Mountain View Small Area Plan Committee
March 16, 2000 meeting

The first meeting of the Mountain View Small Area Plan Committee began at approximately 7:00 PM in the Mountain View Elementary School Media Center. Members present: Debbie Pitts, Jeanette Ringley, Larry Johnson, Steve Von Drehle, Wade Scronce, Linda Stugill, and Carroll Lackey. Members absent: Paul Fleetwood and Donald McSwain.

Staff present; Mary George and Rich Hoffman from Catawba County Planning, John Tippett and Dee Blackwell, consultants from Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

Ms. George welcomed those present and thanked all for attending. She introduced herself as the County Planner for the past 12 years. She emphasized that she is here to assist the committee through the planning process.

Introductions were made by all present:

Ms. Jeanette Ringley said she lived in the Mountain View area for 26 years and worked at Peoples Bank in Newton.

Ms. Linda Stugill said she has lived in the area for 4 years and is an interior designer.

Chairperson Ms. Debbie Pitts said she has lived in Mountain View most of her life.

Mr. Carroll Lackey said he has lived here all his life and works for Sprint.

Mr. Steve Von Drehle said he has lived here since 1981 and is on the Catawba County Planning Board and is the liaison for the small area planning committee to the Planning Board.

Mr. Wade Scronce said he is an insurance and investment professional and has lived here 1 year.

Mr. Larry Johnson said he is the Planning Director for the Town of Valdese and has lived in Mountain View area for 16 years.

Mr. John Tippett and Dee Blackwell introduced themselves as residents in the area and as Western Piedmont Council of Government employees.

Mr. Rich Hoffman introduced himself as an Assistant County Planner for the past year and a half.

Ms. George discussed the Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) that was accepted by the County Board of Commissioners (BOC) and briefly discussed the 2 acre lot minimums as a transition into the Small Area Plans (SAPs)… realizing that the SAPs will further refine planning in the specific areas and address individual SAP needs. The SAP was a goal of the SGP. A goal of the committee members is to get feedback from others in the community. Staff can supply information to the committee, but this is an opportunity for the committee to address the issues that affect Mountain View and to bring these issues to the Planning Board and ultimately to the BOC.

Mr. Blackwell discussed future meeting schedules. The committee members agreed that they will meet on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00 PM at the Mountain View Elementary School Media Center. They agreed that there might be times when more than one meeting could occur in a month and also mentioned that the 3rd Monday meeting could be changed depending on schedules.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 17th at 7:00 PM at the Mountain View Elementary School Media Center.

Ms. George brought up key target dates for the committee with early May, 2000 as the goal for the committee to discuss input from the community meetings. Also the December 2000 / January 2001 date as the Mountain View Small Area Plan Committee presentation of goals to the BOC.

Concerns were brought up from the committee regarding the BOC reactions to the SAP committee recommendations. The committee was concerned that the BOC would reject their input. Ms. George emphasized that the SAP goals will represent what the wishes are of Mountain View residents and this should be well received by the BOC, although it could be possible that the BOC ask for certain issues to be revisited by the SAP committee.

Mr. Von Drehle mentioned that the Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) outlines the major focus of the planning effort as well.

Ms. George discussed the SGP (and handed out 2 reports):

  1. Current Conditions Report: outlines statistics, demographics, County services, etc.
  2. SGP: created revisions to the Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances.
Ms. George then discussed the Hwy. 321 Corridor Study Report and handed out copies to committee members. The report focuses on the Hwy. 321 corridor and ways to create and maintain higher development standards for commercial and industrial lands in the corridor. It also discusses ways to reserve areas to remain other than residential. She then asked for member input as to what some of their issues in Mountain View are.

Mr. Von Drehle brought up heavy machinery operations in areas of Hwy. 127. He would like to limit these types of facilities with zoning controls. Also cell towers were brought up.

Mr. Johnson brought up signage controls, preserving appearance of Baker's Mountain (to not become over burdened with residences), and a discussion regarding types of housing (stick-built versus manufactured homes). Mr. Johnson brought up possibilities of proposing more limits on certain types of housing and brought up issues of increasing density (multi-family).

Mr. Scronce brought up a discussion of the Hwy. 321 corridor and the reservation of commercial land. Ms. George responded to the areas of ED-I and ED-MX as overlay districts for industrial and commercial zoning in the 321 corridor.

Mr. Tippett then discussed areas in the Hwy. 321 corridor which already have right-of-way reserved for future road widening and interchanges, but currently there is no money appropriated. Mr. Tippett also discussed heavy traffic on existing roads in the area.

A discussion arose regarding spot zoning of certain areas around Hwy. 321. It was emphasized by Ms. George, Mr. Blackwell and Mr. Johnson that what is considered spot zoning is a legal determination. The courts have seen small parcels (approximately 2 acres) as well as 40-acre sites as spot zoning. Mr. Blackwell told the committee that when municipalities propose annexation, they are not looking to annex residential land. They are after the commercial and industrial tax base. Mr. Blackwell also brought up lighting on the interchanges as a potential issue to discuss.

Mr. Johnson brought up a discussion of potential overlay areas for multi-family opportunities as a way to create affordable housing.

Ms. Ringley brought up a discussion regarding opportunities for retirement aged housing communities.

Mr. Blackwell then discussed demographics stating that Mountain View is not an “island”. The Committee needs to look at Mountain View as part of an entire region and especially how it is contiguous to other small area planning areas. Mr. Blackwell then discussed several demographics.

He stated that there is a net in-migration of people as a result of new jobs. Without the jobs the population will decrease. Catawba County is the economic engine for the entire four county area. The jobs are here in Catawba County. The County also has an aging population. Mobile home permits between 1995-1999 have decreased and stick-built homes have increased. This is due to both economic prosperity and according to John Tippett, possibly more restrictive zoning regulations.

Mr. Blackwell then stated when the Committee discusses Mountain View that they are focusing on census tracts 111 and 118. The census tract is an area of designation known by all who produce demographics.

Mr. Tippett brought up a discussion about traffic counts on Hwy. 127. The Council of Governments has been counting cars and people in them on Hwy. 127 since 1985. The results are that traffic going north on Hwy. 127 currently is at more than 20,000 vehicles per day. That's almost equivalent to traffic on Hwy. 321 and other 4 lane roads in the area. Traffic usually doubles every 20 years in urban areas, but in the Hwy. 321 area traffic has doubled in the past 10 years.

Ms. George asked the committee what other issues they would want to discuss at the next meeting. The issues that were mentioned by the members were:

  1. Zoning, mobile homes, and land use.
  2. Inclusion of the City of Hickory Planning Staff.
  3. Highway beautification projects to be discussed by John Tippett at a later date. Mr. Tippett can discuss money available for such projects.
Ms. Pitts closed the meeting by mentioning the next meeting date to be April 17th at 7:00 PM at the Mountain View Elementary Media Center. She also mentioned that issues to be discussed will include:
  1. Watershed rules
  2. City water and sewer location (maps) to come from COG.
  3. Inclusion of Tom Carr from the City of Hickory Planning Department.
Ms. Pitts then adjourned the meeting.