PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 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 two parcels totaling 1.93 acres, at 3628 Highway 127 South, from R-20 Residential to HC Highway Commercial; and consider the purchase of two parcels of land next to the Blackburn Landfill, totaling 5.17 acres, to allow for future expansion of the landfill, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 15, 2007, in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also consider amendments to the list of Map Review Officers appointed for the county and municipalities; and a proposed change to the County Code regarding appointments to the Board of Trustees of Catawba Valley Medical Center. The Board will receive a report on minimal fees collected from the public by the Department of Social Services during fiscal year 2006-07, to help cover costs associated with certain services.
A. The Board will hold a public hearing on a request of Mr. Darren and Ms. Melanie Dickinson to rezone two parcels totaling 1.93 acres, located at 3628 Highway 127 South in the Mountain View Small Area Planning District, from R-20 Residential to HC Highway Commercial. The subject parcels are presently vacant. Adjacent parcels to the north, south and east are zoned R-20 and occupied by single-family residences. One parcel to the west is zoned R-20 and occupied by a single-family resident, while another parcel to the west is zoned HC Highway Commercial and occupied by a business.
Public water is available, but public sewer is unavailable. Highway 127 South is designated as a major thoroughfare in the Catawba County Transportation Plan, defined as a primary traffic artery of an urban area designed to move traffic from city to city and within urban areas. Average daily traffic counts measured at this location in 2005 numbered 12,000 vehicles. The capacity of this particular section of Highway 127 is estimated at 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles per day.
The Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) states that 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 combined total of the property proposed for rezoning is 1.93 acres in size. The HC Highway Commercial District would permit a maximum non-residential floor area ratio of 1:3, which calculates into 0.64 acre, or 27,878 square feet of total floor area (rounding was used). This property is also located in a WS-III Watershed, which provides that the maximum built upon area for the 1.93 acres is 24 percent or 0.46 acres (20,037 square feet).
The Mountain View Small Area Plan serves as the current land use plan for this area and indicates that the subject properties are inside a future highway corridor. County staff recommends the rezoning of the properties from R-20 Residential to HC Highway Commercial based on: 1) the Mountain View Small Area Plan recognizing the parcels as being in a future highway corridor; 2) the purpose of the HC Highway Commercial District; and 3) the close proximity of existing HC Highway Commercial parcels in relation to the subject parcels.
The Catawba County Planning Board conducted a public hearing on September 24, 2007. With the exception of the applicant, no one spoke regarding this request. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend this rezoning based on the issues cited above in the staff recommendation.
A. The Board will hold a second reading on a request to approve a proposed amendment to the County Code, Chapter 2 - Administration, Division 4 to reflect the Board of Commissioners actual practice in the appointment of members of the Board of Trustees of Catawba Valley Medical Center. Since only four commissioners were present at the Board’s October 1, 2007 meeting and State statutes require that all Board members be present to adopt an ordinance, the final adoption of this amendment cannot take place until a second reading is conducted. Historically, the Hospital’s Board of Trustees would submit two names, per vacancy, to the Board of Commissioners, which would then appoint one of the two individuals to fill the vacancy. In practice, this changed in the early 1990s, when the Hospital Board of Trustees began submitting one name per vacancy for the Board of Commissioners’ consideration. The hospital’s attorney and the County Attorney agreed to this change in 1994, however, corrected language to reflect this change in the code was never presented to the Board of Commissioners. The Hospital’s Board of Trustees had also previously carried a separate surety bond for its treasurer. For many years, Catawba Valley Medical Center has maintained a surety bond which includes the activities of the Board of Trustees’ treasurer. The proposed changes to the County Code, Chapter 2, would reflect both the change in practice whereby the Hospital Board of Trustees submits one name per vacancy for the Board of Commissioners’ consideration and the fact that the hospital now maintains a surety bond that includes the activities of the Board of Trustees’ treasurer. The Board of Commissioners Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends adoption of the revised language to the County Code, Chapter 2.
B. The Board will consider a request from the City of Hickory to amend the current list of Map Review Officers. On July 17, 1997, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified Senate Bill 875, the Maps and Plats Law. This law requires all counties to appoint Review Officers who would review each plat or map before it is recorded and certify that it meets the statutory requirements for mapping. The law states that individuals have to be appointed by name, not by job title, so any time a change occurs in staffing, a new Review Officer has to be appointed and approved by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and subsequently recorded in the Register of Deed’s Office. The City of Hickory has officially requested that Sandy Trevathan be added to the list of Map Review Officers. Staff recommends adoption of a resolution to amend the list of Map Review Officers for the City of Hickory.
C. The Board will receive a report from the Department of Social Services documenting fees collected for fiscal year 2006-2007 under North Carolina General Statute 108A-10. To help cover costs associated with providing certain services. Social Services collects various minimal fees from the public. These fees are regulated by governmental statutes and/or have been approved by the Board of Social Services. In fiscal year 2006-2007, Social Services collected the following fees: Trust Accounts,$5,876.11; Family NET, $46,720; Adoption Fees (Net) $5,406.25; CAP In-Home, $684.60; NC Health Choice, $37,550; Child Support, $6,157.79, for a total of $102,394.75. The report also notes an additional $33,232.08 received from Home Care Community Block Grant funds from the State of North Carolina.
UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
The Board will consider the purchase of two parcels containing a total of 5.17 acres, contiguous to the Blackburn Landfill, and a budget revision in the amount of $290,000 to appropriate funds for the purchase and associated costs. All costs will be paid from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, which is funded with solid waste tipping fees and contains no tax proceeds.
In August 2006, Mr. and Mrs. Reid Lynch approached Utilities and Engineering Department staff concerning the County’s interest in purchasing two parcels of land, totaling 5.17 acres and located on the north side of Rocky Ford Road. A preliminary assessment of the parcels determined that this property would allow the County to obtain approximately 170,000 cubic yards of clay and soils needed at the landfill, valued at $232,500. This same volume of soils would cost an estimated $1,020,000 if obtained off site and transported to an on site stockpile.
Acquiring the Lynch property will provide permanent access from Rocky Ford Road for future sites within the County’s EcoComplex and for other industrial businesses, allowing the County to avoid having to obtain permits from the US Army Corps of Engineers and NC Division of Environment and Natural Resources to place a culvert across a stream, and avoid $64,300 in additional costs to build an access road to cross the stream. After the County removes soils for landfill activities, this property would be ideal for locating a steam energy user, such as a brick and pottery economic development prospect currently discussing the possibility of becoming a component of the EcoComplex.
The value of the property to Catawba County has been estimated at $282,341.75. The negotiated purchase price with Mr. and Mrs. Lynch is $265,000. During a closed session on September 4, 2007, the Board of Commissioners directed staff to proceed with obtaining a signed Offer to Purchase and Contract from Mr. and Mrs. Lynch. That contract has been signed, with the closing to be held on or before October 31, 2007. Mr. and Mrs. Lynch will have the option to lease a house and premises located on one parcel, rent free, for a period of six months from the date of closing. If, after six months, the Lynches wish to remain in the house, they will have the option to continue leasing the house and properties at the rate of $800 per month. Staff recommends the purchase of these two parcels totaling 5.17 acres and the appropriation of $290,000 in funds from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, for the $265,000 purchase price and associated closing costs.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464