lock into the proposed strategies.

§         N-3 – Flood Hazard Prevention Ordinance. He was concerned about creating an ordinance so restrictive that a farmer would never have a chance to sell his land to do something else with it. He felt the Board would need some latitude to consider before getting into such an ordinance.

§         Housing Element – He felt the concept of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Fair Housing Ordinance and Strategic Affordable Housing Plan would require study by the Board.  

§         WS-3, WS-4 & WS-5 – Countywide Sewer and Water Master Plan – Some language had been changed to “The Board of Commissioners will adopt a Resolution”, “the County will adopt a measure recognizing the role of the Joint Water and Sewer Advisory Committee, which was created under the auspices of the LGCCA” and “over time, the County will combine the Joint Water and Sewer Advisory Committee”. Unless the County really wants to pursue a County/City form of Government, the County must be cautious before relinquishing authority to the LGCCA. He stated the County should retain some latitude while investigating this issue, and that the process was already underway.  

§         PS-4 – Regarding site selection criteria for new schools, he felt it was a good idea to connect to public transportation, water and sewer. However, the new wording in the document would “require connecting to public transportation, public water and public sewer systems.” He felt this should be an area in which the Board could develop a definitive process over time.


Commissioner Messer then discussed his concerns as follow:

§         A2 – Asked for more definition for the statement “Farmers would like to protect farmland, but do not want protection to occur through regulations.”

§         A-3 – Regarding funding, he questioned whether the County would commit to setting aside funding for implementation of items such as preserving farmland.

§         A-4 – Asked for more definition for the statement “…such flood-prone area should be preserved for agriculture and made available for lease or purchase by farmers.”

§         A-5 – Questioned the definition for the statement “The County will review the current status of its Present Use Valuation Taxation program to maximize the benefits of that program to agriculture, forestry and horticultural landowners”.


Chairman Hawkins asked the Board to have their written comments to Planning Staff prior to the end of the  next week.


Commissioner Baldwin expressed that he felt there were several areas that had been left out of the document. One of the big ones was public safety. He felt the implementation schedule should include completion or commission of a plan for public safety. He stated that health care and solid waste were additional areas where a future addendum to the Plan would be appropriate.


Commissioner Moyer requested that libraries and housing for the aging population be included in that implementation schedule.  



Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 a.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.







Amy Brantley, Deputy Clerk to the Board                       Grady Hawkins, Chairman