PLANNING BOARD MINUTES
October 15, 2002
The Henderson County Planning Board met for its regular meeting on Tuesday, October 15, 2002, at 7:03 p.m. in the Land Development Building, 101 East Allen Street, Hendersonville, NC. Board members present were Tedd Pearce, Chairman, Vice-Chairman Walter Carpenter, Leon Allison, Paul Patterson, Todd Thompson, Mike Cooper, Kevin Keefe, and Jack Lynch. Others present included Derrick Cook, Planner; Josh Freeman, Planner; Dan Gurley, Zoning Administrator; Karen C. Smith, Planning Director; and Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary. Board member Roger Wolff was absent.
Approval of Minutes. Chairman Pearce presided over the meeting and called the meeting to order. He asked for the approval of the September 17, 2002, minutes. Jack Lynch made a motion to approve the minutes. Paul Patterson seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.
Adjustment of Agenda. Chairman Pearce asked that Item 8, Proposed Amendments to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance, be moved after Item 10, in the interest of time.
Staff Reports. Ms. Smith informed the Planning Board that the Board of Commissioners approved the rezoning request by James R. Suttles on October 7, 2002 from R-20 to RC. Ms. Smith stated that the Brookside Camp /Howard Gap Road area Zoning Study workshop was October 9, 2002 with the Board of Commissioners and indicated that all Planning Board members received a copy of what was presented at the workshop. She stated that on October 16, 2002, the Board of Commissioners plan to schedule a hearing for sometime in November on the zoning study. Also, the Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public input session regarding the latest draft of the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite for October 28, 2002 at 7:00 PM. A copy has been distributed to all Planning Board members. She stated that the Commissioners have not specifically asked for the Planning Board to give any final recommendations, but she felt that a copy for each member would be appropriate in case the Commissioners do request recommendations. She added that if there are any comments the Planning Board members need to express concerning this new draft to please forward them to the Planning Department. Ms. Smith stated that there will be a follow-up on last month’s discussion concerning location of Planning Board meetings and revising the rules of procedure on the election of officers as well as other issues. She stated that the revisions will be forwarded to board members within the next two months.
Chairman Pearce reminded everyone that reviews of subdivisions will be conducted informally unless the applicant or anyone qualified to participate in the proceeding requests that such review be conducted as a formal quasi-judicial proceeding.
Proposed Zoning Map Amendment – Application # R-04-02 to Rezone Approximately 1.25 Acres
Commercial) – Nathan Benson, Applicant. Mr. Freeman stated that Mr. Benson submitted this
request to rezone a parcel of land located off US 25 North from R-T, Transient Residential to C-4
Highway Commercial zoning. Mr. Freeman stated that the Subcommittee met on October 7, 2002
and voted 3-1 to recommend that the Planning Board recommend to the Henderson County Board
of Commissioners that the subject project be rezoned from R-T to C-2 rather than C-4 for a variety
of reasons. He said some of the reasons were that C-2 was across the road and that C-4 might open
up some spot zoning issues and that C-2 would be more appropriate until such time as a corridor
study is finished. Mr. Freeman stated that Staff views the Subcommittee’s recommendation that the
subject property be rezoned to C-2 rather than C-4 as an improvement over the original application,
but feels that the application should be denied based on the fact that a corridor study has not been
initiated and that it is premature to start making decisions about this corridor as it will be changing
dramatically in the future. Mr. Freeman stated that if the Planning Board members feel strongly
about favoring a corridor study, he suggests sending a recommendation to the Board of
Commissioners to initiate a corridor study. Chairman Pearce asked Jack Lynch, Subcommittee
Chairman, to review the Subcommittee’s decisions on this matter. Mr. Lynch stated that the
Subcommittee looked at the surrounding properties and the development and widening of US 25
North, which will start in December, 2002. He stated that the Subcommittee also looked at the
future of the area and felt the Subcommittee would have rather preferred waiting for a corridor
study to be done, but since Mr. Benson wanted to get going with his project within a year and
looking at all the aspects as well as the fact that a corridor study would take up to three years, the
Subcommittee felt that C-2 instead of C-4 would be more favorable. Mr. Lynch stated that there
was a three to one vote in favor, but committee member Roger Wolff felt that we should wait until
a corridor study is completed. Chairman Pearce stated that from a practical standpoint, he would
agree that if we were to do a study, it would not be finished before the end of 2003 and feels that
this would jeopardize Mr. Benson’s plans on the property, but is also concerned about the problems
of starting zonings and the amount of requests and how or if we are going to have some criteria. He
asked, “is the Planning Board going to support every request that comes along in the next fifteen
months or will we develop some type of criteria whether we do or don’t support a request?”
Chairman Pearce feels that there is a bigger problem than this application and it should be addressed
tonight. Kevin Keefe stated that the reasoning behind the subcommittee’s decision on changing the
zoning request from C-4 to C-2 is that there is C-2 zoning across the street from the proposed site
with a major highway (US 25 North) in front and he wondered who would want to live in a home
beside a major highway. Mike Cooper asked whether Mr. Benson was in favor of the change from
C-4 to C-2. Board members stated that he is well aware of the change and favors it. Ms. Smith
stated that when the Board of Commissioners asked the Planning Board and the municipalities to
look at the US 25 South corridor, they did include some language as they were not too keen on
considering rezonings in that area until the study was completed. She stated that they did not
impose a moratorium but wanted the public to know that since it was going to be under study they
would not be as willing to call for a hearing. Leon Allison said that C-2 will accommodate what
Mr. Benson wants to do and he agreed C-2 could work. He stated that as far as his thoughts on
future rezonings, they would be based on it. He added that the people out in the community really
do not understand zoning as they are not in everyday contact with zoning. Mr. Lynch stated that the
public thinks that it is our responsibility to provide that education but a lot of information can be
obtained over the website. He stated that the computer is becoming more important to us all. Leon
Allison made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on Mr.
Nathan Benson’s property to be zoned C-2 (Neighborhood Commercial), based on the agenda, and
the minutes of the recommendation made by the Short Term Zoning Subcommittee from C-4 to C-
2, dated October 7, 2002. Kevin Keefe seconded the motion and all members were in favor except
for Walter Carpenter and Tedd Pearce. The motion carried. Mr. Pearce made a motion that the
Planning Board requests that the Board of Commissioners initiates or allow the Planning Staff to
initiate a corridor study for Highway 25 North. Jack Lynch seconded the motion and all members
voted in favor.
Order for Amendment to Approved Development Parcel for Carriage Park Planned Unit
Development, Section 23, Carriage West – Planning Staff. Ms. Smith stated that at the last
Planning Board meeting there was a quasi-judicial proceeding to consider an amendment to
Section 23 for Carriage Park Planned Unit Development, Carriage West. She said that after talking
with Dale Hamlin today, he indicated that if he did not attend tonight’s meeting, he did not have a
problem with the Order presented. Chairman Pearce made a motion to approve the Order granting
approval of amendment to Carriage Park, Section 23, Carriage West as presented by Planning Staff.
Jack Lynch seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.
Red Wing (File # 02-M14) – Master Plan and Development Plan Review (71 Lots Off Warlick
Road) – Bronce Pesterfield, Agent for Red Wing Estates, LLC, Applicant. Before any discussion
began, Mr. Carpenter asked whether anyone checked for availability of septic tank suitability in that
area as he mentioned there has been a problem in that area. The agent, Bronce Pesterfield
commented that they have. Derrick Cook reviewed the subdivision details and stated that Red
Wing Subdivision consists of 71 lots on approximately 46 acres and will be completed in one
phase. He reviewed the comments that need to be addressed. With regard to the Master Plan the
following is required:
Regarding technical comments dealing with the Development Plan, he reviewed the following
Mr. Cook stated that the flag lot , # 19, needs specific approval from the Planning Board. He also said that the applicant has indicated that Red Wing Estates, LLC, has an option on property adjoining the proposed development to the east. Chairman Pearce said, “In Staff’s perspective if the applicant were to have future development, would it cause any problems with anything that the Board is approving tonight, such as changes to road sizes or anything else that would need to be discussed?” Mr. Cook stated that it would not. Ms. Smith stated that the comment was added to make everyone aware of the possibilities for future development in this subdivision.
Mr. Bronce Pesterfield stated that he is the agent for the developers in this project and is also a partner. He stated that he feels that the main concern when talking with Mr. Cook is the blue line stream, which runs through the property (Lot # 19). He stated that there is a significant drainage feature that runs to the pond and the USGS maps do indicate by the blue line that there is a stream there. He stated that he will talk to the Division of Water Quality regarding this. He indicated that there is another pond, but that it has never been wet this year, but that they will be able to meet any buffer requirements on the blue line stream, which will be a 30-foot buffer and will adjust any lot layout to accommodate the buffer. Mr. Pesterfield stated that his biggest concern is if they consider it a stream, they will then need to go to Division of Water Quality and the Army Corp of Engineers to get the pipes approved. He said that the developers are looking at the adjacent property for future development. He indicated that all roads are designed to NCDOT standards are under 2500 feet in length can have 18 feet of pavement width with 45 foot rights-of-way, as well as all the culs-de-sac meet State standards. He said although they have not submitted to any of the entities yet, they feel certain everything will meet NCDOT standards. Paul Patterson asked if there was a reason that 18-foot wide pavement was indicated, but the plan shows 20 feet? Mr. Pesterfield indicated that there is a revised plan, which shortened the road up near the lots near the T-type turnaround, which by taking this back, reduced the length of the road. Chairman Pearce asked whether Staff has received revised plans on this. Ms. Smith said they did not, but that the Board can approve it with State road standards and that NCDOT will need to sign off on it in the end approving the road designs, as indicated in one of Staff’s comments. Paul Patterson asked who will own the road itself since the developers did not extend their lot line to the center of the road? Mr. Pesterfield said that the property owners’ association will own the road and then it will be turned over to the State later, who will eventually own the right-of-way. The Planning Board also acknowledged the applicant’s intention to submit to the Planning Department a revised Development Plan showing revisions related to shortening the road near the T-type turnaround. Mr. Patterson stated that it seems a general trend that the Board is not seeing a lot of detail on the Master Plan. He stated some of the details such as size of storm pipes, curve data, which has been a big issue in the Subdivision Ordinance has not been indicated making it hard to evaluate the Plans. He feels that the Board needs to suggest that developers submitting Master/Development Plans to the Board have more detail shown. Chairman Pearce stated that he will add that to his agenda to discuss application information. Walter Carpenter made a motion that the Planning Board find and conclude that the Master Plan and the Development Plan submitted for the Red Wing Subdivision complies with the provisions of the Subdivision Ordinance except for those matter addressed in the technical and procedural comment section of Staff’s memo that have not been satisfied by the applicant and further move that such plans be approved subject to condition 1 under the Master Plan and conditions 1 – 8 as shown under the Development Plan technical comments in the Staff’s memo and in addition, we specifically approve Lot # 19 as a flag lot. Mike Cooper seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.
Review of Conditional Use Permit Application # CU-02-14 – Proposed Shopping Center in a C-4
(Highway Commercial) District at the Corner of US Highway 176 and Mill Street – Ernest
Williams, Applicant. Mr. Gurley stated as previously mentioned, the Group Development
Application was withdrawn by the applicant and has been replaced with an application for a
shopping center, which is a conditional use permit granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
He stated that the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment has asked that the Planning Board
review and provide recommendations to the Zoning Board of Adjustment in regards to this
application. He stated that the applicant has given a more detailed plan showing landscaping areas,
parking spaces, future buildings and their sizes, and ingress/egress options. Mr. Gurley mentioned
that there were some items missing from the application that needs to be corrected for shopping
centers such as:
the parking requirements will be the same as last time.
Mr. Gurley stated that other than those conditions that Staff suggests for approval, the Planning Board can consider sending a favorable recommendation on this application to the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mr. Cooper asked what is the existing square footage of the mill building as he does not understand the calculation of 32,700 square feet? After checking the floor space measurements, it was corrected to read 23,100 square feet of floor space and also the total parking spaces would be 77 spaces. It was also indicated that since they have new driveway cuts there and approved by NCDOT, comment 3 regarding ingress/egress can be eliminated from the list of comments for approval.
Mr. Ken Stubbs who represents Ernest Williams, applicant for the project, pointed out that the lighting will be attached to the building and will not be large aerial lighting and also the signage will be attached to the building as permitted. Leon Allison asked whether a standard sign will be erected in the front? Mr. Stubbs stated that right now there is not one planned.
Walter Carpenter made a motion that the Planning Board find and conclude that the application
submitted by Ernest E. Williams for a Shopping Center (CU-02-14) complies with the
provisions of the Henderson County Zoning Ordinance Section 200-52 except for those matters
addressed in the comment sections of Staff’s memo that have not been satisfied by the applicant
and further move that a favorable recommendation be sent forth to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
subject to the following conditions: (1) that the Plan shows a minimum of 77 parking spaces; (2)
that the Plan shows a minimum of two off street loading and unloading spaces; (3) that the applicant
has proposed lighting attached to the buildings, which is specifically approved and (4) that any
signage would meet the then current regulations in effect for signage on this property. Mike Cooper
seconded the motion and all Board members voted in favor. Leon Allison brought up concerns
regarding giving permission to do signs but may not be able to build signs. There was much
discussion concerning this but as a mentioned, because it is a Conditional Use Permit, the Zoning
Board of Adjustment can place restrictions as they feel necessary regarding signs. John Blatt asked
if this plan were to show today a road identification sign or maybe the dimensions of it and the
lettering on the building, will there be some benefit to it? Ms. Smith indicated that there would be
but especially for the Board of Adjustment. Chairman Pearce asked if it is presumed that the
lighting on the building will not cause glare on Mill Street. Mr. Stubbs stated that there will not
be any potential glare due to the lighting. Jack Lynch said, how will the Board really know that it
will not happen. Chairman Pearce indicated that we have it in the testimony of Mr. Stubbs, other
than that, it is their responsibility to make sure that they do not impose a problem regarding this.
Ms. Smith stated that she will discuss the matter concerning the signage by the legal department
before the Board of Adjustment meeting.
Proposed Amendments to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance – Planning Staff. Ms.
Smith stated that there are proposed changes based on comments heard at the hearing, from
Legal Staff and just to clarify what is meant on some of these issues. She stated it really does
not change much what was sent to the Board of Commissioners back in August, 2002, but makes
it clear that if, for example, on shoulder widths or curve radius, you have certain circumstances
that are specified in the amendment (the cross slope is “x”) there will be an ability to reduce
shoulder widths and curve radius to a certain point. She stated that before there were some issues
that the legal department had with the word “may.” She said that the Subcommittee had asked to
discuss this with the legal department. The legal department indicated that everything sounded ok
except the sentence that reads, “Where such reduced curve radii are allowed, the developer shall
provide any or all of the following: wider travel way widths, wider shoulders, guardrails or other
safety measures.” Ms. Smith stated that the Subcommittee proposed it as a trade-off to having the
reduction to preserve the safety on the road. She stated that Angela Beeker and Walter Carpenter
suggested alternative language as follows: “Where such reduced curve radii are allowed, the
developer shall provide at least one of the following:….” Chairman Pearce asked the Board
members if they see a problem with this change?
Mr. A.J. Ball, project manager of Oleta Falls, stated that what has been recommended is fine and
doable on mountain terrain, but the question he has is regarding the last sentence. If the reduction
in the radius is allowed and then you need or have to meet conditions or other safety measures, that
negates having a 20-degree cross-slope, or if you are allowed to have a two-foot shoulder but
then the Planning Board requires a four-foot shoulder or a wider travel way, there is conflict. He
stated that he is not objecting to this and feel that people could live with it, but there is some
conflict. Mike Cooper stated that he still feels that the responsibility is on the developer. Ms. Smith
asked if what Mr. Cooper might mean is that it should be more of a suggestion to the developer than
a requirement? Mr. Lynch stated he interprets it as giving the developer some flexibility, yet to put
some risk back to the developer to do it right the first time. Paul Patterson said that the Planning
Board is not making it conditional, but if the cross slope on private Residential collector roads is
15 % or more, the developer can request the reduction and the Planning Board can give the variance
on the radius of the curve. He added that if the Planning Board is going to give the reduction
conditioned on cross-slope, why is there another condition saying we will give that to you, but you
will have to do something else. Chairman Pearce stated that it could be looked at as a public safety
standard. Reducing the curve radius could also create some other problems. He said, “Do we really
have the right to address those, or not?” Ms. Smith said that the Board should consider if an 80-foot
curve radius is safe without conditions. She said that if 80 feet is not the safe figure, the Board
might want to use another number and not have the extra standards. Mike Cooper said that if it is
on a steep slope and a sharp curve, that is where the problem arises. After more discussion,
Chairman Pearce asked whether the Board wants site-specific standards as to wider travel ways,
wider shoulders, guardrails and/or other specifics or does it want it as part of the application to the
Board? Mike Cooper stated that if it was a completely flat terrain, a guardrail would be ridiculous
to require, but if it was an 18% grade going into an 80-foot curve radius, then it might make sense
to have a guardrail. Paul Patterson stated that giving a variance does not necessarily meet NCDOT
standards. He stated that it would be in the developer’s best interest to protect himself and put the
guardrail up on his own. Mr. Carpenter stated that the sentence should be struck and said that if 80
feet of centerline radius is not enough and we find that out when they are built, then we’ll need to
study this further and change it. He said the understanding from the engineers at this point is that it
will work in this County. Chairman Pearce stated that he feels the Board has two choices: either
send this back to Subcommittee or strike the last sentence. He asked Ms. Smith, “If we strike this
last sentence, how do you feel about the changes as proposed?” Ms. Smith said that she could live
with the amendments but would like to take a look at what we’ve discussed in the future. She
added that she has one more suggestion: if it does not require the amendments to go back to
hearing, she would like to add to the first part of the paragraph, “the minimum curve radius
(the distance measured from the centerline of the road to a fixed point inside the curve) shall be no
less than 90 feet except as provided below(Figure 2).” After much further discussion, Board
members felt that they would need to look at each development on a specific case-by-case
basis and so therefore decided to strike the sentence: “Where such reduced curve radii are allowed,
the developer shall provide any or all of the following: wider travel way widths, wider shoulders,
guardrails or other safety measures” from the proposed amendments and add “except as provided
below” to the other sentence. Chairman Pearce made a motion to accept the proposed amendments
to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance with revisions on Page 4, adding the words
“except as provided below” to the first part of the paragraph and striking the last sentence, ““Where
such reduced curve radii are allowed, the developer shall provide any or all of the following: wider
travel way widths, wider shoulders, guardrails or other safety measures.” Mike Cooper seconded
the motion and all members voted in favor.
Chairman Pearce pointed out what Paul Patterson previously referred to regarding subdivision applications, which the Planning Board has received recently, that are so incomplete and are being revised at the time of the meetings with no revisions available for review. He added that most of the revised items are minor things that Staff can handle administratively, but he asked whether the Board members like seeing them in this fashion. Ms. Smith stated that the Ordinance gives the Planning Board the ability to determine if an application is incomplete or not. Ms. Smith referred to Section 170-16 C(3), regarding Development Plan Submission and Review, which states that Staff has to submit findings along with comments from review agencies. She said that in the opinion of the Planning Board, if the Development Plan application is incomplete, the Board can return it to the applicant, identifying the specific omissions without invoking the 60-day requirement or it can also be approved with conditions. She stated that there have not been any standards as to what point the Board wants to do. She stated that there have not been any standards in the past, but if the Board knows where it wants to draw that line, she feels that the Board can do that, but the Planning Staff should have some type of advance warning so Staff can notify the applicants when they are submitting application that might be determined as “incomplete.” Chairman Pearce stated that he feels that the Planning Board is getting to the point where it needs to address what minimum requirements it wants applications to meet before presenting them at the Planning Board meetings. He asked what the proper procedure would be for this. Ms. Smith stated that the Board could make it a case-by-case basis or let the Staff know which specific information must be on the plan, such as cross-sections and then Staff can advise the applicant. Chairman Pearce feels there are certain things that the Planning Board needs to see, such as culvert, drainage, and road designs. After further discussion, Chairman Pearce requested that Ms. Smith review the checklist of requirements that Staff needs to review for the applicant’s plans and then the Board can review that list to determine what causes more concerns with Board members when reviewing plans at the Planning Board meeting.
Subcommittee Assignments and Dates. Ms. Smith indicated that the Subdivision Issues Subcommittee needs to meet and she will coordinate a date and time with Walter Carpenter, who chairs the Subcommittee and inform the other subcommittee members.
Paul Patterson announced that this would be his last Planning Board meeting as he accepted a job in Alabama the first of November, 2002. All Board members wished him well.
Adjournment. There being no further business, Chairman Pearce made a motion to adjourn and
Jack Lynch seconded the motion. All members voted in favor. The meeting adjourned at
Tedd M. Pearce, Chairman Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary