Balls Creek Small Area Planning Committee Meeting
January 7, 2002


Members present: Vance Dalton (chairman), Michael Isenhour, Stanley Stewart, Eddie Barringer, Jerry McCombs, Phillip Beard, Nancy Jo Teague, Eric Shook and Robert Crouch.

Members absent: Robbie Bennett, Mike Rutledge, Paul Beatty (Planning Board liaison), Nancy Smyre, and Janice Morrow.

Staff present: Mary George and Rich Hoffman from the Catawba County Planning Department; John Kenny, consultant from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG).

Other present: Frank Huffman

Mr. Dalton: Opened the meeting.  The minutes from the December 3, 2001 meeting were approved.

Ms. George: Displayed an updated map showing proposed low and high density residential districts, rural commercial districts (E. Maiden and Bandy’s by the High School), neighborhood commercial (at Highway 10 and Highway 16 intersection nodes) and the village concept district near the Abernethy Center (to include design standards).  

Office-Institutional (O/I) uses were brought up.  Ms. George mentioned that some people view O/I uses differently from commercial uses.  These uses can create good buffers separating commercial from residential zoning districts.  The committee agreed that an O/I district should be recommended in the village area.  Also that O/I uses should be allowed in neighborhood and rural  commercial districts.  

Ms. George: Brought up industrial uses and noted that public water and sewer would most likely be required.  The committee did not recommend any additional areas be zoned for industrial uses.  Industrial uses would then be allowed in the cities and on property currently zoned E-1 and E-2 in the County, which is located in the Hwy. 321 area.

Ms. George: Discussed the 2-acre zoning matrix.  Without public water and school capacity, subdivisions are required to adhere to a 1 lot per 2-acre minimum density.  If public water and school capacity is available, then the minimum lot size can be +1 acre.  If public water, public sewer and school capacity are available, then minimum lot size can be less than one acre.  The matrix further allows lot sizes to be as small as 7,000 square feet.  She informed the committee that one of the goals of the Small Area Planning process was to revisit the zoning matrix and the residential densities.  Other Small Area Planning Committees are recommending to the Board of Commissioners to release school capacity for specific densities within their districts.  The committee did not feel that they wanted to deviate from what was already in place.  They felt that unless school capacity or funding, such as a school bond, is available that the residential density should be one lot per two acres.  Their recommended high density would then only apply where school capacity is available or if funding is approved. 

Committee: Made a statement that public water should be expanded throughout the County.  

Ms. George: Discussed clustering as an option for subdivision development.  Clustering allows individual lot sizes to be decreased, yet an overall predetermined density on the parcel is maintained.  The result is a designated portion of the parcel remains as permanent open-space.  Clustering can reduce infrastructure costs as well.  The committee felt that clustering should remain an option and that it should not be mandatory.

Ms. George: Discussed the different residential zoning classification in the County to include R-1, R-2, and R-3.  R-1 allows for site-built homes only, R-2 allows for single and double-wide mobile homes and site-built homes, and R-3 allows for double-wide mobile homes and site-built homes.    

Mr. Kenny: Explained that staff from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments conducted a windshield survey of the area and counted 529 single-wide mobile homes and 485 double-wide mobile homes.  From a review of the building permit data for the past five years there were 1058 single-wide and double-wide permits issued in census tracts 113, 114 and 116.  He cautioned the use of this data since the three mentioned census tracts do not directly overlay the Balls Creek Small Area Planning district.   

The committee will continue discussing residential issues at their next meeting.  

The next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2002.  The meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM.