Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning Committee Meeting February 17, 2000

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning Committee (SFSAPC) held its third meeting on Thursday, February 17, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. in the media center of Sherrills Ford Elementary School.

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

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

Mr. Nolley opened the meeting with a review of the minutes. Ed Neil discussed the Highway 16 area past Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet (clarification). Ed Nolley moved that the minutes be approved.

In the next order of business Mr. Nolley discussed the need to set up a consistent meeting date in order to comply with the North Carolina Open Meetings Law. Glenn Hunsucker motioned that the regular meeting day for the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning Committee be set as the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Sherrills Ford Elementary School Media Center. Paul Beatty seconded this motion and the motion was approved unanimously.

Mr. Nolley officially welcomed Paul Beatty to the Committee and apologized for not recognizing him as a new member of the Committee at the last meeting.

Mike Legg went over the information that was included in each member's agenda packet and recommended that the group review this information at their leisure.

Roy Crawford discussed schools and issues regarding the capacities of the schools. He explained that the Planning Department keeps a running total (on a spreadsheet) of the capacities of the various schools in the County. He explained that staff tracks the capacities of County schools and schools in the other two school districts (Newton-Conover and Hickory). He noted to the group that just because a home is in the city limits of one of these cities, this does not mean that it is automatically in that particular school district. He stated that in some cases a home could be in the city limits and still be in the County school district.

Doug Howard expressed several concerns regarding school capacities in this area. He said that it seemed as though the main concern of the group was going to be commercial activity in this small area plan, because residential activity was still going to be limited due to schools.

Mr. Legg discussed Smart Growth and the issues of sprawl and the environmental impacts of developing/planning activities. He also passed out an example of a planned community known as Celebration in the State of Florida. He mentioned to the group that there were some positive and negative aspects of this layout and pointed out that he had made notes on the layout that addressed this.

Mary George presented a map that illustrated watershed boundaries in this area. She explained what the watershed is and gave a description of what it means if property lies in the critical or protected area of a watershed. She also discussed with the group the effect that watershed has on potential development sites.

A map showing the subdivisions in this planning area was distributed and Mrs. George discussed this with the members. These maps showed subdivisions that had received either preliminary or final approval since January 1996.

Disposable cameras were passed out for taking pictures of land use techniques that the group either liked or disliked. Mr. Legg explained that the purpose of this exercise was to use these pictures as an aide to guide the group with their planning process. He emphasized to the members to be sure to take pictures of things that they see that they like, as well as things that they may not like.

The group discussed possible resources that may be needed for the next meeting. They asked if staff could bring a laptop computer to the next meeting in order to bring up the Catawba County website. Mr. Crawford stated that staff would check with the school's media center and see if there was an access location (phone jack) for the internet. He said that staff would check and see if there was either a computer already at the center with these capabilities or a laptop would be brought. The ideal was to contact the County's website in order to get into the GIS public access.

Mr. Nolley thanked the members for attending and the meeting was adjourned.