PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a unified public hearing on a) an amendment to the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan to permit greater residential density based on the availability of public facilities (public water and public sewer), consistent with other accepted small area plans in the county; b) a request by Key Harbor Communities, LLC and Key Harbor Holdings, LLC to rezone approximately 701 acres in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District from R-80 Residential to Planned Development/Conditional Development; c) a request by Carolina Centers, LLC to rezone approximately 182 acres at and around the intersection of Slanting Bridge Road and Highway 150 East from R-80 Residential and Rural Commercial to Planned Development/Conditional District; and d) a development agreement, pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes §153A-349 et. seq., related to the above rezoning requests, and will consider awarding a contract for the design of a Southeastern Catawba County Wastewater Collection System, including design of lines running from the Southeastern Catawba County area to the Town of Catawba’s wastewater treatment facility, and lines running from the Southeastern Catawba County area to the Town of Mooresville’s wastewater treatment facility, when the Board meets beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, 2007 in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also hold a public hearing on a proposed name for an unnamed street in the Catawba Township; and consider awarding bids for construction of the Southeastern Catawba County Water Supply Loop, Phase II; a recommendation from the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council regarding program funding; a letter of commitment to fund the replacement of the heating, venting and air conditioning system at Jenkins Elementary School in the County’s fiscal year 2007-2008 budget; a request to declare certain library books as surplus so they may be sold by the Sherrills Ford Friends of the Library to raise funds for the library; and the proposed sale of real property owned by the County in Newton, which would result in additional parking space for the Main County Library. The Board will also hear a presentation from Mr. W.R. Lutz on a new book: A Century of Achievement, 1904-2004, Startown School.
A. The Board will hear a presentation from Mr. W.R. Lutz on a new book entitled A Century of Achievement, 1904-2004, Startown School. The book details the history of the school now known as Startown Elementary which, during the early years of the 20th century, earned nationwide fame for innovative education of students in the farming community of Catawba County.
A. The Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed road name for an unnamed street located in Catawba Township. The goal of the County’s E-911 Office is to assign individual E-911 numbers to all dwellings in the county. One step toward this goal is to name streets or driveways that are at least 1200 feet in length and/or access three or more parcels. An unnamed street has been identified off Lowrance Road. It was determined that this right of way should be named because seven properties could potentially be accessed from it. The suggested name of Ropers Ridge was received from one of the property owners on this street. Since no other suggestions were received and this name is not duplicated across the county, staff recommends approval of the name Ropers Ridge. The Catawba County Planning Board conducted a public hearing on February 26, 2007. There was no opposition to this proposed name.
B. The Board will hold a unified public hearing on actions relative to proposed Crescent and Key Harbor developments. Following the public hearing, the Board will consider taking action on the following items: 1) an amendment to the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan to allow up to 3 units per acre when public water and sewer is available, which is consistent with other small area plans; 2) the proposed rezoning of Key Harbor and Crescent Village to the Planned Development-Conditional District (PD-CD), subject to the concept site plans, and offered and mutually agreed to by the developer and the County; 3) a Development Agreement which provides amenities and long term benefits to the community associated with the Key Harbor, Village Center, Terrapin Creek and Mountain Creek developments, as mutually agreed to by Key Harbor, LLC, Crescent Resources and the County; and 4) a Zoning Consistency Statement which finds the Key Harbor and Village Center rezoning requests are consistent with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan and are reasonable and in the public interest. The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, accepted by the Board in February 2003, provided land use recommendations which included a village component at the intersections of Highway 150 at Sherrills Ford and Slanting Bridge Roads. One of the largest property owners in the designated village area is Crescent Resources. In 2003, County staff met with representatives of Crescent Resources to discuss long-range development plans for the approximately 2000 acres under Crescent’s ownership and how it could be integrated into an overall master plan. The County’s objective was to require Crescent to provide a master plan vs. a piecemeal approach to development of the Crescent properties, to maximize benefits & amenities for the community.
The 2000 acres under Crescent’s control at that time included four general areas, as follows: 1) Terrapin Creek- consisting of four parcels totaling approximately 630 acres located north of Molly’s Backbone Road and Monbo Road; 2 a parcel, approximately 700 acres in size, located between Island Point Road and Molly’s Backbone Road (currently depicted as Key Harbor); 3) three parcels totaling approximately 200 acres, located at the intersection of Slanting Bridge Road and Highway 150 (currently depicted as the Village Center); and 4) Mountain Creek- a parcel, approximately 600 acres in size, located on Little Mountain Road which has frontage on Lake Norman. The recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing process of Duke Power’s hydroelectric operations on the Catawba River included a $1900 per acre reduction in value for this property from Duke Energy. This could be used by Crescent as matching dollars for grants to secure the Mountain Creek property for donation to the County.
These four parcels were exempted from one acre zoning when the Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) was adopted on February 5, 2007, because of the pending application for rezoning of these parcels and a development agreement. If the parcels had been included in the UDO adoption with one acre zoning, as applied to the rest of the County, the density allowed on all four parcels could have totaled 2787 residential units (gross), taking into account the recommendations from the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan for ¾ acre lots along the lakefront and ½ acre lots along Island Point Road where public water exists. The development proposal before the Board of Commissioners calls for a total of 1950 residential units, which is less than what would have been allowed under the UDO without the exceptions noted above. This is also less than the original allowance of 2255 residential units (gross) recommended by the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, with partial 2-acre zoning on the tracts.
In order to accommodate a village center with a mixture of commercial, office and multi-family uses, public water and sewer is necessary. Public water is currently available. Also, to attract large-scale commercial and office development, it is necessary to have an adequate number of homes in the area to support the businesses. In evaluating the parcels and their suitability for development, Crescent proposed to: 1) develop a village center at Slanting Bridge Road/Highway 150; 2) develop the property at Island Point Road with the majority of the housing units within a utility corridor (water & sewer); and 3) reserve the Terrapin Creek and Mountain Creek tracts for a lower residential density development. In order to maximize the use of the utility corridor, a concentration of higher density is necessary for the cost-effectiveness of the public investment in sewer. The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan provided for low-density residential development in the majority of the district, with the exception of areas where public utilities exist. The Small Area Plan does indicate that amendments may be necessary when changing conditions warrant, such as the introduction of public sewer.
Since the initial discussions with Crescent, the 700 acre tract on Island Point Road has been sold to a development group called MAG Land (now referred to as Key Harbor). This company agreed to the original concept of combining their development with Crescent’s developments into one unified development proposal for review and approval by the County. As part of the development proposal, negotiations also were conducted on a development agreement which would detail specific amenities and benefits the developers would provide, along with a payment schedule for reimbursing the County for the installation of public sewer to serve the Key Harbor and Village Center developments on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
In order to incorporate the terms and conditions of the development agreement and provide details of conceptual design features of the proposed developments for Key Harbor and the Village Center, it is necessary to rezone these parcels from a low-density residential district to a Planned Development-Conditional District. It is also necessary to rezone the Key Harbor & Village Center properties to accommodate higher densities and mixed-uses. Conditional district zoning is a new tool authorized by the State of North Carolina that allows for a site specific development plan incorporating physical design, types of uses, driveway connections, amenities, etc. The Board of Commissioners approved the use of this tool in May 2006. The Planned Development-Conditional District allows limited flexibility in design changes, density & parking variations, subject to a 10% variation in the numerical aspects of the development (number of parking spaces, density, etc), without further public hearings. It is not necessary to rezone the Terrapin Creek & Mountain Creek parcels, as they are currently zoned for low-density development and subject to the terms of the development agreement.
The Catawba County Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the Key Harbor & Crescent Village Center development proposals at its March 26, 2007 meeting. Approximately 75 citizens attended, with 21 people speaking during the public hearing. Ten people asked clarification questions, three spoke in support of the projects and eight spoke in opposition. The Planning Board discussed the development proposals and commented that the holistic approach of the development is better than a piecemeal approach. The Board also commented that the amenities being offered through the development agreement and conditional zoning will provide long-term benefits for the community. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommended approval of an amendment to the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan to allow up to 3 units per acre when public water and sewer is available. The Planning Board voted 7-1 to recommended the rezoning of the Key Harbor and Crescent Village Center properties to Planned Development-Conditional District, and found that the rezoning was consistent with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, subject to the proposed amendment to the plan, and that the rezoning was reasonable and in the public interest. The vote in opposition was from Planning Board member, Mr. Stuart DeWitt, who cited concerns about the impact of the development on infrastructure, such as schools, fire, rescue, law enforcement and roads. The Planning Board voted 7-1 to recommend approval of the development agreement with the following amendments: a) Catawba County officially requests that the North Carolina Department of Transportation reduce speed limits to 45 miles per hour on Island Point Road, Molly’s Backbone Road and Azalea Road, and b) if grants are not secured for the Mountain Creek tract and the default position of 150 lots are permitted for development, the subdivision must be designed as a cluster-style development. Mr. DeWitt voted in opposition, based on his disagreement on the rezoning of the Key Harbor & Crescent Village Center properties.
A. The Board will consider a request from the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council for approval of the council’s
funding plan for fiscal year 2007-2008. The council is responsible for planning for and making recommendations to the Board for
funding priorities for each fiscal year. The council held a planning session in November 2006, and the following needs were
identified: diagnostic/psychological assessments and treatment, including sex offender counseling; mediation; parent skill training;
group homes for boys and girls; substance abuse assessment and treatment; restitution and community service; mentoring; an
adolescent day program, especially for long-term suspensions; emergency shelter for males; and sex offender residential treatment. In
order to help meet these priorities, the council has available $337,716 in State funds. Programs applying for these funds must provide
a 30% match (cash, in-kind or other sources of funding, such as reimbursement through insurance). At its March 20, 2007 meeting,
the council approved funding for agencies working to meet the first six needs listed above, as follows: FamilyNET, $42,367; Conflict
Resolution Center, $18,975; Catawba Parenting Network, $19,278; Corner House I and II, $170,000; Cognitive Connection, $22,088,
Project Challenge, $50,900 and JCPC Administration, $14,108, for a total of $337,716. The Board of Commissioners’ Finance and
Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of the above funding plan in the total amount of $337,716.
B. The Board will consider giving a letter of commitment to the Hickory Public Schools stating that funding for a new heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system for Jenkins Elementary School will be included in the fiscal year 2007-2008 County budget. In order to begin work by July 1st, Hickory Public Schools has requested a letter of commitment for $250,000 to fund the new system. This project has been delayed for a few years due to the priority of converting the old Hickory American Legion building for use by Hickory High School. The HVAC system at Jenkins is 32 years old and original to the building. A letter of commitment now will allow Hickory Public Schools to order equipment in advance of the new fiscal year, to provide ample time to complete the project during the summer while the building is not occupied with students. This project has been identified as the Hickory Public Schools’ number one priority for capital funding in fiscal year 2007-2008. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the letter of commitment, outlined above, be approved.
C. The Board will consider a request to authorize the Sherrills Ford Friends of Catawba County Library to conduct a book sale and use the proceeds for library purposes. The Friends of Catawba County Library is a nonprofit association that focuses public attention on library service, facilities and needs. It works to stimulate gifts of books, magazines, desirable collections, endowments and bequests. It engages in money making projects to supplement the income of the library for expanded services and provides volunteer help whenever needed. Library materials that have been damaged, are out of date, contain information that is no longer relevant, or are no longer being used by the public are pulled from the collection and discarded to keep the collection relevant and useful to the citizens of Catawba County. Once materials are deemed surplus, they are sold by the Friends of the Library at a book sale, and the proceeds are used by the Friends of the Library to enhance the library program. North Carolina General Statute 160A-279 states that a county may convey property without monetary consideration, if the recipient agrees to use the property for a public use. The Board must adopt a resolution at a regular meeting and authorize an official to dispose of the property. Once the resolution has been adopted, the statute requires that the local government publish a notice summarizing the contents and that the final surplus declaration may not be concluded until at least ten days after the publication of the notice. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends these materials be declared as surplus and the transfer of the books to the Friends of the Library be authorized. The Sherrills Ford book sale is planned for Saturday, May 19, 2007.
D. The Board will consider the sale of a county-owned residence located at 215 South Bost Avenue in Newton, North Carolina,
with a requirement that this home be relocated. In February 2001, the Board authorized the purchase of this property and residence. The property was purchased with the intent to use the lot for additional parking for the Main Branch of the Catawba County Library, with an agreement that the previous owner could live in the residence for four years. The previous owner has since passed away. The house was built in 1954, is in poor condition, and has a tax value of $60,500. Staff first reviewed the possibility of selling the home and requiring the buyer to incur all moving expenses. Staff spoke to a couple of auctioneers and it was their opinion that the County would have difficulty selling the home and probably receive bids for only around $1,000. The estimated proceeds for the sale of the house, if the County assists with moving expenses, is $25,000 - $35,000. The cost to move the home is estimated at $8,000 - $10,000 with additional expenses to disconnect utilities. Staff proposes contracting with Yount Auction & Realty to auction the home for a fee of $2,500 plus $1,000 advertising costs. The sale would take place at 10:00 a.m. on June 9, 2007 at the property. The County will require a minimum bid of $20,000 before the sale will be accepted. The estimated cost to clear the lot once the house is moved is $11,000. Net proceeds from the sale will go towards this expense. North Carolina General Statute 160A-270 authorizes the sale of real property by public auction. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the residence at 215 S. Bost Avenue in Newton be declared as surplus, and that its sale by public auction be authorized, with a required minimum bid of $20,000.
UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
A. The Board will consider awarding a bid to construct the Southeastern Catawba County (SECC) Water Supply Loop, Phase II, a
contract with an independent engineering firm to perform an inspection and observation of the construction, and a budget revision to account for increased costs for this project since initial cost estimates were made in 2003. The Southeastern Catawba County Water Supply Loop is a three-phase project. Phase I (water lines along Highway 150), is already in operation.
On March 27, 2007, the County received bids for the installation of approximately 29,000 linear feet of 24-inch and 30-inch diameter water lines complete with valves, hydrants and related appurtenances along Kristen Street, Beverly Lane, Sigmon Dairy Road, Rome Jones Road, Knolls Drive, Dixie Street, Highway 321 Business, Prison Camp Road, Jack Whitener Road, St. James Church Road and Campbell Road, all of which comprise the Southeastern Catawba County Water Supply Loop, Phase II. Six bids were received ranging from $3,749,345 to $4,694,630. Ronny Turner Construction Co., Inc. of Hickory, NC is the lowest responsive bidder, with a total bid amount of $3,749,345. The engineering firm for this project, McGill Associates, PA., has recommended the bid be awarded to Ronny Turner Construction Co. The Board will also consider an Agreement for Engineering Services between the County and McGill Associates, PA, in the amount of $122,500, for construction inspection and observation and final certification of the SECC Water Supply Loop, Phase II. This will include field observation and certification of quality of work; review and approval of shop drawings, diagrams, specifications, schedules and samples guarantees; bonds and certificates; review and approval of applications for payment; and preparation of final record drawings & quality assurance documents.
An estimated cost of $2.5 million for this phase was derived in early 2003 and budgeted in fiscal year 2003-2004. Several key factors have resulted in the cost of this phase of the project increasing by approximately 33% since that time, including a 50% increase in the cost of the required pipe, a 54% increase in the cost of required bore encasement pipe and a 67% increase in the cost of required isolation valves. Easement acquisition was prolonged by difficult negotiations with property owners as staff attempted to acquire easements without the use of condemnation, delaying the bidding of the project and increasing the time between the original cost estimate and the actual bidding. The Board will be asked to consider a budget revision in the amount of $1,826,805 to address these increased costs. Staff has independently verified that the cost of this project is not only consistent with comparable projects, but is actually lower than other recent projects. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends a bid to construct the Southeastern Catawba County Water Supply Loop, Phase II, be awarded to Ronny Turner Construction Co., Inc., in the amount of $3,749,345; that the County contract with McGill Associates, PA, in the amount of $122,500, to perform construction inspection and observation, and that a budget revision be approved in the amount of $1,826,805 to meet increased costs for this water line project. Adequate funds are available in the County’s Water and Sewer Reserve Fund.
B. The Board will consider awarding engineering design contracts for the Southeastern Catawba County Waste Water Project. On March 7, 2007, Catawba County received responses to a Request for Qualifications for design and permitting of the Southeastern Catawba County Waste Water Collection System and additional services consisting of environmental assessment, construction observation, and contract administration. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 143-64.31, Statements of Qualifications were received from six engineering firms. A selection committee, consisting of Utilities and Engineering Director, Barry Edwards; Public Services Administrator, Jack Chandler; Purchasing Agent, Debbie Anderson; County Attorney, Anne Marie Pease; and City of Hickory Engineer, Kevin Greer, met on March 27, 2007 to review the applicants and selected the following four engineering firms to interview for final selection: Camp, Dresser and McKee of Raleigh, NC; Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern of Hickory, NC; McGill Associates, PA of Hickory, NC; and McKim and Creed, PA of Charlotte, NC. The committee decided to divide the project into multiple phases to expedite the project.
Hayes, Seay, Mattern & Mattern, Inc. is recommended to design the northern portion of the Southeastern Catawba County Waste Water Collection System, which consists of sewer lines including sewer pump stations from Sherrills Ford Elementary School to the Hickory-Catawba wastewater treatment plant. Hayes, Seay, Mattern & Mattern’s negotiated engineering cost of $850,000
includes the preparation of a preliminary engineering report, preliminary and final design phases, bidding and contract award phase, and the preparation of an environmental assessment, if required. McGill Associates, PA is recommended to design the southern portion of the system which consists of two phases, with phase one including sewer lines and pump stations from the proposed Village Center to the proposed Key Harbor development and from Key Harbor to the Town of Mooresville’s wastewater treatment facility; and phase 2 consisting of the Highway 150 corridor from the new Highway 16/150 interchange to the proposed Village Center. McGill Associates’ negotiated engineering cost is $541,700 for phase one and $247,900 for phase two. Additional third party specialists may be required in the future as the scope and design of this project progresses and additional areas of expertise are needed to complete the project. The Southeastern Catawba County Waste Water Project was funded in fiscal year 2005/06 in the amount of $2 million, which is adequate to cover these design contracts. These costs are within the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, for engineering costs as a percentage of the total cost of a project. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends engineering contracts for the Southeastern Catawba County Waste Water Project be awarded to Hayes,
Seay, Mattern & Mattern, Inc. and McGill Associates, PA in the amount of $850,000 and $789,600 respectively, as outlined above.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464