Startown Small Area Plan Committee Meeting
for November 11, 2004

The Startown Small Area Planning Committee met on Thursday, November 11, 2004 in the Second Floor Meeting Room of the Catawba County Government Center in Newton, North Carolina.

Members present: Glenn Pattishall, Rusty Lutz, Reba Reinhardt, Clarence Hood, Charlie Wyant, Chip Canupp, Dawn Mull, and Tony Wolfe, Chairman.

Members absent: Keith Stahley, Kevin Saunders, and Jerry Lael

Staff present: Mary George, Sue Ballbach, and Connie Killian from the Catawba County Planning Department; and Andrea Lytle and John Kenny, consultants from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments

Chairman Wolfe called the meeting to order at 7:00 and he welcomed those present.

Chairman Wolfe asked if there were any additions, corrections, etc. to the October 14th minutes. There was one spelling correction noted on page 2. With this correction, the minutes were approved as written and submitted.

Mr. John Kenny informed the group that they had added a new Guiding Principle under the Open Space category - develop options for passive recreational uses. He wanted to review this addition with them to make sure that this was what the Committee wanted as they had discussed at their last meeting. Ms. Andrea Lytle said that they had also added the specifics that the Committee had discussed to the Plan Recommendations section.

Mr. Kenny reviewed the Plan Recommendations for Commercial development to make sure they had captured the group's recommendations accurately.

The first recommendation was to establish a community gateway entrance with attractive signage on US Hwy. 321 at the Startown Road interchange. Improved design standards should be coordinated with the Town of Maiden to create an inviting "gateway" into Catawba County. The group resolved that new signage should be located on US Hwy. 321 rather than on Startown Rd.

The next recommendations concerned the design criteria for businesses in the Startown SAP. At the previous meeting, the committee had developed a number of design recommendations. Mr. Kenny reviewed these suggestions and asked the group if they wanted the design criteria to apply to the entire Startown planning area.

Ms. George told the group that there are already heightened design standards along the US Hwy. 321 Corridor. These standards have been agreed to by all the cities that have jurisdiction in the corridor. These standards include the 35 ft. height restriction for buildings. Since the 35 ft. height restriction is in the US Hwy. 321 Corridor Plan, it was decided to remove the item from the Plan Recommendations.

The question was asked several times if the group thought these criteria might be too restrictive. Ms. George answered this question by saying that in most cases they were only encouraging, not requiring. She stated that the County would be requiring all these items in their future UDO.

Mr. Kenny suggested that the last sub-items under the commercial building be removed at the present time and maybe looked at later in the development of this Plan. He discussed the Commercial Development Nodes and what the Committee had recommended for each of the three proposed nodes. The nodes included a Community Center Node (PUD), which would be at the interchange at US Hwy. 321 and Rocky Ford Rd. This should include regional, commercial, and mixed uses. The Neighborhood Commercial Node, which is recommended at Settlemyre Bridge Rd. and Startown Road, should include a mix of commercial and residential uses. A Rural Commercial Node was recommended for the intersection of NC Hwy. 10/Hickory-Lincolnton Hwy. and would serve residents of the immediate neighborhood.

After discussion about joint planning efforts with adjoining municipalities, the group decided they wanted to add an overall Guiding Principle stating that municipalities which annex any part of the Startown area should consider the recommendations of the Startown SAP. The specifics of Guiding Principle would be developed for them to review at the next meeting.

Mr. Glenn Pattishall suggested that additional recommendations be created to prevent strip development along US Hwy. 321 and at the Commercial Development Nodes. Mr. Kenny suggested adding a Guiding Principle to target commercial growth to appropriate areas. The specifics of Guiding Principle would be developed for them to review at the next meeting.

Under the Plan Recommendations for Industrial development, Mr. Kenny stated that he wanted to make sure the committee was comfortable with the recommendation that no additional land should be zoned for industrial development. Most of the industrial land is currently located in the US Hwy. 321 Corridor. The group's consensus was to support this recommendation.

Mr. Kenny then asked the Committee to consider where they thought high, medium, and low residential development was appropriate. He said that generally greater development occurs where public water lines exist. Ms. George explained the specifics of the density requirements recommended by other SAPs.

See attached map for a rough draft of the Committee's recommended densities. The Committee will review this map and suggest changes at their next meeting.

Next regular meeting will be December 9, 2004 at the same place and time.

Meeting adjourned at 9:08 pm.

Action Items:
1) Add to the Transportation Plan Recommendations: "Encourage NCDOT to landscape all interchanges along Hwy. 321.