Balls Creek Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
February 4, 2002 

Members present: Michael Isenhour, Stanley Stewart, Eddie Barringer, Jerry McCombs, Phillip Beard and Nancy Smyre.

Members absent: Vance Dalton, Robbie Bennett, Mike Rutledge, Paul Beatty (Planning Board liaison), Nancy Jo Teague, Eric Shook, Robert Crouch and Janice Morrow.

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

Other present: Barbara Beatty, County Commissioner.

Ms. George opened the meeting and indicated that Chairman Dalton was unable to attend the meeting.  The minutes from the January 7, 2002 meeting were approved.

Ms. George informed the Committee that a workshop on voluntary agricultural districts was being held on Tuesday, February 26 from 2:00-4:00 in the Second Floor Meeting Room of the Government Center.  She encouraged all to attend.

The Committee then began a discussion on open space requirements within residential subdivisions.  After a review of the other small area plan committee recommendations, Mr. Barringer recommended that 30% open space be required for all subdivisions.  In determining where the open space should be located, Mr. Barringer suggested that it be applied to the perimeter of the development and along the road frontage.  The Committee liked the concept and agreed to discuss it further at its March meeting when more of the Committee could be present.

Ms. George then addressed the issue of the current school capacity requirement and how their residential density areas would be impacted.  The Committee liked the idea of impact fees and wanted this addressed in their plan.  Statements such as: “pursue impact fees to address facility needs” and “evaluate additional growth control should impact fees note be implemented or growth pressures warrant” could be the language used.  Once again the Committee wanted additional input from other members before a decision was made.

The Committee reviewed their high density areas in light of the school capacity issue and made some minor amendments to reduce the high density area.  Without the full Committee in attendance, those present wanted to delay any further discussion until its March meeting.

Ms. George reviewed the housing trends in the Balls Creek district.  In 1999, the number of single-wide manufactured homes permitted dropped below those of stick-built homes.  This trend for singlewides lagged behind the county as a whole, which dropped in 1996.  The number of single-wide and doublewide homes permitted was about equal in 2002 which was different than the rest of the county where singlewides permitted were significantly lower than doublewide manufactured homes.

Ms. George also reviewed the residential zoning districts explaining the differences between R-1, R-2 and R-3.  From this, the Committee began reviewing and marking up a map for potential rezonings to R-1 and R-3.  The areas the Committee began identifying were:

1) Historical areas such as Balls Creek Campground along Balls Creek Road from Bandys Crossroad to Caldwell Road and around Murray’s Mill;

2) Protection of Anderson Mountain due to existing development patterns;

3) Preservation of existing stick-built neighborhoods in the Hwy. 10 area;

4) Preservation of Maiden Creek area; and 

5) East Maiden Road corridor due to scenic characteristics.

The Committee agreed to continue working on this issue at its next meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 4, 2002.  The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.