The Watauga County Board of Commissioners and Planning Board held a joint work session on Monday, March 19, 2001 at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed Interim Development Ordinance.
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
Planning Board
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 Hodges called the meeting to order at 5:34 P.M. welcoming those in attendance. He then turned the meeting over to Ric Mattar, Chairman of the County’s Planning Board.
Mr. Mattar stated that the Moratorium on Certain Polluting Industries will expire April 18, 2001. The commissioners have three options: 1) extend moratorium, 2) adopt an Interim Development Ordinance, or 3) let moratorium expire. At the Board of Commissioners’ last meeting the proposed Interim Development Ordinance drafted by the Planning Board was presented. The Board is proposing setbacks and building height regulations for all land uses. “Polluting Industries” are now being referred to as High Impact Uses. These include asphalt plants, chip mills, diesel generating facilities, as well as propane bulk storage facilities, and commercial and industrial land uses with aggregate building occupancy area of 20,000 square feet or more. High Impact Land Uses would have to obtain a Conditional Use permit and meet certain performance standards. The proposed ordinance also includes a sunset provision. This would provide assurance that it is only for the interim and allow for time to hold more community meetings to get feedback on a more comprehensive development ordinance.
The Board of Commissioners and Planning Board members discussed the different performance standards with which High Impact Land Uses would have to comply to obtain a Conditional Use Permit. Concerns raised included the date for the sunset provision, replacement of destroyed non-conforming uses, enforcement level, regulated uses and their location, loading areas and parking requirements, impervious surface limitation, and river setbacks.
Boards also discussed who would be responsible for issuing Conditional Use Permits. The proposed ordinance that the Board of Adjustment will conduct the hearings, and issue the permits.
Meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Robert E. Nelson, Jr.
County Manager