Startown Small Area Plan Committee Meeting
for December 9, 2004

Members Present: Chip Canupp, Vice-Chairman; Reba Reinhardt; Clarence Hood; Charlie Wyant; Rusty Lutz, and Glenn Pattishall.

Members Absent: Tony Wolfe, Jerry Lael, Thomas Jones, Kevin Saunders, Dawn Mull, and Keith Stahley

Staff Present: Jacky Eubanks, Mary George, Sue Ballbach, and Connie Killian from Catawba County Planning Department and John Kenny and Andrea Lytle from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

Vice Chairman Canupp called the meeting to order at 7:07 pm and welcomed those present.

The minutes were approved with the following changes corrected - Dawn Mull was listed as being present and absent - she was present, so her name needs to be removed from the absence list. Also, need to change the word requirement to "restriction" in the next to last paragraph on first page.

Mr. John Kenny informed the Committee that he wanted them to look at Map #6 that was sent to them to make sure it represented what their suggestions were from the previous meeting concerning land uses in the Startown Plan area. He stated that there was time to make revisions. He also had them to refer to Map #3 where he wanted to make them aware of some zoning issues that could make a difference in their recommendations.

Ms. George stated that there are areas zoned ED-Industrial in the Hwy. 321 corridor which should be noted on the map in lieu of the residential densities.

Ms. Lytle stated that housing density would not have to be decided in the areas zoned commercial and industrial because houses would not be allowed.

Mr. Kenny pointed out the Village area on the map which would allow mixed uses. He stated that the map showed a very large area and he wanted to know how many approximate acres did they want to include in this Village concept.

Mr. Eubanks told the Committee that they needed to keep in mind that once this is designated and Commissioners adopt this Plan, this area would be locked in for these specific uses. Also with adoption, design standards would be established for the village area.

Mr. Kenny asked the group to think about how this commercial development would look on both side sides of Startown Road. After discussion, the group decided that this area might be too large in size because of the large acreage tracts located in this area. As shown presently on the map, this area encompasses properties on both sides of Startown Road from Catawba Valley Boulevard to Settlemyre Bridge Rd.

Ms. George stated that the availability of sewer should also be a factor of where the village designation is made.

Mr. Glenn Pattishall informed the group that there is sewer from Clarks Creek. He stated that this area was an outfall into a pump station.

Ms. George stated that there was a great number of homes located on the east side of Startown Rd., so would they want to suggest that the village concept be located on the west side only or be designated along the new thoroughfare that would be placed in this area.

Mr. Pattishall stated that if they chose to do a village concept in this area, there needed to be connectivity with the City of Newton's planning area.

After further discussion the following was recommended by the Committee: the village area would be bounded on the west by Robinwood Rd., on the east by Startown Rd., south by the new Southern Corridor, and north by the proposed extension of the Catawba Valley Blvd.

There were questions about how much acreage would be included in their proposed Village area. Some felt that this was too large of acreage for this zoning district. Mr. Kenny stated that he would get the number of acres included in their proposal to them by the next meeting.

Mr. Kenny showed the area on the map (depicted in green color) that contained the two-acre requirement. He informed them that they might want to look at this area because there was infrastructure located in this area that could support smaller lot sizes.

Mr. Eubanks stated that the legend was not correct. The residential listing should show yellow first, blue second, and green third because of the hierarchy in the amount of land required for lots.

A question was asked how these densities fit in with cluster subdivisions. Ms. George explained what a cluster subdivision was and how these densities would work with this type of subdivision. She further explained that cluster subdivisions were only an option; developers could design their subdivisions in the traditional way if they so chose.

The Committee clarified the highest density area (noted as yellow on the map) as follows: no water or sewer - 1 house per .5 acre (20,000 sq.ft.); water or sewer - .34 acre (15,000 sq.ft.); and both water and sewer available - .25 acre (10,000 sq.ft.). The yellow area should be described as a transition area according to one of the members and would be considered the highest density area.

Mr. Eubanks stated that the closer the properties are to the city limits of Newton or other cities they need to match the density of the city that it joins because of the transition. As you move further away, the densities should become more rural with less density requirements. He further stated that the Startown Plan needed to be in harmony, not in opposition, to the cities that these properties join.

It was the consensus of the group that the blue area shown on the map, which is the medium density area, would be defined as shown in the legend on the map - one house per one-acre without water and sewer; one house per .75 acre with water or sewer; and one house per .5 acre with water and sewer.

Ms. George explained that where the Mountain View Plan joins this Plan would be mismatched if the Committee does not change some of the blue area (medium density) to yellow area (high density). After discussion the Committee decided to move the yellow line over west of Robinson Rd. and South of Sandy Ford Rd. They recommended the whole area shown should be shown yellow all the way to Hwy. 10.

Mr. Pattishall stated that sewer would be all along Rocky Ford Rd. by the end of 2005 and this is shown in the green area (2 acre density).

The green area, which only allows one house per two-acres, was discussed and it was decided that it should follow along Hwy. 321 for a certain distance except where the commercial nodes would be placed. A commercial node would be included at the recommended Hwy. 321 and River Road interchange in this area.

Mr. Clarence Hood stated that he had talked to most of the larger landowners on Sigmon Dairy Road and a few on Startown Road and they liked the idea of a rural environment and the agricultural district. He stated that there are tracts totaling 800 acres located on Sigmon Dairy Road, and people wanted to keep the two-acre density requirement. He reminded the group that there is a lot of floodplain in this area along Clarks Creek and Betts Branch and what is recommended should take this into consideration.

There was discussion concerning the density of the area east of Startown Rd. that was shown green on the map that joins Newton and Maiden city limits. Mr. Eubanks reminded the Board since this area abuts Newton and Maiden city limits, it needed to be consistent with their density plans. He reminded the group if this were changed to a higher density, it would give the farmer more options and choices with their property if they decided to subdivide.

Mr. Kenny informed the group that staff would propose a variety of tools that would help preserve the rural character of this area. He stated that he would get this to them before their next meeting so they would have time to review. This will be discussed at their next meeting.

Mr. Kenny stated that their next meeting was January 13, 2005 beginning at 7:00 pm in the same room as this meeting was being held.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:49 pm.