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MAY 16, 2011

AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners
Monday, May 16, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
1924 Courthouse
30 North College Ave.

Newton, North Carolina

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

3. Invocation

4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners and Special Meeting with Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Board of Trustees of May 2, 2011

5. Recognition of Special Guests

6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda

7. Public Hearings:


a. Rezoning Request by Pace Commercial LLC – 2.17 acres at 6178 S NC Highway 16 from R-40 Residential to HC Highway Commercial. Presented by Planner Chris Timberlake.


b. Rezoning Request by Terry Rudisill – 1.38 acres at 5928 East NC Highway 150 from O-I Office-Institutional to HC Highway Commercial District. Presented by Planner Chris Timberlake.

8. Appointments.

9 Departmental Report:

Finance:

NC Division of Forest Resources Lease. Presented by Finance Director Rodney Miller.

10. Other Items of Business.

11. Attorneys’ Report.

12. Manager’s Report.

13. Adjournment.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: Individuals needing assistance should contact the County Clerk at 828-465-8990 within a reasonable time prior to the meeting. 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 Board of Commissioners will hold Budget Hearings with Departments on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Budget Public Hearing and Wrap Up will take place on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. The Board of Commissioners June meetings will take place on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. and on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.


PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011, 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 2.17 acre parcel, at 6178 Highway 16 South in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-40 Residential to the HC Highway Commercial District, and 2) a request to rezone a 1.38 acre parcel, at 5928 Highway 150 East in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from O-I Office-Institutional to HC Highway Commercial District, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 2011, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will also consider renewing a three year lease of space at the County’s Agricultural Resources Center to the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by Pace Commercial LLC to rezone one parcel totaling 2.17 acres, located at 6178 Highway 16 South in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-40 Residential to the HC Highway Commercial district.

The parcel is currently zoned R-40 and contains a vacant single-family dwelling. A parcel to the north is zoned HC Highway Commercial and is the site of Sagebrush Restaurant. A parcel to the south is split-zoned HC Highway Commercial and R-40 Residential. The portion of the property having road frontage is zoned commercially and contains a vacant single-family dwelling. Parcels to the east and west are zoned R-40 and R-20 and contain a single family home and accessory structures.

The Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance, Section 44-418, HC Highway Commercial District states, “…this district provides areas for regional highway-oriented business, office, services and civic uses. The district regulations are designed to protect and encourage the transitional character of the districts by permitting uses and building forms that are compatible with the surrounding area.”

The R-40 Residential District is considered a low-density residential and agricultural district. The subject property is located in a Mixed Use Corridor-Overlay (MUC-O) District and WS-IV Watershed Protected Area. The MUC-O district restricts specific uses and provides for higher architectural standards and pedestrian amenities. The WS-IV Protected Area limits the built upon (impervious) area of non-residential properties for new construction in order to protect water supplies.

The Highway Commercial District allows for a maximum floor area ratio (FAR), which is the ratio of gross floor area to land area. The FAR for the HC district is 1 to 3. The property is 94,525 square feet, which would provide for 31,508 square feet of gross floor area. Public water is available along this portion of NC 16, but public sewer is unavailable.

Highway 16 South is considered a minor arterial road. Traffic counts taken on NC 16 in 2009 in the vicinity of the site measured 13,000 vehicles per day. The vehicle capacity of NC 16 in this area is 15,800, according to the Catawba County Thoroughfare Plan. Traffic projections in the Thoroughfare Plan indicate that, once completed, the bypass should reduce traffic counts along this portion of NC 16. There are no scheduled improvements for this section of NC 16 at this time.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area. The property is located in an area designated for a regional commercial center, envisioned to provide a mixture of uses such as commercial, office-institutional, and multi-family. The Catawba County Planning Board held a public hearing on May 2, 2011. No one spoke in favor or in opposition to the request. The Planning Board voted 5-0 to recommend adoption of a statement affirming the consistency of the rezoning request with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan and the rezoning of the property from R-40 Residential to HC Highway Commercial.

B. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by Mr. Terry Rudisill to rezone one parcel totaling 1.38 acres, at 5928 Highway 150 East in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from O-I Office-Institutional to the HC Highway Commercial district.


The parcel is currently zoned O-I Office-Institutional and has a structure that was remodeled to occupy several office uses. A parcel to the north and west is zoned R-20 Residential and is vacant. Parcels to the south are zoned R-20 Residential and have a single family dwelling or are undeveloped. One is zoned HC Highway Commercial and is the location of Little Mountain Veterinary Clinic. A parcel to the east zoned R-20 Residential is occupied by a single-family residence.

The Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance, Section 44-418, HC Highway Commercial District, states, “…this district provides areas for regional highway-oriented business, office, services and civic uses. The district regulations are designed to protect and encourage the transitional character of the districts by permitting uses and building forms that are compatible with the surrounding area.” Under Section 44-419, the O-I Office-Institutional district provides for office, institutional, civic, or other low intensity commercial uses. It may buffer single-family residential neighborhoods from higher intensity residential neighborhoods or commercial districts.

The property is located in a Mixed Use Corridor-Overlay (MUC-O) district and WS-IV Watershed Protected Area. The MUC-O district restricts specific uses and provides for higher architectural standards and pedestrian amenities, while the WS-IV Protected Area limits the built upon (impervious) area of non-residential properties for new construction in order to protect water supplies. Both the O-I and HC districts allow for a maximum floor area ratio (FAR), which is the ratio of gross floor area to land area. The FAR for the HC district is 1 to 3. The property is 60,112 square feet, which would provide for 20,037 square feet of gross floor area. The gross floor area of the existing buildings is 5,048 square feet, well under the allowable FAR. Public water is available along NC 150, but public sewer is unavailable.

Highway 150 East is designated as a boulevard in the 2035 Greater Hickory Urban Area Long Range Transportation Plan. This road, listed as a strategic highway corridor, is a major east-west route between Shelby, Lincolnton and Mooresville. The State Transportation Improvement Plan calls for the widening of Highway 150 East to a multi-lane facility. The planning and design portion of the project is currently funded, although right-of-way acquisition and construction remain unfunded. Traffic counts taken in 2009 to the west of the site along Highway 150 measured 10,000. The vehicle capacity of Highway 150 in this area is 14,200, according to the Catawba County Thoroughfare Plan.

The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area. The property is located in an area designated for a regional commercial center, envisioned to provide a mixture of uses such as commercial, office-institutional, and multi-family. The Catawba County Planning Board held a public hearing on May 2, 2011. No one spoke in favor or in opposition to the request. A board member asked if additional right-of-way acquisition, for the future widening of Highway 150, would cause any issues. The existing parking is approximately 64 feet behind the current right-of-way and the building is set back approximately 125 feet. There should not be any issues, in this case, with increased right-of-way widths. The Planning Board voted 5-0 to recommend adoption of a statement affirming the consistency of the rezoning request with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, and the rezoning of the property from O-I Office-Institutional to HC Highway Commercial.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

FINANCE
The Board will consider the renewal of a three-year lease with the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources. The purpose of the Division of Forest Resources is to protect, manage and sustain forest resources in North Carolina. In Catawba County, the Forest Service works with other agencies to insure that adequate and quality forest resources are available to meet the present and future needs of our citizens. Catawba County currently funds 40% of the total Forestry budget in the county, with the State of North Carolina funding the remaining 60%.

The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources currently leases 604 square feet of the County’s Agricultural Resources Center at an annual rate of $5,100. The current lease agreement will expire on May 31, 2011, and the State has requested renewal of the lease for an additional three-year period. County and State officials have agreed that the new lease will begin on July 1 to coincide with the County’s fiscal year and that the State will pay the monthly lease amount for June.

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