May 5, 2003
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting on Monday, May 5, 2003 in the Catawba Valley Community College / Alexander Center Multipurpose Room, Taylorsville, North Carolina.
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Robertson called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Rev. Marcus Benfield, Pastor at Northside Baptist Church, gave the invocation and Stephanie Howard, student at Bethlehem Elementary School, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Commissioner Hammer made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT 03-2: CAROLINA RAINMAKERS & LANDSCAPING, LLC
Chairman Robertson called the public hearing to order. Being sworn testimony, Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board, administered an oath to Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development.
Ms. Turnmire presented Conditional Use Permit 03-2 for approval of the operation of a sawmill/mulch grinder. The applicants are Carolina Rainmakers & Landscaping, LLC as well as the owners Jeff Elder, Donna Little, and Sharon Reitzel.
Ms. Turnmire stated that the property was located at 335 Heritage Farm Road, tax map number B11b lots 33 and 126. The size of the property area is 3.93 acres (B11b-33) and 1.07 acres (B11b-126) and the existing land use includes residential structures and the current landscaping business. Ms. Turnmire stated that the existing zoning was RA-20 (Residential-Agricultural). The zoning within 100 feet of the property is RA-20 to the north, south, east, and west. There is vacant property to the north and west and single-family site-built homes to the south and east.
Ms. Turnmire stated that the applicants had requested approval of the conditional use permit for the operation of a sawmill/mulch grinder on the subject property and she noted that there were no structures proposed at this time. The applicants propose to relocate equipment, build a berm, and plant a landscaping buffer.
Ms. Turnmire stated that conditional uses were allowed in the RA-20 Zoning District with approval from the Board of Commissioners. Ms. Turnmire noted that the Zoning Ordinance also required the following for the proposed use:
Ms. Turnmire stated that the Board of Commissioners could place conditions on the request such as hours of operation for the mulch grinder, location of equipment, etc. Ms. Turnmire noted that the applicants and adjoining property owners had submitted a list of conditions for the proposed conditional use permit as Exhibit A of the application (which is hereby made apart of these minutes). Ms. Turnmire stated that the County Attorney had reviewed the application and the proposed conditions.
Ms. Turnmire requested the following conditions to be placed upon the permit if the Board chose to approve the conditional use permit:
Commissioner Keever asked if staff had received any objections to the requested conditional use permit from adjoining property owners. Ms. Turnmire stated that staff had posted signs on the subject property, advertised the request in The Taylorsville Times, and sent letters to all adjoining property owners and had not received any phone calls in favor or opposition of the request.
Commissioner Bolick expressed his concerns with the sawmill/mulch grinder in regards to the Alexander County Nuisance (Noise) Ordinance. Commissioner Bolick asked if staff had taken into consideration the noise from the mulch grinder. Ms. Turnmire stated that the sawmill/mulch grinder would be required to be in compliance with the Nuisance Ordinance enforced by the Sheriffs Department.
Chairman Robertson stated that the Leyland Cyprus, at 10 feet growth and double planted, would constitute as a noise and visual screen. Ms. Turnmire agreed.
Chairman Robertson requested any public comment.
There being no further public comment, Commissioner Keever made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Bolick discussed the issue of the off-premise sign and he stated that he did not have a problem with allowing the sign to remain at its current location if it met the standards of the Zoning Ordinance. Ms. Turnmire stated that the sign met the size requirement; however, she explained that the Zoning Ordinance stated that an off-premise sign must be placed in a commercially zoned area. Ms. Turnmire stated that the intersection of Highway 127 and Heritage Farm Road was zoned RA-20.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve Conditional Use Permit 03-2 as presented while keeping in mind the provisions of the Alexander County Nuisance Ordinance. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CATAWBA RIVER RIPARIAN BUFFERS
Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, presented a list of Environmental Management Commission Members, their qualifications, and the subcommittees each member is appointed to. Ms. Turnmire stated that there was a total of 19 members, 13 of which were appointed by the Governor, 3 appointed by the Senate Pro Tempore, and 3 appointed by the Speaker of the House.
Ms. Turnmire informed the Board that a public hearing was held in Hickory on April 14, 2003 at Catawba Valley Community College. Alan Clark, NCDENR Staff, presented the staff report and the proposed changes and then several interested parties spoke, including Commissioner Hammer.
Ms. Turnmire felt that, in reviewing the proposed permanent rules and after speaking with Alan Clark, the following questions needed to be answered and the issues listed needed to be reviewed and revised by NCDENR/EMC before the permanent rules were adopted:
Ms. Turnmire stated that she had drafted a letter to Alan Clark discussing these items and the overall proposed permanent rules. Ms. Turnmire stated that all written comments were due by May 9, 2003.
Ms. Turnmire briefly discussed the public hearing that was held on May 14, 2003 at CVCC. Ms. Turnmire stated that several individuals asked questions which were not responded to. Commissioner Hammer agreed and stated that there was no response given to any questions or comments made by anyone.
Commissioner Keever asked if the legislature approved the buffer rules. Ms. Turnmire replied that the legislature had no authority over the buffer rules and she noted that the EMC would approve the rules.
Commissioner Hammer expressed his concern with the fact that the NCDENR would have jurisdiction beyond the 50 foot buffer area. Commissioner Keever felt that this issue needed to be addressed in the letter to Alan Clark.
Chairman Robertson mentioned that when this process began, the Mountain Stream Buffer Technical Advisory Committee had made a recommendation to the Stakeholder Committee for a buffer ranging from 15 to 35 feet for the Catawba River. The recommendation was based on conditions related to water temperature, sediment, and organic debris. Chairman Robertson stated that despite the recommendation, the Division of Water Quality staff recommended a 50-foot buffer, which was entered into the temporary rules. Chairman Robertson felt that this issue needed to be addressed in the letter to Alan Clark as well.
Commissioner Bolick asked Ms. Turnmire if there would be any benefit in contacting local representatives with these concerns. Ms. Turnmire replied that the only action that could possibly be taken by legislation would be a change of appointment to the committees during the next cycle.
Commissioner Keever suggested sending a letter to Governor Easley expressing the fact that the proposed rules exceed the original scope and requesting that the buffer zone be minimized. Commissioner Keever suggested the letter be copied to local representatives and surrounding counties.
Commissioner Keever made a motion to send the discussed letter to Governor Easley. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
SCHEDULE JOINT WORK SESSION WITH PLANNING BOARD
Rick French, County Manager, suggested that the Board delay scheduling a joint work session with the Planning & Zoning Commission until the budget process was completed. Mr. French stated that staff would be very busy during the budget process and he noted that Commissioner Keever would also be out of town in June.
Chairman Robertson suggested that the Board plan to schedule a date for the joint work session at the June 2, 2003 Commissioners Meeting. The Board agreed.
SCHEDULE BUDGET WORK SESSIONS & PUBLIC HEARING FOR 2003-2004 ALEXANDER COUNTY BUDGET
Rick French, County Manager, suggested that the Board schedule a budget work session for May 21, 2003 and hold the public hearing for the 2003-2004 Alexander County Budget at the June 2, 2003 Commissioners Meeting. Mr. French also noted that there would be a very light agenda for the May 19, 2003 Commissioners Meeting which could allow the Board to discuss the budget at that time as well. Mr. French stated that he would have all budget requests and accompanying information to the Board before the May 19th Meeting.
After discussion of schedules, Chairman Robertson suggested holding a budget work session on May 19, 2003 at 6:00 PM at CVCC, a budget work session on May 27, 2003 at 6:00 PM at CVCC if needed, and the public hearing on June 2, 2003 at 6:00 PM at CVCC.
Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the schedule as presented by Chairman Robertson. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
BUDGET ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS #46 AND #47
Rick French, County Manager, discussed the purpose of Budget Amendments #46 and #47 that included the following information:
Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve Budget Amendments #46 and #47. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
The following issues were discussed during Other Business:
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to nominate Keith Hertzler to serve another term on the Workforce Development Board. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CLOSED SESSION N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3, 5, & 6) ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE, CONTRACTUAL, & PERSONNEL
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to enter into Closed Session at 6:50 PM for the Attorney / Client Privilege and to discuss contractual matters and personnel issues pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3, 5, & 6). Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
There being no further business, Commissioner Keever made a motion to adjourn at 8:35 PM. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board