St. Stephens/Oxford Small Area Planning Committee Meeting
April 10, 2002 

Members present: Larry Brittain, Anne Barrier (Chair), Ira Cline, Mack Stafford, John Robinson, Mike Williams, Cliff Isaac, John Cline and Jeff Kerley. 

Member absent: Todd Miller.  

Staff present: Mary George and Rich Hoffman from the Catawba County Planning Department, Anthony Starr, consultant from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG).

Other present: Tom Carr, City of Hickory.

The meeting began at 7:00 PM in the Conover City Hall Council Chambers.

Ms. George: Opened the meeting.  The minutes from the March 13, 2002 meeting were approved.  She mentioned the community input meeting on April 16, 2002 for the Sherrills Ford SAP.  It may be helpful for committee members to see how it progresses.  It will be from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  

Mr. Starr: Discussed the Land Use draft document.  He asked the committee to review and note any amendments.  He displayed the current residential density map showing high, medium and low density areas.  The Catawba River Corridor was shown to be the area within 435’ of the river.

A discussion arose as to where the current industrial and commercial (mixed use) areas are.  There are a few adjoining parcels south of I-40, which are currently recommended to remain residential.  The committee felt that with the relationship of these parcels to abutting industrial zoning in Claremont and Conover’s jurisdiction and the committee’s recommendation of the north side of I-40 to be commercial, that these parcels should be recommended to be changed to commercial and/or industrial.  The committee noted that public water and sewer extensions would help dictate the commercial development of this area. 

A discussion on billboards was brought up.  The committee agreed that the I-40 corridor was an appropriate place for billboards.  Mr. Ira Cline had concerns that existing non-conforming uses would not be able to reestablish if the use is discontinued.  Mr. Ira Cline also felt that existing non-conforming uses should have more ability to remain (possibly to not call them non-conforming).  Ms. George commented that non-conforming uses are allowed to remain as long as they are not discontinued or abandoned for a period of greater than six months.  She also commented that off-site directional signs are allowed in the County subject to specific standards.  She offered to meet with Mr. Cline to review the County’s current sign ordinance.  With Ms. George’s response the matter appeared resolved.  

Mr. Starr: Discussed housing.  He explained that building permits have decreased over the past few years for single-wide manufactured homes, while permits for doublewide and site-built homes have increased.  He discussed the committee’s current plan recommendations.  Possible areas to be considered for rezoning to R-1 and R-2 were discussed.  R-1 zoning does not allow for manufactured homes.  The committee discussed current site-built subdivisions and felt that an R-1 buffer surrounding them would be appropriate.  The committee also recommended that one-parcel around the lakes/river should be R-1 due to the existing development pattern.  Also a one-parcel corridor along Hwy 16 was recommended to be R-1.  One parcel off the south side of River Bend Road and the north side of River Bend and Oxford School Roads to the river were recommended to be R-1.  The committee noted that this area was recommended to remain a scenic area.  The area of Section House and County Home Roads were also recommended to be R-1.   

Ms. George: Suggested to committee members to drive the area and confirm their thoughts as to where they want to recommend R-1 and R-2 zoning.  Staff would provide a draft map for the committee to review prior to the next meeting.

The committee recommended that when existing single-wide manufactured homes are replaced in R-1 zoning districts that they could be replaced with double-wide manufactured homes or site built homes (not single-wide manufactured homes).  

The committee also wanted to confirm the statements that multi-family, where allowed, is an affordable housing option.  Also, that multi-family can occur where public water and public sewer is available and zoned appropriate.  The density recommendation for multi-family development was 15 dwelling units/acre based on similar zoning in the cities.  

The next meeting is scheduled for May 8, 2002 beginning at an earlier start time of 6:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.