Balls Creek Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
December 3, 2001

Members present: Vance Dalton (chairman), Robbie Bennett, Michael Isenhour, Phillip Beard, Eddie Barringer, Eric Shook and Jerry McCombs.

Members absent: Stanley Stewart, Robert Crouch, Mike Rutledge, Paul Beatty (Planning Board liaison), Nancy Smyre, Janice Morrow and Nancy Jo Teague.

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

Mr. Dalton: Opened the meeting.  The minutes from the November 5, 2001 meeting were approved.

Ms. George: Displayed a map showing what land use issues have been discussed thus far by the committee.  Areas for high-density (3/4-acre lot minimum) and low density (1-acre lot minimum) were shown.  The map also included existing public water lines, which were prevalent in the northern section and locations where public sewer could be constructed by the City of Newton, which was shown in the proposed low-density designation. 

Committee: Discussed and agreed to extend the high-density area to the other side of Highway 16 due to the potential for this area to be served by public sewer extension.  It was also agreed that when the road is shown as a boundary for the density designation that, if development occurs on the other side of the road, the parcel fronting on the road would conform to the lower density. 

Commercial activity was discussed along Highway 16.  The committee thought that specific commercial “nodes” or “clusters” should be recommended as opposed to the entire Highway 16 corridor.  

Ms. George: Other land uses to be discussed include non-residential areas and multi-family (to include town houses, patio homes and apartments).  Multi-family uses would require both public water and pubic sewer.  This could provide affordable housing opportunities as well as options for retirement-aged persons or other smaller families.  

Committee: If areas are developed as retirement communities they would not over burden existing schools, but high-density development could create more traffic issues.  An area surrounded by Highway 16, Bethany Church and Mt. Olive Church Roads was discussed as a boundary for possible high-density.  As the committee discussed multi-family land use they wanted to include design criteria to address aesthetics with a 30-foot landscaped buffers along the road frontage (existing vegetation to remain if adequate), regulating driveway access (one driveway per development with internal access for all lots), signage (limited road signage monument style non-lighted with height limits), sidewalks (along main internal road), a certain percentage mixture of homes types (1/3 per type was discussed), minimum open-space requirement of 3-5% or 10,000 square feet, whichever is greater, to include passive or active recreation areas (excluding required buffering along State road), divided entrance road landscaping, street lighting along main interior road (with maximum height requirement), and street trees to line main interior road.

The committee limited their discussion of potential multi-family uses to areas around the Abernethy Center.  The thought was that this is where this type of use has already been established.  Multi-family could also be a village type area (mixed commercial and residential uses).  

Committee: Commercial uses were discussed.  Currently there are a few concentrated commercial areas (currently zoned C-2) including Anderson Mountain Road, Bandys Cross Roads, Olivers Cross Roads, and Hwy. 16 at major crossroads.  Ideas for commercial zoning include:
(1) – Rural Commercial (to include up to 20 acres at intersections.  Typically this could include mom and pop type stores.  
(2) – Neighborhood Commercial (to include 20-30 acre areas at intersections.  
(3) – Regional Commercial (larger commercial areas providing more varied uses for a region beyond a small area plan).                    

The committee identified the following as potential for Rural Commercial:  
- Intersection of Buffalo Shoals & E. Maiden.
- Intersection of Buffalo Shoals & E. Bandys Cross Roads.

The committee identified the following as potential for Neighborhood Commercial:  
- Intersection of Bethany Church & Highway 16. 
- Intersection of Balls Creek & Highway 16.
- Intersection of Buffalo Shoals & Highway 16.
- Intersection of Bethany Church & Highway 10.
- Intersection of Balls Creek & Highway 10.

The committee agreed that they would not designate a regional commercial area because of the proximity of this designation being recommended by the Sherrills Ford committee at the Hwy. 150/16 intersection.  

The committee will continue discussing office and institutional land uses at the next meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2002.  The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.