SHERRILLS FORD SMALL AREA PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING - 
February 28, 2002 

Members present: Ed Nolley (Chairman), Cathy Weaver, Paul Beatty (Planning Board liaison), Jerry Beatty, Doug Howard, Clyde Sigmon, David Stewart, Helen Sides and Ed Neill.

Members absent: Glenn Hunsucker and Keith Gabriel.

Staff present: Mary George and Richard Smith from the Catawba County Planning and Community Development Department.  

Mr. Nolley called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m. and the minutes from the last meeting were approved with a few minor changes.

Mr. Nolley told the group about the Mountain View Small Area Plan presentation to the Planning Board that took place on February 25, 2002.  He briefly discussed the issues that were brought up by the citizens that spoke at this meeting.  Mr. Howard asked about the issues that were raised and Mrs. George elaborated on these issues and told the group that the next step in the process would be a workshop including the Mountain View Small Area Planning Committee and the Planning Board.  

Mrs. George informed the group that she had received a phone message from Mr. Harvey that he was resigning from the group, but she had not received anything from him in writing.  

She then handed out the updated proposed land use map to the group and started the review of the amended draft plan.  Mr. Howard asked about the open space requirements and said that he wanted to get clarity on these.  His concern was about the smaller subdivisions and how much open space would be required of them.  Mrs. George explained that subdivisions of five lots or less do not have to meet the open space requirements, but once they go past five lots, then they fall into the open space requirement category.  

Mr. Howard brought up the density requirements and he said that his concerns with this have been addressed.  Mr. Neill said that the only change in the plan would be to ensure that the open space incentive would allow an increase in density based on the percentage increased above the requirement.  Mr. Howard explained the density and open space requirements to the group using a 100-acre tract example and talking them through the process so that everyone was clear on what they would be requiring in this plan.  

Mr. Jerry Beatty said that he still was concerned about the open space being left with the homeowners’ associations because it is difficult for these groups to agree on matters.  The group discussed this and conservancies were mentioned as potential solutions to this.  His concern was the possibilities of the land being able to be farmed in the future and it was explained that this area could be farmed depending on how the developer set it aside.  

Mr. Howard said that he was concerned about the property owners and the effect that this plan will have on them.  He said that he thinks that it is a given that the developer will take care of themselves and this is why he wants to keep the property owners in mind.  Mr. Jerry Beatty said that he thought that the tax set aside for recreation uses should be implemented.  Mrs. George explained that one way that the transfer of development rights can be done without special legislation is if the owner of two separate tracts is the same.  She gave the example of Burke County’s recently adopted Lake James plan.

Mrs. George then continued with the review of the rest of the plan, highlighting the amendments that have been made since the group last met.  Mr. Neill said that he was hoping to see the wording “open space/cluster residential, multi-family” on page 36 under item 11.  Mr. Sigmon said that he thought that the wording “recreation tax district” should be added under item 13 on page 37.  Mr. Jerry Beatty added that he wanted to keep this open for other funding options also and the group agreed that this wording should be included.  Mr. Sigmon asked if a special district would be treated, as far as tax allocation, the same as a fire department district.  He said that he would prefer to see it left to the special district to decide how the money is allocated instead of filtering through the County like the fire district tax is done.  He said that he thought people in this area would be willing to pay out a tax if they knew that it would benefit just this particular area.  

Mr. Nolley pointed out to the group that he was not calling for a vote on each minor detail change, so if anyone had an issue with the amendments, then he would ask that they bring it up as each section of the plan was reviewed. 

The group decided to use the verbiage of a “community development district” instead of using the word “tax” to avoid any negativity.  Mr. Paul Beatty said that it might be better to call it a “community parks and recreation district”.  The group agreed that a tax of some kind for this area would probably be supported if it comes back to serve this area.  Mrs. George read the wording of this back to the group for clarity and consensus and the group agreed to this change.  

Mr. Stewart asked about the cut off for Lake Norman and Mrs. George explained to the group that above the Monbo area, the water area is actually the Catawba River and not considered to be Lake Norman.

Mrs. George asked if there was a need for clarity on item 3 on page 41 of the Guiding Principles where it relates to tree preservation and the group agreed with the wording as it is.  Mrs. Weaver asked that item eight be moved up closer to item three on page 42 so that it would flow better in the document.  Transfer of development rights was added to take up item eight where the previous wording had been removed and added to item three.

Mrs. George explained the voluntary agricultural use discussion that has taken place and what is being pursued there that is equivalent to what the group is recommending in this plan.  Mrs. George mentioned the upcoming open space meeting that would take place in Hickory on March 14th.

After completing the review of the plan amendments, Mrs. George reviewed the map depicting the participants of the telephone survey that was done for this area.  The group agreed that the distribution was good enough to be an accurate sampling.

Mr. Nolley asked for a motion to approve the amendments as presented and Mr. Stewart made the motion with Mr. Neill’s second and the group approved the amendments unanimously.  

Mrs. George asked if April 16, 2002 from 4-8:00 p.m. in the Sherrills Ford Elementary School cafeteria would be a good date for the committee to hold the community meeting and the group agreed that it would be.  She challenged each member to invite at least ten people to the meeting in addition to the normal advertising that would be coordinated by staff and the Public Information Officer.  The group agreed to also inform their various other membership organizations, churches and community groups.  Mrs. George told the group that posters and flyers would also be made available to the committee for distribution.

Mrs. George took suggestions for areas to include in pictures to be incorporated into the plan.  She asked for the group members to arrive at 2:30 p.m. so that the setup and other items could be done well before the community began to show up.  

The group decided that there was no need for a meeting to be held in March.

Mr. Nolley adjourned the meeting at 9:12 p.m.