Mountain View Small Area Plan
Committee Meeting - March 19, 2001

The meeting began at 6:10 PM in the Mountain View Elementary School Media Center.

Members present: Debbie Pitts, Wade Scronce, Paul Fleetwood and Larry Johnson.

Members absent: Jeanette Ringley and Steve Von Drehle.

Members resigned: Donald McSwain and Carroll Lackey.

Staff present: Mike Dove and Rich Hoffman from the Catawba County Planning Department; Dee Blackwell and Susan Baumann, consultants from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG); and Tom Carr from the City of Hickory.

Ms. Pitts opened the meeting.  The minutes from the February 19, 2001 meeting were approved.

Mr. Dove: Updated the group and told them that up to now land uses have been discussed as well as identifying different land use areas on a map. The next step will be to consolidate the discussions topics and bring the committee a first draft along with a map showing land uses.

Committee Members: The impact of subdivision approval on school capacity was brought up.   Mr. Scronce asked if the committee could or should send notification to Hickory expressing their concerns about the lack of County school capacity regarding the recent annexation/subdivision plans for the River Road site. 

Mr. Dove: Responded that citizens always have the right to comment on public hearing items and that the committee might want to describe their concerns relative to the Small Area Plan draft.  He did not see any conflicts regarding individuals responding to Hickory.

Mr. Johnson: Cautioned the members against formalizing an objection to the River Road development due to lack of school capacity since this could set a precedence that the committee is using schools as the only guide for planning.  The committees’ goal is to look at all issues not just schools.

Mr. Dove: Regarding the River Road site; Although the schools in this area currently have capacity issues, the future planning of this area has been discussed for development at higher density.  This is evident by both the 321 Corridor Plan and the  Planning Committee discussion of this area developing at higher density. 

General Comments: It was noted that a development such as the River Road project could spur other developments. 

Mr. Carr: Updated the members on the specifics of the River Road project.  Proposed 220 units with a mix of town-homes and single-family units.  The Planning Board will hear the rezoning request and review the site plan next Wednesday March 28, 2001 at 7:00 PM.  The City Council will hear the request on April 17, 2001. 

Mr. Blackwell: Discussed a handout for the Mountain View Study Area.  Items noted on the handout include:

1)         2000 population – 10,142.

2)         Total acreage – 21,496.06 (including r/w).

3)         The high-density area designated by the committee accounts for 9,547.65 acres.

4)         The low-density area designated by the committee accounts for 10,198.17 acres.

5)         Vacant residential acreage in the high-density area = 4,026.12 acres.

6)         Vacant residential acreage in the low-density area = 4,638.41.

7)         Total vacant acreage in both high and low-density areas = 11,627.31.  When this is compared to the overall acreage in the study area, only a little more than 50% of the area is currently developed.  That leaves almost 50% of the land that is vacant in Mountain View available for development.  This is an estimate percentage and doesn’t account for acreage that is unable to be developed due to topography constraints, etc.

8)         The population increase in the area based upon 2 units/acre density (an example of high density) = 27,243.

9)         The population increase in the area based upon 2.5 units/acre density (an example of high density) = 34,056. 

10)       The population increase in the area based upon 1 unit/2 acres (low density) = 8,304.

11)       Based upon the projected population increases the number of needed student spaces can be estimated to be between 9,430 and 11,788 for the high-density area and 2,875 for the low-density area.

12)       Population projections could create an additional 104,780 to 130,980 trips/day for the high-density area and an additional 31,940 trip/day for the low-density area.

General Comments: Having this type of data allows the ability to plan the needed services.  

Mr. Carr: Mentioned that the population densities shown in the calculation are similar to what the City of Hickory currently has.  The City has more commercial and industrial land and that is why you will see more density in residential areas in the City, but overall based upon the total acreage and population projections the density is similar.

Mr. Blackwell: There is much desirable land in this area for developments.  Being close to Hickory will attract developers who need utilities.

Mr. Dove: As growth pressures continue so will the demand for commercial uses.

Mr. Blackwell: Told the committee that now is a key time to designate areas to preserve.  He also mentioned that the old school site was purchased by Catawba Memorial Hospital and there are plans for an emergency care facility and assisted living center on the site.

Committee Members: A discussion arose regarding the impacts of low-density development on property owners.

A general discussion about the benefits derived from the County sharing sites for multiple public uses.  I.e., creating a public use library, school, EMS unit, and public recreation facility all on one site or nearby.

Mr. Fleetwood: Suggested identifying future school site now based upon projected growth.

The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.