The Watauga County Board of Commissioners and Planning Board held a joint work session on Monday, December 18, 2000 at 5:30 P.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss zoning.
The following parties were present:
Watauga County
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
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Planning Board
Ric Mattar, Chairman
Weldon Critcher, Member
Denise Grohs, Member
Tommy Harmon, Member
Jack Simpson, Member
Diane Tilson, Member
Jay Vincent, Member
Joe Furman, Planning & Inspections Director
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 5:32 P.M. welcoming those in attendance. He then turned the meeting over to Mr. Ric Mattar, Chairman of the County’s Planning Board.
Mr. Mattar stated the Planning Board had been diligent in discussing zoning at each of its monthly meetings but to date had no recommendation for the Board of Commissioners’ consideration. He noted that the Planning Board had conducted seven community meetings during August, 2000 and had received various comments from residents regarding their concerns for/against zoning. Mr. Mattar explained that the Planning Board had been given a lot of information regarding zoning but had been unable to reach a consensus and needed further guidance from the Board.
The Board and Planning Board members discussed different types of zoning and the impacts an ordinance might have on families and communities throughout the County. The Board of Commissioners voiced their concerns about protecting residents’ neighborhoods, dealing with the County’s rapid growth, and protecting its land/water quality. As far as considering zoning in the County’s rural areas, certain Commissioners felt it would be beneficial for community councils to be involved with the decisions concerning new land use regulation for their particular area(s). Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, briefly discussed options as to approaches available under zoning authority as well as how community councils were formed and their objectives.
The Board of Commissioners at its April 18, 2000 regular meeting, had approved an Ordinance Establishing a Moratorium on Certain Polluting Industries for a period of one (1) year. This Moratorium pertained to chip mill facilities, asphalt plants and diesel generating plants. Since the Moratorium expires April 18, 2001, the Board expressed its desire to receive the Planning Board’s recommendation as soon as possible.
Following discussion, Chairman Hodges requested the Board’s votes for the Planning Board to do the following:
To review and make recommendations as to how community councils should function under a zoning ordinance.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Coffey, Hodges, Lawrence, Sweeting)
Abstain-1 (Wilkie)
To suggest performance zoning measures for the Board’s consideration.
VOTE: Aye-5
To identify areas along corridors including major highways and the New River that might be designated as districts under zoning.
VOTE: Aye-5
Commissioner Coffey had a meeting to attend at Region D Council of Governments at 7:00 P.M. and, therefore, left the meeting at 6:50 P.M.
Following brief discussion, the Board of Commissioners requested the Planning Board report its progress at the Board’s retreat scheduled for February 2-3, 2001.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:55 P.M.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Hodges, Lawrence, Sweeting, Wilkie)
Absent-1 (Coffey)
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Elizabeth H. Link, Clerk to the Board