COMMITTEE MEETING FOR AUGUST 20, 2001
present: Debbie Pitts (chairman), Paul Fleetwood, Larry Johnson, Jeanette
Ringley, and Steve Von Drehle.
Staff present: Mary George from the Catawba County Planning Department; Dee Blackwell and Susan Baumann, consultants from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG).
The minutes from the July 16, 2001 meeting were approved.
Ms. Pitts informed the Committee of a proposed ABC store to be located on Hwy. 127 near Plaza Ridge. Mr. Stamey had contacted her with his concerns over the location and asked for information on how to address this. Ms. George informed the Committee that the local ABC Board, who was meeting the next night, was the entity whom Mr. Stamey could address his concerns to. Mr. Stamey was given information by Ms. George to pursue this with the local ABC Board.
Ms. Baumann then presented the future land use map to the Committee. The map included the Committee’s recommendation of a commercial corridor along Hwy. 127, a rural node at Advent’s Crossroads and a neighborhood commercial node at Propst Crossroads.
Mr. Blackwell informed the Committee that there would be three stand alone maps for the land use section. One would be the recommended rezonings to R-1; the residential density map with high and low densities delineated; and the future land use map with all uses represented. He suggested that the land use map not be so specific to show parcel boundaries but rather nodes which, along with the land use recommendations, would be used for rezoning recommendations by staff. Mr. Johnson questioned why the commercial nodes were not on the rezoning map. Mr. Blackwell responded that the commercial nodes on the land use map were a concept and future vision and at this time it may be premature to actually rezone these areas.
The Committee then reviewed the R-1 rezoning map and formally endorsed it as presented. In approving it, the Committee stated that they wanted to encourage other property owners who may want to rezone their property to R-1 to enjoin in the rezoning process.
The Committee continued its discussion of the policy statements.
Under the residential statements, the Committee wanted to retain the policy statement concerning retirement communities as written but add that the County would “actively recruit” developers for these communities.
Mr. Von Drehle questioned the possibility of a water access facility in the district. Mr. Blackwell presented a regional concept which would include connection of Hickory’s Soccer Complex, the County’s Baker Mountain Park and the Jacob Fork River. The idea of connecting the Henry Fork and Jacob Fork Rivers with a canoe/recreational trail was also discussed. This would be a 20-year long range plan which would have its focus around Baker Mountain. The potential trails would include steep land and floodplain area which are generally undevelopable land. Ms. Ringley stated that this would fit in with the focus of the community input meeting to preserve the rural character. Mr. Von Drehle stated that he supported the concept. Mr. Blackwell indicated that the Committee could state in its plan that they would like to explore the feasibility of such a facility and identify potential funding options which could include tax credits in the floodplain area. Mr. Von Drehle stated that if this concept was not accepted that some type of water access facility was still needed. Ms. Pitts indicated that citizens at the Baker Mountain Park meeting expressed the desire for bike and horse trails and this could address that request. The Committee agreed to put this concept into their plan.
The Committee then reviewed the commercial policy statements. In defining the commercial nodes, the Committee decided to define the area by an acreage of 5-25 acres instead of a ¼ mile radius due to the large area this would include. The Committee also wanted to add a statement that commercial development must be interconnected so to alleviate traffic congestion on the thoroughfare. Mr. Von Drehle stated that he did not want big-box retail in their district and this was supported by the community input. The Propst Crossroad area would be a “village” concept which would have interconnected development with a unified design.
In discussing the Hwy. 127 commercial corridor standards, the Committee decided to remove the commercial rezoning designation from their rezoning map and have it shown only on the future land use map. The rezoning map would then show what was existing commercial along Hwy. 127 with the remaining parcels proposed as R-1 zoning.
Likewise, in reviewing the Hwy. 321 corridor, the Committee removed the industrial zoning from the rezoning map and showed the northeast quadrant of Hwy. 321 and River Road as a future industrial use on the land use map. The remaining three quadrants would be shown on the future land use map as mixed use which would allow commercial, office-institutional, multi-family or a mixture of each.
Under the utility statements, the Committee deleted the statement that a connection to public water lines is not required when there is an existing functioning well. This is the current policy so it is not necessary to state this.
Upon completing the review of the policy statements, the Committee decided to extend its next meeting time in order to complete the review of the remaining plan issues. The next meeting was scheduled for Monday, September 17, 2001 beginning at 5:00. The Committee agreed to finish its review of the draft plan at its October meeting with tentatively scheduling its community presentation of the plan in late October or early November.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15.