WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
SPECIAL MEETING, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2003
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a work session to discuss the draft Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses on Monday, January 13, 2003, in the Conference Room of the Human Services Building. Those present were: Chairman Coffey, Vice-Chairman Hodges, Commissioner Blust, Commissioner Honeycutt, and Commissioner Trivette, County Manager Nelson, County Attorney Eggers-Gryder, and Clerk to the Board Anita Fogle. The Watauga County Planning Board was also in attendance for a portion of the meeting.
Chairman Coffey called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. and asked Commissioner Blust to give an invocation.
Chairman Coffey called upon Mr. Ric Mattar, Chairman of the Planning Board, and Mr. Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director, to review the history of the draft Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses. Mr. Mattar reviewed the background of the draft Ordinance and Mr. Furman added that the Board had adopted an Ordinance Re-Establishing a Moratorium on Certain High Impact Land Uses at their December 2, 2002, meeting to be in effect for 120 days. Mr. Furman proceeded to review the draft ordinance article by article.
Chairman Coffey called upon Planning Board members and then the Commissioners to state their concerns regarding the draft ordinance.
After a short break beginning at 8:10 P.M., the Board reconvened at 8:23 P.M. to review the draft ordinance in greater detail.
County Attorney Eggers-Gryder stated that a purpose statement and definitions need to be added to the ordinance.
The Commissioners then went through the draft ordinance addressing several concerns and took straw votes as follows:
Legal Authority: Zoning Authority (NCGS 153A-340) or General ordinance making (NCGS 153A-121).
Coffey – General ordinance
Hodges – Zoning
Blust – General ordinance
Honeycutt – General ordinance
Trivette – General ordinance
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction: Should the Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses cover the ETJ areas?
Coffey – No
Hodges – No
Blust – No
Honeycutt – No
Trivette – No
Size of commercial buildings to be regulated under Article II, Section 1.J. (currently 10,000 square feet or greater); after discussion and compromise:
Coffey – 20,000 sq ft
Hodges – 20,000 sq ft
Blust – 20,000 sq ft
Honeycutt – 20,000 sq ft
Trivette – 20,000 sq ft
By consensus, the Board directed staff to better define electric generating facilities and windmills to exempt from farm and residential use. Mr. Furman suggested the phrase “stand alone” showed that the purpose for such items would be for power distribution only.
By consensus, the Board agreed that under Parking Space Requirements, Article 2 Section 3A, number 1 should be referred to as retail while all other commercial property would fall under numbers 2 and 3.
By consensus, the Board agreed that in cases of damage to grandfathered nonconforming buildings to the extent of 75% or less of the replacement value, repairs may be made, provided the original building footprint is maintained. The Board also agreed, by consensus, that the amount of damage would be determined by a certified appraiser and requested Mr. Furman and Ms. Eggers-Gryder to determine the appropriate certification.
By consensus, the Board agreed to remove the vested rights clause in Article 3, Section 3.
By consensus, the Board agreed that appeals would be heard by due process; first by the Board of County Commissioners and then Superior court.
By consensus, the Board agreed to have County Attorney Eggers-Gryder develop a variance for a hardship process that would be appealed to the Board of Commissioners.
By consensus, the Board agreed they would have a public hearing before adopting any amendments.
Buffers on page seven of the ordinance were questioned. The following vote was taken to leave the buffers for fuel oil bulk storage, electricity substations, cement plants, commercial/industrial buildings 20,000 to 49,999 sq. ft., and commercial/industrial buildings 50,000 + sq. ft. at 75 ft.
Coffey – yes, leave at 75 ft.
Hodges – yes, leave at 75 ft.
Blust – no, 75 ft. too much
Honeycutt – yes, leave at 75 ft.
Trivette – yes, leave at 75 ft.
By consensus, the Board agreed to remove the first part of the first sentence on page 3 (c)(5) of the ordinance beginning with “For buildings . . .”
Section 5, on page 12, would be rewritten for future Board approval.
The Board requested that a new draft of the Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses be presented for further review at the February 3, 2003 Board meeting with a public hearing possibly being held February 18, 2003.
Vice-Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:48 P.M.
Anita J. Fogle
Clerk to the Board