Plateau Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
June 2, 2005 

Members present: Scott Rhoney, Chairman; Teresa Lail, Jon Gladden, Donna Cullum, Barbara Hamrick and Jim Crafton

 

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

 

Chairman Scott Rhoney called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm and welcomed those present.

 

There were two changes to the minutes – Greg Fulbright and Barbara Hamrick should be shown as being present at the May 12th meeting. Jon Gladden made a motion, seconded by Teresa Lail, to approve the May minutes with the two changes. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Ms. Andrea Lytle informed the Committee that they had two more sections to discuss – Economic Development and Cultural/Natural Resources. She said that it would probably take two more meetings to finish up all their discussions before the second Community Meeting. She said that County staff would then get together with the Board of Commissioners either on a one-on-one or two-on-two basis to discuss this plan. Mary George stated that the Chairman of this Committee should be present at these meetings. The Committee will meet again to consider changes recommended at the Community Meeting and by the Commissioners. The Planning Board and Board of Commissioners will then hold public hearings to consider the plan.

 

The Committee discussed a possible date for the Community Meeting. They decided on Thursday, August 18 th in the gym at Banoak School, if available. Ms. George stated that this would be a drop-in meeting over several hours. Flyers and church bulletins will be distributed to Committee members to advertise the meeting. Committee members discussed the next meeting date of June 23 rd and the fact that several people would not be able to attend because they would be out of town. It was the consensus of the group to hold its next meeting on July 14 th at the same place and time as their normal meetings.

 

Ms. Lytle stated that the main topic at tonight’s meeting would be manufacturing housing. She said that looking at the Current Land Use map, there was really no concentration of manufactured homes; they seem to spread out all over the planning area. She reminded the members that the plan is designed for the whole community, and they needed to keep in mind that provisions for manufactured homes need to be considered. Ms. George agreed that the housing types were more blended in the Plateau area than in any other small area plan. She asked for a clarification from the group on how they stood on manufactured homes.

 

After a lot of discussion among the group members, the following recommendations were made concerning zoning in their planning area:

  • Hwy. 10 corridor – R-1 Residential (excludes manufactured homes)
  • Plateau area (Plateau Rd. to Burts Rd.; also includes Cat Square Rd. to the Catawba County-Lincoln County line) – R-3 Residential (excludes single-wides)
  • Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. (to match Startown’s proposed zoning) – R-3
  • Old Shelby Rd. and Cooksville Rd. area. to stop at Brittian Rd. – R-1
  • Remainder of Old Shelby Rd. to Greedy Hwy. – R-3

 

The remaining areas would be recommended to remain their current R-2 zoning. These boundaries will be delineated on a map that will be distributed to the group at its next meeting. The group also agreed to recommend allowing nonconforming manufactured homes to be replaced with homes of the same type.

 

The next items discussed were Community Facilities and Public Services, Current Conditions and Trends. Ms. Lytle talked about the schools located in this planning area:

  • Banoak Elementary is one of Catawba County’s smaller elementary schools with a capacity of 350 students. Given its current overcrowding, there are plans to add eight classrooms, a new cafeteria and more administrative space, which would increase the capacity to 534 students. These renovations are currently unfunded.
  • Blackburn Elementary also currently exceeds building capacity. By the year 2008-09, enrollment will exceed 110% of building capacity and overcrowding will become apparent. There are no current plans to renovate or expand this school.
  • Jacobs Fork Middle serves students from Banoak and Blackburn Elementary Schools. This relatively new school has a capacity of 700 students and is not projected to exceed student capacity level in the next seven years.
  • Fred T. Foard High has a current enrollment capacity of 1,225 students. It is expected to remain near or slightly above capacity until 2011. The new Maiden High School presently under construction will ease some of the enrollment pressures at Foard when it opens in the fall of 2006. It is possible that the Catawba County School Board will redraw school district lines and some students currently in the Foard district will be moved to the new, larger Maiden High School. It is unlikely that students from this planning area will be affected by the redistricting.

 

The next item discussed was Libraries. Ms. Lytle stated that the County operates a well-established library system, including one central library, six branch libraries and a law library. This planning area is served by three libraries in the surrounding area – the Southwest branch in Mountain View on Hwy. 127, the Maiden branch library and the Newton main library.

 

In reference to Water and Sewer Service, Ms. Lytle stated that the only public water in their planning area had been recently extended by the City of Hickory along NC Hwy. 10 and north on Cooksville Rd. to the Cooksville Volunteer Fire Department. She stated that there is no public sewer service available in this planning area nor is any service planned for in the near or medium future.

 

Concerning Emergency Services in Catawba County, Ms. Lytle stated that the Communication Center is the central receiving point for all 911 calls across the County. It is regarded as one of the most advanced centers in western North Carolina utilizing the newest software and technology. The center dispatches all fire, medical, rescue and police calls for service within the County, except for police in Hickory, Newton and Maiden.

 

Concerning Law Enforcement, Ms. Lytle noted that the Catawba County Sheriff’s Department serves their planning area. She further stated that Fire Protection in this study area is provided by two volunteer fire departments. The Propst Crossroads Fire Department is located near the intersection of NC Hwy. 127 and NC Hwy. 10, and the Cooksville Fire Department is located near the intersection of Old Shelby Road and Cooksville Road. She informed the group that a new station is being considered in the Propst fire district near the southeastern boundary of the planning area. She said that there is one Emergency Medical Servicesubstation that serves this area, which is located at the intersection of NC Hwy. 10 and NC Hwy. 127. Chairman Scott Rhoney mentioned that there is a volunteer rescue squad on Heavner Rd. Ms. Lytle said she would add that department to the map and text.

 

Ms. Lytle reviewed Guiding Principles and possible Plan Recommendations with the group. The Guiding Principles focused on maintaining or improving services in the study area. The Committee agreed to all the overall principles suggested by staff.

 

Under Plan Recommendations, the Committee made the following recommendations:

  • Schools
    1. Explore partnerships with the school system and other community organizations to enhance use of the Banoak Community Center and other recreational facilities.
    2. The School Board should consider accelerating funding for the Banoak Elementary renovations.
    3. The Committee agreed to the other two recommendations as prepared by staff.
  • Libraries
    1. The Committee agreed to the two recommendations from staff.
  • Water/Sewer Services
    1. The Committee recommended improving access to grants where failing septic tanks exist.
    2. Because no sewer service exists in the area, it was decided to delete the last recommendation about coordinating sewer extensions with municipalities.
  • Emergency Services
    1. The Committee agreed with the two recommendations from staff.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 pm after a motion by Jim Crafton and a second by Barbara Hamrick.