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FEBRUARY 18, 2008
AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, February 18, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room, 1924 Courthouse
30 North College Avenue, Newton, NC

1. Call to Order.

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

3. Invocation.

4. Approval of the Minutes from the regular meeting and closed session of Monday, February 4, 2008.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7. Presentations:


Courage to Care Week Proclamation. Presented to Clark Isaac and David Clark.

8. Public Hearing:

a. Rezoning request for two parcels totaling 22.26 acres from R-20 Residential to PD Planned Development. Presented by Chris Timberlake, Planner.


b. Rezoning request for one parcel totaling 22.82 acres from R-20 Residential to PD-CD Planned Development-Conditional District and approval of site plan subject to staff and Planning Board’s recommendations. Presented by Chris Timberlake, Planner.

9. Appointments.

10. Consent Agenda.


a. Request to Add WIC Positions – Public Health.


b. Joint Resolution in Recognition of North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ Centennial.


11. Departmental Reports.


Utilities and Engineering:


SECC Wastewater Project – Preferred Alternate. Presented by Jack Chandler, Public Services Administrator.

12. Other Items of business.

13. Attorneys’ Report.

14. Manager’s Report.

15. Adjournment.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Individuals needing assistance should contact the County Clerk at 465-8990 within a reasonable time prior to the meeting. A telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) is located in the Government Center and can be reached by dialing 465 8200. Access to the 1924 Courthouse for individuals with disabilities is at the south side (“A” Street). The elevator is located at the north end of the building. Participation in public meetings is without regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, color, or disability.

INFOTALK/INTERNET
The Catawba County Telephone Information System will allow you to use your touch tone telephone to obtain current information on Catawba County 24 hours a day. Information is updated on a regular basis. Dial 465-8468 and INFOTALK will direct your questions with easy to understand instructions. Reach Catawba County on the Internet at http://www.catawbacountync.gov.

CALENDAR
Due to the Board members’ attendance at the NACO Conference in Washington, DC in early March, there will be only one March Board of Commissioners Meeting. This meeting will take place on Monday, March 17, 2008 at 7:00 in the cafeteria of Sherrills Ford Elementary School located at 8103 Sherrills Ford Road. This meeting will follow a Drop In Informational Meeting from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. in the same location.

PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2008, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, NC

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on 1) a request to rezone a 22.82 acre parcel, at 5374 Highway 150 East in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-20 Residential to PD-CD Planned Development-Conditional District, and 2) a request to rezone two parcels totaling 22.16 acres, at 7473 Sherrills Ford Road in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-20 Residential to PD Planned Development; and consider delegating authority to the County’s Public Services Administrator to conduct an open meeting concerning preferred alternates for the Southeast Catawba County Wastewater project, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 18, 2008, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will also consider a request to add two Federally funded, full-time positions to Public Health’s Women, Infant and Children’s, or WIC Program, to work with breast feeding mothers and provide nutritional support to program participants; and a resolution recognizing and celebrating the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ centennial. The Board will also issue a proclamation declaring February 17- 24, 2008 as “Courage to Care Week” during which a fund raising campaign will be begin to raise $2.5 million for construction of a new twelve-bed inpatient hospice facility at the Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley.

PRESENTATIONS
The Board will issue a proclamation declaring February 17-24, 2008 as “Courage to Care Week”. During this week, a community wide fundraising campaign will begin to raise $2.5 million to build a new twelve-bed inpatient hospice facility at the Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley. The CareCenter has provided high quality, compassionate end of life care, and served more than 52% of the deaths in Catawba County in 2007. The current nine-bed inpatient facility on Robinson Road is at 100% capacity. Expansion of the inpatient facility is needed to serve the county’s families. The proclamation encourages citizens, businesses and churches to support this campaign.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by Mr. David Clarke, representing Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley, to rezone two adjacent parcels totaling approximately 22.16 acres, at 7473 Sherrills Ford Road in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-20 Residential to PD Planned Development.

Parcels surrounding this tract are currently zoned R-20 or R-40 Residential with one tract being a built upon property and the rest vacant, undeveloped or occupied by a non-conforming commercial establishment. Public water is available along Sherrills Ford Road, but public sewer is unavailable. As required by the County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), all utilities will be underground. Sherrills Ford Road is a two-lane road. Average daily traffic counts measured 5,900 in 2006. According to the Thoroughfare Plan for this area, the estimated capacity of the road is 13,800 vehicles per day. The site plan indicates the proposed development will have a divided entrance, with an internal right-of-way of 60 feet. An approved driveway connection permit from the North Carolina Department Of Transportation (NCDOT) will be required. All internal roads will be designed to NCDOT standards.

The Planned Development district is established to encourage the master planning of large scale, multiple and/or mixed use development patterns, to give applicants more flexibility and creativity in design than is possible under conventional zoning regulations. The planned development process allows for the layout of uses and open space that promote high standards in design and construction that further the purposes of the small area plans; encourages well-planned, efficient development to promote economical and efficient land uses; allows a planned and coordinated mix of land uses which are compatible and harmonious, but were previously discouraged by conventional zoning procedures; promotes the clustering of structures and other uses to preserve unique and natural features; and reserves adequate public right-of-way in development areas for the extension of arterial and collector streets, including proper width and spacing of such streets.


Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley sees a growing need for its services in the eastern portion of Catawba County and Lake Norman area. An ideal site for the proposed center would be between 3 and 5 acres. In order to make this site a viable location, an economical use of the excess property is required. In this case, PD Planned Development would provide for a mixture of a nonresidential use (Hospice) and single family residences on individual lots within a master planned development. As proposed, the plan consists of 16 lots, 15 for single family residences and one lot for Hospice. The residential lots would vary in size from .60 acres to 1.18 acres. Setbacks for single family lots will be 30 foot front, 30 foot rear, and 20 foot side. A home owners association would be established to enforce deed restrictions and maintain 2.99 acres proposed as open space. The lot for the Hospice facility, which would include a six bed patient care center and administration building, would contain 3.22 acres. Because of the nonresidential use of the facility, it must to meet a 50 foot setback from residential properties. The approximate size of the facility is 12,000 square feet, well below the permitted floor area. Since the property is located in a WS-IV Watershed – Protected Area, the imperviousness allowed would be 50,494 square feet. The proposed impervious area, including the facility and paved surfaces, is 26,500 square feet. The plan also shows that the property along Sherrills Ford Road is in a Rural Preservation-Overlay district, which establishes a 100 foot setback from the right-of-way, to preserve the rural character of the travel way.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, adopted on February 17, 2003, serves as the current land use plan for this area. The subject properties are in an area recommended for a density of two dwellings per acre. The density proposed would vary between one and just under two dwellings per acre. Because of its residential nature and proposed density, staff considers the request to be in conformance with the adopted land use plan and recommended approval, based on the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan recognizing the parcels as being in an area proposed for medium density residential development and the purpose of the PD Planned Development zone. The Catawba County Planning Board held a public hearing on this request on January 28, 2008. Two persons spoke in favor of the rezoning request. The Planning Board voted 9-0 to recommend approval of the rezoning, based on the staff recommendations noted above.

B. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc., to rezone one parcel of approximately 22.82 acres, at 5374 Highway 150 East in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-20 Residential to PD-CD Planned Development-Conditional District.

Properties to the north, south and east of the subject parcel are zoned R-20 or R-40 Residential. Seven are presently occupied by single family residences, one is a developed property and one is undeveloped. Public water is available along Highway 150, but public sewer is currently unavailable. A private septic system would be subject to approval by Catawba County Environmental Health. As required by the UDO, all utilities must be underground. The average daily traffic count along Highway 150 in 2005 was 12,000 vehicles per day west of Highway 16, and 10,000 per day east of Highway 16. According to the Thoroughfare Plan for this area, the estimated capacity of Highway 150 is 14,200 vehicles per day. According to a Traffic Impact Analysis prepared by Martin, Alexiou, and Bryson, the overall development is projected to generate an additional 8,576 daily trips. That analysis recommends several off-site transportation improvements including installation of a three-phase traffic signal at the main site entrance; and construction of an eastbound left-turn lane at the main entrance; a westbound right-turn lane; one incoming lane and two outgoing lanes at the main entrance, with the left turn outgoing lane to extend the length of the driveway; an exclusive westbound right turn lane to provide access to a second entrance; and one incoming and outgoing lane, with an exclusive right-turn lane to prohibit left turn movements, into and out of the second access. The Traffic Impact Analysis has been submitted to NCDOT for review. Their comments have not been received at this time.

Planned Development rezoning is required when a proposed building exceeds 50,000 square feet. The County UDO, Section 44-443, PD Planned Development District, indicates the planned development district is established to encourage the master planning of large scale, multiple and/or mixed use development patterns, giving applicants more flexibility and creativity in design than is possible under conventional zoning regulations.

Conditional zoning districts allow for the consideration of certain uses that, because of their nature or scale, have particular impacts on both the immediate area and the community as a whole, and are created or established for selected criteria. Development of these uses cannot be predetermined and controlled by general district regulations. Circumstances may arise when a general zoning district designation would not be appropriate for a certain property, but specific uses permitted under the district would be consistent with the objectives of this section of the UDO.

Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. has submitted a revised site plan for the proposed development, if the parcel is rezoned to PD-CD, based on conditions recommended by County staff and the Planning Board. The 22.82 acre parcel would be subdivided into four lots, a 19.55 acre parcel for the location of Lowe’s, a 1.27 acre outparcel, and two 1.05 acre outparcels. Based on the site plan, Lowe’s is proposing an approximately 172,953 square foot building including garden center, storage, staging, and office areas. The Planned Development floor area ratio is 1:2. For every square foot of building space, there must be two square feet of land area. The 172,953 square feet of proposed building area would require a minimum of 345,906 square feet of land area. The property is 851,598 square feet in size, therefore it meets the floor area ratio requirement.

The UDO requires four parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of retail space. The area devoted to retail alone is proposed to be approximately 152,340 square feet, which would require 609 parking spaces. The Mixed Used-Corridor Overlay (MUC-O) for this parcel allows for a reduction in parking, provided the applicant presents market studies or documented industry standards. The site plan shows 571 parking spaces will be provided. 501 would be located at the front of the building line and dedicated to parking only, with the remaining 70 spaces available for parking, and sales display and storage.

The site plan addresses the County’s landscaping requirements for parking facilities, parcel perimeter buffers, foundation plantings and internal parking landscaping which meets the UDO requirements. The revised MUC-O allows for negotiation of on-premise and wall signs as part of the planned development process. The recommendations from staff and the Planning Board differ regarding a Highway 16 pylon sign. Staff did not recommend a 150 square foot panel sign, 60 feet in height, due to the height and visibility at a location where people enter the county. The Planning Board recommended approval of the sign as proposed. Staff and the Planning Board recommend approval of additional signage proposals for Lowes and the outparcels, even though they do not meet current UDO regulations.

The UDO requires that outside display or storage of inorganic products must be screened from any State-maintained road. The site plan submitted by Lowe’s also shows outside display and storage areas to the east and west sides and along the front of the building which will be further screened through a combination of landscape islands, parking perimeter landscaping, decorative fencing, and outparcel landscaping and development. A revised site plan submitted on January 28, 2008 complies with MUC-O standards requiring that the first floor of all building facades, fronting public or private streets, must be designed to complement architectural aesthetics by including glass windows or doors, false window panels/treatments, awnings, murals or framed openings comprising at least 20% of the wall area.

Proposed uses for outparcels include retail, bank, office, drug store, eating and drinking establishments, with or without alcohol and/or drive-thru, convenience stores with fuel sales, and grocery store. Any establishment will have to meet development standards for Planned Development and MUC-O districts, with the exception of signage allowances based on the approved negotiated signage for the development.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, adopted on February 17, 2003, serves as the current land use plan for this area. The subject properties are in an area recommended for a regional/commercial mixed use center, designed to provide a mixture of uses such as commercial (including big box design), office-institutional, and multi-family. Because of its nature, staff considers this request to be reasonable and in conformance with the adopted land use plan.

The Catawba County Planning Board conducted a public hearing on January 28, 2008. One person spoke in favor of the rezoning request. After considering site plan and elevation drawings dated January 17, 2008, the Planning Board voted unanimously to recommended adoption of a statement affirming the consistency of the rezoning request with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan and the conditional rezoning of the property from R-20 Residential to PD-CD Planned Development, based on site plan and elevation drawings dated January 17, 2008, which includes a pylon sign with a maximum height of 60 feet and 150 square foot panel size, due to the elevation of property and visibility to south bound traffic. The Planning Board recommended approval of the rezoning based on the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan recognizing the parcels as being in an area proposed for regional/commercial mixed use development and the purpose of the PD-CD Planned Development zone. Based on the Planning Board’s recommendation, revised site plan drawings dated January 28, 2008 were submitted, with changes which have met or will meet site plan conditions.


CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider a request from Catawba County Public Health to add two full-time positions to the Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) program. The requested positions, a Dietetic Technician and WIC Peer Counselor, will be paid entirely with Federal WIC funds. The WIC caseload has grown 28% over the past five years. Based on a recent WIC staff needs assessment that studied caseload counts, the number of staff in various disciplines, State WIC staffing guidelines and future needs, the Catawba County Board of Health has determined that additional staff is required for office support and nutrition support. The Board of Health is requesting that the Board of Commissioners approve these positions.

B. The Board will consider a joint resolution with other North Carolina counties to recognize the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) centennial. The Association, established by the North Carolina General Assembly on March 8, 1909, has a proven success in advocacy, county-centered services and educational programs. The resolution recognizes and celebrates “100 Years of County Unity”, in tribute to NCACC’s centennial.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
The Board will consider delegating authority to the County’s Public Services Administrator, Mr. Jack Chandler, to conduct an open meeting concerning preferred alternates for the Southeast Catawba County Wastewater Project. North Carolina General Statutes provide for free and open competition on public contracts and state that specifications shall contain a performance specification, or name at least three brands of equal or equivalent design characteristics and that, if the owner prefers a particular brand, product or material, then such brand shall be bid as an alternate to the three items or equivalent design in a base bid, one of which may be the preferred brand. The specifications for the preferred brand must also identify the performance standards that support the preference. The project owner shall publish a notice announcing an open meeting for presentation of the performance standards. The open meeting may be held separately or in conjunction with the project pre-bid meeting. A designated official of the owner will conduct the meeting. Finally, justification for the alternate must either indicate a cost savings, or maintain or improve the function of any process or system affected by the preferred product or both.

There is only one product being considered as a preferred alternate for the Southeast Catawba County Wastewater Project, Fairbanks Morse Pumps. The City of Hickory is partnering with Catawba County to provide this service to southeast Catawba County. The City’s Public Utilities Department has standardized the use of Fairbanks Morse Pumps, which have been in operation within Hickory’s system for over 30 years, in any location where they operate and maintain equipment, due to Fairbanks Morse Pumps’ proven history with the City, local sales, service and support, and a reduction in required spare parts inventory, as required by NC General Statutes. The City has indicated it has an excellent relationship with the local Fairbanks Morse vendor, who has provided impeccable in-house support for the City’s operations for both support, trouble shooting, and start-up in the field, and records on pumps currently in service. Since any preferred alternate must be discussed at an open meeting by an official designated by the owner, staff requests that the Board delegate authority to act as the official for the County to the Public Services Administrator. The preferred alternate discussion will occur at the advertised pre-bid meeting; and all procedures set by the North Carolina Construction Office will be followed.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464

 

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