PLANNING BOARD MINUTES
April 20, 2004
The Henderson County Planning Board met on April 20, 2004, for its regular meeting at 7:03 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Henderson County Land Development Building, 101 East Allen Street, Hendersonville, NC. Board members present were Tedd Pearce, Chairman, Leon Allison, Cindy Daibaibeh, Paul Patterson, Mike Cooper, Vivian Armstrong, Tommy Laughter and Todd Thompson. Others present included Derrick Cook, Planner; Autumn Radcliff, Planner; Brad Burton, Zoning Administrator; Karen C. Smith, Planning Director; and Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary. Vice-Chairman Walter Carpenter was absent.
Approval of Minutes. Chairman Pearce presided over the meeting and called the meeting to order. He asked for the approval of the regular meeting minutes of March 16, 2004. Chairman Pearce made a motion to approve the minutes and Vivian Armstrong seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.
Adjustment of Agenda. There were no adjustments to the agenda to be made.
Staff Reports. Ms. Smith said that the request for rezoning was heard by the Board of Commissioners on April 5, 2004, regarding Charles Pace and was denied. The public hearing on the motocross special use permit and variances will be continued on April 15, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. at West Henderson High School. She reminded the Board members that the next joint CCP meeting would be Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at 3:00 p.m.
The Homestead at Mills River (File # 03-M15) – Request from Developer Regarding March 16, 2004 Conditional Approval of Revised Master Plan and Phase 1 Development Plan – Scott McElrath, Agent for The Homestead at Mills River, LLC, Owner. Chairman Pearce said that the neighbors on Hall Road including Mr. Hedden were concerned about the Planning Board’s last approval of Phase 1-A, regarding the single lot. They were concerned particularly with the right-of-way. Chairman Pearce said that he spoke with Mr. Scott McElrath and in his letter it quotes, “When we, (The Homestead) build the main road, (Mills River Way) back to Phase Two, Mr. Hedden and no one will no longer be allowed to use his current right-of-way. Additionally, no one other than Mr. Hedden can use the right-of-way between now and then. Any heavy equipment using that access to date was seeding the bare areas around the stream and pond to prevent erosion.” Chairman Pearce said that with the permission of the Board, he would move that the Board add the letter of Scott E. McElrath, dated April 15, 2004, into the record of the approval of the revision to the Homestead Section 1 and Section 1A and add a condition stating that after the main roads are built in Phase 2, the current right-of-way along Hall Road into the Homestead subdivision which is presently being used to allow access by Mr. Hedden into Phase 1A, will no longer be allowed to be used by Mr. Hedden or anyone else. Leon Allison seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.
Mountain Vista (File # 02-M05) – Request for Extension of Development Plan Approval – Pavilion Development Corporation, Applicant. Chairman Pearce asked for the approval of the extension. Mr. Patterson asked why did it take two years on the engineering of this subdivision? Mr. Grier Eargle, on behalf of Mountain Vista, said that they began grading back in January on this subdivision and that is why it took so long with the engineering. Chairman Pearce asked, “What was the anticipated date of completion?” Mr. Eargle said within six months. Chairman Pearce said in the past, unless there is a problem, the Board has been very lenient on a first request. Mr. Patterson said what bothers him is that it took 21 months before grading started. He added that even though the Board usually grants the extension requests, we might want to urge the developers to move ahead quicker. Chairman Pearce said that it might be appropriate for the Subdivision Subcommittee to look at the policies and consider some guidelines on how the Board is going to grant extensions and what we consider showing good faith. Chairman Pearce made a motion to grant a one-year extension for Mountain Vista. Vivian Armstrong seconded the motion and all members voted in favor accept Paul Patterson, who opposed the motion. The motion carried 7 to 1.
Orchard Park (file # 04-M03) – Combined Master Plan and Development Plan Review for Property Located off U.S. Highway 64 East (Chimney Rock Road) – (70 Lots Total) – Douglas Talbot, Agent for Land Resources Group of NC, LLC, Owner. Paul Patterson recused himself from any discussion or decision regarding this project, as he is the engineer on the project. Mr. Cook stated that this is a combined Master and Development Plan. He had no comments regarding the Master Plan elements and regarding the Development Plan, his comments were as follows:
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 Section 170-19).
2. Common Area. The Applicant has designated approximately 30 acres as common area within the project. There currently exists a commercial establishment on the property that the applicant intends to keep as a commercial entity coupled with serving as a community building. The Development Plan notes that the common area may also include a pool, hot tubs, trails, and a park with recreational equipment. Such special use lots must be clearly identified for their designated use on the Final Plat (Section 170-31B).
3. Perennial Stream and Buffer Area. The applicant has acknowledged on the combined Master and Development Plan the 30-foot building and other structures setback from perennial streams required by Section 170-37A of the Subdivision Ordinance. Such setback must be noted on the Final Plat (HCSO Appendix 7). However, the March 23, 2004 revised combined Master Plan and Development Plan depicting the proposed project metes and bounds survey does seem to illustrate the perennial stream setback, but the setbacks are not clearly annotated.
4. Private Roads. Because private roads are shown, the final plat should include a note stating the private roads indicated on the Final Plat may not meet requirements of the North Carolina Department of Transportation for acceptance into the state road system (Appendix 7).
5. Farmland Preservation. The applicant provided an Affidavit of Understanding of Farmland Preservation District. On the Final Plat, a statement should be noted saying the subdivision lies within ½ mile of the Edneyville Farmland Preservation District (HCSO 170-35 and Appendix 7).
6. Flat Lots. The applicant has proposed several “flat lots” in the proposed subdivision, some of which seem to be created to compensate for the property terrain. “Flat lots or lots which only have a narrow strip of land fronting the lot on a street may be approved by the Planning Board…but only under unusual circumstances (HCSO 170-31D).”
7. Road Grade. The applicant proposed paved private residential collector roads and paved private local residential roads to serve the property. The road grades are not to exceed 16% and 18% respectively. The applicant has provided a full road profile of the proposed roads to the Planning Department that gives the approximate finished grades of the roads. A professional engineer or professional land surveyor must certify on the Final Plat that no portion of the roads has a grade that exceeds 16% for residential collector roads and 18% for local residential roads (HCSO 170-21 Table 1 and 170-21E).
8. Bridges on private roads in residential subdivisions. The applicant has proposed the construction of a bridge for the proposed subdivision. The Subdivision Ordinance states, “If bridges on private roads in residential subdivisions are proposed, the applicant must submit a copy of bridge plans showing certification from a registered professional engineer indicating that the bridge plans meet applicable state standards. Bridges proposed for private roads shall comply with state road standards for drainage, hydraulics and minimum live load. Such proposed bridges must meet the standards for vertical clearance for roads shown in Table 1. The travelway width across the proposed bridge must not be less than the travelway width of the road on either side of the proposed bridge, but in no event shall the bridge travelway be less than 12 feet. If the travelway of a private bridge is less than 18 feet wide and such bridge is proposed to accommodate two-way traffic, a paved or gravel turnout shall be provided on each end of the proposed bridge to provide space for at least one vehicle to safely pull over and allow an oncoming vehicle to traverse the bridge. Prior to Final Plat approval or release of any improvement guarantee, the applicant must submit a copy of an as-built drawing of the bridge with certification from a registered professional engineer that the bridge meets the standard required in Subdivision Ordinance (HCSO 170-21 I ).”
9. Right-of-way access. Mr. Cook stated that this is a specific issue dealing with Lot 68 and Lot 69. Mr. Cook said it appears that the applicant may intend that lot 68 would share with lot 69 a thirty-foot wide strip that extends to the proposed right-of-way as a shared drive. Mr. Cook said that Staff believes that such a shared drive easement, according to the Subdivision Ordinance, constitutes a right-of-way. He said that as a right-of-way there are several other lots that would abut the drive easement and/or be directly served by the drive easement which would be lots 63, 67, 68, 69 and 70 and according to the Subdivision Ordinance a right-of-way serving and/or abutting 4 to 24 residential lots would need to meet the minimum standard of a private local residential road with a 45 foot right-of-way with a minimum of a 16 foot travelway. Mr. Cook said that he had discussed this with the applicant during the pre-application conference and they expressed that they would be willing to make an adjustment and if they have to lose a lot, they will. Mr. Cook said that he did not know a better way to resolve that other than going into lot 67 and reducing that lot to make a flag lot for lot 68.
Mr. Cook said that the other item is concerning Section 170-21H, regarding cul-de-sacs and turnarounds. Mr. Cook said that the Subdivision Ordinance indicates that a road cannot exceed 2500 feet. He said that the roads inside this project are longer than 2500 feet, even though they have cul-de-sacs at the end of them. Mr. Cook said that the Board might want to require the developers to put turnarounds somewhere within the roads before the end of the culs-de-sac. Mr. Cook added that he suggested this at the pre-planning conference that this could be an option that the Board could look at. He said considering the length of the roads and looking at the safety regarding fire trucks, it might be advisable to have a turnaround before the end of the roads, but it is up to the Board. Ms. Armstrong asked about the symbol on Lot 14, in the lower left of the lot.
Mr. Bob Grasso, of Land Planning Collaborative and representing the owner, said that Paul Patterson will be the engineer designing the bridges on this project and he will be preparing the no-rise certificates and everything that deals with that. Mr. Grasso said that regarding the symbol on lot 14, it is a target panel from when they flew it. He said that they have provided a boundary survey and it has been completed. Mr. Grasso said that the roads do exceed 2500 feet and he said that he could not figure out a way to tie them together but said that they are willing to put in turnarounds so that emergency vehicles would not have to drive at the end of a cul-de-sac. Chairman Pearce asked whether he was in the position to tell the Board what sections of roads on which they plan to do such? Mr. Grasso said that no roads will travel further than 2500 feet before a turnaround but in particular in the area of Lot 24 and between lot 51 and 52. Mr. Cooper asked whether an intersection counts in a turnaround? Chairman Pearce said that they could widen the intersection rather than turn off into it. Mr. Grasso said that they could widen the intersection at those lot numbers. Chairman Pearce asked Staff whether they would accept responsibility regarding the review of the turnaround reconfiguration of intersections at lot 24 and lots 51 and 52 by the owner? Mr. Cook said yes. Chairman Pearce said that the other issue is regarding the flag lots. Mr. Grasso said that there are existing roads on the property and he pointed out that this road is the only road they will be constructing. He said that rather than building a local subdivision road, he thought if they could extend flag lots for long driveways to houses because it creates less site disturbance. He said that for lots 68 and 69 they are proposing a common driveway to serve those two lots. He said lot 69 has the flag lot and lot 68 would have an easement. Chairman Pearce said he does not feel there is a way in the Ordinance that would allow this. Mr. Cooper asked, “How many lots can touch an easement before it has to become a public road?” Ms. Smith said that the Ordinance reads that the limited local roads can touch no more than three and every lot needs thirty feet of frontage on the road. Mr. Grasso said that in this case, they would need to give up lot 68 or reshape the lot. Chairman Pearce said that he does not know how to do it within the Ordinance. Mr. Grasso said that to build a road across there would destroy a house site and this is what they are trying to avoid. Chairman Pearce asked that if they eliminate lot 68, could the Board give them the latitude to reconfigure these lots in the best practical way? Ms. Smith said that typically a lot reduction does not count as a substantial change. Mr. Cooper asked whether this would work by taking the flag lot line five feet wider and put the right-of-way on the sides of 67, 63, 62, 61, 68, 69 and 70 lots so there are no more than three lots touching it? Ms. Smith said that if they are not touching, the right-of-way they are not concerned. Jared Cullop of Land Planning Collaborative, asked, “What if we took the actual boundary line on the bottom side of that easement down five feet, instead of reconfiguring all of those lots above that, and just stretch it down as you would then reconfigure just one lot?” Chairman Pearce said that the Board could word this in the motion for approval to show the lots that will be reconfigured so that there are no more than three lots abutting the right-of-way as a condition. Ms Smith asked if they were trying to make it so he does not have to build another road? She noted that even if only one or two lots abut the right-of-way, it would still have to be constricted as a limited local road. Chairman Pearce asked Mr. Grasso if he understood that it will still need to be limited local road. Mr. Grasso said he did understand. Chairman Pearce made a motion that the Planning Board finds and concludes that the combined Master Plan and Development Plan received March 22, 2004 and the revised Master Plan and Development Plan submitted for Orchard Park subdivision comply with the provisions of the Subdivision Ordinance; except for technical and procedural comments section of the Staff’s memo that have not been satisfied by the applicant. He further moved that such plans be approved subject to the following conditions: that the applicant satisfies comment 1 before construction begins, comments 2 through 5 and 7 through 9 by approval of the Final Plat and in addition to comment 9, that the developer has a choice of either deleting lot 68 or reconfiguring lots 61, 62, 63, 67, 68, 69 and 70 so that there are no more than three lots abutting what will become a limited local road serving no more than three lots. Chairman Pearce also added comment 10, which will state that turnarounds will be installed around the area of lot 24 and lots 51 and 52 and specifically allowing them to use the intersections to create a turnaround space for emergency vehicles with administrative approval of design. He also added that the flag lots noted in the plans are specifically approved. Mr. Cooper seconded the motion and all members voted in favor.
Blooming Laurel Park (File # 04-M04) – Combined Master Plan and Development Plan Review for Property Located off Blooming Laurel Drive – (23 Lots Total) – Leon Lamb, Agent for Boyd Hyder, Owner. Mr. Cook stated that in reviewing the Master Plan for comments, he found that all requirements 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. Private Roads. Because private roads are shown, the final plat should include a note stating: The private roads indicated on this Final Plat may not meet requirements of the North Carolina Department of Transportation for acceptance into the state road system. (Appendix 7).
3. Road Design. The applicant provides the proposed road cross-section for the limited local road, but the plan does not denote if the proposed road will be stone only or paved. Prior to Final Plat approval, on a revised combined Master Plan and Development Plan, the applicant should indicate if the proposed road will be stone only or paved (HCSO 170-21 Table 1 and Appendix 5).
4. Road Grade. The applicant proposed paved private local residential roads and limited local residential road to serve the property. The road grades are not to exceed 18%. The applicant has provided a full road profile of the proposed roads that gives the approximate finished grades of the roads. A professional engineer or professional land surveyor must certify on the Final Plat that no portion of the local residential roads will exceed 18% and that no portion of the limited local road, if stone only, will exceed 15% and if paved, 18% (HCSO 170-21 Table 1 and 170-21E).
5. Future Development. The applicant has designated a portion of the remaining property as future development. “When any “future development” areas of major subdivisions are to be subdivided, the development must comply with the Subdivision Ordinance, including review by Planning Board under Section 170-16. On the Final Plat, the “future development” area should be shown (HCSO 170-31C).
Chairman Pearce said regarding the future development area, there seems to be only two ways access it – off the cul-de-sac at Fiver Lane and also off the 30-foot right-of-way. He said if the 30-foot right-of-way abuts more than three lots, it would need to be a limited residential road. Mr. Cook said what you mean is if the future development area is going to abut three or fewer lots, then it needs to be built to limited local road standards; if it is more than that, then it needs to be upgraded to local residential road standards. Chairman Pearce said what he is concerned with is that if there is a 30-foot right-of-way and lots 8 and 9 have been deeded, it seems that having only a 30-foot right-of-way could possibly be a problem. Mr. Cooper asked whether the developer could use the 50-foot gas right-of-way to come up over the road? Chairman Pearce said he probably couldn’t as he feels there are some limitations to gas right-of-ways. Mr. Cook said that he addressed in his other comments that the applicant proposed a 30-foot wide limited local residential road to access the future development area between lots 8 and 9. If the applicant decides to develop the “future development” area, then the Planning Board can require the applicant to upgrade the road. Mr. Cook asked if Chairman Pearce was saying say that if they sell the lot they may not have the option to upgrade that right-of-way? Chairman Pearce said especially if they need to widen the road and it depends on how it was developed. Mr. Patterson asked with the future development, if they had some lots, then would this now become a collector road up to that intersection? He also asked if they do this, could the Board force them later on to upgrade it. Chairman Pearce said that the Board might need to and the Board can advise them that the road could end up being a collector road.
Mike Robinson, owner/developer of JME, Inc., and prospective buyer of the subject subdivision said this is a 35-acre parcel of which they are purchasing 20 acres. He said that they have tried to meet the County’s requirements by leaving access into at least two locations, even though the Ordinance requires only one and he added that they would work with the Board and owner to rectify any problems. He said that the terrain of the property behind this is such that you would be looking at limited development to begin with and that there will be between four and seven acre lot sizes. Ms. Armstrong asked whether he would own the area designated as future development? Mr. Robinson said that it is not his intent to acquire this property as the contract states he is purchasing 20 acres and that they will allow the owner access through their roads and this will need to be incorporated into the deed so that Mr. Hyder or his future people will have the rights to access this property through our roads. Ms. Armstrong said that there are two old log homes on the property and asked if they are on the property that Mr. Robinson was going to develop or are they on the portion that is identified as future development? Mr. Robinson said that they are on lot # 2. Ms. Armstrong asked what are the plans for those two old structures? Mr. Robinson said that he has some people who are interested in moving them and placing them on another site and if they decide not to, they will be demolished. Ms. Armstrong asked whether there is a gas line in that right-of-way? Mr. Robinson said that it is a high-pressure line with a 50-foot easement and it can be crossed but typically the utilities people would like to do it at a 90-degree angle and as long as they limit the amount of cut the utilities people will let them go with less than a 90-degree angle. Chairman Pearce asked, “Off Fiver Lane to lot 12, is that a 30-foot right-of-way to lot 12 rather than a flag lot, is that correct?” Ms. Smith said from what she understands it is a right-of-way with the design standard shown. Chairman Pearce asked, “Who owns that right-of-way?” Mr. Robinson said that maybe this is something they should dedicate to that lot. Mr. Robinson said that it could be dedicated to them, but he doesn’t feel it will mean much to the County. Chairman Pearce said that there are 18 lots on Baton Lane, which would make that at this time a local road. He asked what would be appropriate to state in the Board’s approval regarding local roads that could potentially become collector roads? Mr. Robinson said that he has access by County standards and they are giving an additional thirty feet. Chairman Pearce stated that the County has different requirements for roads depending on how many lots they serve and right now Baton Lane serves 18 lots, which falls under the local road standards. He said should that road be extended and more lots added to bring it up to more than twenty-four lots, then the whole road would need to be brought up to collector road standards. Mr. Robinson said Mr. Hyder knows that it will not be developed into that type of density. Mr. Patterson asked, “Who will own the roads?” Mr. Robinson said that they are private roads and their deeds will go to the middle of the road, but right-of-way was excluded in the survey as far as total acreage. Even though the survey does not show it presently, the property lines will go to the middle of the rights-of-way.
Chairman Pearce said that the Board needs to add to the comments for the Board’s approval: # 7, stating that any future development could require the future developer to upgrade any of the existing roads to a different standard in Blooming Laurel Park than is being approved by the Board at tonight’s meeting.
Mr. Allison said to Mr. Leon Lamb, Agent for Mr. Boyd Hyder, what the Planning Board is stating if the future development property is developed past a certain amount of lots, the road will need to be upgraded. Mr. Lamb asked whether it is the whole road that starts off of Laurel Drive, even through the development that he will have? Mr. Allison said that is correct and added that by permitting a road this size they will have enough right-of-way to upgrade this road. Mr. Lamb said that he understands. Mr. Robinson said that instead of 45-foot right-of-way, they would not have any problems making it a 50-foot right-of-way, if that is the upgrade needed so that future development into the adjoining properties is not a problem for Mr. Hyder or for himself, if he purchases the property. Ms. Smith said that there are other road standards that apply and that this is not the only road standard that applies but this is the one that would affect him the most. Mr. Thompson asked whether there is no other way to come in except coming off of that cul-de-sac? Mr. Robinson said no, not that he knows of. Chairman Pearce said that if the developer were willing to make the 50-foot right-of-way concession, it would make it easier if there is ever a problem, but the Board still needs to advise that any future development may require updated roads. Mr. Robinson reiterated that he has agreed on a 50-foot right-of-way. Mr. Patterson asked whether the Board has addressed the 30-foot right-of-way, because even if he widens it to 50 feet, if you come in on the north side of that, you will not be able to get to the north side around from the east side to the south side. Mr. Robinson said that where that 30-foot easement is, there is not going to be any more than one lot, if that, and coming through the cul-de-sac the way they have tried to hit the terrain and the contours, they will hit one lot coming off of the 30-foot easement. If there are more lots that will be done, they will come off of the cul-de-sac on Fiver Lane and hit those grades. In summary, Mr. Robinson said he thinks they are talking about something that will never happen. He said the Board can address it but the property there gets very steep.
Chairman Pearce stated that Comment # 8 is being added to the approval as follows: That the property lines will be to the middle of the roads. Also, Comment # 9, that the applicant is changing his roads to a 50-foot right-of-way instead of a 45-foot right-of-way as noted on the plan. Mr. Robinson asked to review comment # 7that was added for the Board’s approval. Chairman Pearce stated that regarding # 7, it states that any future development on the area that is designated as “future development” could require the upgrading of the roads in Blooming Laurel Park to standards as outlined under the road classification section of the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance. Chairman Pearce asked for a motion. Mr. Allison made a motion that the Planning Board find and conclude that the combined Master Plan and Development Plan submitted for Blooming Laurel Park subdivision complies with the provisions of the Subdivision Ordinance; except for technical and procedural comments section of the Staff’s memo that have not been satisfied by the applicant and also moved that such Plans be approved subject to the following conditions: the applicant satisfies comment 1 before construction begins, comments 2 through 6 by approval of the Final Plat and in addition; comment 7, that any future development on the area that is designated as “future development” could require the upgrading of the roads in Blooming Laurel Park to standards as outlined under the road classification section of the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance; Comment 8, that the property lines will be to the middle of the roads and Comment 9, that the applicant is changing all of his roads to a 50 foot right-of-way instead of a 45 foot right-of-way as noted on the plan. Cindy Dabaibeh seconded the motion. Tedd Pearce, Leon Allison, Mike Cooper, Cindy Dabaibeh, Tommy Laughter, and Todd Thompson voted in favor. Paul Paterson and Vivian Armstrong opposed the motion. The motion carried, 6 to 2.
U.S. 25 North Area Study – Preliminary Draft – Michael Harvey, CMR Services, Inc. Mr. Harvey stated that he was closing down the US 25 North Corridor study and the Board has received the final pages with the policies and that our recommendations of CMR Services, Inc., with respect to the development and the possible zoning of properties in the area. He briefly discussed the relationship between the corridor study and the Comprehensive Plan that the Board has been working on. He said that the Comprehensive Plan outlines growth management policies and other issues that the County will be looking at for the next few years. Those policies and goal statements are intended to be very generic establishing a course of action that the County will be going upon. A corridor study takes those policies, concepts, and visions and puts them into practical application, focusing on certain areas of the County and looking at peculiar problems for geographic areas. In the case of the corridor study, there is a considerable amount of property in the flood zone. In the recommendations, there are some regarding zoning as most of the property in this area is zoned Open Use. He said it has been shown on the text as well as on the map in the document. Mr. Harvey reviewed the various proposed zoning recommendations made in the document for the study area. Chairman Pearce interrupted by asking whether the Planning Board votes on approving the document? Ms. Smith stated that the Planning Board makes recommendations. Chairman Pearce feels that the Board needs to know what the role is in this project. Ms. Smith said that the Planning Board makes recommendations on the study, but the question is going to be when making that recommendation, is the Board going to go ahead and make a recommendation that these areas should be zoned, and if so, that would take the step the Planning Board takes when it does a rezoning, the obligation the Planning Board has to make a recommendation, and roll it into the study recommendations. In other words, the Board makes recommendation on the study but also make some specific zoning recommendations and if the Board of Commissioners wants to move forward with rezoning the area, they would take the Planning Board’s recommendation to the public hearing. Chairman Pearce asked if the Board members were being asked to approve the basis of this study and any zoning changes that might occur from that? Ms. Smith said that tonight Mr. Harvey is trying to get some feedback on what he has presented. Mr. Harvey stated that all he is doing is presenting what he has recommended and asking questions and possibly offering some guidance. Ms. Armstrong said that with the Comprehensive Plan that they have been working on, last night and again tomorrow, she is concerned with the overlapping time frames but feels that everything is intertwined. Ms. Smith said that it is intertwined. Ms. Armstrong asked whether the Advisory Committee takes this study up as well? Chairman Pearce said that the Advisory Committee has no jurisdiction on this and no ability to vote or approve things or make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners other than on the CCP. Ms. Armstrong said that this study is part of the Plan. Chairman Pearce said that this is a specific study area of the County and it actually is making zoning recommendations. Ms. Smith said that we had actually intended when Staff first brought forward the current strategy that the Board is working under for the comprehensive plan completion, Staff had proposed that any small area plans wait until the comprehensive plan was done. However because of the scheduling of widening of US 25 North and some work that was going on with Mills River, the Commissioners said that it did not want to wait. The commissioners wanted the US 25 Study and, at that time, the Mills River Study, done. Ms. Armstrong asked, “What do we do if these zoning applications don’t end up being the same as suggested in the Plan?” Chairman Pearce said that if anyone comes in with a zoning request now, and they are rezoned, then those problems will need to be worked out regarding the Plan and US 25 North Study. Ms. Smith said that the Board needs to be aware that there will be a possibility that the recommendations are based on the current ordinance with some modifications that Mr. Harvey’s suggesting. She asked, “Does the Planning Board want to wait until the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite is done?” Chairman Pearce said that the reason for this US 25 North Corridor Study was because of a rezoning request on US 25 North and the Planning Board recommended that this area needed to be studied immediately by the Board of Commissioners to save having a flood of rezonings in an area that would anticipate a lot of rezoning requests because of the widening of US 25 North. Chairman Pearce said that Michael Harvey has a timeframe that the Board of Commissioners has given him. Mr. Allison asked whether the Planning Board could wait until after the Comprehensive Plan was done? Chairman Pearce said that Mr. Harvey is working under a timeframe that the Board of Commissioners gave him. The Planning Board can give the Board of Commissioners an unfavorable recommendation of what Mr. Harvey has done, but Mr. Harvey will still turn in a final document within the timeframe he was given, with or without the Planning Board’s recommendations.
Mr. Harvey continued with his presentation of the draft document. He said that after the last Planning Board meeting, there was a desire among Board members to want to increase the available land area along US 25 North, especially because it will be widened, to offer additional commercial development. Mr. Harvey said that when looking at the proposed rezoning area, there are some pockets of residential, commercial and industrial development and they recommended what they believe are reasonable expansions of existing industrial, commercial and residential areas. Mr. Harvey said because of a request, the maps will be larger in size and be broken down into areas to provide greater delineation with roads and other items. He added that they have provided enough explanation in the text so the Board would have an idea of exactly where the area is and the rationale for the recommendation and, ultimately, what the benefits and potential detractions are. He said that it has been stated that a rather large portion of property within the study area is in the flood zone, and they have recommended that it be zoned, in many cases, commercial, industrial and residential. He said that in this report there is a special section dealing with property in the flood zone, and the report has provided six different ideas and recommendations on how to address development in the flood zone. He said that the ultimate recommendation that they have come up with is the adoption of a flood damage prevention ordinance. With this recommendation, it will regulate development to ensure that there are no adverse secondary effects. He said if the Board chooses not to adopt reasonable regulations governing development in a flood zone, their ultimate recommendation is that the County rezone the entire floodplain either R-40 or Open Use. He said that the reason for that is anytime you alter properties, especially in a flood zone, you will be potentially altering the pathway of stormwater run-off. If people are not required to elevate their structures or flood-proof their commercial or industrial structures so that they are not damaged by flood events, there will be a problem with people developing property because they will not be able to get mortgages nor bank loans. When looking at the proposed rezoning area, this area comes with some restrictive caveats and the biggest caveat is requiring adoption of a flood damage prevention ordinance. Mr. Harvey said that the recommendations stated represent the goals and mission station that is identified in the Comprehensive Plan and ultimately try to get where the County wants to be to encourage purposeful yet safe development in an area that is primed for a variety of development but at the same time being aware of some environmental problems peculiar problems to the area. Mr. Harvey said that he has also recommended that the County adopt a Human Service Campus District or PUD Ordinance, which would cover developments such as Fletcher Academy or Heritage Hills to try to encourage additional developments of this type but not leaving it as Open Use and to not have to develop a significant ordinance for each development. Ms. Smith noted that the new district proposal was not in the text.
He said that there are recommendations made as to the development of new ordinances to try to bring several types of developments that have different uses into some type of conformity with one another. There are recommendations along Highway 25, specifically recommendations for curb cuts and distance in-between, shared driveways, shared access, and cross easements to connect different development sites to avoid numerous curb cuts along Highway 25. He said that it is his opinion, to not allow individual drive cuts for single-family residences because of the additional congestion that would occur. He added that existing residential areas and nodes need to be preserved or protected because so as not to create a number of non-conformities by rezoning an entire area commercial. Chairman Pearce asked Mr. Harvey if you have a half dozen property owners that are now zoned commercial, and they may not encompass more than 500 feet of road frontage, would he suggest trying to force all the different property owners into joining together for access in some of the commercial nodes. Mr. Harvey said that this needs to be looked into and that the County needs to make some decisions on whether or not it represents a problem. He said what he is recommending that the County look into service roads, service alleys, access ways and shared accesses to limit the amount of curb cuts so there will not be as many turning movements and that creates problems where congestion or traffic tie-ups will occur. Chairman Pearce said that although he believes in it, it is one thing when someone has access and comes in with a large enough piece of property to do it on their own property. He said he is somewhat concerned as to how it will be handled because you run into some joint costs. He finds that there could be some problems when you are talking about multiple individuals. Mr. Harvey said, referring back to his recommendations; it states that it is the County’s position to work with property owners to encourage that and to also develop a uniform traffic access management plan that could address it. He added that it is hard to mandate that to anyone unless it is in an ordinance format. Mr. Harvey said that part of the purpose in doing this plan is to begin the process of future planning and trying to decide what is acceptable in a given area and to work with property owners. He said that while the concern is valid, he also thinks it would be an appropriate time to work with property owners to address that concern at the initial planning stages to make it easier. Chairman Pearce said that before we go too far, wouldn’t we need to identify where those curb cuts should be because we need to identify those districts at this point in time? Mr. Harvey stated that he recommended conducting a traffic study and a traffic control access study with the Department of Transportation which would involve working with the property owners in this study area that the Board designated as commercial to try to answer these questions. Mr. Harvey stated that he is only recommending this because at this point, the Board is at the preliminary stages of beginning to do a comprehensive plan of the US 25 North corridor. He said the purpose of this study is to identify the major issues and appropriate methods in order to address them. He said it is up to the Planning Board or the Board of Commissioners to accept the recommendations. Mr. Allison said that he would not support service roads, especially from Stoney Mountain Baptist Church (Baystone Drive) going towards Hendersonville as there are no problems. He added from that point further out US 25 North there is a small amount of development and there is a lot of residential already in place. Todd Thompson said that he feels it would be a burden on the property owner. Chairman Pearce said that the study suggests looking into access management and asked if they were saying that the Board shouldn’t even look into this? Mr. Allison said, “Not on that stretch of road.” He said that across from the fire station there is a subdivision of homes and they already have a limited access. Chairman Pearce said the purpose is to try to limit the amount of curb cuts on that particular spot. Mr. Allison said that some of them are commercial and there wouldn’t be much traffic. Chairman Pearce asked, “How do you know that?” Mr. Allison answered, “By the size of the lot.” Chairman Pearce said that some of the lots look like a pretty good size according to the map. Mr. Allison said that they are limited because they need sewer. Mr. Patterson said they are limited there without water and sewer system. Chairman Pearce suggested that there could be built a series of office buildings but access management means having only one access into a number of businesses. Mr. Harvey said that service roads are just one element with several different recommendations. He is not telling them that they are required to do it that way but is providing several options and one of them is developing service roads. Ms. Armstrong asked whether the Department of Transportation regulate the distance between curb cuts? Mr. Allison and Mr. Patterson said it regulates site distances. Mr. Harvey said that by law, if your property fronts on a road you have legal access and one of the recommendations in the document is that the County approach NCDOT to work together as to where curb cuts should be and address the issue of congestion. Mr. Allison said that on the portion where the road is already four lanes on US 25 North, the curb cuts already seem to be in. Mr. Harvey said yes, but you need to consider redevelopment and development of vacant property. You just don’t say that if the situation is here, we don’t correct it, as there are numerous ways to correct the problem. He said that the Board has the opportunity now to look forward and plan ahead for any future redevelopment in a given area to try to encourage shared access. Chairman Pearce explained that should they choose to use the existing means of access, they would have a right to continue using that access at all times and if they want to add multiple accesses to an existing piece of property, then we would have the right to look into it. Chairman Pearce said he would encourage the Board to consider and look at this access management program. Ms. Armstrong asked whether there would be a transportation element to the CCP? Chairman Pearce stated that there should be, but it would not have anything encompassing in it. Ms. Armstrong asked, “That would not overlap this in anyway? She said she was hearing floodplain, which is in the CCP and sewer and utilities availability, land use and zoning, which is all in the CCP. She feels that there is so much overlap.” Ms. Smith said that you have to take a countywide plan and boil it down to a very specific recommendation. This will be a lot more specific than the Comprehensive Plan. Chairman Pearce said because the Department of Transportation pushed the County forward in doing this plan when they set the date of the widening of the road done and then the rezoning application came in. Ms. Armstrong wanted an explanation as to how the US 25 North Study would fit with the CCP and the recommendations of the CCP. Chairman Pearce said that the Board of Commissioners has authorized both plans and explained that the Board needs to handle each one separately as the Board will be giving a recommendation on this one and one for the CCP. Ms. Smith stated that Staff is keeping in mind how they will meld together and how they will be implemented over a year or so. Chairman Pearce said that there is a third study involved as well, which is the Zoning Rewrite. Ms. Smith said that this project will occur after the US 25 North Study and the CCP. Mr. Patterson said that another problem we have is time constraints, as this study needs to be to the Commissioners in May and the CCP needs to be forwarded in June. He said he doesn’t feel that the Board will have the opportunity to thoroughly review the draft because of the need to review the draft of the CCP. Ms. Armstrong agreed. Chairman Pearce said that he feels that when the Board gets the final text, hopefully they will have plenty of time to look at it. Mr. Thompson added that he is not in favor of giving the County any more controls than what they have at present. He wanted to reiterate what he said at a prior meeting, “Are we going to give the same treatment to the small property owner as we would the property owner that owns 100 acres, with regard to these curb cuts?” Chairman Pearce said that Mr. Harvey is suggesting ways in this study to handle future traffic congestion and he is not saying where to do it, when to do or if we are going to do it because when a study like this is done you bring all the information that needs to be considered. Something like this should be considered, maybe not on every parcel, but it should be considered on some parcels. Mr. Harvey said that in the study they are giving specific recommendations but also several options because if the primary suggestions are disliked, they haven’t done their job to provide the County due diligence with all the options it may have at its disposal. Chairman Pearce said that those options require future study to ascertain if they are needed. Mr. Allison feels that having an opportunity for the Board to have time to look this document over and give its opinion, would make it less likely that there would be conflicts as the Planning Board would be able to present its opinions versus Mr. Harvey’s recommendations and this could give the Commissioners an option. Chairman Pearce said that he feels that it might be appropriate to at least put the recommendations in the order that the Planning Board agrees with. He said that the Planning Board has a situation that the County has hired a company to prepare a document and to make its recommendations as a study and that the Planning Board is to give its opinion of the study that it has prepared. Mr. Harvey said that what the Board will be getting from his company is its ultimate recommendation on how to handle growth and development on US 25 North and how the County implements that plan is the County’s business. He added that what recommendation the Board believes is the most appropriate is the Board’s business. He said it is not his job to tell the Board how to do this because he said that it is not his role. Mr. Harvey said that he has provided the Planning Board in this text his company’s recommendations; the Board will either strongly recommended one option over the other and if it chooses not to, then there are other options to consider. Chairman Pearce asked for clarification regarding the goal of the study and whether the Board is responsible for studying Mr. Harvey’s specific recommendations in detail before making a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. Ms. Smith said that an approach could be for the Board to send the study forward and say to the Commissioners that it understands that the Commissioners might need to send it back to the Planning Board for more detailed study. She feels that some of the items in this study are so big that they will have to be sent back for further study. Chairman Pearce said that for the Planning Board to give some approvals on specific zoning recommendations, the Board would need maps to delineate pieces of land. Chairman Pearce said that the Planning Board is open to making recommendations rather than direct statements and that the Board would look at more favorably if these were not policies but totally recommendations. Ms. Smith stated that she did not believe that the Planning Board should rewrite Mr. Harvey’s report. Mr. Harvey was hired to make his recommendations. Chairman Pearce said that the Planning Board could write their own document stating how it feels about Mr. Harvey’s recommendations. After some further discussion, Mr. Harvey explained a procedure that he has used in the past with other communities, but suggested to the Board that the goal tonight is say that it provides the Planning Board with enough options to study. He said that two months ago he supplied the Board with the outline of the policies that were going to be recommending and asked for specific comments on those. Chairman Pearce said that the Planning Board needs to clarify the goal and the Board needs to look at it from the standpoint of the way Mr. Harvey is presenting it with the agreement that he is going to add more maps. Chairman Pearce directed this question to the Board members, “Is this study clear enough to give an analysis by the end of May? Mr. Cooper stated that he feels it is. Mr. Thompson inquired whether Park Ridge Hospital was in the Howard Gap Road/Brookside Camp Road zoning study? Chairman Pearce said that the Board specifically excluded it from the study. Mr. Thompson said they wanted to remain in the Open Use District, didn’t they? Chairman Pearce said that at the time they did. Ms. Smith said that in this document it is proposed for them to be in the new institutional district. Mr. Thompson said that if they wanted to stay before in the Open Use District, they probably would want to now. Ms. Smith said they might want to consider the proposed zoning district. She added that Fletcher Academy attended one of the public input sessions and submitted a proposal for a district that would allow what they are doing and they are the bulk of that area. Chairman Pearce asked Board members whether they were happy with the way Mr. Harvey is preparing this document and is the information he has provided clear enough where the Board can understand what is being recommended? Most Board members said yes.
Mr. Harvey mentioned that he has enjoyed working with the Board, Staff and the community on this project. He said it started in December 2003 and January 2004 with the public input and surveys. He said that his goal is to present a report that is detailed enough for the Board to make some reasonable recommendations based on its knowledge specifically of the area. He said that specifically regarding the flood issue, some might not agree with the document’s assertion to adopt a flood ordinance, which should be the Board’s primary consideration. Some might not feel that there is one needed or that the property should be rezoned to where it cannot be redeveloped. This document is not meant to tell or force the Board into a specific course of action and that is the reason why they have come up with options. He also said that this study has tried to mitigate the creation of non-conformities, additional environmental problems and to provide the Board with a tool that will be essential to allow it to work the Staff to deal with development issues in the US 25 North corridor over the next few years. Chairman Pearce asked about how large is the acreage for this study? Mr. Harvey said that it is approximately 40,000 acres. Chairman Pearce said that it is roughly ten times bigger than the Howard Gap study and the Board received public input before it gave its recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. He added that it would be ridiculous for the Board of Commissioners to expect the Planning Board to make some specific recommendations on the proposed zoning recommendations for individual lots unless the Planning Board has more time for public input and study. Ms. Smith said that the Planning Board would need to break it into areas and prioritize them for study before it is rezoned. Chairman Pearce said that it is one thing to accept a study but another to approve it. The Board can approve the study in concept much easier than make recommendation on the study. Mr. Patterson asked would the recommendations of this study be based on approving some type of Flood Prevention Ordinance? Mr. Harvey yes, especially in the commercial and industrial section. Chairman Pearce directed Staff to notify the County Manager and the Board of Commissioners that the Planning Board will be looking at the US 25 North Study for acceptance only but is not in the position to make specific recommendations for implementation until the Board can study each individual area and hold hearings with the people that will be affected by it. Most members agreed to say that the Planning Board would acknowledge receipt of the study.
Subcommittee Assignments and Meeting Dates. There were no meetings scheduled at this time. Chairman Pearce reminded the Board members of the CCP meeting for Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 3 p.m.
Adjournment. There being no further business, Leon Allison made a motion to adjourn and
Vivian Armstrong seconded the motion. All members voted in favor. The meeting adjourned at
Tedd M. Pearce, Chairman Kathleen Scanlan, Secretary