WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, July 21, 2009, at 5:00 P.M. in the Commissioners’ Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building. The meeting included a joint meeting with the Watauga County Planning Board.
PRESENT: Jim Deal, Chairman
William R. Winkler, III, Vice-Chairman
John Cooper, Commissioner
Tim Futrelle, Commissioner
Winston Kinsey, Commissioner
Andrea Capua, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Deputy County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Deal called the meeting to order at 5:04 P.M., welcoming those in attendance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Deal called for additions and/or corrections to the July 21, 2009, agenda.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to approve the July 21, 2009, agenda as presented.
PUBLIC HEARING TO ALLOW CITIZEN COMMENT ON THE SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FUNDS IN THE SCATTERED SITE HOUSING CATEGORY
Chairman Deal declared the public hearing open at 5:05 P.M. to allow for comment prior to submitting an application for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for Scattered Site Housing and Rehabilitation/Replacement.
Ms. Michelle Ball, Community Development Planner with High Country Council of Governments, stated that this was the second of two required public hearings for the CDBG grant application and reviewed the grant process. Ms. Ball stated that applications were received between May 16 and June 16, 2009, and the Selection Committee had reviewed and selected grant recipients as follows: two were selected to be relocated, two for rehabilitation, and two as alternates for rehabilitation. Ms. Ball also stated that $40,000 of the grant funds were set-a-side, per a local option, to allow for approximately 8-10 additional homes to receive small emergency repairs with those participants to be selected at a later date.
Mr. Joe Furman, Planning Director, requested authority to submit the grant application.
There being no public comment, Chairman Deal declared the public hearing closed at 5:08 P.M.
Commissioner Futrelle, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to authorize the submission of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Scattered Site Housing Application as presented.
[Clerk’s Note: The Planning Board called their meeting to order at 5:08 P.M. and joined the Board of Commissioners. Planning Board members present for the joint meeting were: Lowell Thomas, Diane Tilson, Charlie Wallin, and Ric Mattar. Planning staff present were: Joe Furman, Brent Graybeal, and Jennifer Storie.]
WORK SESSION WITH WATAUGA COUNTY PLANNING BOARD
A. Discussion of Planning Board’s Recommendation for the Sign Ordinance – Mr. Brent Graybeal, Planner II, reviewed the proposed amendments to the Sign Ordinance as recommended by the Planning Board. Proposed additions to the Sign Ordinance included a definition of “Changeable Electronic Variable Message Sign” as well as regulatory standards. It was proposed that no new off-premises advertising signs (such as billboards) be allowed on new locations after the effective date of the amendments. Signs conforming with the regulations in effect prior to the effective date of the amendments would be permitted to be replaced with any type of legal sign including changeable electronic variable message signs provided that type of sign complied with the standards included in the proposed amendments. On premise, changeable electronic variable message signs would be permitted pursuant to the proposed standards.
County Attorney Capua reviewed the technical aspects the Planning Board used to determine compliance in the proposed amendments. The County Attorney stated the following options: the County could allow signs; phase out through purchase; or allow current signs and not permit new ones. The County Attorney also stated that, if removing a sign due to safety reasons, the County would not have to purchase the sign.
After lengthy discussion by the Board of Commissioners and Planning Board members, Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Futrelle, moved to set a public hearing for the August 18, 2009, Board meeting at 6:00 P.M. to allow for citizen comment on the amendments to the Sign Ordinance as proposed by the Planning Board.
B. Proposed Amendments to Subdivision Regulations – Mr. Joe Furman, Planning Director, stated that the Planning Board periodically reviewed “An Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures” and recommended proposed amendments as needed. The amendments proposed were to clarify regulations and assist the Planning Board when reviewing proposals.
Discussion was held regarding the addition of Section 71.0241 which set standards for safety barriers. Also, a portion of Section 71.025 (Road Grades) was eliminated as it was proposed to be covered under the addition of Section 71.0241.
After discussion by the Board of Commissioners and Planning Board members, Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to set a public hearing for the August 18, 2009, Board meeting at 6:00 P.M. to allow for citizen comment on the proposed amendments to “An Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures” as recommended by the Planning Board, but not including the addition of Section 71.0241 and proposed amendment to Section 71.025 at this time.
[Clerk’s Note: The Planning Board adjourned their meeting at 6:45 P.M.]
DISCUSSION OF HOUSE BILL 1134 REGARDING ABANDONED MOBILE HOMES
Mr. Joe Furman reviewed the status and funding of House Bill 1134 regarding abandoned mobile homes. Mr. Furman stated that since the State budget had not been adopted at this time, funding was uncertain and could be delayed or eliminated.
Some discussion was held regarding a policy for the removal of abandoned mobile homes; however, by consensus, further discussion was tabled until after the adoption of the State’s FY 2010 budget in order to determine if funding was to be available.
The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 6:55 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board