Catawba Small Area Plan
Committee Meeting for June 10, 2003 
Members present:  J.V. Huffman Jr. (Chair), Lanny Hartsoe, Dean McGinnis, Trent Cloninger, Ricky Young and Jerry Setzer.

Members absent: Glenn Pattishall, Todd Clark, Margaret Garrison, Christopher Niver, Linda Moose, Charles Connor III and Jeff Murray.

Staff present: Jacky Eubanks, Mary George, Connie Killian and Rich Hoffman from the Catawba County Planning Department; Anthony Starr and John Kenny, consultants from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG).

Chair J.V. Huffman called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM in the Claremont City Hall.  The minutes from the May 13, 2003 meeting were approved.

Mr. Kenny discussed the results from the Community Meeting.  Even though there were only 11 citizens in attendance, it was a good showing considering the size of the SAP.  The main issues identified by those in attendance were public services, roads, schools, recreation and elderly issues.

The committee discussed the recommended Transportation Guiding Principles.  They agreed to add the following:
1)  Create more open lines of communication with the NCDOT.
2)   Provide better connector roads inside the SAP.  

Ms. George mentioned that NCDOT is in the process of creating a third district in Division 12 that will include only Catawba and Lincoln Counties.  The new district office, if it is approved in the State budget, will be located in Hickory. Currently Catawba is grouped within a three county district and neither a district nor division office is located in Catawba County.  The new district should aid in representation for Catawba County issues.

Mr. Starr reviewed a Transportation base map on display.  The map showed proposed bike routes (sign identification, not bike lanes which are roads with extra pavement width), traffic counts, and existing and proposed thoroughfares.

The Committee then began developing its specific transportation recommendations: 

  1. Improve the intersection at Hwy 10 and Bethany Church Road with a turn lane and turn signal.
  2. Improve the intersection at Hwy 10 and Mt. Olive Church Road with a turn lane and turn signal.
  3. Improve the curve at Bethany Church Road near the Boggs Road intersection with possibly  a warning light.
  4. Improve the signalization at the intersection of Hwy 10 and Boggs Road.
  5. Replace the caution light with a stop light at the intersection of Hwy 10 and Hwy 70.
  6. Connect B&B with Hewitt Road for a north/south connection.
  7. Widen the bridge on Boggs Road.
Ms. George informed the committee that the property in the St. Stephens/Oxford SAP north of I-40 has been proposed to be industrial.  

Mr. McGinnis noted that Claremont is discussing the industrial potential for the property south of I-40 adjacent to the parcels mentioned by Ms. George.  Currently sewer is not available. 

    Discussion of the transportation recommendations continued:
  1. Create a greenway from the I-40 Rest Area to the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge.
  2. Construct a service road running east/west, paralleling the south side of I-40, from Stagecoach Road to Centennial Boulevard. This will preserve the rural character of the land abutting I-40 but still allow land to develop. 
  3. Add additional pavement on Boggs Road to accommodate bikes.
  4. Add additional pavement on Emmanuel Church Road from Stonehaven Mobile Home Park south to Hwy 10 to accommodate bikes.
  5. Make improvements to the bridge over Lyle Creek on Bethany Church Road.
  6. Improve the curve on Bethany Church Road at the Cloninger house.
  7. Improve the curve at Oxford School Road at the first curve south of I-40.
  8. Remove the bike route designation on Boggs Road until the road is widened.
  9. Pursue a Scenic Byway designation from Oxford School Road to Catawba’s ETJ.

Ms. George asked the committee if they wanted to consider sidewalk requirements.  She noted that other SAP’s have addressed this and have varying recommendations.  Ideas include sidewalks along the subdivision’s road frontage when on major thoroughfares and on one side of the main entrance road within the subdivision.  The committee did not have any defining recommendations regarding sidewalks at this time.  Mr. McGinnis cautioned building sidewalks too close to existing road pavement.  This can cause needless construction repairs to sidewalks when roads are widened.  Other committee members cautioned that homeowners would ultimately pay for the cost of sidewalks.  

The committee then discussed driveway standards for collector roads.  These standards would be similar to the Sherrills Ford and Balls Creek SAPs where a driveway would at least 12 feet wide for the first 20 feet of length with a 3-foot turn radii.  Roads identified were:  
1) Bethany Church Road.
2) Hwy. 10.
3) Hwy. 70.
4) Old Catawba Road.
5) Emmanuel Church Road.
Gateway locations were then discussed.  Ideas included creating locations at:
1)  Hwy 10 and Mt. Olive Church Road intersection.
2)  I-40 and Oxford School Road area.
3)  Hwy 70 between Catawba and Claremont near the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge.

A suggestion was also made to create a “Welcome to Historic Catawba County” display at the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge location.  Other suggestions included trying to secure a TEA-21 grant for the greenway connecting the I-40 Rest Area and Bunker Hill Covered Bridge site, and grants for a greenway connection along Lyle Creek from the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge site to the Town of Catawba’s City Park and then on to the Catawba River. 

Other suggested Transportation recommendations included:

  1. Address public transportation for the elderly which was a concern that resulted from the community input meeting.
  2. Complete the loop from Centennial Boulevard to Old Catawba Road and continue to Cinderella Lane and Boggs Road.  This loop will alleviate traffic congestion through Claremont.
  3. Look at the possibility of light rail along the new existing east/west passenger rail line   as a long-term recommendation.
Speed limit reductions were discussed but no recommendations were made at this time. 

The next meeting will focus on land use.  This meeting is scheduled for July 8th at 7:00 PM at Claremont City Hall.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.