Plateau Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
March 17 , 2005 

Members present: Scott Rhoney, Chairman, Teresa Lail, Jon Gladden, Pinkney Hull, Greg Fulbright, Jim Crafton, Travis Norman, and Al King


Staff present: John Kenny and Andrea Lytle from Western Piedmont Council of Governments and Jacky Eubanks, Mary George, Sue Ballbach and Connie Killian from Catawba County


Chairman Scott Rhoney, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and welcomed all those in attendance.


Mr. Jon Gladden, seconded by Mr. Jim Crafton, made a motion to approve minutes/summary from the February 17, 2005 meeting as written and submitted. The motion carried unanimously.


Mr. John Kenny stated that they would be reviewing their land use recommendations for non-residential development that they had discussed at the last meeting. He showed the committee Map 6, which had the rural commercial nodes they had recommended. One node was on Hwy. 10 West near the Catawba-Lincoln County line where Honey’s is located and the other was at the intersection of Hwy. 10 and Cat Square Rd. He said that there is very little room for additional commercial development at either of these two intersections. He asked if they would like to make these larger neighborhood nodes or locate other nodes in their district.


Mr. Al King said that he would like to see the node at Honey’s designated a neighborhood node to allow for expanded but controlled growth. Since the nodes they had suggested were already full, it was suggested that they could make these nodes larger so they could allow for growth but keep it confined to the area.


Staff reminded the committee that they would be using this Plan to make their recommendation as to whether a piece of property could be rezoned or not. It was explained by staff that these nodes would be shown on the future land use map but the property would not be rezoned with the plan adoption. If someone in the future asks for a zoning change, the map would recommend the rezoning.


Mr. Jacky Eubanks brought up the idea for a center of agri-tourism especially since this planning area is stressing rural preservation.


A suggestion was made for three additional nodes to be located in the area: 1) Willis Rd./Hwy. 18; 2) Hwy. 10/Hickory-Lincolnton (in conformance with the Plateau SAP recommendations); and 3) Hickory-Lincolnton/Rocky Ford.


There was a lot of discussion concerning these additional nodes. Al King made a motion to leave the two nodes on Hwy. 10 designated as “rural” with the qualification that they be re-examined at the end of a 5-year period. The motion was seconded by Jon Gladden and carried unanimously.


After further discussion, Chairman Rhoney made another motion to add an additional node at Hwy. 18/Willis Rd. as a neighborhood node - to allow for future commercial growth in this planning area. The motion was seconded by Travis Norman and it carried unanimously. The committee wanted it noted that other commercial nodes on the fringe of their district served the commercial needs for the area. These are located at Propst Crossroads, Hwy. 10/Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. and the 321 interchange at Hwy. 10.


The commercial standards as presented in their agenda were reviewed. The committee felt they were standard regulations so they agreed with all of the six criteria:

  1. Require landscaped areas along road frontage and within parking areas located in front or side yards.
  2. Encourage parking areas to be located to the side or rear of buildings.
  3. Encourage mixed-use development at commercial nodes.
  4. Commercial development should be aesthetically pleasing, designed at a walkable pedestrian scale, and create a desirable destination point.
  5. Abundant landscaping should be provided at site entrances, in public areas, and adjacent to buildings. All loading, storage, and maintenance areas should also be heavily landscaped.
  6. Lighting at all commercial or mixed-used storage, and maintenance areas should also be heavily landscaped.

The committee stated that office-institutional uses should only be allowed in the Rural Commercial Node. Otherwise, they believed that the land currently zoned for office and institutional purposes was adequate. They also agreed with the other two suggestions as submitted by staff: 1) redevelopment of office and institutional uses should strive to preserve the rural viewshed by adhering to the design standards recommended for commercial development; and 2) abundant landscaping should be provided to screen parking, loading, storage and maintenance areas.


Concerning industrial uses the committee members stated that they felt the land currently zoned for industrial uses was adequate. They were concerned that the road systems in this planning area could not handle the increased traffic, especially large trucks, associated with industrial uses. They also felt that nonconforming industrial uses should not be rezoned to allow expansion. In addition, they added that redevelopment of industrial zoned property should strive to preserve the rural viewshed. Abundant landscaping to screen parking, loading, storage and maintenance areas would be required.


Mr. Kenny at this time informed the group that they needed to discuss residential density. He pointed out on Map #8 the two different watersheds located within their planning area. He told the group that the watersheds would affect the residential density in their area. Based on Sate law, the designated watersheds require different size lots – with the smallest being 20,000 sq.ft. and the largest being one acre.


Ms. George reminded the committee that when they make recommendations for density that this applies to all subdivisions (family, minor, major, etc) not just people who were planning to do large subdivisions. Ms. Lytle gave an overview on the concept of cluster subdivisions.


A higher-density corridor was discussed by the group to be located along both sides of Hwy. 10 West where there is existing public water. Ms. George stated that if they were to recommend this corridor they may want to consider requiring internal access for all lots in new subdivisions fronting Hwy. 10.


A motion was made by Al King to have lots on Hwy. 10 West on both sides of the road from Propst Crossroads to Cat Square Rd. be one acre. It was not recommended to extend this one-acre corridor up Cooksville Road despite the availability of public water. Another part of the motion was to have lots along the south side of Hwy. 10 East to be one-half acre without public water and one-third acre with water, which is consistent with the Mtn. View SAP. The remaining area in this planning district was recommended to be two-acre lots. This was seconded by Scott Rhoney and carried unanimously.


Mr. Kenny talked about the desire of this committee to keep the look of open space and gave the following suggestions that could help do that: 1) leaving natural vegetation; 2) landscaping and buffering; 3) common open space; 4) limit access in new subdivisions to interior roads and networks only; and 5) encourage traditional neighborhood design.


The committee agreed to recommend that school capacity no longer be considered regarding minimum lot sizes for new developments.


Ms. George announced to the committee that the proposed Voluntary Agricultural District ordinance would be presented at the Planning Board’s meeting on April 25 for those committee members who might be interested or would like to attend.


Mr. Kenny stated that the next meeting would be April 28th.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.