St. Stephens/Oxford Small Area Planning Committee Meeting 
December 19, 2001

Members present:  Mike Williams, Mack Stafford, Ira Cline, Cliff Isaac, Anne Barrier (Chairperson and Planning Board liaison) and Jeff Kerley.

Members absent:  Larry Brittain, Todd Miller, John Robinson and John Cline.

Staff present: Mary George and Richard Smith from the Catawba County Planning and Community Development Department, Anthony Starr from the City of Conover, and Susan Baumann, John Tippet and from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG).

Mrs. Barrier called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

Minutes from the November 14, 2001 meeting were approved as submitted.

Ms. Baumann made a slide show presentation to the group representing various development design standards.  Mrs. George reviewed the individual slides with the group and highlighted illustrations of standards that the group has discussed for their area regarding land use, roads, and other aesthetic features.

Next, Ms. Baumann reviewed the Land Use and Community Design handout that was distributed to the group members.  She presented a working map to the group and asked for them to identify areas that they saw as being commercial uses either now or in the future.  She marked these on the map as the group identified them.

Neighborhood commercial nodes were identified at the following intersections:

1) Hwy. 16/Springs Road
2) Hwy. 16/St. Peters Church Road
3) Hwy. 16/Swinging Bridge Road

Corridor commercial was identified along Springs Road from Hickory’s planning jurisdiction to County Home Road.

Rural commercial nodes were identified at the following intersections:

1) Oxford School Road/River Bend Road
2) Lee Cline Road/Houston Mill Road to serve the existing residential neighborhoods

Mr. Isaac asked Mrs. George to clarify that the group is making land use recommendations for a land use plan and not proposing to rezone this area.  Mrs. George told the group that this was the case and what they would recommend would be what was incorporated into the plan so that these areas were identified for zoning changes in the future.  She said that the group could choose to recommend rezonings if they felt strongly about a particular area or use.  She gave the example of other committees including residential rezonings in their plans because of their concerns about certain types of housing uses.

The area along the north side of Interstate 40 at the interchange of Oxford School Road was identified as an area that should be targeted for industrial and commercial uses.  Mrs. Barrier said that realistically not much industrial use was going to occur in the biggest part of this planning area due to the lack of infrastructure.  She said that she could see this area going neighborhood commercial, office institutional and the like, but not so much industrial.  The Committee also identified the interchange of I-40 at Rock Barn Road to be a commercial area.  These areas would have standards similar to the Hwy. 321 corridor along with buffers along the Interstate.

Multi-family uses were discussed and the group acknowledged that these types of uses were also limited in this area because of the infrastructure requirements and the subsequent lack of it in this area.  Mr. Williams asked about how this group’s plan compares with the other areas as far as these similar issues.  Mrs. George told him that the other groups are dealing with the same type of issues and looked to the future infrastructure plans for siting these uses.  Mrs. Barrier asked if water and sewer would follow the plan if the group recommends a use that requires it that presently does not have it and Mrs. George told her that if the group put it in their plan, then it would be considered for making decisions of where infrastructure needs to be.

Mr. Williams pointed out that this area has main corridor areas with four main ones sprouting out from the dam area.  With this in mind, the group identified some of these roads as potential protected corridor areas with limitations on driveway cuts and additional setbacks to take into account future widening.  The roads included were Hwy. 16, Springs Road, County Home and Oxford School Road.  Mr. Cline pointed out that the roads that are being discussed are roads that were designed several years ago for vehicles that were not designed to go but so fast and things have changed a great deal since then.  

Ms. Baumann reviewed on the map the areas that the group had identified so far for commercial, industrial, or office institutional uses.  The area near St. Johns Church Road was identified for more of a mixed-use type area.  Mr. Cline asked if the group was identifying areas for small stores that were used for small stores many years ago.  Mrs. George told him that this was happening somewhat because of population changes and travel habits.  The committee agreed to designate an area around St. Johns Church Road and Hwy 16 as a “village” area.  The group discussed the areas that they were identifying for community center areas.  

The group discussed whether or not they wanted to identify other areas for future industrial use.  They did not come to a conclusion and decided to discuss this further at the next meeting.
Mrs. George gave the group some handouts for them to review.  

Mrs. Barrier told the group that regretfully Ms. Baumann would be leaving the WPCOG for a job with the City of Charlotte.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. in the Conover City Hall. 

Mrs. Barrier adjourned the meeting at 8:59 pm.