Plateau Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
April 28 , 2005 

Members present: Scott Rhoney, Chairman, Tawanna Jarrett, Teresa Lail, Jon Gladden, Donna Cullum, Travis Norman, James Crafton, Greg Fulbright, and Al King.

Members absent: Pinkney Hull and Terry Bledshoe

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

Chairman Scott Rhoney called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and welcomed all. Chairman Rhoney asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes/summary. As there was none, Al King made a motion to accept minutes as submitted. This motion was seconded by Jon Gladden and carried unanimously.

Ms. George brought up an item to discuss concerning a request for a proposed used car business at the intersection of Plateau Rd. and Scronce Rd. In order to operate this particular business, it would have to be zoned C-2 (commercial). Furthermore, car lots are not considered a cottage industry, so it could not be permitted under the County’s proposed ordinance allowing “cottage industry” uses. A commercial node would have to be added at this intersection. After discussion, the group felt that it would be inappropriate to create a commercial node at this location. It is a very rural location and there are sharp curves in the road that would be unsafe for large amounts of traffic. Al King made a motion to retain the Committee’s proposed nodes and not add another node at this location. This motion was seconded by Donna Cullum and carried unanimously.

Ms. Andrea Lytle said that she had several items to clear up before the Committee should proceed with their next topics. The first item she discussed was the proposed rural node at Hwy. 10 and Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. She stated that they had discussed this node previously, but she was not sure that the Committee had made a firm decision. Mr. Al King said that this was an important intersection and he felt that this Committee should join with the Startown SAP with its recommendation of a rural commercial node at this intersection. A motion was made by Al King, seconded by Donna Cullum, to designate the intersection of Hwy. 10 and Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. as a rural commercial node. The motion carried unanimously.

Another item concerned the Neighborhood Commercial Node located at Hwy. 18 and Willis Road. Andrea Lytle asked whether the Committee would want to allow office-institutional developments within the node. After some discussion, the consensus of the Committee was to permit this type of development in the node.

Ms. Lytle reviewed Map 6 with the Committee to make sure the map depicted the Committee’s recommendation correctly. She discussed the following three densities:

  • Higher-density development would be located south NC Hwy. 10 from Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. to the SAP planning boundary east of Propst Crossroads. In this area, single-family homes would be developed at a maximum density of 1 unit per. 0.34 acre since the County requires connection to public water wherever service is available. This would match the density recommendations that the Mountain View SAP proposed on the north side of Hwy. 10.
  • Medium-density residential development would be located along both sides of NC Hwy. 10 from the SAP planning boundary west of Propst Crossroads to Cat Square Rd. Medium-density development would allow single-family homes to be developed at a maximum density of 1 unit per 1 acre. This density was recommended to take advantage of the available public water without significantly adding to the congestion on NC Hwy. 10.
  • Lower-density residential development would be located ¼ mile north of NC Hwy. 10 to the northern planning boundary and ¼ mile south of NC Hwy. 10 to the Lincoln County border. Lower density development would also occur west of Cat Square Rd. The lower-density development would allow single-family homes at a maximum density of 1 unit per 2 acres.

The consensus of the Committee was to encourage cluster subdivisions in all three density districts. Furthermore, all new major residential subdivisions in this SAP will be required to incorporate the following design criteria:

  • a 30 ft. setback for cluster subdivisions
  • 30% common open space; a motion was made by Chairman Rhoney, seconded by Jon Gladden, to require 30% as the dedicated common open space in a new cluster subdivision.
  • buffering to be required in high density area only
  • traditional neighborhood design with pedestrian trails; limited access to interior roads and networks which will improve safety and maintain the rural appearance in the area.
  • Also, the final criteria of requiring school capacity to determine lot sizes will no longer be a consideration for new developments.

Ms. Lytle discussed the current housing conditions and trends in the Plateau area. She stated that the average number of houses built had been declining steadily in this area during the past recent years. The population had grown which suggested that residents are choosing to purchase existing homes rather than building new ones.

She pointed out that the number of building permits issued for singlewide mobile homes has been declining since 1996. The trend of fewer manufactured homes in the Plateau area, especially singlewides, is consistent with other areas of the County.

She discussed proposed Guiding Principles regarding Housing in the Plateau SAP. They included: encouraging aesthetically pleasing subdivision design, the preservation of open space, offering a diverse range of housing densities and types that will meet the needs of all segments of the population, household types and income levels. Concerning two-family developments, the Committee agreed that duplexes should be encouraged as an affordable housing option where supporting infrastructure exists. The Committee also recommended that duplexes should be encouraged to blend in with single-family developments as much as possible. Regarding manufactured homes, the Committee recommended a Guiding Principle that manufactured homes should be allowed in reasonable locations that meet the housing needs of the population while maintaining the character of the community.

There was considerable discussion concerning the location of manufactured homes. A question was asked if there were any particular areas where groups of manufactured homes are located presently. It was determined that they are located throughout the entire planning area, rather than being concentrated in one section.

Ms. George reviewed a map with the Committee that showed where all the manufactured homes were located in the Plateau area. She explained that in some special cases two manufactured homes could be allowed on one tract. This would be listed as a hardship or a temporary hardship. Placing more than two mobile homes on one lot would developer require that a developer follow the Mobile Home Park Ordinance to develop a mobile home park. She told mentioned some of the requirements that are stipulated in the Ordinance, and the new mobile home appearance criteria adopted for all mobiles in the County in 1996.

She informed the group members that one of their options, if they wanted to keep the number of mobile homes down, would be to rezone their planning area to R-3 which would only allow doublewides, modulars, and site-built homes. Those mobile homes that are already located in the area would be grandfathered, and the owners would be able to replace their mobiles with a upgrade of another mobile. Also if there were a subdivision or mobile home park in the planning area that only allowed mobile homes, then they would be able to continue to operate and could changing mobile homes in and out.

Ms. Lytle asked the group if there are areas that they would like to see R-1 zoning, which allows only site-built and modular homes. Because the demand for mobile homes had lessened and the fact that the Committee wanted to maintain their area as rural, a motion was made by Donna Cullum, to change all the R-2 areas to R-3 which does not allow singlewides. There was no second, and after further discussion, Ms. Cullum withdrew her motion. The Committee was informed that they did not have to make a decision at this meeting. Between now and the next meeting, Ms. George suggested that they go out into the community and take a look at the mobile home situation and discuss their options further at the next meeting. Jon Gladden made a motion, seconded by Donna Cullum, to table this item until the next meeting until they have time to evaluate the mobile home situation in their area. The motion carried unanimously. Specific housing plan recommendations will be discussed at the next meeting.

The next meeting time and date (May 26, 2005) was changed for the Committee because of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. It was agreed that the next meeting would be on Tuesday, June 2, 2005 in the same place and at the same time that the group normally meets. Al King made a motion, seconded by Tawanna Jarrett, to adjourn, and the meeting adjourned at 8:44 pm.