The Henderson County Planning Board met on February 17, 2004, for a regular meeting at 7:02 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Land Development Building, 101 East Allen Street, Hendersonville, NC.  Board members present were Tedd Pearce, Chair, Leon Allison, Paul Patterson, Todd Thompson and Tommy Laughter.  Others present included Karen Smith, Planning Director, Derrick Cook, Planner, Autumn Radcliff, Planner and Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary.   Board members Mike Cooper, Walter Carpenter and Cindy Dabaibeh were absent. 


Approval of Minutes.  Chairman Pearce called the meeting to order asked for the approval of the January 20, 2004 minutes. Chairman Pearce noted that there was a revised set of the January 20, 2004 minutes showing some minor typographical errors corrected and asked for a motion to approve the revised set of minutes.  Leon Allison made a motion to approve the revised minutes for January 20, 2004.  Vivian Armstrong seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.


Adjustment of Agenda.  There were no adjustments to the agenda made.


Staff Reports.  Ms. Smith said that she had distributed a brochure on an upcoming workshop that the state is having on low-impact development.  She said that if any Planning Board members are interested in attending as a Planning Board member, then let Ms. Scanlan know so she can sign you up as a non-professional attendee.  She mentioned that she expects that the Board of Commissioners will set a public hearing at their meeting on February 18, 2004 for the Special Use Permit Application # SU-03-01 and related variances for the proposed motocross racing facility off North Egerton Road.  She said that there might be a discussion of the Ordinance itself at that time or in the future.  She also mentioned that there would most likely be something coming back to the Planning Board at some point.   




Status Report on Planning Initiatives - Planning Staff.  Ms. Smith stated that Board members received their report at the joint meeting and there will be a new report at the upcoming joint meeting next week.  Chairman Pearce reminded all Board members that the meeting would be held in this meeting room at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 23, 2004. 




Etowah Office Complex, (File# 04-M01) – Master Plan and Development Plan Review for Property Located off McKinney Road - (2 Lots on 4.83 Acres; 1 Residential Lot and 1 Non-Residential Lot) - James E. McKinna, Owner/Agent.   Mr. Cook stated that the property is a 4.83-acre tract located off McKinney Road and the proposed development is for two lots. The original tract serves as a residential lot and the applicant proposes to split off 3.22 acres of the existing lot to be sold for an office complex. A portion of the residential lot that the applicant is maintaining is located in a WS-IV Water Supply Watershed Protected Area. The full 4.83-acre tract is located in the Open Use zoning district. The residential lot is directly served by Enchantment Circle, which is a private road. The private road also serves as a right-of-way access for two other residents. The proposed new commercial lot is fronted by state-maintained McKinney Road. Public water and sewer will serve the proposed lot.


Staff has reviewed the combined Master and Development Plan for conformance with the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance.  Mr. Cook stated that all of the requirements for the Master Plan were satisfied.  Regarding the Development Plan, he offered the following comments:


1.      Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control – The applicant should submit notice from NCDENR that a soil erosion and sedimentation control plan has been received or provide documentation that no plan is required prior to beginning construction (HCSO 170-19).


2.      Stream Setbacks – The applicant shows a thirty-foot setback from the perennial stream indicated on the most recent USGS Topographic map that borders the Etowah Office Complex proposed development. On the Final Plat, the applicant should note a minimum thirty-foot setback for buildings or other structures from the perennial stream prior to the beginning of any construction (HCSO 170-37A).


3.      Farmland Preservation – The applicant provided the Affidavit of Understanding of Farmland Preservation District. On the final plat, a statement should be noted saying the subdivision lies with ˝ mile of the French Broad Farmland Preservation District (HCSO 170-35 and Appendix 7).


4.      Buffer for commercial and industrial subdivisions – The applicant’s proposed commercial lot is surrounded by residential parcels. Several residential lots directly abut the proposed development. For commercial and industrial subdivisions, the Planning Board may require a buffer of no less than 10 feet wide where lots back up to or are adjacent to a major street or between dissimilar uses of land such as a residential area. The Planning Board or Subdivision Administrator may also require the applicant either to arrange for, or be responsible for, the grading and planting of said buffer strip. Retention of existing vegetation that would provide an equivalent buffer is encouraged. The Planning Board shall have the authority to determine if existing vegetation fulfills the intent of the buffer requirement or if additional vegetation should be planted (HCSO 170-33).  Mr. Cook showed photos of the properties adjacent to the proposed commercial development and the private road, as well as another commercial property nearby.  Mr. McKinna, property owner and agent for the project, showed the property on Lone Pine Heights that Board members questioned.  Mr. Cook noted that there is another industrial/commercial property nearby.  Mr. McKinna said that it is Johnson’s Lumber Company.   


5.      Water and Sewer Supply – The applicant supplied a letter of water capacity from the City of Hendersonville Water and a letter of sewer capacity from the Etowah Sewer Company. The Applicant must meet the City of Hendersonville’s minimum requirements for fire hydrant installation (HCSO 170-20). The applicant advised Staff that no water or sewer lines currently exist on the proposed commercial lot, but there are pipeline accesses available all around the property.


6.      Private Road – Enchantment Circle is an existing private right-of-way that currently serves the Applicant’s home and two other residents.  The private road is designated as a 30-foot right-of-way with a 10-foot paved travel way, per staff’s measurement. Since the private road abuts the proposed non-residential lot and the applicant may have control over the private road, Staff advised the applicant that the Planning Board has the option to require the existing right-of-way be upgraded to meet the minimum private road standards for non-residential roads (HCSO 170-27). Section 170-21 of the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance states “the applicant for a commercial or industrial subdivision shall provide roads constructed at no less than state road standards for public residential collector roads, regardless of whether such roads are proposed to be public or private.”



Mr. Cook indicated that Staff waived the application requirement to provide metes and bounds for the residential lot even though the residential lot is technically a part of the proposed subdivision, Staff believed the proposed non-residential lot was the focus and had the applicant provide metes and bounds and contour intervals for that lot.

Chairman Pearce asked Mr. Cook, “What is your recommendation on the roadway?”  Mr. Cook said that he leaves it in the Board’s hands as to what you think about it.  He added that the Board might want to ask the applicant if it is going to service the proposed lot.  Mr. Cook added that if the roadway is going to be used by the commercial lot, then he feels that the area along Enchantment Circle may need to be upgraded.   Chairman Pearce asked whether there has been any notification to the adjacent property owners of this proposed development?  Mr. Cook stated that there has not been.  Ms. Armstrong said that the adjacent property owners did not get notification of this application for this hearing today?  Chairman Pearce stated that there is no requirement for notification.  Ms. Armstrong asked, “What are the permitted uses in this proposed application, if it is approved?”  Mr. Cook stated that it is in the Open Use zoning district and it is pretty much open except for the twelve special uses that are permitted subject to the Board of Commissioners findings.  Chairman Pearce asked whether there is anything in the Ordinance that would prevent them from putting any of those uses on this property at this point in time?  Ms. Smith asked what uses?  Chairman Pearce said any uses that are allowed under the Open Use district?  Ms. Smith said that there would not be.  The only uses that are entirely prohibited in the Open Use district are radioactive and hazardous waste disposal facilities and adult establishments.  She said that everything else can be done by a special use permit or by right in the Open Use district.  Mr. Allison said that if Mr. McKinna was not going to divide the land, he would not be before the Planning Board tonight.  Mr. Cook stated that this was true.  Ms. Smith stated that this subdivision is a hybrid too, where you have a residential lot and a commercial lot and typically the Board sees multiple commercial lots.  Ms. Armstrong said that she went to the site and feels that if she were one of the adjacent property owners, (the Gilliams or the Murdocks), she would be concerned about exterior lighting on the office complex building as well as the mixture of the two uses being so close together.  She is concerned that those people were not notified of this meeting and asked whether Staff had heard from them?  Mr. Cook stated that there was no notification made as it is not required.  Ms. Armstrong said that the private road is also the adjacent property owner’s ingress and egress, and asked if the Board knew whether that would be maintained for them?  Chairman Pearce stated that it will be more appropriate to ask this question of the applicant.  Mr. Allison asked whether the Planning Board has ever required a buffer against a road that is already in a development?  Ms. Smith said she does not recall the situation, but it can be done adjacent to a major street or between dissimilar uses of land. 


Mr. McKinna showed on a map the location of the fire hydrants and said that they plan to run sewer from US Highway 64 up to McKinney Road.  Mr. McKinna stated that the adjacent property owners to the proposed development are relatives of his.  Tommy Laughter asked what his relationship was to the neighbors and do they know what is being proposed?  Mr. McKinna said he has no problems with the neighbors and they are aware of what is proposed.  Chairman Pearce asked, “What is your plan to access to the commercial property?”  Mr. McKinna said that they are planning to come off of Enchantment Circle and go straight in and will probably not be using the right-of-way at all.  Chairman Pearce asked if the Board made that as a condition, would that be a problem?  Mr. McKinna said that he did not feel it would be a problem.  Chairman Pearce said that if the Board made a condition of 60 feet that would give the applicant plenty of room.   Mr. McKinna said the right-of-way is in their deed and will be in the deed to this property.  Mr. Patterson asked what is the actual right-of-way of McKinney Road?  Mr. McKinna said that he feels it is 60 or 75 feet.  Mr. Patterson said that when he sees “claimed by NCDOT,” it doesn’t carry weight with him.  Chairman Pearce said he seems to be a lot of confusion in the County about what NCDOT has actual right-of-way on or what they have claimed right-of-way on and what is actually deeded to them.  Chairman Pearce added that in the past the main concern is the travelway in the area, and as long as there is a travelway, there are some vested rights by time and everything else, is that correct?  Staff said that is correct.  Ms. Armstrong asked, “When a site development plan is prepared for this site, will it come back before this Planning Board?”  Ms. Smith said no, and it actually will not come before Staff if he actually intends to do commercial, he will go to the Inspections Department for building permits and well and septic permits for water and sewer connections.  She added that in the Open Use zoning district, there would be no zoning permit required for this development.  Mr. Allison said that even if it is in a zoned area it would not come back to the Planning Board.  Ms. Smith said it wouldn’t come back to the Planning Board unless they were doing some sort of Conditional Use Permit and that would then have to go to the Board of Adjustment.   Chairman Pearce said he was concerned when there are commercial considerations on a piece of property when adjacent property owners are not notified.  He said he knows it is not in the Ordinance to do so.  Ms. Smith said that it has been proposed in the Ordinance before, but did not make it through the processes.  Chairman Pearce asked if notices could go out anyway as a common courtesy.  Ms. Smith said that if the Planning Board wants to make it as a policy, the Board can look into that, but the Board needed to be aware that if Staff should miss someone, it could cause some problems.  Chairman Pearce said that is probably the reason the County Attorney has not wanted it to make it in the Ordinance.  He added it would only be nice to know that the people adjoining the properties might have problems and what is going on.  Ms. Smith stated that the Board did discuss about posting a sign on the property to make surrounding people aware of what is going on, but the proposal failed.  She said that it can be discussed again.  Ms. Armstrong said that there is also another property owner, on Lone Pine Heights called McDade, have they been notified?  Mr. McKinna said that they were not notified and described the wooded area that separates their property from the proposed development.  Tommy Laughter asked whether Mr. McKinna had given any thoughts to any vegetation or trees in that laurel area?  Mr. McKinna said that there are some existing bushes across that area.  Mr. Laughter said that it looks pretty sparse there and asked whether the Board could make a condition for a buffer or some type of vegetation across that area?  Mr. McKinna said that it would be no trouble make a buffer in that area. 


Chairman Pearce made a motion that the Planning Board find and conclude that the combined Master Plan and Development Plan submitted for Etowah Office Complex subdivision complies with the provisions of the Subdivision Ordinance; and further move that the combined Master Plan and Development Plan be approved subject to the following Conditions: the Applicant satisfies comment 1 before construction begins, and comments 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the Final Plat or by Final Plat approval and in addition, that the Planning Board recommends with regard to the private road, that the commercial property could only use up to sixty feet of Enchantment Circle as access to the commercial site.  Also, the Planning Board requires a ten-foot wide evergreen buffer strip along Lot 18, Long Pine Heights, across the 145-foot back property line wherever there is no vegetation (and wherever there is a 10-foot evergreen buffer no additional buffering is required).  Ms. Smith asked, “Do they have to supplement what’s there to get it to 10 feet?  Chairman Pearce said yes.  Mr. Allison asked what does the ten-foot buffer encompass?  Ms. Smith said that the Subdivision Ordinance does not define buffer strip.  Mr. Allison gave an example of some plants used for a buffer strip and how they can grow in size to a much larger coverage.  Chairman Pearce asked Ms. Smith to read what the definition of a buffer strip is in the Zoning Ordinance.  She stated, ”a buffer strip consists of a planted strip at least 10 feet in width, composed of evergreen trees, spaced not more than 20 feet apart and not less than one row of dense shrubs, spaced not more than five feet apart.”  She added that it does not talk about the age of the plants.  After some discussion, Chairman Pearce added to the buffer strip requirement of the motion, “..across the 145-foot property line where there is no vegetation adjoining the McDade property.”  Mr. Allison asked Mr. McKinna if he could do the buffer and Mr. McKinna said he could make it work.    Chairman Pearce also wanted to add a condition regarding the lighting, but Ms. Smith stated that Staff has no way to enforce that before we would approve the Final Plat because construction may not have taken place.  She said that as far as the buffering is concerned, that could be required before Final Plat approval.  The Planning Board can give their views of lighting requirements but it cannot be enforced.  Mr. McKinna said there are a number of outdoor lights surrounding the proposed development.  After some discussion among Board members, it was decided to leave any conditions of lighting out of the motion.  Ms. Smith asked whether the Board is requiring any improvement to Enchantment Circle?  Chairman Pearce said he does not feel it is necessary.  Tommy Laughter seconded the motion.  Leon Allison, Tommy Laughter, Todd Thompson, Paul Patterson and Tedd Pearce voted in favor.  Vivian Armstrong voted against the motion.  The motion carried.


Zoning Map Amendment Application # R-04-01 to Rezone Approximately 0.31 Acres Located at the Intersection of Resort Street and Shepherd Street, from R-15 (Medium-Density Residential) to C-2P (Preservation Neighborhood Commercial) - Charlene Rogers, Agent for Charles Pace, Applicant.  Ms. Radcliff said that rezoning application R-04-01 was received on January 20, 2004.  She stated that the applicant is Charles Pace and the applicant’s agent is Charlene Rogers.  She stated that the request is for one parcel that is located just north of US 25 South, on the corner of Resort and Shepherd Street, which is located near the Flat Rock area.  She stated that the parcel is currently zoned R-15, which is a medium density residential zoning district and the applicant is requesting that it be rezoned to C-2P, a preservation neighborhood commercial zoning district.  The size of the subject property is approximately 0.31 acres and it has been zoned since 1981, when the Zoning Ordinance became effective and has not been changed since then.  The subject parcel is currently zoned County R-15 (medium-density residential) and is adjacent to a County R-T (residential transient) zoning district.  She stated that the City of Hendersonville zoning is adjacent to the above-mentioned R-T and R-15 zoning districts.  According to the City of Hendersonville, the area that borders the County R-T and R-15 districts are zoned City R-15,  and  Greenville Highway Mixed Use District.  She said that this district is intended to encourage a mix of medium density residential development in conjunction with appropriately scaled and compatible commercial development.  She said that the area closest to the subject parcel is zoned City R-15, which is a medium density residential district that is similar to the County’s R-15 District.  Ms. Radcliff said that the County R-15 District allows single-family and two-family residences and apartments provided that they are no larger than a four-family dwelling on a single lot, and it also includes garage apartments.  Manufactured homes are restricted.  She stated that the big difference between the C-2P and R-15 districts is that C-2P allows for retail businesses and services, offices, public utilities, public facilities and public buildings.  C-2P also allows for hospitals and clinics.  She pointed out that C-2P has no minimum lot size requirements, unlike the other districts.  She said that it does have a maximum permissible lot coverage, which states that the total ground coverage by the building in this district shall not exceed 60% of the total lot area.  The setbacks for C-2P are 50 feet from the centerline of major streets and 30 feet from the centerline of all others and the side and rear property lines are the same as the side yard requirements to which the district is contiguous which would be the Zoning Administrator’s call.  She referred to the current land use map in the Board members’ packets.  She stated the area is currently residential surrounded by residential uses and that there are a few commercial developments along US 25 South and a considerable amount of commercial development along US 176.  Ms. Radcliff provided photos of the subject parcel.  She said she feels that there is plenty of room on the property for the parking requirements, if it was rezoned.  She that the C-2P district does not have any buffer requirements.  She said that the subject property would be a non-conforming use, as it already exists too close to the property line.  The US 25 Corridor Study, which was accepted on January 7, 2002, did not include the subject parcel as the study only took in a 300-foot buffer strip on either side of US 25 South, but it did go beyond that to make some recommendations.  She stated that one of the recommendations for the study area to remain R-15.  She said that the 1993 Comprehensive Land Use Plan shows the entire area, including the area along US 25 South, as being residential, which was mainly due to the traffic congestion that the highway was experiencing.  She said that they were trying to push the commercial development to either go towards the City of Hendersonville or to the Village of Flat Rock or to stay up north on US 176.  Mr. Allison asked if they have a 50-foot setback on both of those streets (Resort and Shepherd), can they do parking in that?  Ms. Radcliff stated that there is off-street parking.  Mr. Allison said that there is 50 feet on each side of two streets and it is 1/3 of an acre, there won’t be much left and we would require a buffer, but there might be just enough.  Chairman Pearce said that there are no buffer requirements.  Ms. Radcliff said that because both Resort and Shepherd Streets are small, you could probably not put any off-street parking there and it would have to be on-site. 


Ms. Radcliff stated that Staff recommends that rezoning application R-04-01 as submitted be denied based on the following reasons:


1.      The 1993 Comprehensive Land Use Plan text and map supported residential there and it is an older residential area that has been in existence since at least 1981 and Staff did not feel there was any reason for a commercial node to develop at that intersection at this time.

2.      Because the parcel is only .31 acres, it could be considered “spot zoning” without additional adjacent parcels participating in the rezoning application.  Also, since it is between a R-T district and a R-15 district, it would need to be a small commercial development, but because it is so close to the adjacent parcels and is a tight medium-density neighborhood, it would have an effect on the surrounding properties and would alter the character of the neighborhood.


Chairman Pearce asked whether this subject property was at one time used as a beauty shop?  Ms. Radcliff stated that a number of years ago it was a beauty salon.  Chairman Pearce asked whether it was in this particular building?  Ms. Radcliff said she did not know. 


Charlene Rogers, the applicant’s agent, said that her brother owns the property.  She showed on Staff’s photos, the residential area around the subject property bordering on Resort and Shepherd Streets.  She said that she has discussed this with her brother and they are willing to close off the entrance from Shepherd Street and put a buffer that would block it from the residential people around the area and put an entrance from Resort Street.  Ms. Rogers indicated on the map the entrance coming in where the garage is and she added that the road could be widened, which could accommodate adequate parking.  Ms. Rogers said that previously it was a beauty salon, until 1991, and said at that time, it was grandfathered for this use.  She explained that her father previously owned this property and had built on the section for her beauty shop.  She said that that particular section has a totally separate entrance.  She indicated on a photo a 10-foot buffer between the subject parcel and the house behind it and said that that property owner does not have any problems with her having a beauty shop.  She also indicated on a photo for the Board where the subject parcel is located in relation to where her property and her brother’s property are.  She also indicated that Charlestown Place does not come out on Shepherd Street and she indicated that if she puts a buffer where she had indicated, they would not be able to see her business.  She added that she would be willing not to put a sign up on the building.  Ms. Smith interrupted to remind the Board members that they are not suppose to take into consideration the particular use on a rezoning and that the Board also can not condition the rezoning application, it has to be taken as it is.  Ms. Rogers said that the main reason why she wants to go back to that location for her business is because of the economy, her business is down.  She added that she is now located downtown and financially she needs to move because the rental price would be half of what she is presently paying and she would like to keep her business.  Ms. Rogers also indicated that by moving back to this location, she would be nearer to her children.  Chairman Pearce said that when the Board looks at a rezoning, it doesn’t matter what the applicant’s plans are for the property, the Board has to look at all the uses that are allowed under that zoning district and how it fits into the area.  Ms. Rogers said that with a beauty salon, everything is enclosed within the building.  Mr. Allison asked, “If she lived in this house, could she have a beauty shop as an in-home business?”  Ms. Smith said that if she lived in the house, the applicant would need to get a Conditional Use Permit for a customary incidental home occupation and then there are some

conditions that would need to be met.  One of the conditions would be that 25 percent of the floor area could be devoted for the operation of the business.  Mr. Allison said she would not need a rezoning if she lived in the house and had a beauty shop and went this route as you indicated?  Ms. Smith said that is correct.  Ms. Rogers said that the section she indicated where the beauty shop is located is a separate building and there is not a house in that building.  Chairman Pearce stated that any grandfathering ends when the use ceases.  Tommy Laughter asked, “What kind of relationship do you have with the people across the street, going up Resort Street?”  Ms. Rogers said that there is a family home that faces Southern Drive, but it does not face in the direction of her business.  Mr. Patterson asked whether there is City sewer there?  Ms. Rogers said that the City sewer goes across the back portion of her property between her home and the creek and also crosses her property in the back across from Shepherd Street. 


Chairman Pearce made a motion to send an unfavorable recommendation based on Staff’s recommendations as previously defined by Ms. Radcliff.  He added that he appreciates the situation, and if the applicant would like to open up something in her home, and he understands there are certain rules that would need to be abided by through this method he would favor this.  He also added that other reasons for denial are:


1.      That rezoning this parcel in the middle of residential would be against the policy of Boards in the past for it to remain residential

2.      That it meets no general requirements. 

3.      The applicant is not creating a hardship. 

4.      There nothing taken away from anyone.

5.      R-15 Zoning has been in that area.

6.      He does not see that it benefits anyone, except the applicant.

7.      There are no policy reasons or anything to warrant a change in zoning, such as there being nothing indicated in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan or studies that have been done for US 25 South


Mr. Allison said he realizes that certain people’s lifestyles change, but he feels that the Board of Commissioners will not vote for this rezoning request and the Planning Board can only make a recommendation to the Commissioners.  He feels the only way the applicant could have her business, was if it was home-based. 


Chairman Pearce said that in answer to Ms. Rogers question as to when the property was zoned R-15 it was in 1981.


Vivian Armstrong seconded the motion.  Tommy Laughter, Tedd Pearce and Vivian Armstrong voted in favor of the motion.  Todd Thompson, Leon Allison and Paul Patterson voted against the motion.  It was a tied vote. 


Todd Thompson said that if she was starting from scratch that would be a different story, but a beauty shop was on that site at one time and her brother and the applicant own the property on both ends around the proposed business and he also feels it is a hardship case.  Chairman Pearce said the Board is not talking about whether or not she puts in a beauty shop; she can put anything in if this application is approved.  Mr. Allison said that he feels there could only be very low-keyed commercial for that area because of the size of the property.  After more discussion, Chairman Pearce reminded the Board again that they must look at the fact that they would be allowing for anything in the C-2P district not just what she intends to do at present.  Mr. Thompson said that he also feels that whatever the Planning Board recommends, the Board of Commissioners will not pass this request anyway.  Chairman Pearce said that the Board should give a reason why it feels this request should be favored.  Todd Thompson said he feels she should have a beauty shop and added that he has no problem with the property being commercial.  He said that as far as the grandfather clause, he also feels she should have that back, but knows that County policy would not allow that.  After some brief discussion, Todd Thompson made a motion to send a favorable recommendation for the rezoning request because he feels that the applicant deserves it.  Paul Patterson seconded the motion.  Leon Allison, Paul Patterson, and Todd Thompson voted for the motion.  Tommy Laughter, Tedd Pearce and Vivian Armstrong voted against the motion.  Chairman Pearce stated that the recommendation goes forward to the Board of Commissioners as a split vote, three for and three against.


Approval of Order for Amendment to Carriage Park, Section 14, Carriage Forest for the Sewer Lift Station Lot.  Mr. Patterson was recused from the approval of the Order since he had been recused previously during the discussion and decision.  All Board members were in favor of his recusal.   Mr. Cook stated that the Order was based on what transpired at the January 20, 2004 Planning Board meeting and asked for the Board’s approval.  Ms. Armstrong asked, what the sentence meant that states under the conditions of the Order:  “The additional open space will need to be put on record prior to or concurrent with the recordation of the plat for the sewer lift station lot in Section 14.”  Chairman Pearce stated it means it needs to be recorded at the courthouse.  Ms. Armstrong asked, what is needed to be recorded, the deed?  Mr. Cook said that a plat should be recorded.  She said the only reason she had a question regarding this, was that she had just read the minutes regarding Section 14, and Mr. Hamlin had said that Carriage Park owns the open space and that they had not transferred it over to the homeowner’s association.  Mr. Cook said that is right.  Chairman Pearce stated that Carriage Park has not deeded the open space, but it is on record.  Ms. Armstrong said that it would show on a plat to be transferred at some point in the future, but asked does the plat not transfer it?  Ms. Smith said that it doesn’t, you transfer it by deed.  Ms. Armstrong asked when it says to put on record that means to show it on the plat?  Ms. Smith said that it might not be this particular plat, as Carriage Park can record open space in other sections to make up the difference and that is why it does not specify the plat per section.  Chairman Pearce stated that this language has been used in the past and feels that it is appropriate.  Chairman Pearce made a motion to approve the Order for Amendment to Carriage Park, Section 14, Carriage Forest, for the Sewer Lift Station Lot.  Leon Allison seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.


US 25 North Area Study – Discussion of Preliminary Draft – Michael Harvey, CMR Services, Inc.  Ms. Smith introduced Michael Harvey of CMR Services, Inc., which took over Benchmark.  Mr. Harvey said that CMR Services, Inc. and Benchmark are technically the same, just a change in name.  Ms. Smith said that there was a change in Staff, with Lee Smith moving sometime ago, so Mr. Harvey has taken over the project.


Mr. Harvey said that he is a senior planner with CMR Services, Inc., and said that he has been assigned the task of assisting Henderson County with the preparation of the US 25 North Corridor Study.  He showed on a map the study area, which primarily focuses on the US 25 North corridor, especially that which is in the widening process and includes and incorporates several existing neighborhood residential, commercial and industrial developments.  He noted that there is a small portion of I-26 within the corridor study.  He said that the study area primarily encompasses the old Hendersonville Road up to the north near the Town of Fletcher.  He said that what they are going to be looking at is several facets of development, most notably the existing land uses, the existing constraints to land uses, specifically the floodplain areas which act as a restriction to development.  He said that he will look at what the current zoning is and what the potential benefits and issues could be.  He will also be looking at access issues especially when US 25 widens and what affect it will have on the local landscape.  He said that he wants to provide the Board with some generic and some very specific recommendations concerning some future land use development within the US 25 North corridor area for the sole purpose of regulating development to eliminate identified problems within the region, whether that might be environmental issues, capacity issues, incompatibility with zoning issues and transportation issues.  He said that CMR Services, Inc., sent some generic policy statements to Staff to get some feedback in terms of what the County would like to see in terms of exploring additional depth, and specific recommendations.  He said that his purpose in meeting with the Planning Board is to give the Board an idea of what a small area plan is and what it is intended to do once it is completed and also to receive some feedback as he brings up some specific questions.  He showed a map of the corridor and described that the majority of zoning in the area is Open Use, with some I-2 Districts (where the Mountain Home Industrial Park is located), single-family residential developments surrounding the I-2 district and some areas that are undeveloped, which is causing some concern.  He said that there have been two public forums to invite comment from the general public and a survey was also sent out to solicit public comment.  He said that the results that have been received by the majority of people are:  concerns with additional industrial development, large-scale commercial developments and the need for protection in residential areas.  He said that in looking at the study map, as they start delving into some specific recommendations and feedback from the Planning Board, there is already indicated that a large portion of land in this area is undeveloped.  He reviewed the area stating that there are pockets of agricultural, single-family residential development, industrial development and existing commercial development and there are also different densities of residential development mixed with light and heavy industrial developments.  He said that one of the issues is land use and zoning.  He said that the Open Use District allows for some developments that may not be compatible with one another.  He said that one of the items that has been discussed with Staff and that was mentioned in the public forums, is that there will be a need to make some decisions regarding the zoning of the property in the Open Use district with regard to specific land use classifications in order to regulate development.  He said that in making these decisions, it is intention to try to preserve the existing development patterns in given areas.  He said that as one goes up the corridor, it is important to realize that a lot of the area is undeveloped.  There is some light residential in that area, however, one of the items that he and Staff have looked at in terms of making some specific recommendations, is encouraging more commercial development right along the corridor, where it is more effective or encourage more large-scale residential development.  He said one of the things to avoid is having individual lots being subdivided along the corridor and developed for single-family residential housing because of multiple curb cuts onto the highway which is not consistent with providing a safe atmosphere for vehicular traffic trying to access these residents or for residences trying to get out to the highway.  


He said that they feel that growth in the area is not consistent with supporting that type of land use, although they would not be opposed to large-scale residential development.  He asked the Planning Board’s opinion about encouraging additional commercial development by coming up with some specific zoning designation, essentially just beyond Balfour Baptist Church going north along the corridor into the area that is designated as undeveloped.  Chairman Pearce said that he feels that US 25 North will be commercial because it is appropriate for this designation.  He is also concerned about the number of curb cuts that potentially exist.  He said that every property has the right to have ingress and egress, but by the same token the Board needs to look at defining some type of method so that a larger tract will be done in such a way so that even though there might be multiple structures on it or multiple adjoining structures that curb cuts be limited and more of an access road type situation be encouraged and in some cases required.  He feels that the Planning Board should consider protecting this corridor and encourage proper zoning.  Mr. Allison feels that from Stoney Mountain Road to near I-26 it should be commercial.  Chairman Pearce feels that Heritage Hills and some of the present residential areas probably need to be looked at and they should be considered in any recommendation as to how to protect them, as they were there for sometime and the Board does not want to create any hardships.  He stressed that this corridor is for a future commercial area.  Chairman Pearce stated that the Board would need to study the zoning alongside of the existing residential properties with regard to the depth of commercial zoning and how it needs to be addressed.  He feels that the Board would need to look at each individual property.  Mr. Harvey said one of the things that was paramount in the original recommendations, is the development of a drive cut manual, which will require service roads to provide access to a lot of independent properties.  He said that the reason for that is to reduce a number of curb cuts.  He also mentioned the sharing of cross easements across parking lots to encourage inter-transportation to existing commercial operations and businesses to avoid a number of curb cuts.  He said one of the other issues that will need to be addressed is that it may be necessary for the County to consider adopting additional zoning districts to create transitional zoning.  In transitional zoning, you have limited or low-density commercial development or limited office and institutional development in areas where you have high-density/low-density or cluster residential development to avoid additional conflict.  He feels that existing regulations may need to be augmented in order to insure that there is not a secondary effect.  He said you could look at developing an entire buffer standard for industrial/high density commercial development locating next to property that happens to be residentially zoned or has a residential land use.  Chairman Pearce suggested that there could be an overlay implemented.  Mr. Harvey stated that it would be up to the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners to determine how they want to handle zoning in terms of split zoning property.  He does not recommend this method and usually suggests that an entire tract of land be rezoned one zoning district.  Mr. Allison said that he agrees with Mr. Harvey on split zoning.  Mr. Allison added that Mr. Harvey has a great idea regarding frontage roads, but said he feels it will not work on US 25 North, because there are different size frontages along the corridor and he doesn’t think owners will give that frontage up for a road.  Chairman Pearce said that some of the properties are bigger and you have an advantage there.  He said that Mr. Harvey could encourage this by having access easements across the front of the property to encourage adjoining property owners.  Mr. Harvey said another method to encourage access easements would be some type of incentive program.  Mr. Harvey added that access roads would be a major component of the analysis and recommendations that Staff and he will give the Boards, because that is the only way to address the problem adequately.  Ms. Armstrong asked whether the existing infrastructure would stay as it is and will that be a limitation?  Mr. Harvey stated that US 25 North is being rebuilt and the traffic will be increased.  Chairman Pearce stated that US 25 North, from the intersection of Brookside Camp Road to the Buncombe County line, is being widened.  Ms. Armstrong asked to define the study area.  Ms. Smith stated that the study area goes a little further South on US 25 between Brookside Camp Road and the City’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.  Ms. Smith showed the start of the study as approximately where the Bildon, Inc., business is.  Ms. Armstrong stated that there is a certain amount of traffic that US 25 North, when it is widened, will be able to accommodate, and she asked if that is a part of the thinking process that is going on regarding the corridor study?  Mr. Harvey said that is not necessarily so.  He said what they are trying to address is the problem created when you have individual properties developed on a stretch of roadway.  It is unsafe to have multiple curb cuts or certain types of land uses given the scale of the roadway.  He said it is not beneficial to have or encourage individual lots being created to house small residential lots because of the amount of traffic on US 25 North when it is widened.  He said from a safety standard it is not appropriate, so what they are attempting to do for this study is to address those problems and mitigate some of the land use issues that are in this area to regulate growth so it does not negatively impact not only the existing roadway but to find uses that are compatible with the widened roadway.  Ms. Armstrong asked whether the traffic is some part of this formula, because she feels it would need to be.  She feels that the entire infrastructure that is there or is planning to be there is a limitation to the development that can happen in that corridor.  Mr. Harvey said what NCDOT will say is, yes, there is some limit to what a road can successfully handle, but they will also say that any kind of development will not cause it to fail if there is proper planning.  He said it not so much to worry about the traffic; it is the access on the road that creates the problem.  He said if there are multiple curb cuts there is a lot of stopping and starting and turn movements, which can hinder traffic flow. 



The idea is to ease congestion to guarantee that US 25 North does not become a quagmire and then become a bigger problem.  He said the Board should address the land uses now along with the access issues.  Chairman Pearce said that there was a rezoning request shortly after NCDOT announced their time schedule.  He said that the request came before the Planning Board and then the Board of Commissioners and out of that came a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners that a study be conducted for  US 25 North.  He said the Board of Commissioners acted on the recommendation and hired an outside consultant to do the work because of other projects that were going on at the time and the Board of Commissioners ascertained that they did not want any rezoning changes along US 25 North until a study was completed.  Mr. Harvey stated that the Planning Board would need to take some action on the zoning of some property in this corridor.  Chairman Pearce indicated that the Board recently recommended some rezoning changes the above Brookside Camp Road area.  Mr. Thompson said he feels that the Board is throwing the burden back on the property owner.  He asked does the property owner who owns ten acres have the same rights as the property owner who owns only one acre and will he be treated fairly as far as his ingress and egress into his property.  He added that he does not see a problem, but what is the difference between this and the growth around the Asheville Airport?  Mr. Harvey said that in terms of addressing traffic flow the service road concept is a valid concept.  He asked if when a property owner has a huge frontage, does that mean that the individual will be required to extend it all the way across his property if he wants to do any massive commercial development or to link it to a second commercial development that they would only require him to install one hundred feet?  He said those are the issues when there are large tracts of property and will be part of anything they do.  If a property owner has a large tract of property, they will absorb additional cost in developing it and if the property is subdivided, they will reduce those costs because the responsibility is being transferred over elsewhere.  Chairman Pearce said that the Board should keep in mind that on those properties where zoning is upgraded, the zoning does enhance the property value.  Tommy Laughter asked what was the vision that the planners had when NC 280 was expanded, was there a purpose?  He also asked, “The area from NC 191 going out NC 280 until it hits the Henderson County line, what is the zoning?”  Ms. Smith said that the zoning is Open Use.  There is a study that was done back between 2000-2001 that gave some recommendations but the land now lies in the Town of Mills River limits, so therefore it will be under their control.  She said that plan covers a small portion of this corridor area as well and there are some recommendations that the Planning Board has already made for some of the areas closest to the Town of Fletcher and they will be incorporated into this corridor study.  Mr. Laughter said he sees some similarities with that and this study because there are a lot of residential areas, especially in the NC 280 section between NC 191 and Transylvania County.  Ms. Smith said that on NC 280, particularly from the airport to the intersection where NC 191 goes north to Buncombe County, there is controlled access, so that the number of curb cuts will be limited by NCDOT.  Mr. Harvey stated that one of the things that they recommend for this study is that the County approach NCDOT about forming a joint curb cut committee.  He added that it has been done, in other areas of North Carolina.  He said that property owners have a right by law to have access onto a roadway and NCDOT will need to help the County in addressing those issues.  He also feels that it is in the County’s best interest to pursue the establishment of this committee to work with NCDOT to address access issues before they become bigger problems.  Chairman Pearce said that he understands that CMR Services, Inc., with Staff’s help will bring before the Planning Board specific zoning classifications and the Board will then look at them on an individual basis.  He said that what he has heard from Board members is that commercial development should be encouraged, where it is realistic.  There are some residential developments, and they will need some protection.  Ms. Smith reminded the Board that there is a development called Ashmont that came before the Planning Board, which is a mixed-use project of medical, residential and commercial uses.  She added that they plan on coming back to the Board regarding vested rights, depending on what happens with this study.  Mr. Allison said that he is in favor of commercial along the US 25 North corridor.   Mr. Thompson added that if there is no commercial along the highway, then why build a highway.  Mr. Patterson asked whether a Flood Prevention Ordinance would be studied for this area.  He said that the Board should consider sewer before it thinks about putting commercial in that area.  He said there are only two routes that sewer can go, pumping it out to I-26 or tying it in with the industrial park.  Chairman Pearce said that will be one of the major limitations on the density of any development.  Mr. Harvey said that Mr. Patterson has brought up a point regarding some of the land use restraints, which is indicative of the corridor.  He said the majority of the corridor is in a flood zone and one of the items we are recommending is adoption of a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.  He also recommends that the County also look at a Comprehensive Stormwater Ordinance and a Soil and Erosion Sedimentation Ordinance.  Mr. Harvey mentioned that during the public information sessions, several residents were concerned about the addition or use of fill to raise property, which creates flooding problems for them.  One of the recommendations that they have asked the Staff and will ask the Boards to consider is that anytime you have a property that adds fill they will need to produce an engineered stormwater plan, regardless of whether the Boards adopt a stormwater ordinance, to show what will happen to the water.  Chairman Pearce said that just because they tell you what is going to happen to the water doesn’t mean that it will be rectified.  Mr. Harvey said that it will incumbent of the County to also keep the engineers on their toes and ask those questions.  Mr. Harvey said he suggests that the Board adopt a freeboard standard, which is in excess of the base flood requirement.  He said what usually happens with commercial operations is you are allowed to flood proof, but for residential development you need to elevate above base flood.  The freeboard standard would essentially mean you would have to go beyond the minimum requirement, making sure you do not have flooding or loss of property or life unnecessarily.  Chairman Pearce asked Ms. Smith whether the Planning Board would have any involvement in the flood control Ordinance at all?  Ms. Smith stated that she expects the Planning Board will have a role in that Ordinance.   Mr. Patterson noted that there is a difference between the floodway and the floodplain.  He mentioned that FEMA has their recommendations on what can be done in the floodway.  Chairman Pearce asked, “How accurate do we consider FEMA maps at this point in time?”  Ms. Smith said we don’t, but it is the best that the County has at present.  In terms of updates the County must either wait for the State to come here by 2007 and make newer maps, or the County pays for detailed engineering studies.  Chairman Pearce said he has a problem making recommendations on old maps.  Ms. Smith said that what fill has occurred since those maps were done is the real issue.  Development-wise, the County has some structures, but in that area along the corridor, it is more fill than anything.  Mr. Harvey added that they would also consider the County adopting a Comprehensive Stormwater Ordinance regardless of this study area or not, as it is important that you consider the stormwater impacts from one development to another.  He said that it is important because when you alter one lot, you alter the drainage pattern of the entire area.  He added that the County should look at the cumulative impacts of stormwater and distribution of flood waters as the result of development whether it is residential, commercial or industrial.  Mr. Patterson said that he feels if people buy a piece of property in a “low bowl area” they should expect water to be spilt on it.  Mr. Harvey said they will be stressing that the Boards adopt soil erosion and sedimentation control regulations to require developers to stabilize soil so it does not blow off anywhere or when rain or other events occur there will not be silt washing out causing additional problem for low-lying adjoining property owners.  Mr. Harvey showed on a map the existing land uses at present and the Planning Board will be making recommendations for zoning based on a lot of existing land uses and clustering of them.  Mr. Harvey said that what he needs to know from the Planning Board is what is its opinion of developing transitional zoning districts for low-density commercial, and for office and institutional areas where it may be acceptable to have a transition from existing residential so there will not be any secondary impacts.  Mr. Harvey also added that there should be some provisions in the Ordinance for mixed use PUDs, which instead of leaving something open, you use open space and develop some appropriate standards to allow them to make some reasonable use of their property, based on existing regulation and what they have on the property at present but calling it something other than Open Use.  He said that the worry is about redevelopment. 


After some further discussion among Board members, Mr. Harvey summarized the points that have been reviewed by the Planning Board members:


·         He will bring forward, at least for discussion purposes, specific recommendations on zoning.


·         The Planning Board would like to see more commercial development along the US 25 North corridor, but not at the expense of existing residential neighborhoods.


·         The Planning Board is interested in looking at potential development of new transitional zoning districts in order to help facilitate orderly transition from a residential neighborhood to additional commercial areas to avoid negative secondary affects.


·         The Planning Board is concerned about environmental impacts and it would be reasonable to include language in the Plan that references adoption of a Comprehensive Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance as well as consideration of adoption of a Stormwater Ordinance and a Sedimentation and Erosion Control Ordinance.


·         The Planning Board is not opposed to amending existing regulations with respect to buffering to require larger buffers or to do overlays on industrial and commercial properties that abut residential property.


·         The issue of Split Zoning will be addressed in the report and the Planning Board will make its recommendation.


·         The Planning Board is open to innovative design concepts on how to deal with curb cuts and shared easements to mitigate traffic.


Ms. Smith said she wanted the Planning Board to be aware that the corridor study includes Park Ridge Hospital, Fletcher Academy property, Fletcher Elementary School and an on-going project that will be before the Planning Board next month that is undergoing a vested rights review by the Board of Commissioners.  She said that this same development would be bringing a subdivision in for review. 


Chairman Pearce feels that the Board is open to any and all suggestions that Staff and Mr. Harvey might have. 


Subcommittee Assignments and Meeting Dates.


a.      Water Supply Watershed Issues Subcommittee.  Ms. Smith stated that this subcommittee met once, and there is another meeting scheduled for March 3, 2004 at 4:30 p.m.


b.      Short Term Zoning Subcommittee.  Ms. Smith said that the Planning Board will be sending the Hidden Lakes rezoning study from the last Planning Board meeting to this subcommittee.  She said that the Board decided that they would not pick this study up until after June 2004, but the Board had suggested that Staff look at the area and establish a study area boundary and look at the number of residences.  She added that Ms. Radcliff has already started working on the boundary and has some statistical information.  It was determined that the subcommittee would schedule a meeting at a later date to coincide with the members’ schedules. 


c.      Subdivision Issues Subcommittee.  Mr. Cook stated that he was almost finished with the minutes from the last time and is ready to schedule a meeting.  Since Walter Carpenter was not present, Staff would get in touch with Mr. Carpenter to schedule a meeting for this subcommittee.


d.      Others.  Chairman Pearce reminded the Board members that there is a joint meeting with the Comprehensive Advisory Committee on February 23, 2004 at 4:00 p.m.  He said that there would be more scheduled meetings, probably twice a month to forward a recommendation to the Commissioners by June 1, 2004 on the final draft.  Ms. Smith also reminded the Board that they had initially targeted the US 25 Corridor Study project to be done by May 2004.


Adjournment.  There being no further business, Tedd Pearce made a motion to adjourn and Leon

Allison seconded the motion.  All members voted in favor.  The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.






Tedd Pearce, Chairman                                                         Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary