Catawba Small Area Plan
Committee Meeting for October 14, 2003

Members present: Ricky Young, Lanny Hartsoe, Jeff Murray, J.V. Huffman Jr. (Chair), Charles Connor III, Jerry Setzer, and Margaret Garrison.

Members absent: Glenn Pattishall, Christopher Niver, Linda Moose, Dean McGinnis, and Trent Cloninger.

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 7:00 PM in the Claremont City Hall. The minutes from the September 9, 2003 meeting were approved.

Mr. Starr discussed the previously reviewed density map. He clarified that the railroad tracks was recommended to be the divider for the 2-acre lot density.

Ms. George followed up with the committee that the Environmental Health Department prefers a minimum of ¾ to 1-acre size lots when individual wells and septic systems are proposed. There is no State proposal for increasing lot sizes through Environmental Health.

The committee reviewed three residential density options for the area south of the railroad tracks. Map 5A showed densities of .5-acre lot sizes with public water and public sewer; .75-acre lot sizes with public water and a septic tank system and 1-acre lot sizes with an individual well and septic tank. Map 5B showed densities of .33-acre lot sizes with public water and public sewer; .5-acre lot sizes with public water and a septic tank system and 1-acre lot sizes with an individual well and septic tank. Map 5C was a combination of Map 5A and 5B. Upon discussing the options, the committee recommended Map 5A. They also recommended the ability to create cluster subdivisions to allow for open space of between 5%-15%, as the Board of Commissioners deems appropriate. Open space would consist of a strip along the road frontage as a buffer (approximately 30-feet), and internal useable and unusable lands. The committee did not want to see all of the open space requirements satisfied with only unusable lands, such as floodplains. Alternatively, the language for the open space requirement could read that the open space has to be accessible as opposed to the language of usable and unusable.

The committee discussed sidewalks within residential subdivisions and for connections to commercial districts. They felt that requiring open space allows the community (or developer) the ability to choose to construct a path within the open space; therefore, the committee did not recommend sidewalks in residential areas, but did recommend them in the area designated as mixed-use (the gray and pink areas around I-40 on Map 6). The committee also recommended:

  • More emphasis on residential uses than commercial uses as an option when mixed-use developments occur.
  • To not require curb and gutter or streetlights in residential developments.
  • Landscaping of commercial and mixed-use developments.
  • Allow live/work units in the neighborhood commercial nodes.
  • Parking preferred in rear of structures, but if it has to occur in the front, then break up the parking with landscaped islands.

The committee then moved on to discuss housing issues. Mr. Starr mentioned that there were no permits for singlewide or doublewide mobile homes issued by the County in the Catawba SAP area in 2002. As a comparison, he noted that thirty-two permits were issued for singlewide manufactured homes in 1996. The only residential zoning district in the Catawba SAP is R-2 and this district allows for either singlewide, doublewide mobile homes or stick-built homes. He noted that approximately 90% of the entire County is zoned R-2. The committee then discussed draft guiding principles. Mr. Starr mentioned that these principles were from other SAP's, which could be used as a guide or in their entirety. The committee recommended adopting the guiding principles as presented with the addition of:

  • To encourage traditional neighborhood design regarding rear entrances where feasible for duplexes or mixed-uses, but not for single-family uses.
  • Under multi-family add language "or are planned" after the statement "Development of multi-family housing should occur where appropriate infrastructure and services exist".
  • Under single-family add the statement "development of single-family housing should occur where appropriate infrastructure and services exist or are planned".

The next meeting will begin with a discussion of the location of duplex housing and continue with residential zoning. The special meeting was scheduled for October 21, 2003 at 7:00 PM at the Claremont City Hall.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.