PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2007, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a request to rezone 5.21 acres, located at 5819 Highway 16 South in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-40 Residential to the HC Highway Commercial District, and adopt a fiscal year 2007-2008 Catawba County budget, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2007, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.
Before considering final budget adoption, the Board will hear from Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond and Board of Education Chair Randy Isenhower regarding the Newton-Conover City Schools budget request for fiscal year 2007-2008.
The Board will also consider awarding a bid for the provision and delivery of aggregate stone needed to expand the County’s Construction and Demolition Landfill.
A. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by Mr. Marvin Ferguson, for Mr. Agustin Dean, to rezone 5.21 acres located at 5819 Highway 16 South in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District from R-40 Residential to the HC Highway Commercial District. The subject parcel is currently occupied by a single-family residence. Surrounding properties are currently zoned R-40 Residential and either occupied by single-family residences or are vacant/wooded, with the exception of a contractor’s office located on a tract zoned R-40 to the south. Public water is available and located along Highway 16 but public sewer is currently not available. Highway 16 is designated as a major thoroughfare on the Catawba County Transportation Plan. Major thoroughfares are defined as primary traffic arteries of the urban area, designed to move traffic from city to city and within urban areas; therefore, strip development and multiple driveway access is to be discouraged. At this particular location, Highway 16 is a two-lane roadway. 2005 traffic counts were taken to the north of the property near the intersection of Highway 16 and Bucks Garage Road. This count measured 7,800 average daily trips . A second count was taken in 2005 south of the intersection of Highway 16 and Highway 150, and measured 13,000 average daily trips. The Greater Hickory Urban Area Transportation Plan and the Catawba County Transportation Plan recommend the widening of Highway 16 South to a multi-lane roadway from the Newton-Conover Loop to Lincoln County. However, this particular section is not included in the widening plans, as the new alignment has the widening of Highway 16 crossing Highway 150 to the southwest of the current intersection.
Under the Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the HC Highway Commercial 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 HC Highway Commercial district permits a wide variety of retail and service land uses. Development of the subject property under the HC Highway Commercial standards, at 5.21 acres in size, would permit the property to be developed at a maximum floor area ratio of 1:3, which would calculate into 1.71 acres or 74,892 square feet of total floor area (note: rounding was used.) The subject property is also located within a Rural Preservation Overlay District, which requires greater setbacks than typically required within general use zoning districts.
The Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, adopted on February 17, 2003, serves as the current land use plan for this area. The plan designates the majority of the property as a low-density residential area (and recommends one unit per two acres); however, a small portion of the property which directly abuts Highway 16 is designated as Regional Commercial/Mixed-Use. The business use of the majority of the subject property would generally be viewed as being inconsistent with the recommendations of the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan. However, the small portion of the property along Highway 16 designated as Regional Commercial/Mixed-Use would be considered consistent with the recommendations of the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan.
Since the majority of the property under consideration for rezoning is designated as residential, staff does not consider the request to be consistent with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan. Staff recommends the adoption of a statement outlining the inconsistency of the rezoning request with the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan, and does not recommend the rezoning of the property from R-40 Residential to HC Highway Commercial based on: the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan recognizing that the majority of the property is designated low-density residential; the UDO depicting the southern Highway 16 corridor as part of a Rural Preservation-Overlay; the consideration of spot zoning; and because the Sherrills Ford Small Area Plan's designated major intersections on Highway 16 as the most appropriate location for non-residential development.
The Catawba County Planning Board conducted a public hearing on May 22, 2007. Three persons, including the applicant, spoke in favor of the rezoning request. No one spoke in opposition. The Planning Board voted 4-1 not to recommend the rezoning of the property from R-40 Residential to HC Highway Commercial, based on the factors outlined above.
REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS
The Board will consider awarding a bid for the provision of aggregate stone and delivery of same for an expansion of the County’s Construction and Demolition (C&D) Landfill. The expansion of the C&D Landfill was approved in the County’s fiscal year 2006/07 budget. The County requested and received legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly (Senate Bill 166, Catawba County Force Account) which allows the construction of this expansion with County staff. The use of County staff will save Catawba County approximately $860,000 as compared with the use of outside companies. Aggregate is a vital component in the construction of the C&D Landfill, and will be used to meet the State’s Erosion Control requirements and build an access road to allow traffic to reach the fill area.
Three formal bids were received by the County on May 24, 2007 for 2000 tons of ABC gravel, 2000 tons of surge stone and 1000 tons of rip rap. The bids were as follows: Dickinson Hauling, Hickory, NC, $97,000; J.T. Russell & Sons, Inc., Conover, NC, $98,870; and Burke Grading & Paving, Inc., Drexel, NC, $123,500. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the bid for aggregate stone and delivery of same, for expansion of the Construction and Demolition Landfill, be awarded to Dickinson Hauling of Hickory, NC in the amount of $97,000.
OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
A. The Board will hear from Dr. Barry Redmond, superintendant of the Newton-Conover City Schools and Mr. Randy Isenhower, chairman of the Newton-Conover Board of Education, regarding the Newton-Conover Schools budget request for fiscal year 2007-2008.
B. The Board will adopt a Catawba County budget for fiscal year 2007-2008. At its budget wrap up session on May 31, 2007, the Board directed County Manager Tom Lundy and staff to finalize a fiscal year 2007-2008 County budget with a tax rate not to exceed 53.5 cents per $100 of property valuation. 3.75 cents of a proposed tax increase would be used to meet education expenses, as follows: two cents would be used along with lottery proceeds to pay for new school construction for the three public school systems and CVCC over the next four years; one cent of the tax increase would fund needed technology for schools, and 0.75 cent would fund school current expenses. The remaining three cents of the proposed tax increase would pay for an expansion to the County jail to relieve severe overcrowding. Catawba County continues to seek authority from the North Carolina General Assembly for a local option one cent sales tax. If that sales tax increase were allowed, it would totally eliminate the need for the proposed property tax increase.
The budget also includes a HAVA (Help American Vote Act) grant for electronic poll books for the Board of Elections in the amount of $120,000. The County learned on June 15th that the funds are available through the North Carolina Board of Elections for Electronic Records Access at the Polling Place (ERAPP), and applications are due June 29th. Catawba County is eligible to receive $3,000 per precinct. As a result of these changes, the final budget would total $256,795,544.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464