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MARCH 19, 2007
AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, March 19, 2007, 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 of Monday, February 19, 2007.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7. Presentations:

a. Proclamation for Catawba Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross 90th Anniversary. Presented to Yerby Ray, Executive Director, Catawba Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.


b. Southeast Catawba County Area Council presentations by Mark Sigmon, Chair:


1. Liquor by the drink for Mt. Creek Township.


2. Sewer service along Hwy 150.

8. Public Hearings:


a. Rezoning request by Mark Leatherman for Leatherman Grading Inc. to rezone 5.12 acres from R-20 Residential to RC Rural Commercial. Presented by Cal Overby, Planner.


b. Rezoning request by James R. Davidson for JWSJRD LLC to rezone .84 acre from R-30 Residential to O-I Office Institutional. Presented by Cal Overby, Planner.


c. Rezoning request by Daphne Wagner for Carl and Frankie Spencer to rezone 1.59 acres from R-20 Residential to RC Rural Commercial. Presented by Cal Overby, Planner.


d. Rezoning request by 5-Star Land Development for Hurshel Teague to rezone 23.06 acreas from R-40 Residential to PD Planned Development. Presented by Cal Overby, Planner.

9. Appointments.

10. Department Reports.

a. Social Services:
Update on NACO Prescription Drug Program. Presented by Jo Sloan, Family Support Program Manager, Social Services.

b. Sheriff’s Office:
Allocation of insurance money received from two wrecked patrol vehicles to enable purchase of one vehicle. Presented by Susan Branch, Business Manager.


c. Planning:
Abandonment of a portion of Shuford Road. Presented by Jacky Eubanks, Planning Director.


d. County Manager’s Office – Legal Department:
Approval to submit grant for Criminal Justice Partnership Board. Presented by Debra Bechtel, County Attorney/Chair, Criminal Justice Partnership Board.

11. Other Items of business.

12. Attorneys’ Report.

13. Manager’s Report.

14. 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
The April Board of Commissioners meetings will take place on Monday, April 2, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. and Monday, April 16, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.


PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold four public hearings on 1) a request to rezone a 5.12 acre parcel at 5838 East Greedy Highway from R-20 Residential to RC Rural Commercial; 2) a request to rezone a 0.84 acre parcel at 6706 Highway 150 East from R-30 Residential to O-I Office and Institutional; 3) a request to rezone a 1.59 acre parcel at 8021 Highway 150 East from R-20 Residential to RC Rural Commercial; and 4) a request to rezone two parcels totaling 23.06 acres at 6640 and 6641 Monford Road from R-40 Residential to PD- Planned Development, when the Board meets beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 19, 2007 in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room on the second floor of the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will also hear from a representative of the Southeast Catawba County Area Council, who is expected to ask the Board to call for a referendum on liquor by the drink, to be voted on by registered voters in the Mountain Creek Township, and to comment on sewer service along Highway 150; will receive an update on a National Association of Counties Prescription Drug Card program, in which Catawba County has been participating; and consider the allocation of insurance money received for two wrecked Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles to enable the purchase of one vehicle, the approval of a grant for the Criminal Justice Partnership Program; and the abandonment of State maintenance of the last 0.26 miles of Shuford Road (State Road 1145) and issue a proclamation recognizing the 90th anniversary of the Catawba County chapter of the American Red Cross.

PRESENTATIONS
A. The Board will present a proclamation recognizing the 90th anniversary of the founding of Catawba County’s chapter of the American Red Cross. On April 5, 1917, 60 citizens formed the Hickory Auxiliary of the American Red Cross, which would later evolve into the Catawba Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. From the beginning, their goal was to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The fledging chapter participated in recovery efforts following the devastation of back to back hurricanes, supported the troops involved in World War I, and responded to the ravages of a worldwide flu epidemic responsible for over 40 million deaths. Over the past ninety years, the Catawba Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has served, and continues to serve, all residents of Catawba and Alexander Counties through its disaster services, Armed Forces Emergency Services, blood collection, and health and safety classes.

B. Mr. Mark Sigmon, Chair of the Southeast Catawba County Area Council, will address the Board. He is expected to ask the Board to call for a referendum on liquor by the drink, to be voted on by registered voters in the Mountain Creek Township, and to discuss sewer service along Highway 150.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request of Mr. Mark Leatherman for Leatherman Grading, Inc., to rezone a 5.12 acre parcel, located at 5838 East Greedy Highway in the Mountain View Small Area Planning District, from the R-20 Residential District to RC Rural Commercial. The subject parcel is currently vacant. Properties to the north are currently zoned R-20 Residential and either occupied by single-family residences or vacant; properties to the south are zoned R-20 and R-40 Residential and occupied by single-family residences or are vacant; the property immediately to the east is owned by the applicant and is vacant, while properties further to the east across Highway 127 South are zoned R-20 Residential and PD Planned Development and are either vacant or occupied by commercial structures; while the property to the west is zoned R-40 Residential and occupied by a single-family residence.

The stated purpose of the RC Rural Commercial District, under the County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), is to provide for the location of business, office and service uses in rural settings that serve immediately surrounding residential neighborhoods. Uses permitted within the RC Rural Commercial District generally consist of smaller retail and service uses targeting the immediate surrounding neighborhoods.

The property proposed for rezoning is 5.12 acres in size. The RC Rural Commercial District, which is being requested, would permit a maximum floor area ratio of 1:5, which would calculate into 1.02 acres, or 44,605 square feet of total floor area (numbers rounded). The subject property is also located in a WS-III-BW watershed protection area, which places specific use and density standards on development.

The Mountain View Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area. The plan identifies the area around the intersection of Highway 127 South and East Greedy Highway as an area for high density residential land uses, typically consisting of residential zoning districts that accommodate higher density residential land uses, but not land-uses related to Rural Commercial zoning. Staff does not consider the request to be consistent with the Mountain View Small Area Plan and did not recommend approval of the request because of 1) the isolation of the subject property from other adjacent commercial zoning; 2) the consideration of spot-zoning; and 3) the recommendations of the Mountain View Small Area Plan. The Catawba County Planning Board held a public hearing on this rezoning on February 26, 2007. A total of twelve citizens spoke during the public hearing, four in favor of the rezoning and seven in opposition, with one person neither for nor against the proposal. The County also received two letters opposing the rezoning. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend this request not be approved, on the basis of the staff recommendation noted above.

B. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request of Mr. James R. Davidson for JWSJRD LLC, to rezone a 0.84 acre parcel, located at 6706 Highway 150 East in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from the R-30 Residential District to O-I Office and Institutional. The subject parcel is currently vacant. Properties to the north across Emerald Isle Drive are zoned R-30 Residential and currently occupied by single-family residences; properties to the south across Highway 150 East are zoned R-30 Residential and HC Highway Commercial and either occupied by a single-family residence or vacant; properties to the east across Emerald Isle Drive are zoned R-30 Residential and either vacant or occupied by a single-family residence or recreational vehicle (RV) campground; while properties to the west are zoned R-30 Residential and are occupied by single-family residences.

The stated purpose of the Office-Institutional District, under the County’s Unified Development Ordinance, is to provide for the location of office, institutional and low intensity commercial uses; which act as buffers between low and higher intensity land-uses in some instances. Permitted uses generally consist of professional offices and services, as well as civic and institutional land-uses. The property proposed for rezoning includes 0.84 acres. The Office-Institutional District, which is being requested, would permit a maximum floor area ratio of 1:5, which would calculate to 0.168 acres or 7,318 square feet of total floor area (numbers rounded). The property is also located in Mixed Use Corridor Overlay, Watershed Protection Overlay and Catawba River Corridor Overlay districts, each of which places specific use, site and building design standards on construction development.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area. The plan designates this area of Highway 150 as an Office Institutional/Mixed Residential Corridor. Staff recommended the rezoning be approved, based on: 1) the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan recognizing this portion of Highway 150 as an Office-Institutional/Mixed Residential Corridor; 2) the purpose of the Office-Institutional District; and 3) the close proximity of existing Highway Commercial zoning. The size of the parcel in question would not permit large-scale Office-Institutional uses. The Planning Board conducted a public hearing on February 26, 2007. Two citizens spoke during the public hearing, with one in favor and the other not indicating support or opposition to the request. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend approval of this request, based on the issues cited in the staff recommendation.

C. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request of Ms. Daphne Wagner, for Mr. Carl and Ms. Frankie Spencer, to rezone a 1.59 acre parcel, located at 8021 Highway 150 East in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-20 Residential to RC Rural Commercial. The subject parcel is currently occupied by a single-family residence. The property to the north across Highway 150 is zoned R-20 Residential and currently includes several small buildings. The property to the northwest across Highway 150 is zoned RC Rural Commercial and is vacant. The property to the northeast across Highway 150 is zoned R-20 Residential and occupied by a single-family residence. The property to the south is zoned R-20 Residential and is vacant. The property to the southeast is zoned PD Planned Development and occupied by a recreational vehicle (RV) sales and service facility. The properties to the east are zoned R-20 Residential and occupied by a single-family residence and an out building. The property to the west is zoned PD Planned Development and occupied by a RV sales and service facility.

The purposes of the RC Rural Commercial District, under the Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance,
are summarized under Item A, above.

The property proposed for rezoning includes 1.59 acres. The RC Rural Commercial District, which is beind requested, would permit a maximum floor area ratio of 1:5, which would calculate to 0.318 acres, or13,852 square feet of total floor area (numbers rounded). The property is also located in both a WS-IV-CA watershed area and Mixed Use Corridor Overlay District, which places specific use and density standards on development.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area. The plan designates approximately 750 acres at the intersection of Highway 150 and Sherrills Ford Road as a “Village Center”, envisioned as a mixture of commercial, office and residential uses. Staff recommends the rezoning be approved, based upon: 1) the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan recognizing the area as a Village Center; 2) the purpose of the RC Rural Commercial District; and 3) the close proximity of existing RC Rural Commercial, HC Highway Commercial and PD Planned Development zoning. The Planning Board conducted a public hearing on February 26, 2007. No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the requested rezoning. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend this request be approved, based on the issues cited in the staff recommendation.

D. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request of 5-Star Land Development, for Mr. Hurshel Teague, to rezone two parcels totaling 23.06 acres, located at 6640 and 6641 Monford Drive in the St. Stephens/Oxford Small Area Planning District. The subject parcels are currently occupied by a recreational vehicle (RV) park or are vacant. Nearby parcels located in all directions are currently zoned R-40 Residential and are either occupied by single-family residences or are vacant; except for one parcel that has a large vacant building. Monford Drive is a private roadway, which connects to the south with St. Peters Church Road. Information provided by the applicant’s consultant indicated the width of the right-of-way/easement for Monford Drive has an average width of 26 feet. Testing provided by the consulting engineers (Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern) indicates the pavement width, depth and core densities are in conformance with NC Department of Transportation standards.

The stated purpose of the PD Planned Development District, under the County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), is to provide a mechanism that allows developers the opportunity to master plan development in a manner that values flexibility, while protecting neighboring properties and land uses from negative impacts. Uses, intensities, buildings and other types of physical improvements or infrastructure are permitted within the PD Planned Development District, in accordance with an approved site plan.

The properties proposed for rezoning are 23.06 acres in size. The PD Planned Development District, which is being requested, clearly outlines maximum intensities for non-residential and single-family detached residential, but does not contain similar language concerning multi-family residential. However, UDO Section 44-443.04 (a)(1) clearly identifies one, two, and multi-family (attached and detached) as permitted uses in a PD Planned Development District. Given the intensity of the current RV park (180 campsites), the proposed plan, with 120 units, has a lower intensity in terms of land-use density. The overall density proposed for town home development is 5.2 units per acre, while the current RV park calculates to a density of 8.2 units per acre. The subject property is also located within the Catawba River Corridor Overlay and Floodplain Management Overlay, each of which place specific use and site design standards on construction and development.

The St. Stephens/Oxford Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area. The plan designates this area as a Catawba River Corridor, which recommends residential densities at a rate of one unit per one acre, on the basis of on-site septic systems and not municipal sewer systems. Staff recommends the request be approved, based on: 1) the St. Stephens/Oxford Small Area Plan recognizing this area as a residential area; 2) the impact of changing conditions (the City of Hickory has agreed to provide municipal sewer service for the proposed development ); 3) the intent of the PD Planned Development District; and 4) the master planning of the properties outlined in the proposed site plan. The staff recommendation adds two qualifiers: 1) that public utilities, both water and sewer, must be utilized; and 2) that final development plans complying with all applicable development requirements must be provided for review. The Planning Board conducted a public hearing on February 26, 2007. Fourteen citizens spoke during the public hearing. Two spoke in favor and twelve spoke in opposition. The Planning Board voted five to one in favor of recommending approval of this rezoning request, based on the staff recommendation noted above.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS
A. The Board will receive an update on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Prescription Drug Discount Plan, which was launched on March 1, 2006, giving the County the opportunity to make free prescription drug discount cards available to citizens under a program sponsored by NACo. The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage, and are accepted by all of the county’s pharmacies. A cardholder may use the card when prescriptions aren’t covered by insurance. To date, the program has saved Catawba County citizens $1,134,045.20 and 1400 citizens use it on a monthly basis. Cards are available at the Catawba Co. Department of Social Services, the County Health Department, all Catawba County public libraries, all Hickory City public libraries, the West Hickory Senior Citizens Center, Cooperative Christian Ministry of Hickory, Eastern Cooperative Christian Ministry, Salvation Army, Faith Task Force on Poverty, Centro Latino and the United Hmong Association. The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce also offers the cards to its members.

B. The Board will consider the allocation of insurance funds totaling $19,280 received for two wrecked Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles, so the Sheriff’s Office may purchase one replacement vehicle. One 2004 Ford Crown Victoria was totaled on July 13, 2006 when an officer swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle that had crossed the centerline in a curve on Old Shelby Road. Another 2004 Crown Victoria was totaled on November 12, 2006 when a deer was hit on Highway 321. Insurance has subsequently paid claims on these vehicles totaling $19,280, which was added to the County’s Self-Insurance Fund. The officers who drove these vehicles are currently assigned very high mileage spare vehicles. Allocation of the insurance funds would provide the Sheriff’s Office with enough funds, along with funds already in the department’s budget, to purchase one replacement vehicle. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of this request.

C. The Board will consider approving a resolution recommending to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) the abandonment of maintenance of the last 0.26 miles of Shuford Road (State Road 1145). Under NC General Statute 136-63, the Board may, on its own motion or on petition of a group of citizens, request that the North Carolina Board of Transportation change or abandon any road in the secondary system when the best interest of the people of the county will be served. NCDOT is requesting a review and recommendation from the Board of Commissioners relating to the abandonment of maintenance for a portion of Shuford Road where it dead-ends into property owned by Mooseland, LLC. The request came to NCDOT from Mr. Wade Moose, registered agent for Mooseland LLC. The section of road requested for closure serves as a private driveway which provides sole access to Mr. Moose’s property. NCDOT requires that a cul-de-sac be constructed at the property owner’s expense prior to NCDOT’s action on the abandonment request. Staff has reviewed this request and recommends the Board adopt a resolution requesting the closing of the last 0.26 miles of Shuford Road, and forward its recommendation and resolution to the North Carolina Board of Transportation.

D. The Board will consider approving an application for a grant for funding of the Criminal Justice Partnership Program (CJPP). The Criminal Justice Partnership Board is charged with administering a grant from the State of North Carolina for the CJPP. The current year’s grant is in the amount of $116,897 and an application for the same amount is proposed for the next fiscal year. The CJPP provides an effective bridge between the criminal justice system and community agencies for Intermediate Sanction offenders on supervised probation who are at risk of incarceration. Through a detailed needs assessment, appropriate referrals, treatment services for substance abuse, and cognitive skills and transportation when needed, the program seeks to combine the influence of community-based legal sanctions and non-incarceration punishments with structured services in the community. Using the State’s accepted offender management model, the program seeks to provide services that will decrease criminal involvement and increase productive, socially acceptable behaviors. A new component of the grant this year will be for substance abuse services for sentenced offenders in a jail setting. Since July 1, 2006, 20 participants have successfully completed the program, and were diverted from jail and have increased their odds against returning to jail. Other participants are continuing in the program, while four have been incarcerated. The program’s successful completion rate of 56% far exceeds the statewide average rate of 30%.

The grant will provide funds to serve approximately 90-100 people. The CJPP Board met on February 16, 2007 and approved the proposed grant application. The Board of Commissioners’ Finance & Personnel Subcommittee recommends the Board approve the submission of this grant application.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464

 

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