June 6, 2002 

Members present: Ed Nolley (Chairman), Cathy Weaver, Jerry Beatty, Clyde Sigmon, Helen Sides and Ed Neill.

Members absent: Glenn Hunsucker, Doug Howard, Paul Beatty (Planning Board liaison), David Stewart, and Keith Gabriel.

Staff present:  John Witherspoon, Interim Director from Benchmark Consulting, Mary George and Richard Smith from the Catawba County Planning and Community Development Department.  

Mr. Nolley called the meeting to order at 7:22 p.m. and the minutes from the February meeting were approved as submitted.

Mr. Nolley told the group that he would like to review and address the comments and concerns that were made at the community input meeting.  The group reviewed the land use map and identified the few areas that were identified at the community input meeting as concerns.  It was decided that they would not take action on the comments received from individuals (one individual, as opposed to several members of the community) and that they would let these be addressed at the public hearings.

Mrs. George reviewed the Land Use and Community Design portion of the comments from the community input meeting.  No additional comments were made about this section, so she continued by reviewing the Transportation portion of the public comments.  The group decided to recommend that NCDOT review safety concerns at several intersections that are within this planning area.  They also decided to add the wording to request that NCDOT try to widen any road that they pave in the future.  They decided to recommend that NCDOT consider redesigning the intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road and Little Mountain Road to make it safer.  Intersection improvements were also recommended for Hwy. 150/Slanting Bridge Road, Sherrills Ford Road/Beatty Road and Sherrills Ford Road/Steam Plant Road.

Mrs. George then reviewed the Community Facilities and Public Services portion of the community meeting comments.  The group discussed what their recommendation would be regarding the proposed sewer plant site.  The decision was made to recommend for the County to look at the possibility of looking at placing a passive or temporary park at the proposed sewer site on Slanting Bridge Road.  Their recommendation included the option of the site being used for a sewer plant in the future.

Mr. Nolley discussed impact fees and his knowledge of these since he began serving on the Foresight Committee for the County.  He pointed out, and Mr. Witherspoon affirmed, that impact fees alone would not pay for schools.  

Mrs. George continued reviewing the remainder of the comments from the community meeting.  The proposed residential districts were reviewed on the proposed rezoning map.  Mr. Smith asked the group what their recommendation would be if staff received a request to rezone some of the industrial property near Marshall Steam Plant to R-1 Residential.  The group said that they would support this request.  They also decided to recommend rezoning the strip along Island Point Road, previously identified to be rezoned to R-3, to R-1 if this industrial site was changed to R-1.

Mr. Beatty asked if the property near Sherrills Ford Road, that he and others own, that had been previously identified to be rezoned to R-3, instead be rezoned to R-1.  The group agreed to include this change in their recommendations.  

Mr. Neill said that he would like for the committee to communicate to the Commissioners that they would like to see sewer service provided to this area.  Mr. Nolley agreed to bring this issue up to the Foresight Committee.

Mr. Witherspoon and Mrs. George explained to the group that the Mountain View and Balls Creek Small Area Planning Committees were recommending the same type of wording in their mountain protection guidelines.  Mr. Witherspoon told the committee that they could decide to recommend the same type of wording in their plan or do something different, staff was just making the committee aware of these other committees’ actions.  Mrs. George reviewed the guidelines that were recommended by the Mountain View committee.

The group discussed this issue and the recommendation they wanted to make.  They decided to recommend that the mountain protection for this area be set, like the Mountain View and Balls Creek recommendations, to consider where existing development is located and set the elevation from there.  The elevation for these two districts just happens to be the same at 1,100 feet high.  The group decided to set their mountain protection area to begin at an elevation of 1,200 feet high.

Mrs. George gave the members a copy of the draft public hearing announcement about the June 24, 2002 Planning Board meeting where the recommendations for this Small Area Plan would be made.

The group decided that no other meeting needed to take place prior to the public hearing.  Mr. Nolley asked the members if there were any other issues that they would like for him to include in his comments at the public hearing.  Mrs. Weaver said that she would like to see the wording “to preserve rural character” included in the public hearing advertisement.

Mrs. George explained that Mr. Nolley would be presenting the recommendations to the Planning Board and that the Planning Board would not take action on the plan at their June 24, 2002 meeting.

Mr. Nolley told the group that he hoped to see them at the Planning Board meeting and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.