Catawba Small Area Plan
Committee Meeting for September 9, 2003

Members present: J. V. Huffman, Jr. (Chair), Lanny Hartsoe, Dean McGinnis, Margaret Garrison, Ricky Young, Jerry Setzer and Trent Cloninger

Members absent: Charles Conner, Todd Clark, Jeff Murray, Christopher Niver, Linda Moose and Glenn Pattishall.

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

Chair Huffman called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm in the Claremont City Hall Council Room. The minutes were approved as submitted and presented.

Mr. Anthony Starr reviewed Map #6, with the Committee, which showed the Future Land Use designations that were discussed and recommended by this Committee at the August 12th meeting. They included: 1) Neighborhood Commercial Designations for the intersections of Hwy. 10 and Balls Creek Road, Hwy. 10 and Bethany Church Road, Hwy. 10 and Mt. Olive Church Road, and Old Catawba Road and B & B Road; 2) Community Center designation for the area around Oxford School Road & I-40 interchange; and 3) Business/Light Industrial Park designation for the area along the south side of I-40. This should be coordinated with the Town of Catawba and the City of Claremont concerning the development of the proposed Business/Light Industrial Park. He reminded the Committee that the remaining area within this Plan would be residential by default.

He stated that the next item to be discussed was Map #5 which was the proposed residential density districts for this area. He pointed out on this map what the adjoining small area plans had specified for their residential densities (lot sizes).

Mr. Starr reminded the Committee to look at existing patterns and what they wanted to happen in this area to help them form their suggestions.

The question was asked about what the lot size requirements were in Catawba and in Claremont. Mr. Starr stated that Catawba's lot sizes are tied to water and sewer and if both are provided, there are no minimum size requirements. If only one utility is provided, then 20,000 sq.ft. lots would be required.

Mr. McGinnis stated that Claremont's lot sizes if water or sewer wasn't provided, must be 20,000 sq.ft.. If the lots are located in the city limits, then they must have water and sewer and they could go much smaller with no specific size required. He stated that with future subdivisions there will be a mixture of lot sizes allowed within subdivisions and most of them will be smaller size lots.

It was discussed as to how large a lot needed to be for a well, a septic tank and drain fields, etc. to support all these amenities and a dwelling. Everything from one-half acre to one and one-half acres were discussed by those present. It was stated that you are required to have a 100% repair area for septic systems on each lot.

Ms. Garrison stated her neighbors would like to see at least one-acre lots, but personally she would like to see two-acre lots along Hwy. 70, because she would like to keep this area rural. She suggested starting at the Bridgewood Subdivision and continuing to Connor Park with the two-acre lots. She felt that this would serve as a buffer for the commercial area that would be around I-40.

Mr. Starr reminded the Committee that it should keep in mind that there are two considerations when deciding lot density: existing development patterns and future desires based on community input.

The question was asked if portions of the small area plan were to be annexed by the town/city, would their regulations supercede what is recommended in this plan. Mr. Starr answered that the town or city regulations would take precedence once the annexation took place.

Mr. McGinnis stated that he felt that Catawba would be looking at annexing areas up to I-40 and along Hwy. 10, and the area south of the City, while Claremont will possibly annex directly north to the Interstate and south of the city. From an annexation point of view, the Hwy. 70 area is not appealing for the towns, he stated.

The question was asked how Sherrills Ford was able to designate so many 2-acre lots in their area. Ms. George answered that they based this on the community's sentiment of keeping this area rural. They did recommend 0.75-acre lots along the lake as these lots are so expensive and one-half acre lots along Sherrills Ford Rd. where there is public water.

It was the consensus of the group that 2-acre lots be required north of the railroad to I-40 between Wike Rd. and Claremont's ETJ near Bridgewood Subdivision. The area east of Wike Road 1-acre lots would be required since water and sewer will be available.

Concerning the remaining area of the district, there was a large amount of discussion whether water or sewer would be serving these areas and whether this should determine the size of lots proposed.

Mr. McGinnis recommended the following lot sizes: one-third acre if both water and sewer were available; one-half acre if only one utility was available; and one-acre if no utilities were available. He stated he recommended this split because he felt it would help avoid piece-meal annexations.

Other suggestions from the Committee members included one-half acre lots for those having water and sewer; three-quarter acre lots for those having one utility; and one-acre lot for those having no utilities.

Mr. Starr summarized that the options are one-third acre if both utilities; one-half acre if one utility, and one acre if no utilities; and the other option is one-half acre if both water and sewer, three-quarter acre if one utility, and one acre if no utilities. A consensus could not be reached concerning the starting point of the size of the lot. Because there were several Committee members missing, it was the consensus that the options be included in the memo so that the members absent would be able to review before the next meeting and the final decision would be made at the next meeting. A suggestion was made that Hewitt Creek be the border for the density where the northern side would be one-half, three-quarter, and one-acre designations and the remaining area would be one-third, one-half, and one-acre designations.

Mr. Starr informed the Board that he will prepare three maps showing each option as discussed earlier so the Board can review and decide upon their final recommendation at the next meeting. At the next meeting land use in general will also be discussed including cluster subdivisions, buffering, signs for commercial areas, etc.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 14th at 7:00 pm at Claremont City Hall.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.