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JULY 9, 2012
AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, July 9, 2012, 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 Board’s Regular Meeting and Closed Session of June 18, 2012

5. Recognition of Special Guests

6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda

7. Public Hearings:


A. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Application. Presented by Economic Development Corporation President Scott Millar.


B. Close Out of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2009 Scattered Site Housing Grant. Presented by Director of Planning, Parks and Development Jacky Eubanks.


C. Proposed amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) - Side Street Setback for Principle Structures on Corner Lots. Presented by Planner Chris Timberlake.

8. Appointments

9. Departmental Report:


Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC):


Parenting Network Increase in Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) Funding. Presented by Budget Manager Jennifer Mace.

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 August 2012 Board of Commissioners Meetings will take place on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. and on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
JULY 9, 2012 7:00 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on 1) a proposed application for a loan of State funds that would assist in economic development efforts by providing funding for a multi-jurisdictional business park in Conover that would be targeted at the data industry; 2) the close out of a 2009 Scattered Site Housing Grant, which rehabilitated six homes, cleared land for and built one new home, and provided emergency housing repair work to thirteen homes, all of very low to low income homeowners, and 3) on proposed amendments to the Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance that would reduce setbacks in cases where a “side street setback” exists for principal structures on corner lots in R-30, R-20 and R-15 Residential districts, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 9, 2012, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. Note the change in the Board’s normal meeting schedule due to the July 4 holiday and members of the Board attending the National Association of Counties Annual Conference during the week of July 16.

The Board will also consider an amendment to the budget of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council for the current fiscal year, to account for an additional $9,923 in State funds that have been received.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A) The Board will hold a required second public hearing to receive citizen input and consider an application to the North Carolina Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for an industrial site development loan that would facilitate development of a multi-jurisdictional business park in Conover. Two public hearings are required prior to the application being submitted to the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Commerce Finance Center. The first public hearing was held, as part of the County’s general CDBG application for Fiscal Year 2012-13, at the Board’s October 3, 2011 meeting.

A maximum of $4 million is available and program funds are designed to bring high quality industrial sites to market toward new and expanding business and industry. The funds provided are in the form of a 2% simple interest loan with a seven-year term with interest-only payments in years one and two. The North Carolina Department of Commerce is required to document security for the loan from the County. In order for the applicant to be considered, it must document that the site will have the following basic services upon completion of the development work: electric power supply, public water and sewer service, telecommunications service, paved vehicle access and, where applicable, natural gas service. Maximum administration costs for the loan are $25,000.

The Multi-jurisdictional Park is proposed to be a joint development by and between Catawba County, the Cities of Hickory and Conover and the Towns of Maiden and Catawba, with formal approval of these jurisdictions expected in August 2012. Upon formal approval, State loan funds would be used to plan, engineer, permit, and construct public utilities and other improvements to serve the proposed park. Catawba County would be the applicant for the funds and payback for any funds used for the development of the proposed park would be shared by each jurisdiction according to their approved share of participation over the life of the loan repayment. Staff recommends the Board hold a public hearing and consider approving the proposed grant application.

B) The Board will hold a public hearing on the closeout of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2009 Scattered Site Housing Grant #09-C-1987. The purpose of the $400,000 CDBG was to rehabilitate six homes, clear land for and build one new home, and provide emergency housing repair work to thirteen homes, all owned by low and very low income families and located in Catawba County. All activities associated with the grant have been completed. The County did not have to provide matching funds for this grant. CDBG funds financed 100% of the total project costs, along with an additional $4,318 in DUKE Energy Funds for one home. Catawba County will receive its next allocation of funding for Scattered Site Housing in late 2012 or early 2013, as grant funding is on a three year rotation cycle. Staff recommends the Board conduct a required public hearing on the closeout of the CDBG 2009 Scattered Site Housing Grant #09-C-1987.

C) The Board will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed amendment to the Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which would reduce setbacks in cases where a “side street setback” exists for principal structures on corner lots in medium (R-30 Residential) and high (R-20 and R-15 Residential) density districts. At its February 20, 2012 meeting, the Board adopted an amendment to the UDO providing relief in the form of a “side street” setback for accessory structures on corner lots. In that amendment, there were qualifying factors determining a “side street”, such as higher road classifications, development patterns, and dwelling unit orientation.

The UDO does not allow a reduced setback for principal structures on corner lots. The majority of property in Catawba County’s jurisdiction (62%) is zoned R-40. This rural development pattern with larger lot sizes calls for greater setbacks, when compared to an urban development pattern with smaller lots (and higher density), and reduced setbacks. The rural character in Catawba County’s jurisdiction is further reinforced by a 100-foot setback for principal structures in the Rural Preservation-Overlay (RP-O) and 80-foot setback in the R-40 districts along external roads. Requiring greater setbacks for principal structures in rural areas provides additional safety where speed limits are typically 10-20 miles per hour higher than on city streets, and helps preserve the rural character.

Medium and high density districts comprise 33% of the land area as compared to 62% in the low density district (R-40, 40,000 square feet, 1 acre lot size) mentioned above. Medium density is defined as R-30 (30,000 square feet, 3/4 acre lots). High density is defined as R-20 (20,000 square feet, 1/2 acre lots) and R-15 (15,000 square feet, 1/3 acre lots).

Staff surveyed the municipalities of Hickory, Newton, and Conover, along with twelve counties. The municipalities offer a reduced “side street setback” for principal structures on corner lots in keeping with the urban development pattern. Four of the twelve counties offered a reduced setback in their lower density (40,000 square feet, approximately 1 acre lot) district. Five urbanized counties, including Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake, Guilford, and Forsyth, offer a reduced side street setback, for principal structures of no less than 15 feet, for corner lots within smaller lot districts. Based on the information received from the other jurisdictions, Catawba County would be consistent in offering a reduced front “side street” setback in higher density districts, but not lower density districts.

The Catawba County Planning Board held a public hearing on June 25, 2012, to consider the proposed amendment. There were no public comments made about the request. A Planning Board member asked if staff had considered also applying a 20 foot setback to the corner lot fronting the external road. By a vote of 9-0, the Planning Board recommends a decrease in the side street setback requirement in the UDO from 30 feet to 20 feet on corner lots for principal structures, fronting exclusively on internal subdivision streets within medium and high density subdivisions.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS


JUVENILE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL

The Board will consider a request from the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) for approval of a budget revision to allocate an additional $9,923 in newly available State funds for the Parenting Network. The approved Fiscal Year 2012/13 budget for the JCPC includes $23,441 for the Parenting Network based on the original funding request submitted by the Catawba County Schools on behalf of the Parenting Network. That agency is no longer a program operating under Catawba County Schools, effective July 1. In order to apply for JCPC funding on its own, the Parenting Network had to obtain 501(c)3 status, which it has now received.

Since the original applicant was Catawba County Schools, these funds had to be re-advertised to allow others an opportunity to request funding in compliance with State requirements. That re-advertisement is now complete. The Parenting Network submitted a new funding request for $39,064 in JCPC funds to provide parenting skills training to families, an increase of $15,623 from its original request. The new request was reviewed by the JCPC on June 28 and total JCPC funding of $33,364 was approved, an increase of $9,923.

The increased funding is primarily needed to cover increased costs associated with a greater number of family members participating in the program and provide gasoline vouchers for program participants, as transportation has been an obstacle to successful program completion for many families. The JCPC approved an increase in funding for gas vouchers, but not as much as requested by the program. The transition of the Parenting Network to an independent non-profit has increased the oversight responsibilities of its Executive Director. Cell phone costs are increasing slightly based on increased rates from the provider. The percentage of the Parenting Network’s budget supported by JCPC funds is also increasing, due to a reduction of in-kind support from the school system and cash support from foundations. Approving this allocation would reduce the amount of available, unappropriated funds from the current level of $82,443 to $72,520. All other funding decisions would remain unchanged. The Catawba County JCPC requests the Board’s approval of this budget revision.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464