PLANNING BOARD MINUTES
February 18, 2003
The Henderson County Planning Board met on February 18, 2003, for its regular meeting at 7:04 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the County Commissioners Building, 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, NC. Board members present were Tedd Pearce, Chairman, Walter Carpenter, Vice-Chairman, Leon Allison, Paul Patterson, Jack Lynch, and Mike Cooper. Others present included Derrick Cook, Planner; Karen C. Smith, Planning Director; Josh Freeman, Planner, Autumn Radcliff, Planner and Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary. Board members Kevin Keefe and Todd Thompson were absent.
Approval of Minutes. Chairman Pearce presided over the meeting and called the meeting to order. He asked for the approval of the January 21, 2003 minutes. Paul Patterson made a motion to approve the minutes and Jack Lynch seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.
Adjustment of Agenda. Chairman Pearce indicated that there were no adjustments to the agenda to be made.
Staff Reports. Ms. Smith stated that the Board of Commissioners has scheduled public hearings for the rezonings for Gordon McAuliffe and Tap Root Dairy for Monday, March 3, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. She also mentioned that the Board of Commissioners denied the request for Nathan Benson at their last meeting.
Order for Carriage Park Planned Unit Development, Section 15. Ms. Smith stated that the Board members received the draft Order for Carriage Park, Carriage Crest, Section 15. It was based on the quasi-judicial hearing that was held January 21, 2003 and encompassed the findings, conclusions and decisions of the Planning Board. Jack Lynch made a motion to approve the Order as presented, for Carriage Park, Section 15, Carriage Crest. Walter Carpenter seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.
Zoning Map Amendment Application # R-02-07 to Rezone Portions of a 180-Acre Parcel at the
Intersection of NC 191 and North Rugby Road, from R-30 Low-Density Residential to R-20 Low-
Density Residential (85 acres) and C-2 Neighborhood Commercial (12 acres). Conomo
Properties, LLC, Property Owner/Applicant. Jack Lynch stated that he needs to recuse himself
from any discussion or decision regarding this matter because of his residence in Sweetwater Hills and feels that it would be a conflict of interest. Mike Cooper made a motion to approve Mr. Lynch’s recusal. Walter Carpenter seconded the motion and all members were in favor.
Mr. Freeman stated that the Planning Board at the last meeting on January 21, 2003 considered this request. He stated that the Subcommittee met on January 27, 2003 and discussed the application and following their meeting, the applicant amended his application removing the R-20 request which he originally requested a portion of the parcel (approximately 85 acre) be rezoned from R-30 to R-20 District. He also mentioned that approximately 12.39 acres previously requested for C-2 has been reduced to 7.69 acres. Chairman Pearce stated that the applicant wants the Planning Board to consider the rezoning request involving only the C-2 section of 7.69 acres. Mr. Freeman stated that the Planning Board still has the option of going with the original application and it does not kill that application, it just amends the original application. He stated that they are proposing this amendment and the Planning Board can accept it and go with the amendment or they can go with the original application or can recommend any additions or changes. Mr. Freeman stated that Staff reviewed the amended application and stated that it meets a good deal of the concerns that were voiced in the Subcommittee meeting. He stated that at the last Planning Board meeting, Board members felt that the original C-2 proposal was a bit too large and this amendment brings it down. He said that the Plan, which was drawn by the applicant, shows an R-30 strip all the way around the C-2 and to the east and south of the C-2 proposal, most of that is in the right-of-way. Mr. Freeman suggested that the Board pull those two areas into the C-2 proposed area. Mr. Freeman indicated on the map the points, which he felt, should be added to the request for C-2 as he feels that leaving those strips in the R-30 will serve no purpose because they are located in the right-of-way. The strip area of the right-of-way, which surrounds the C-2 area, encompasses approximately four acres. He stated that the right-of-way strips, if left alone, would confuse issues dealing with mapping as well as on setback and lot size requirements and make it difficult to do some calculations that could be important change to “in the future”? on this property. Chairman Pearce stated that Mr. Lynch would have been the Chairman of the Subcommittee that reviewed the application but he declined because of conflict of interest and Mr. Pearce chaired it instead. At this time, Mr. Cleveland, applicant/owner spoke.
Arthur Cleveland. He stated that after several meetings he decided to withdraw the R-20 request and reduce the acreage substantially from approximately 12 acres to 7.69 acres for C-2 and tried to show buffer areas. Mr. Carpenter stated that at the Subcommittee meeting Mr. Cleveland had mentioned about how much was needed for the banks and what area intentionally would be left to be effectively used for the commercial area, and asked if this new proposal of 7.69 acres is basically that? Mr. Cleveland stated that it was and said that they had moved it over a bit from the subdivision on the north side to make sure that these would be extra room. There is approximately 60 feet of R-30 and then there would be quite an elevation drop further to push that development away from the subdivision. Mr. Carpenter asked, are you referring to the Merriwood Subdivision?” Mr. Cleveland stated that was correct and that it would give enough room for ample screening and vegetation. Mr. Patterson asked where will the septic system be for this development? Mr. Cleveland said that the septic system will be placed in the residential area (R-30) and said that they are still exploring the situation for sewer, but at present that is where the septic system would go.
Chairman Pearce opened the floor to public input.
Martha Sachs. She stated that her residence lies across the street from the proposed commercial development on North Rugby Road. She stated that she had hunted over a year and a half for a house in this area because of the zoning problem that we have in this County. She stated that she purchased her home in a zoned R-30 residential neighborhood because she thought it would be safe from encroaching development. She further stated that if the government is serious about planning in this County, once something is zoned that is the promise to the people who have bought into that because it is zoned and if the government allows people to come in and change zoning because they want to make more money from their property, then you are doing some injustice to everyone who bought there because it was zoned.
Ron Swartzel. He stated that he is the “impact leader” of a group entitled “We are Rugby.” He stated that there are twelve subdivisions that make up this group. He said that the group formed in opposition to this rezoning request and represents areas including Berry Hill, Bowman Road, Merriwood, Carriage Park, Crestwood, Haywood Knolls, Heatherwood, North Hills, Rugby Hollow, Sweetwater Hills and Whisperwood. The group stands for rural and urban growth built on yesterday. He demonstrated some charts and maps, which he had devised and described the use of the land in the area at present, which is residential. He feels that the reason for the C-2 commercial proposal is because of an opportunity to make money, at the expense of homeowners. The application started with 180 acres and has been reduced from the floodplain and R-20 to just the commercial. He added that he feels there will be clear cutting to make this commercial site and it will encompass the entire 12 acres rather than the new proposal of 7.69 acres. There will be an embankment right down the property line. He stated that the group has concerns over the earth-moving situation and what it will do to the soil situation and urban run-off. He stated that they are also concerned about the 35-40 foot embankment and paving. He mentioned there are concerns with the parking area, which he estimates around 300 parking spaces, which he feels is drastic. He said the subcommittee mentioned a smaller commercial area might be preferable but that the new proposal is deceiving. He stated that if this property is approved for zoning the way it is at this moment, there will be another request to take the unused property (R-30) around the C-2 area and the Board will have no choice but to rezone that portion C-2 as well. He stated that he feels that the new proposal appears to be so compatible so that it will be desirous to the Planning Board. Mr. Swartzel referred to some of the Staff comments under Staff Reports that were not read at tonight’s meeting which state: “Staff recommends that the strips of R-30 zoning in the new proposal, which lie along the southern and eastern boundaries of the C-2 district, between C-2 district boundary and the centerline of NC 191 and North Rugby Road, be eliminated and incorporated into the C-2 district because such strips of R-30 zoning are meaningless and serve no useful zoning function.” He stated that the Staff Report also adds that this area in the public right-of-way is unusable and that it is so small as to render it useless for residential purposes. He added that Staff mentions that the new proposal (Alternate B) is such an improved proposal over and above the original proposal (Alternate A). He said that is not really speaking much of the original request. He also showed on the map the carved out area of the proposed commercial request and the setbacks. He stated that R-30 is not meant to be an advantage for commercial property for which you can use it for right-of-way, setback, entryway, passageway or because it is convenient for the property owner. He also showed the proposed commercial site all by itself on a chart and said that in actual fact it is 12 acres and not 7.69 acres. He said the first piece takes in a one hundred foot right-of-way down NC 191 and the second piece takes in the right-of-way of 60 feet down North Rugby Road. He also noted that in the Staff Report it stated that the remaining portion is too small for residential development and he feels that it is a disguise for the benefit of the applicant to get by your concerns for having too large of a 12-acre tract to begin with. He stated that he is opposed to the new request and to the original request. He feels that it is a scheme so that it appears to be a smaller tract than that. He stated that the Planning Board has had concerns dealing with strip development and he said that this is what is being proposed. He added that if this is approved, it will become another intersection similar to the one in Horse Shoe at the intersection of South Rugby and US 64. He stated that commercial zoning in this area is not appropriate and is undesirable for homeowners and creates traffic problems for homeowners. He said that it takes away property that is now zoned R-30 that was for housing and now will become a commercial district. He also mentioned that this proposal is unjustified, inconsistent, unreasonable and totally unacceptable to all homeowners in the Rugby area. He noted an editorial in Sunday’s newspaper regarding hope for planning and stated that there is only one hope for Planning and it is finding common ground with some common sense for the common good, but that has not been found yet. He feels that the Board has no concerns for homeowners only for the applicant and what is good for him. He stated that there are ten rules of land use, but the tenth rule is never assuming that you know what the common good is and he feels that is what the people are struggling with here. He asked that the Board deny this request. Mr. Carpenter asked Mr. Swartzel, “why is this still 12 acres when he looks at it and it is 7.69 acres with some minor additional right-of-way?” Mr. Carpenter also asked “that the part in the northern section, along North Rugby Road, the triangular-looking section, how is that still a part of this request?” Chairman Pearce stated that he feels that the members are in agreement that the two sections that Staff (Mr. Freeman) marked off on NC 191 and North Rugby Road should be included in this request as commercial, if the Board considers it. Mr. Swartzel answered Mr. Carpenter’s question by stating those two sections indicated on the map by Mr. Freeman are setbacks, which are presently in the R-30 district. He asked, “is it right to use it as setback?” Mr. Carpenter stated “that if it is in a C-2 District, don’t you go to the edge of the C-2 District for setback and not use other property you own as a setback?” Ms. Smith answered by saying that you measure setbacks from property lines and roads. In commercial districts you measure it from roads and property lines only and we are not aware that they plan to cut out a new lot. At present, you would measure from the centerline of the road and the end of the property lines. Mr. Freeman added that this zoning boundary would become irrelevant to a certain extent because the setbacks for R-30 and C-2 District are the same because the R-30 District setbacks apply to the C-2 District in this case, where it is adjacent to a residential boundary. He stated that whether that line is there or not is irrelevant. The C-2 District requires that we adhere to the R-30 setbacks in most cases except along road frontage. Ms. Smith stated that if they were to create a parcel of that C-2 District as shown on the map, you would measure from that property line. Mr. Swartzel stated that given time, this property owner will be given a C-2 designation to not only those small right-of-way sections indicated, but will get the triangular section mentioned because they will feel it is not buildable as residential, being right on top of a shopping center. He added with taking those sections in, it will total approximately 12 acres, the original request. Mr. Carpenter said to Mr. Swartzel, “your expectation is something in the future relative to that.” Mr. Carpenter asked why is the request undesirable? Mr. Swartzel said that it is because it is a misuse of the property. Mr. Carpenter asked why is it a misuse of the property? Mr. Swartzel said that the reason it is a misuse of the property is because it is designated as R-30 and that it should stay R-30 and there is no justification for it to be changed to commercial. Mr. Carpenter asked Mr. Swartzel, “is there any place on NC 191 that you think commercial property ought to go?” Mr. Swartzel replied and noted that where the Asheville/Buncombe Regional Water Authority is located beyond the French Broad River and feels that the river is a good dividing line from residential to commercial. Mr. Swartzel mentioned that along NC 280 is an ideal location for commercial property as there are many commercial uses there. They need to preserve some R-30 for new residential.
Mr. Freeman said that in deciding on a motion, depending on what choice of districts the Board decides to go with, he wants to have it made clear as to whether the Board goes with the original proposal request or whether you go with the amended request that would bring it down to the centerline of the road. He showed a sketch, which clarifies some of the actual use of the proposed commercial area. He said that he took the applicant’s amended plan and changed it to bring the C-2 District to the centerline of the road and tried to calculate the total buildable area. He said that approximately, after the C-2 regulations which restrict the structure size to forty percent of the total tract, there would be 3.156 acres of actual building or structure area and that would leave 3.12 acres available for parking, stormwater management or green space. He stated that it is difficult to talk about structure and parking areas without a specific proposal. Chairman Pearce asked Mr. Freeman whether he calculated the amount of land area that would be added to his revised request. Mr. Freeman stated that it is the difference between 7.69 acres and 7.89 acres.
Mary Borowski. She stated that she lives in the Haywood Knolls Subdivision and she said roughly five years ago she went through a similar situation when Ingles wanted to construct a mega store next to the Rugby Middle School on NC 191 and massive numbers of people that live on that corridor got upset and Mr. Ingles withdrew his request for the store and eventually put a new store on US 25 North. She wanted to know where does the term Safety Net Zoning come into play if it is so easy to get a variance in the zoning and put up something commercial in the middle of a primarily residential corridor. She stated that she and others in the area are interested in keeping commercial off of NC 191 and Rugby Road and to maintain greenways into the city. She also stated that the Transportation Advisory Committee under the leadership of William Moyer and Jack Lynch made a trip to Waynesville and spoke to the NCDOT people when they were working on their TIP sheet and it was requested that the NC 191 project, however that ends up being, be moved from number 3 on the TIP sheet back to number 7 in priority, as there were other much more pressing needs in the County. She then feels that putting anything commercial on that intersection is not a good idea and there seems to be congestion usually around the schools at the start and end of the day and having this commercial site would compound the problem.
Deanna Lundquist. She stated that Mr. Freeman alluded to Sweetwater Hills in your Subcommittee meeting as being, after he takes away the right-of-way, an R-20 district. Chairman Pearce stated that it was thought that the lot sizes were similar to an R-20. She said that in Mr. Freeman’s drawing, he has changed and condensed down to the 7.69 acres for the C-2 district, but has left the right-of-way as green, R-30, which she feels is the same thing he did in Sweetwater Hills. She said that if you take away the right-of-way out of there that is not buildable; you wind up with approximately 12 acres. Chairman Pearce asked Ms. Lundquist, if this property would be zoned commercial and you were adjacent to it, would you rather the entire parcel be zoned commercial (12 acres) or would you rather see a residential buffer in between the two parcels? She stated that there would not be a residential buffer in between the two parcels. She added that a buffer would be nice but a buffer does not take care of the traffic, curb cut, the road or any other things. She said that when Mr. Freeman recommended his proposal, he said he recommended that the green area might as well be included in the rezoning. Chairman Pearce said that Mr. Freeman recommended that parts that the Board demonstrated be taken in. She said that by taking in those areas of right-of-ways, it brings the total near 10 acres.
Mr. Carpenter wanted to know how large is the C-2 across the road? Mr. Freeman said that the parcel across the road is approximately five acres. Mr. Carpenter asked whether Mr. Freeman knew when it was rezoned? Mr. Freeman stated that it was in December 1995. Chairman Pearce asked Mr. Freeman for clarification, “the County’s Land Use Plan of 1993 recommends commercial zoning for this intersection?” Mr. Freeman stated that it does but does not define the area in size for commercial. Mr. Freeman added that Staff’s position on this is that some commercial acreage at this intersection is appropriate and also on all four corners. He said that the scale and size of the tract is another matter and left that up to the Board to determine. Chairman Pearce stated that the Board does not zone any parcels in the County, they only recommend to the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Freeman stated that in 1995 the issues were quite similar to the present and the Board had to decide which district C-2, C-1 or C-4 would be the most appropriate for that intersection, why and how big a commercial area, and other issues. He stated that Staff at that time recommended C-1, but the Commissioners opted to go with C-2 and Staff’s reasoning at that time in arguing for C-1 was that C-1 was of a lighter scale and more appropriate for this neighborhood. Mr. Freeman stated that he does not disagree with that original agreement at this point, but that at the same time the fact that there is C-2 across the road today makes it harder for Staff to go with anything other than C-2 for consistency’s sake.
Mr. Cleveland stated that he is not a developer from out of town who bought this property and trying to develop it. He said his family was on these residential areas before any of the property owners had their homes. He mentioned that his great-uncle passed the land to his father and that he wants this development to work for the whole community, but said that it is his responsibility as a third/fourth generation landowner to develop this property responsibly. He stated, “This is not about deception.” He said they have come up with this plan in good faith to the Board and the people to show that we plan to put buffer zones there. He said that he is not using the rezoning as a foothold to eventually expand the commercial area and that he wants to do whatever he can to assure residents he would not try to build past the 7.69 acres. He said “small growth” calls for commercial near residential.
Fred Liese. He stated that he is a resident of Sweetwater Hills. He asked, “if you take a piece of property and you have approximately 75-80 percent of it (either the 12 acres or the 7.69 acres for C-2 district) and clear cut that land and cut it down to road level, how do you distinguish between the commercial site and R-30, if the R-30 is being used as the setbacks? He feels that basically there is no setback on the commercial part of the property and feels that it would be one piece of property that is 12 acres or 7.69 acres as proposed.” Chairman Pearce stated that the property owners could not use any more than the commercial part of the property but if the property is deeded to a separate company, and sold off separately; the setbacks start on the commercial part of the property. Mr. Liese stated that as long as it remains one piece of property, they could build right up on the line to the C-2 area. Mr. Freeman stated that any measurable setback would be drawn from the property line, but if there is an R-30 strip that is bigger than the setback, then that R-30 strip along Merriwood would serve as a setback, but whatever is bigger would still apply. Mr. Freeman said for instance if you have 10 feet of R-30 and the rest of it is C-2 and the setback from the property line is 35 feet, then 35 feet would apply. There would be no commercial development in the R-30 portion of the land.
Mr. Freeman said that in reference to Mr. Liese’s comment, does Staff want to create pieces of ground that are zoned in such a way as nothing can be done with them? He said that in every case he would say no, because you are setting up problems down the road for a variety of reasons. He said that at the same time he understands what the applicant is trying to do with the R-30 boundary along Merriwood. The problem with this process is that Staff cannot tell them how to subdivide. Mr. Carpenter stated that normally what we see on rezonings is designations of property lines or roads, but with this proposal, how can the Board determine what is being shown without a metes and bounds description? Mr. Freeman stated that we do not have any metes and bounds description, but have a file provided by the property owners showing a vague description and will need to get something more detailed before the public hearing. Mr. Allison wanted it clarified that on the map what is shown in red is C-2 can only be developed as commercial? Mr. Freeman said yes and that no commercial structures can go outside of the red area. He said there is a clause that says that if certain circumstances apply, you can take your parking and squeeze it into the residential area by a distance of 120 feet or more, but there are set of rules that apply to this and would not apply to the built upon area.
Don Stills. He stated that he lives on South Rugby Road and part of his property borders Mr. Cleveland’s property on the other side of Grandview Lane. He asked where was the people support when they zoned the other side of Rugby. He stated that he was in favor of Mr. Cleveland’s development because if it is designated for a commercial site and South Rugby has a commercial site, he is in favor of this development.
Ms. Smith stated that with regard to describing the property, she stated that it needs to be as defined as possible. Chairman Pearce stated that for purposes of recommendation, does Staff feel that we have enough information to make a recommendation (for or against) tonight based on the information the Board? Ms. Smith stated that if it follows political boundaries and geographic features, property lines, etc., and it may, but Mr. Lapsley needs to discuss this issue. Mr. Lapsley, consulting engineer for the applicant, stated that they can provide a metes and bounds description of the area marked in red and can be tied to the boundary. He said that if it was needed for tonight’s meeting, then he would have supplied that. He also stated that the outer edge of the red/orange portion shown on the map constitutes the edge of the area that is proposed for commercial use. He said that as they understood the concerns of the Planning Board at the Planning Board meeting and the Subcommittee meeting, the Planning Board and the residents had a concern that buildings might extend all the way out to North Rugby Road on the north side of the property, which is not the intention. He said that this was the only way they could see as they heard the concern to pull that out of the commercial area. He said that it does not need to be commercial and we can pull it back and that is how the red/orange line was established. Mr. Lapsley continued by saying that it is what he had expressed at the Subcommittee meeting in order to use the area in red/orange the site needs to be graded. The toe of the slope would be cut out and is the red/orange line. He reiterated by stating that they were not trying to deceive anyone, we were just trying to address the concerns that were raised. Ms. Smith stated that if it is clear so that we can describe it, and it talks about having it on a cadastral composite tax map and she thinks it is done on a survey with the piece of property below it and if it can be tied to metes and bounds it should be alright. Mr. Patterson stated that it concerned him with what Mr. Lapsley mentioned regarding the toe of the slope because if that is the toe, where is the top of the slope, especially in the back where they could push that 30 or 40 feet? Mr. Lapsley stated that the western side, the top of the slope is the boundary line or the edge of the green area and as the gentleman expressed, the cut comes down substantially, at least 30 to 40 feet. He said that in the bank at the top of the hill, about the center of the tract, the cut slope is approximately 10 or 12 feet high, which is substantially less because the ground falls away. He said the toe of the slope would be landscaped and tree planted and part of the buffer to the property. Leon Allison stated that he does not feel that Mr. Lapsley has tried to deceive the Board or people and feels that they are honorable.
Chairman Pearce polled the Board and asked everyone’s thoughts on this request.
Walter Carpenter. He said that he came in basically in favor of this request, but after Ms. Sachs remarks, it has made more impact on him than anyone else who spoke. He stated that it is always difficult regarding zoning, as zoning is not a contract with the people, but he feels it is close to being that. He feels what the Board should be doing is looking at the impact it has on adjacent neighbors and from the point of view as to what it has been zoned in the past and what people are anticipating. He stated that in looking at the other C-2 zoning nearby, he feels that if it is fair on one side, it should be for the other side and that is the tension he has. He said that he is swaying more to Ms. Sachs’ position.
Leon Allison. He stated that he was against this request at the Subcommittee meeting because he feels that this portion of the property should have been zoned commercial before any of the residential subdivisions were developed and feels that a commercial development is not appropriate for this area. He stated that he is usually pro-business and pro-property owner rights, but by developing all these residential subdivisions before, that created all of his opposition on this request. He stated that he is still against this request and would deny the request and give the developer the opportunity to have this study as community based when it gets to the Board of Commissioner’s level.
Paul Patterson. He mentioned that he is concerned with the toe of the slope and not the top of the slope, as he feels that a good portion of this land will be taken away, if it is 10 feet of cut (2 to 1 cut) there will be 20 feet more of trees gone plus the reserved area that states R-30, which will be all septic area. He added that if it is all going to be used as commercial, then it should be stated as commercial. He does not feel that this is the right area for commercial.
Mike Cooper. He stated that he would like to see Countywide zoning in effect now, because it would take away a lot of doubt among property owners. He said he sympathizes with the homeowners and that it should stay residential. He added that the Land Use Plan for the County shows some commercial in that area, but how much should there be, no one knows. He said that he would have a hard time voting in favor of this request. He said that the Planning Board only recommends, the Board of Commissioners is the last say.
Tedd Pearce. He said that he is torn between what the Land Use Map recommends, which is commercial but again, how much commercial should be there and the concerns by property owners in the area. He stated that having lived in that area previously, he had always hoped that there would be some type of neighborhood store. He feels that the developer and the people both have good arguments. He said that future planning in this county needs to look at neighborhood commercial centers, which he feels are needed and can’t be excluded.
Mr. Carpenter made a motion that based on the statements of the applicant and the consent of the applicant today, is that the applicant is requesting for C-2 zoning on a tract of land that contains 7.69 acres and is shown in red/orange on the map that Planning Staff has presented. He further stated that to rezone to R-20 has been withdrawn and therefore does not need to be considered in this motion by the Planning Board. He said that he would recommend to the Board of Commissioners that the rezoning to C-2 be denied, including the original application and the amended application. Leon Allison seconded the motion. Paul Patterson, Mike Cooper, Walter Carpenter and Leon Allison voted in favor of the motion. Tedd Pearce opposed the motion. The recommendation to deny the request will be forwarded to the Board of Commissioners.
Northwoods, Phase I. (File # 2003-M01) – Combined Master and Development Plan Review (28
Single-Family Lots off Pace & Clark Road – 10 lots in Phase I). Pete Danielson, Agent for
Catherine Black & Wilma Allenworth, Owners. Walter Carpenter recused himself from any discussion or decision with this matter because of a client/lawyer business. Leon Allison made a motion to give permission for Mr. Carpenter to recuse himself from this matter. Paul Patterson seconded the motion and all members were in agreement. Mr. Cook stated that the Major Subdivision is located off Pace Road and Clark Road. The proposed development will be completed in two phases. Phase I will contain lots 1 through 10 and Phase II lots 11 through 28. He stated that at this time, the Applicants are requesting Master Plan and Development Plan approval for Phase I. The development will provide single-family detached dwellings on 17.66 acres of land. Phase I lots will be accessed from an existing road. He stated that a new private road will serve Phase II and that the property is located in an Open Use zoning district. Individual water and sewer will serve the development. The proposed project is not in a Water Supply Watershed district, but according to the USGS topographic quad map, the property does have a perennial (blue line) stream on it.
Staff has reviewed the Master Plan and Development Plan for conformance with the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance and offers the following comments:
2. Right-of-way – Phase II shows a proposed 30-foot right-of-way. A 30-foot right-of-way may only be used if it abuts no more than 3 lots. The Applicants will need to change it to a 45-foot right-of-way on a revised Master Plan (HSCO 170-21C).
Mr. Patterson stated that under Section 170-20B(1), which discusses tying into public water, he said that he understands that there is water on the south of Clark Road, which is a six-inch line. Also, he indicated there is a water line on Pace Road. Chairman Pearce stated that the Master Plan states that the water systems will be individual and the sewer systems will be individual. Ms. Smith stated that there is a requirement in the Ordinance that if water and sewer are within a certain distance, they should connect unless they can demonstrate why it is not economically feasible. Chairman Pearce asked whether they are within the distances required? Mr. Patterson stated that they are, because in lots 1 – 10 the waterline is just on the other side of the road. Ms. Smith stated that if it were within 2800 feet but no more than 5000 feet for water they would need to connect onto the present waterlines. Wayne Owens, who represents the applicant, stated that they would be on public water. After further discussion on this, Chairman Pearce felt that on the Master and Development Plan should be changed to reflect public water. Mr. Patterson stated that without public water it will be hard to put in septic systems, when they are talking about setbacks, wells, and putting in a full repair, which could be a big concern. Jack Lynch made a motion that the Planning Board find and conclude that the Master Plan and Development Plan submitted for the Northwoods Subdivision complies with the provisions of the Subdivision Ordinance except for those matters addressed in the Technical and Procedural Comments section of the Staff’s memo that have not been satisfied by the applicant; and further move that such Plans be approved subject to the following Conditions: The applicant satisfies, Master Plan comments 1 and 2, as stated in the Staff memo and a notation on the revised Master Plan showing public water be made and Development Plan comments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 as stated in the Staff memo and a notation be made on the revised Development Plan showing public water. The revised Master Plan and revised Development Plan for Phase I should be submitted prior to the Applicant beginning construction. Leon Allison seconded the motion. Mike Cooper asked about the 30 foot right-of-way in the proposed Phase II, is that to access lot 13 and 14, will it need a cul-de-sac and does it have minimum amount of connection to get into that lot off of that road? Mr. Cook stated that Staff has included a note stating that Phase II shows a proposed 30-foot right-of-way and that it needs to be at least a 45-foot right-of-way revised. Ms. Smith stated that when they do the Development Plan, they would have to show that each lot has 30 feet of frontage and this can be added to the motion. Mr. Lynch noted that along with the motion, an addition to Item # 2 to the Master Plan comment regarding Right-of-Way is to add a 45-foot right-of-way and demonstrate that each lot metes the minimum frontage of thirty feet. Leon Allison additionally seconded the motion with this added comment and all Board members voted in favor.
Etowah Golf Villas (File # 2003-M02) – Combined Master and Development Plan Review (34
Single-Family Lots Off Moland Drive) Gus Campano, Agent for Etowah Valley Country Club,
Inc., Owner. Mr. Cook stated that the Major Subdivision is located off Fairway View Drive. The proposed development will be completed in one phase containing 34 single-family detached dwellings. The proposed property is in the Open Use zoning district and will be served by public roads, municipal water and sewer, and is not in a Water Supply Watershed district.
Mr. Cook stated that Staff has reviewed the Master Plan for conformance with the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance and found that all items have been satisfied. Mr. Cook stated that since Staff wrote the memo for the Board members, the applicant has addressed and satisfied Item # 1 regarding road grades and has submitted a revised Development Plan showing the approximate finished grades of the proposed road.
Mr. Patterson stated that the boundaries are not defined by metes and bounds. Mr. Patterson asked, “on the plan there is no storm drainage on the right-hand side of the road shown, is there a reason for that?” Kevin Tate, who works for Luther Smith and Associates, stated the reason why there is no storm drainage on the right-hand side of the road is because they have the road grades sloping to the left to make sure it cuts down that way. He indicated that they are using valley curb and gutter and there are two catch basins that are located at the middle side of the road and also in the cul-de-sac. Mr. Patterson asked, “What about your short street, is there going to be some valley at the intersection of those two roads?” Mr. Tate said, ”that it has been designed to catch with the valley curb to run that actual portion down to the first catch basin in the middle of the road.” Mr. Carpenter asked if these lots are 50 X 175, what size house do you put on that lot size? Mr. Campano, owner/developer of the project stated that these homes would be similar to many of our other projects with zero lot line homes. This will be the same product line as in Highland Golf Villas development. The house will range in square footage from the 1400 to over 2000 square feet, not counting the garages. He said that it is a small lot concept within an association that deals with the maintenance. Mr. Patterson asked how would the zero setbacks be handled? Mr. Campano said that the zero lot line side is the side of the wall with no windows, but there is an overhang on the house and an easement on the side of the house that goes with every home for the care and maintenance of the home and to deal with the drainage from the roof lines of those easements. Walter Carpenter made a motion that the Planning Board find and conclude that the combined Master and Development Plan submitted for the Etowah Golf Villas Subdivision complies with provision of the Subdivision Ordinance except for those matters not addressed in the Technical and Procedural Comment section of Staff’s memo that not have been satisfied by the applicant; and further move that such Plan be approved subject to the following Condition: The Development Plan shows the outside dimensions of the entire project in metes and bounds. Mike Cooper seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.
Preapplication Conference for Special Use Permit for a Medical, Institutional Care Development
(MICD) off US 25 North – Barbara Darden, Agent for Hasan Mansouri, Applicant. Ms. Smith stated that this was the first Special Use Permit for an MICD application and most of this property is in the Open Use District. She stated that in the Open Use District the MICD Special Use Permit section says that it is encouraged that you follow these rules but it is not required. The property is in a small piece of R-30 and the rest is Open Use on a 64.38-acre tract off US 25 North. She stated that the subject property is the former site of the Mountain Home Nursery site of Ted Richardson’s Farm. Ms. Smith stated that the purpose of tonight’s presentation is to have a pre-application conference with the applicant. The applicant’s agent present is Barbara Darden from Ambassador Realty. Ms. Smith stated that this pre-application conference is to talk about what are the requirements of the MICD and the Special Use Permit sections of the Ordinance are. Ms. Smith stated that some of the discussion will be based on trying to determine what really is going to be needed to apply and some of this might come after this meeting in further discussions with the applicant about getting down to specifics. Ms. Smith stated that the MICD section is similar in some ways to a Planned Unit Development section of the Zoning Ordinance. The MICD has some minimum standards as far as ownership, frontage, size of the property and density. She briefed the Board on the following land development standards:
Density. The density is a little different because it deals with a person per acre basis and also habitable structures per acre basis. She said it defines what the different structure types within an MICD are the equivalent of in terms of persons; that is; a two-bedroom dwelling equals 1.5 people. Ms. Smith stated that at this stage, the application is not at this level of specifics. She stated that the MICD section talks about what you do when it spans two zoning districts, but in this case, the Open Use District further complicates that because the number of structures in Open Use is unlimited and when that is added to what can be done in the other district, R-30, it comes up with unlimited and this is what makes it tricky in this instance.
Frontage. Ms. Smith stated that in order to get the frontage requirement, they need to have 200 feet on a state maintained highway and the property needs to be included that is in the Open Use District.
Minimum Size. She stated that because all of their highway frontage is in the Open Use District in order to develop the R-30 portion for MICD, they almost need to consider a bigger area as part of their project unless they wanted to subdivide the property and develop the back piece as MICD that is in the R-30 section but the units that are shown in the R-30 section are what they are doing in the rest of the property.
Types of usage allowed. Ms. Smith stated that there are certain uses that are allowed in MICD and are defined under “extended care facilities” in the Zoning Ordinance. Some of the uses are nursing homes, hospitals continuing care facilities and domiciliary homes and the like. She said that it is not a standard residential development and there is some component of a medical care facility entailed in the definition. She stated that the MICD limits the uses allowed in the MICD section to the dwelling units and beds and anything commercial or accessory structures within the R-30 portion of the property would be restricted to those that are not open to the public. She said that plans for the property show there is a bed and breakfast and a restaurant and Open Use does not regulate those uses, but the R-30 District does.
Design requirements. Ms. Smith mentioned that there are a number of design requirements and plan submittal requirements and that standards for distance between buildings and normal setbacks and lot sizes and other dimensional requirements associated with the R-30 district are waived, which is very similar to the PUD. She said it is up to the developer to determine what the setbacks would be. Only in the case of accessory structures that are non-residential in nature is there a definite setback of 25 feet, if they are adjacent to a right-of-way. The buildings all need to have an access to streets and walkways.
Privacy. She stated that there are some privacy requirements both with the people that live in the units or on the property as well as people who live adjacent to the property. She said that the Board of Commissioners has some flexibility on what they can impose in order to protect that privacy for the adjoining property owners.
Perimeter Requirements and Building Coverage. Building coverage area, including non-dwelling accessory buildings, structures or facilities but excluding roads, parking or service areas and recreational facilities, shall not exceed 25% of the net lot area.
Utilities, Street Design, Exterior Lighting and Building Identification. She said there are standards for utilities such as water and sewer system and stormwater drainage and that they need to conform to the requirements. All street within the MICD shall conform to the NCDOT standards for subdivision streets, but they can be private. There are requirements for plans for exterior lighting and they must make sure all buildings are identified by emergency services.
Landscaping & Buffering. She said that another requirement under the MICD is that they need to submit a landscaping plan and there are certain provisions on maintaining the planting and they need to show who will take care of that. She said that the Board of Commissioners can impose screening to provide separation between the MICD project and adjacent land.
Design. She stated that there are some design standards and the MICD shall be designed in such a manner as to how everything will all fit together and it must plan how it will fit into the community.
Timing and Phasing. They have two years after the date of the special use permit for the MICD otherwise the permit is null and void. The project can be phased.
Open Space Required. There is an open space requirement and a minimum of 20% of the total land area of the development shall be set aside as permanent commonly owned open space excluding rights-of-way.
Maintenance. There is a provision for legal documents as to how the common areas will be maintained and what kind of homeowners association will be established.
Procedures for Application and Review. She stated that one of the procedures for application and review are a pre-application conference with the Planning Board. Ms. Smith indicated that Ms. Darden has already met with Planning Staff concerning this issue. Ms. Smith stated that they had to submit a design concept and sketches, which have been provided to the Board in the agenda packet. Ms. Smith stated that after these procedures, the applicants can file an application and it will go to the Board of Commissioners and to the Planning Department. The Board of Commissioners, under another section of the Ordinance, will refer it back to the Planning Board. There is no issuance of zoning or building permits until the applicant is in compliance with the decision of the Board of Commissioners.
Preliminary Development Plan Requirements and other Plan Details. Ms. Smith stated that the MICD talks about a preliminary site plan and a final site plan. It states that the developer can eliminate the preliminary development plan requirements if the development is done in one phase, then they can submit only to the final plan requirements. Ms. Smith stated that at present Staff is unsure whether the Board of Commissioners needs to have two hearings, one for the preliminary plan and one for the final plan. Ms. Smith stated that the issue is that two of the phases are in the Open Use District and one is in the R-30 district. She said it may be that they can have one hearing on the R-30 piece. She added that there are more plan details that need to be met and an improvement guarantee posting requirement that needs to be taken care of prior to the issuance of the special use permit. This requirement is to guarantee that the roads, landscaping, drainage and everything else will be taken care of.
Construction Codes. There is also a requirement that all state and local construction codes and requirements are met.
Amendments to the Development Plan. There is also some provision that the Zoning Administrator be able to approve some amendments and the Board of Commissioners would need to approve others.
Ms. Smith stated that some of the things that are still complicated is specifically how this is a medical institutional care development, particularly the portion that is in the R-30 district. Ms. Smith asked Ms. Darden to briefly discuss the project and its concept.
Ms. Darden with Ambassador Realty, who is the applicant’s agent who represents Mr. Hasan Mansouri, the applicant for this project, stated that it is a continuing care retirement community. She stated that she does not know whether that falls under the MICD category. She stated that she has contacted the State and they gave applications for the MICD designation. She said that it quotes that it is clusters of chalets for individual families or couples with two-bedroom, two-bath facilities. She stated that in the R-30 section of the property are four of these chalets and has nothing to do with the Open Use section where the care facility proposes to be. She said that this care facility is a graduating facility, which is composed of a hospice center, and nursing home in graduated forms. The retirement community has a center for marketing, offices, theatre and very expanded luxurious community. She said what does that do to the County’s designation of MICD? Chairman Pearce asked, “What is the difference between your facility and a PUD?” Ms. Smith said that the State has a licensing under State Statutes and the extended care definitions are modeled after the State Statutes and they might want to compare their definitions. Ms. Smith asked whether the chalets would be part of the graduated plan? Ms. Darden stated that they would be and that there will only be four chalets in the R-30 section, which meets most of the requirements in that district and that would like to have it connected with the Open Use section and all of that under that designation. Walter Carpenter asked whether the chalets will be sold and what type of ground will be sold around the chalets? Ms. Darden stated that they will be sold, but does not know at this time whether the land around the chalets will be included. Chairman Pearce stated that the section that is in the Open Use may come under this MICD, but they don’t have an obligation to present anything under that statute, is that correct? Ms. Smith stated that this is correct. Chairman Pearce asked if these chalets are residential units for sale, why does the Planning Board need to be reviewing this in this manner? Ms. Smith said that the Board may not need to be and that is why Staff is trying to get some clarification on what these are considered, if they are under the medical institutional care development definitions and typically the MICD is a use that is not allowed in R-30, but if it is purely residential, Staff can treat it as a residential use that would be allowed under R-30. She said that R-30 only allows a four-unit apartment building on certain lots unless you go to a PUD for a residential apartment. After more Board discussion regarding the graduated facility and retirement facility and its concept and what it can be considered, Ms. Smith stated that there are probably other options to do this project, but Staff did not know the full extent of how this would be defined by the State. Chairman Pearce asked whether the Board needs to do anything now but recommend getting more of the facts settled dealing with this project? Ms. Smith stated that in order to apply, Staff needs to get some of this worked out. Ms. Smith stated that there is nothing that the Board needs to determine at this point; this is only a informational discussion about this project. Mr. Carpenter stated that he feels it is a huge undertaking but looks like a well planned out and thought out project. He said that he would not have a problem with it assuming that it is doable under the various rules under the Ordinances. Mr. Allison asked, “If this project presents a problem on the R-30 section, would a rezoning help it?” Ms. Smith stated that they could consider a rezoning. Ms. Smith stated that the next step is for the applicant to file an application with the Planning Department and with the Board of Commissioners when they are ready. Ms. Smith stated that before this, Staff and the applicant will need to get together and see what the State has and determine whether this is the best route for them. Mr. Carpenter stated that he feels that the project might work subject to the particulars of the zoning issues and all Board members felt that conceptionally this looked like a good project.
Strategy for Completing Major Planning Initiatives – Planning Staff. Ms. Smith stated at the Board of Commissioners meeting on February 19, 2003 the Staff is going to be presenting the plan that is in the Planning Board’s packet on how to approach finishing the Comprehensive County Plan and the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. She stated that there was a Board of Commissioners Retreat back in January and the Board talked about the status of the Comprehensive Plan and that there have been some changes dealing with staffing on the project, the committee, and the change of two new Commissioners. She feels because of these changes it is a good opportunity to re-evaluate and decide on how to move forward. She said that the Board of Commissioners had us work with Geoff Willett, who is from the Division of Community Assistance (a State entity) that is a subset of the Department of Commerce. She said that Mr. Willett facilitated the Board of Commissioners retreat and was a sounding board to see if this plan was reasonable. Ms. Smith said that the big new piece on the Comprehensive Plan is that the Commissioners want to incorporate more community input. Ms. Smith said that the meetings would entail going to the community and telling them some of the factual information, some of the trends and some of the things that have been changing and have a facilitator work with them on some of the issues on how they would like to see their community. Ms. Smith said that they do not plan to develop a small area planned for them at that point, but will take what the public says about their community in particular and also what they see for the County at large and incorporate that back into the development of the recommendations for the overall plan. Ms. Smith said that back on the 1993 Plan, there were four community forums in different parts of the County and this will be similar to that, but at a smaller scale. She said that they have also proposed as part of the community input a survey, including the design, distribution and tabulation of the survey results. She said how they do that and whether we do it all at one time or as we do the community meetings, will be determined. She noted that there is a eight-month period noted on the plan and developing a survey is a science and something that is not taken lightly and can not be done in a short time, so therefore there has been allowance for plenty of time to get that done. She said they are building in to this plan the resources that we might need such as additional staffing, bringing in outside facilitation, getting a consultant, survey assistance and the like. She stated that in Phase IV, Element Development, hiring a consultant might be considered to develop some of the elements, if the expertise is not in the Staff of the Planning Department or other departments. She said that Tedd Pearce and Jack Lynch are on the advisory committee of this project. She said an assessment has been done of variety factors that influence growth such as topography, rivers, flood plains and other resources and how that impacts growth and development. She stated that Mr. Dennie Martin prepared a draft of the water and sewer element. She added that an affordable housing element has been worked on as well as land use, economic development, education, recreation and open space and transportation. She said that what this plan is going to do is determine what the County’s role is in some of these different elements. Chairman Pearce asked, “if we go to the MPO, what does that do with all of the planning that has been done and will that stop the local transportation advisory committee?” Mr. Lynch said Transportation Advisory Committee will go through the MPO eventually, and will have a chance to submit a TIP for the next time and after that it will go back to the MPO, who will control it. Chairman Pearce asked, “if the County joins the MPO, when will that take effect?” Mr. Lynch said that the boundaries have been defined, but the operation of it has not been determined. He said the big problem is that it is the only MPO in the State where everyone has one vote except Asheville, who has two votes, but there is a problem with the water agreement.
Ms. Smith stated that NCDOT is working on a Transportation Plan update for next month’s Transportation Advisory Committee meeting so that the County will have information on deficiencies and TIP requests for the Comprehensive Plan.
Ms. Smith stated that there is an advisory committee that advises the Staff on what is brought to the Board of Commissioners. She said that the Planning Board will be more involved in the process. The Planning Board will be kept informed as to what is going on and if the Planning Board has some feedback that the Board wants to give to the advisory committee, there will be opportunities to do so. Ms. Smith stated that there will be a monthly report provided to the Planning Board of the status of the project and that is the reason why the project schedule mentions the Planning Board. Chairman Pearce asked from the Planning Board’s standpoint will you provide all the information to the Board as you will the Advisory Board or will the Planning Board just get updates? Ms. Smith stated that she hopes to give the Planning Board everything but until this Plan is approved at the Board of Commissioner’s meeting tomorrow, everything is at a stand still. Chairman Pearce stated that after the Board of Commissioners meeting he would like a clear definition as to what the expectations will be of the Planning Board in this project. Mr. Lynch stated that his concerns are how the committee is going to get the public to attend these meetings. Ms. Smith stated that that is the whole reason for Phase II of the project, to define whom the committee is going to go to. Ms. Smith stated that the Planning Board Ordinance talks about Planning Board being involved in the development of a Comprehensive Plan. Mike Cooper stated that he envisions this as becoming a monster for the Planning Staff, if the Commissioners do not give you a lot of good Staff to work with. He said that he feels this is a major undertaking and someone that needs to stay focused and spend almost 100% of their time to achieve that goal. Board members felt that the Planning Department has more to do than to add more duties on the present Staff. Ms. Smith stated that a good example is shown on the major planning initiative timeline in dividing time between two major projects. Ms. Smith stated that what the Staff is proposing is one new position that would be solely devoted to this project with one other Staff member, then a good amount of money to assist us with this Phase III, dealing with the community meetings and surveys. Ms. Smith stated that the original intent was to use what Designing Our Future had collected as the public input process. Mr. Cooper asked when all the information has been collected, what will that information be used for? Ms. Smith said that all the information collected will help the Committee to develop recommendations about how to go forward with land use planning, planning for schools, and planning for transportation. Mr. Cooper said, “Will that mean that the County will start putting money in for infrastructure?” Ms. Smith said no, because there will be recommendations made and actions to implement them. Chairman Pearce feels that when the Plan is finished it will identify where the County will expect their growth to be and will start identifying the areas they think need to be looked at or planned for conventional zoning or non-zoned areas. Chairman Pearce said that he would like to see when an applicant comes in for a zoning request that they will be in compliance with the Land Use Plan and that it will be a major factor in approval or disapproval of the request and having the applicant to justify the reason for the change and give a reason why the Land Use Plan is no longer applicable for that certain zoning change. Ms. Smith stated that what will be recommended to the Commissioners regarding the Zoning Rewrite is that once they get it to a good stopping point, they hold up on that, let the Plan be developed and let some of the recommendations that may have to do with zoning text be developed, but she feels that this plan will not change zoning in itself. Chairman Pearce said that he feels once the Comprehensive Plan is approved, there will be a lot of rezonings. Ms. Smith said that there will probably be a process that will be needed to go through; similar to what we were going to do once the new zoning ordinance got adopted where we might change over some people to parallel districts, which are very similar to what they already have and dealing with the open use areas. Ms. Smith said what they are suggesting with this proposal is that small area plans get done, once this comprehensive plan is done and that we will have a guide through this comprehensive plan to deal with the future studies of the areas. She said it will not stop anybody from walking in the door with large rezoning request unless the Commissioners put a moratorium in place. There still will be rezonings, so therefore we need to have enough resources to be able to deal with those issues. Mr. Cooper added that there should be resources to hire consulting people. Board members were unsure that hiring one person will be enough for the project and were worried that the Planning Department will not have enough help for this undertaking. Ms. Smith stated that our new employee, Autumn Radcliff was hired to specifically work on projects like this. Ms. Smith clarified that she feels from the discussion on this project, that the Planning Board wants their role defined in this project and wants to make sure there will be adequate resources (both professionally and financially) to carry this project through. All Board members voiced that they were satisfied with the draft Plan that Ms. Smith will be taking to the Commissioners. Chairman Pearce feels that the community involvement should be done closer to the end of the project.
Status Report on Subdivision Plan Review Issues – Subdivision Issues Subcommittee. It was decided to check on the schedules of the subcommittee members to schedule another meeting to continue discussion on the text amendments and appendices of the Subdivision Ordinance. Ms. Smith stated that a notice would be sent out to inform everyone of the date and time of the meeting.
Adjournment. There being no further business, Jack Lynch made a motion to adjourn and Paul
Patterson seconded the motion. All members voted in favor. The meeting adjourned at 9:52
Tedd M. Pearce, Chairman Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary