Mountain View Small Area Plan
Committee Meeting for February 19, 2001

The eleventh meeting of the Mountain View Small Area Planning Committee began at 6:10 PM in the Mountain View Elementary School Media Center.

Members present: Jeanette Ringley, Debbie Pitts, Steve Von Drehle, Wade Scronce, Paul Fleetwood and Larry Johnson.

Members absent: Donald McSwain and Carroll Lackey.

Staff present: Mike Dove, Mary George 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 January 22, 2001 meeting were approved.

Mr. Dove began a discussion on land use. A map of previously discussed transportation and land use recommendations was on display. Mr. Dove told the committee that as they agree on land uses, staff would then produce maps for their review.

Ms. George discussed the map showing their transportation and land use recommendations. It showed road improvements for the intersections of: Advents Crossroads; Hwy 127 and Bethel Church; Zion Church and Bethel Church; Hwy. 10 and Zion Church Road; and Hwy. 10 at Blackburn Elementary School. Also shown was the Southern Corridor, which would be a 4-lane divided median roadway with additional asphalt for pedestrian/bike access. Also displayed was a commercial overlay district for Hwy 127. Greenways areas were displayed which include the Henry Fork and Jacobs Fork Rivers and preservation of environmental features along floodways. A rural conservation area was displayed along Old Shelby Road near Burke County. An area for higher density residential was located north of Mtn. Grove Road to Hwy 127 and north of Huffman Farm/Pittstown Roads.

Ms. George handed out a sheet which shows subdivision density for six subdivisions in the Mountain View area. The density ranged from .63 lots per acre to 2.59 lots per acre. This information was contrasted with the Hickory by Choice (HBC) Plan, which allows higher density. HBC allows six units per acre in the highest density areas (where Woodridge Subdivision is located). Woodridge was the densest of the six subdivisions with 2.59 units per acre. The committee was in agreement that the area closest to Hickory, where there is public water and sewer, is where the higher density developments should be located. They also included the area east of Hwy. 321 and west of Old Shelby Road to be in the high density area.

The southern portion of Mountain View is in a watershed protection area, which will dictate lower density subdivisions. Baker's Mountain is located in a portion of the northern area and it was agreed that the Mountain would be protected from dense developments.

Mr. Blackwell noted that the northern area has the potential of being annexed by Hickory (depending on utilities) and if so then they will determine density in this area.

Ms. George mentioned that in a watershed area, individual lot sizes could be reduced as long as the overall density is adhered to.

Mr. Blackwell mentioned that the major road intersections near the City of Hickory are where higher density residential, such as multi-family, will develop.

The issue to decide is what level of density would the committee recommend in the northern portion of the area as well as the density towards the eastern boundary. Staff noted that once you determine the density allowable, then you can plan for the needed services.

Ms. George informed the committee about a rezoning request proposing high density housing along River Road. This request was made to the City of Hickory that, if approved, would require annexation into the City in order to receive public water and sewer.

Mr. Von Drehle asked if the City of Hickory was under the same school capacity issues when subdivision requests are reviewed. Mr. Carr answered that the City was not required to consider school capacity regarding subdivision requests. The City's subdivision regulations do not require that school capacity be a factor. He noted to the committee that it is important to first determine your land use plan and then you can determine needed services to accommodate growth to include schools.

The committee generally agreed that between 2 and 2.5 units per acre was an acceptable density level to adhere to in the northern portion of the area and outside of the watershed. This would be considered the high-density area.

Mr. Blackwell noted that by determining the density of development in an area this would allow a model to be created which will predict the needed services, including schools.

The area south of the high-density (northern) area was discussed. This would be noted as rural character. There are public water lines run to the schools, which extend to the southern portion of Mountain View.

Mr. Dove noted that in this area is the Highway 127 corridor along with Baker's Mountain so they could envision a few different land use densities.

Ms. George handed out a diagram, which shows a cluster design subdivision. This design allows the lot sizes to be decreased, yet an overall predetermined density on the parcel is maintained. The result is a designated portion of the parcel remains as permanent open-space. Clustering can reduce infrastructure costs as well.

The committee agreed that this rural area should adhere to 1 unit per 2 acres and that clustering should be required.

The intersection of Hwy 10 and Hwy 127 was discussed as a commercial corridor. The existing land use is commercial, industrial and office institutional. A village center idea was discussed as an option for this area. The idea of limiting the retail floor space for developments could be an option so as to discourage large-scale retail operations. The committee discussed grandfathering existing uses and structures and creating a village center ¼ mile in radius to include neighborhood commercial uses such as a grocery store, drug store and services. No residential component would be included.

The committee also discussed the intersection of Advents Crossroads. The village center idea made sense here as well.

The River Road interchange was then discussed. It was agreed that higher intensity commercial with an industrial component and higher density multi-family could work here. This would be a higher density village concept.

Another agreed upon issue was to not allow more commercial activity on Hwy 127 so as to prevent more road stripping.

Mr. Carr mentioned that the Town of Brookford could create commercial opportunities for developers.

Mr. Dove discussed the rural conservation areas (outside of Baker's Mountain). These are areas that were originally discussed as part of the Strategic Growth Plan. It was agreed by the committee that this area should be left at a 1 lot per 2-acre density with clustering and that no water/sewer extensions should be made to the area.

Both Mr. Dove and Mr. Carr introduced a recreation/open space discussion. A connection between the County's future Baker's Mountain Park and the City's Henry Fork River Park was discussed. This is an idea that is in the preliminary discussion phase. The Henry Fork River poses a natural barrier to the connectivity of the parks but alternatives such as using Old Shelby Road could be explored. This greenway connection is estimated to be about 10 miles. Mr. Dove noted to the committee that if the Mountain View Small Area Planning Committee and Hickory by Choice both adopt a greenway corridor, then it would be easier to obtain grants for the improvements.

It was noted that the old Mtn. View Elementary school property is now owned by the County and could be discussed as a recreation opportunity.

The next meeting will take place on March 19, 2001.

The meeting adjourned at 8:02 PM