Balls Creek Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
June 3, 2002 

Members present: Vance Dalton (chairman), Jerry McCombs, Nancy Smyre, Robert Couch, Eddie Barringer, and Nancy Jo Teague. 

Members absent: Eric Shook, Phillip Beard, Stanley Stewart, Mike Rutledge, Paul Beatty (Planning Board liaison), Janice Morrow, Robbie Bennett, and Michael Isenhour.

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

Other present: Dillon Couch

Mr. Dalton: Called the meeting to order at 6:40 PM.  The minutes from the May 6, 2002 meeting will be available at the next scheduled meeting.
Mr. Kenny: Reviewed the draft plan.  He noted amendments under the natural resources section for the Lake Norman watershed and added language regarding Anderson Mountain to develop a special use permit review for clearing lots on the mountain.  

Mr. Witherspoon: Discussed the Mountain View Small Area Plan recommendations regarding Baker’s Mountain.  The south side of Anderson Mountain is similar in grade to Baker’s Mountain, which allows for similar development discussions.  Having uniform recommendations due to the similar topography will make sense when plans are presented to the Boards.  

Ms. George: Discussed the rationale that Mountain View SAP came up with regarding the minimum 5-acre lot size above the 1,100 foot elevation.  Basically, it allows some development and retains the integrity of the view of the mountain.  The topography and soil types present conditions that are not ideal for development.  According to the County Environmental Health Department, slopes above 30% require more expensive septic systems.  Also the thinner soils on the rocky slopes allow less absorption of the septage.  Ms. George drew a line on a map showing the 1,100-foot elevation contour.  The committee felt that this represented a logical transition where the grade increased significantly.  The committee recommended that the lot sizes above the 1,100-foot elevation would be a minimum of 5-acres and individual lot clearing would be subject to a special use permit.  

Other changes to the Natural Resources section included:
1) “Encourage tree preservation in subdivisions” as opposed to “require tree preservation in subdivisions”.            
2) Change “pursue” to “consider” on page 33 under TDR.

The committee then discussed the Community Facilities and Public Services section.  On page 27 under Guiding Principles they recommended putting the two Balls Creek school statements under the Plan Recommendations.  Public water lines were then discussed.  The committee agreed to recommend extending lines down Buffalo Shoals Road south to Hwy 16 back to Balls Creek Road north.  This will create a looped line and will serve the two neighborhood commercial nodes.  As a general statement, the committee recommended that waterlines be extended only within the high density areas; however, extension of lines to other areas could be done based on water quality and quantity issues.  

The committee also wanted to recommend releasing school capacity in the high-density areas and to recommend to the school board to use the plan’s recommended density maps when approving new school locations.

Other items that the committee wanted to include in the report included:

1) A need for more sheriff coverage in the area.
2) A need for an EMS base in the area, especially in close proximity to the schools.
3) A need for a community park facility in the area.
4) A desire for a post office in their community.

No changes were made to the Cultural and Economic Development sections.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.  The next meeting is scheduled for August 5th at 6:30 PM at the St. James Lutheran Church.  At this meeting, the committee will review the draft plan in its entirety.