Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning Committee Meeting January 27, 2000

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning Committee (SFSAPC) held its second meeting on Thursday, January 27, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. in the library of Sherrills Ford Elementary School.

Members that were in attendance: Ed Nolley- Chairperson, David Stewart, Ed Neil, Paul Beatty, Helen Sides, Catherine Weaver, Jerry Beatty, Mark Sigmon, Brian Harvey, Clyde Sigmon and Doug Howard. (Members not present were Glenn Hunsucker and Charles Thomas.)

Guests for the meeting were: John Tippett (WPCOG) and Jim Rand (NCDOT).

Staff present: Roy Crawford, Mary George, Rich Hoffman, and Richard Smith. Mike Legg (Benchmark) was present as our contracted consultant.

Mr. Nolley opened the meeting with the subject of shifting the planning area for this committee west to include the NC Highway 16 and NC Highway 150 intersection and the area all the way to the western boundary of the proposed four-lane NC Highway 16. Doug Howard made a motion for Ed Nolley to ask the Board of Commissioners to include this area in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning area. Motion was seconded by Catherine Weaver and unanimously approved by the Committee.

John Tippett, Assistant Director/Transportation Planner with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, discussed possibly organizing a thoroughfare plan for this area. He gave an overview of T.I.P.ís and standard procedures for them. He told the group that it is better to update a thoroughfare plan first, and then to proceed from there. He explained the significance of an M.P.O. and how this in turn, can support the T.I.P. The point was made that Highway 150 was once on the thoroughfare plan, but had since been removed for one reason or another. He further explained that it is best to take a regional approach to transportation planning. He said that the State is more likely to consider a plan if it includes other areas/municipalities in the region. He gave the example in this case of the importance of coordinating the Highway 150 portion of this plan with Iredell County, the Town of Mooresville and others that may also have an interest in being a part of this plan.

Mr. Tippett also mentioned that the Town of Maiden had requested an updated thoroughfare plan. He said that there update was scheduled for 2003.

He then discussed the time line and order of execution for the NC Highway 16 expansion. He said that the first section in Catawba County was planned to be the area from Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet/Claremont Road, south to the Abernethy Center. The right-of-way acquisition for this area is scheduled to begin in 2001 and construction is scheduled to begin 2003. The remaining expansion area from the Abernethy Center, south to where the road is planned to come out of Lincoln County, is scheduled for right-of-way expansion in 2006 and construction in 2007.

The group discussed again the issue of NC Highway 150 being a priority for this area. Discussion was made to look at developing a partnership with Lincoln County and Iredell County to address NC Highway 150, US Highway 321, Interstate 77, and Highway 73. Also, discussion was made to possibly include Charlotte/Mecklenburg in this plan. The example was given of the Salisbury and Statesville successful joint effort to expand Highway 70.

Ed Neil made a motion that the group recommend to the Board of Commissioners to update the Thoroughfare Plan to revise the T.I.P. He included in this motion the recommendation that the Board include Lincoln, Mecklenburg, and Iredell counties in this plan. The feeling was also to include in this plan the addition of Highway 150 as well as Highway 16 and possibly Highway 73. Motion was seconded by Mark Sigmon and was unanimously approved.

Jim Rand, District Engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, added that more than likely the Town of Mooresville would be handling Iredell Countyís portion of the NC 150 planning instead of Iredell County.

Mr. Neilís motion was amended to include the Town of Mooresville in this proposed joint planning effort.

There was also discussion of the issue of looking at corridor protection because of the cost incentive to DOT. Mr. Rand concurred with the point made by Roy Crawford that land acquisition is a huge percentage of the overall cost of right-of-way expansions. The current thoroughfare plan calls for a 200 feet right-of-way area for a highway such as NC 150.

Mr. Tippett brought up the discussion of air quality issues and how much of an impact this has on transportation issues. The Unifour area exceeded the threshold limit when the last test was done in this area. We have not been designated yet as non-attainment. A wind analysis is set to be conducted in the near future. He further explained that if we received non-attainment (or a negative air quality report), then we would get no federal transportation funding. This also affects industrial air quality discharges. He mentioned that you could buy credit from other places. It was also pointed out that city/public works vehicles have to fuel half of their fleet with alternate sources. A few members of the group pointed out that Duke Powerís Marshall Steam Station was probably responsible for a large part of the pollution in this particular area.

Mr. Tippett briefly discussed the possibility of developing with our transportation planning the inclusion of a bicycle plan. He stated that this needed to be a county wide plan. He said that this would probably be beneficial to include in the groupís plan because it was looked upon favorably by the State.

Mark Sigmon made the comment that he did not think that a bicycle plan was realistic for this area of the county. He said that he just did not feel that many people were going to use a bike trail in a rural area such as this. He further stated that he did not want to see funds used for a bike trail that could be used for other things. Mr. Rand stated that a bike trail could be included with existing roads and could be as small as a one foot (width) paved area on the side of a State road. Mr. Tippett pointed out that although it may not be in high demand in this particular area, the State would probably still view it as an alternate transportation means and would think highly of it being in our overall plan. Thus, he added that we could receive funding that we may not otherwise receive if we had a county wide bicycle plan.

Ed Neil made a motion to recommend that when the Board of Commissioners were confronted with new development in this area, that they also get preservation of corridor for Highway 150 and Highway 16 in order to have setbacks preserved with the required area to be determined and for the purchase of right-of-way area.

Mark Sigmon said that he was not ready to vote on this matter. He further states that he was not comfortable telling people what they could and could not do with their property. He explained that when you get into the aspect of areas reserved for right-of-ways and setbacks and then add in the additional factor of watershed, then it could be almost impossible for some people to get any use out of their land at all. He stated that he was not comfortable with not knowing how much right-of-way would be required and the impacts on the land. He also said that being a banker, he was aware of the watershed regulations, but some of the committee members were probably not even aware of these regulations existing nor the restrictions that they entailed.

Mr. Neil agreed to put his motion on hold until the committee could discuss these issues in more detail.

Mr. Neil asked Mr. Rand the minimum right-of-way width that would be needed for Highway 150 to be expanded. Mr. Rand explained that this will be dictated by other land use aspects such as commercial and residential uses. Mike Legg added that the width of the right-of-way would not be as much for commercial as it may be for residential. He explained that with residential, the tendency is to have more green space and a bigger area (like a median) that included trees and other vegetation. With commercial the tendency is for the right-of-way area to be more compacted, which in turn involves less of an area.

Mr. Nolley said that he sensed that the members were probably prepared to adjourn, but before they did so the next meeting date and the topic discussion would need to be set. The next meeting date was set for Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sherrills Ford Elementary School library. Some group members commented that this was a good meeting place. The subject for the next meeting will be land issues and visioning. Mr. Sigmon asked if staff could bring a GIS map of approved and preliminary subdivisions highlighted, including the Highway 150 and Highway 16 intersection area.

Mr. Nolley also welcomed Paul Beatty to the meeting.

Mary George passed out Census information and the meeting was adjourned.