WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
SPECIAL MEETING, September 16, 2002
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners and Planning Board held a joint work session on Monday, September 16, 2002 at 5:30 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Human Services Center. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the draft High Impact Land Use Ordinance.
The following parties were present:
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
James Coffey, Vice-Chairman
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Sue Sweeting, Commissioner
Pat Wilkie, Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Ric Mattar, Chairman
Weldon Critcher, Vice-Chairman
Denise Grohs, Member
Tommy Harmon, Member
Jack Simpson, Member
Diane Tilson, Member
Jay Vincent, Member
Joe Furman, Planning & Inspections Director
Brent Graybeal, Planning & Inspections Staff
Jennifer Storie, Planning & Inspections Staff
Chairman Mattar called the meeting to order at 5:35 P.M.
Observed a moment of silence in remembrance of September 11, 2001.
The Zoning Study Committee had spent close to a year developing a list of high impact land uses and development standards. Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney, has worked to simplify and organize the ordinance to make it easier to understand.
Chairman Mattar reviewed changes and additions to the Zoning Study Committee’s recommendations. Changes the Planning Board made included changing the definition of electricity generating plants to remove reference to fossil fuel thereby covering other types of power generating plants. This was due in part to the wind generator farm TVA was proposing on Stone Mountain. The Zoning Study Committee had agreed to a “bufferyard with some plantings” between High Impact Land Uses. The Planning Board has proposed “some plantings” to be a “broken screen” as already defined in the ordinance. The Zoning Study Committee was unable to agree on a front setback for High Impact Land Uses along the new US Hwy 421 South. The Planning Board decided on 185’ from edge of pavement for all roads to make the regulations consistent countywide.
The Planning Board made the following additions to the Zoning Study Committee’s recommendations. Due to time constraints the Zoning Study Committee was unable to discuss the issue of pre-existing High Impact Land Uses. The Planning Board has proposed provisions to address grandfathering of these.
The group then proceeded to discuss any issues or questions they had. Jimmy Hodges questioned why fuel oil bulk storage and propane/gasoline bulk storage were separated instead of listed together. The Zoning Study Committee had proposed different standards for propane/gasoline bulk storage than fuel-oil bulk storage and also required propane/gasoline bulk storage to obtain a conditional use permit. Discussed that a definition section was not included in ordinance so as to try and keep it simpler. Efforts were made to use terms that would be easily understood.
The Planning Board had decided that existing High Impact Land Uses could be expanded as long as they do not increase the degree of nonconformity and comply with standards to extent physically practicable. Existing High Impact Land Uses can be reconstructed on the existing footprint if damaged fifty percent or less of replacement value or reconstruct on existing footprint and meet standards to the extent physically practicable if damaged more than fifty percent.
Both Boards felt that Article IV Section 1(e) Expiration of Development Permit was not needed and agreed to delete from ordinance.
Boards questioned whether Article V Section 1 Establishment of Board of Adjustment seemed to imply that an additional Board would have to be appointed rather than using the existing Board of Adjustment. Boards agreed to change Section 1 to “Board of Adjustment. The Watauga County Board of Adjustment as appointed by the Board of Commissioners …” in order to clarify that existing Board is to be used.
Briefly discussed the fee for a development permit and asked planning staff to research. The Board of Commissioners will then establish a charge as part of the fee schedule, which is adopted periodically.
Rocky Nelson, County Manager, reported that the Watauga Democrat was ready to print and mail copies of the ordinance in their Friday, September 20,2002 edition or the next chance would be in ten days. Briefly discussed when they would hold community meetings and decided to try and schedule at their September 23, 2002 meeting. The current moratorium expires in November. Everyone felt it was very important to get citizens input and to insure that everyone understood the ordinance.
Meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Board of Commissioners
Ric Mattar, Chairman