Draft

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 

ALEXANDER COUNTY

REGULAR MEETING

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

July 10, 2001

PRESENT: David S. Odom, Chairman
Joel C. Harbinson, Vice-Chairman
William L. Hammer
W. Darrell Robertson (late)
John F. Watts
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board
David Icenhour, Public Information Director

 

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 in the Superior Court Room in the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, North Carolina.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Chairman Odom gave the Chairman’s Report which included information regarding a CDBG grant which was awarded to Alexander County. The grant totaled $75,000 and will be used to help those unable to purchase water meters and taps within the grant area.

Rick French, County Manager, informed the Board that word had been received that the State would release the inventory tax reimbursements for 2000-2001 that were scheduled to be received in April 2001. The reimbursements for Alexander County total approximately $305,000.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman David Odom called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE

Dr. Richard W. Jordan, Antioch Baptist Church, gave the invocation. Todd and Ben Jordan led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

***SPECIAL RECOGNITION***

Chairman Odom recognized Antioch Baptist Church which will celebrate its 175th Anniversary during the month of July. Chairman Odom recognized Dr. Richard W. Jordan, Pastor, and Dewey P. Austin, Deacon, and presented them with a plaque in recognition of their 175th Anniversary. Chairman Odom also read aloud a resolution declaring July 29, 2001 as "Antioch Baptist Church Day" in Alexander County. Mr. Austin noted that there would be special events at Antioch Baptist Church during the entire month of July and that the church would be erecting a marker where the old log church was built in 1826. Dr. Jordan also noted that a different speaker would be present during each Sunday service.

Chairman Odom requested that churches inform Rick French, County Manager, of anniversary celebrations or special events so that the Board could recognize their accomplishments as well.

Commissioner Watts mentioned that First Baptist Church would be celebrating its 150th Anniversary in October 2001.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

Chairman Odom stated that Rick Fox, Deputy for Alexander County Sheriff’s Department, was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Pennsylvania returning from a mission trip in Canada. Chairman Odom asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of Mr. Fox.

CITIZEN OF THE MONTH

Commissioner Watts presented the Citizen of the Month Award to Connie P. Killian and Lloyd Jarvis and gave a brief biography on each recipient.

Connie Price Killian is married to Robert (Bob) Killian, is the mother of 2 sons, and grandmother of 2 boys and 1 girl. Ms. Killian is a resident of Bethlehem and has served on the Planning & Zoning Commission since January 1987. She attends Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church and works for Catawba County Planning & Community Development as the E911 Addressing Coordinator. She is a member of the Bethlehem Community Development Association, part owner of Rock Creek Nursery, and spends her spare time with her 2 cockatiels.

Lloyd Jarvis, also known as "the bug man", is married to Lori Jarvis and is the father of 3 girls and 1 boy. He has served on the Planning & Zoning Commission since 1991. Mr. Jarvis has lived in the Vashti area since 1982 and is an avid Elvis Presley fan. He served 3 years in the reserves for the US Army which was based in Kentucky and served time overseas in Germany. Mr. Jarvis is part owner of Northstate Pest Control in Hiddenite and volunteers in various activities in the Vashti community including "Vashti Day".

Commissioner Robertson entered the meeting at this time. The time was 7:20 PM.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Chairman Odom asked that Budget Amendments #38 and #39 be added to Consent Agenda and appointments to the Human Relations Council be added to Agenda Item #4 (Appointments and Reappointments). Chairman Odom also stated that a voting delegate for NCACC needed to be chosen during Other Business and also that a Closed Session would be needed to discuss legal matters. Chairman Odom also distributed copies of the Rescue Squad & EMS, Inc. Franchise Agreement and contract with Alexander County to be reviewed for discussion during Other Business.

Commissioner Watts made a motion to adopt the agenda as amended. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

PUBLIC HEARING: COUNTYWIDE ZONING AND THE ZONING ORDINANCE

Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, conducted the public hearing for Countywide Zoning and the Zoning Ordinance and gave an overview of the zoning process during the last 2 years which included the following information:

Ms. Turnmire stated that the Board of Commissioners had charged the Planning & Zoning Commission to review countywide zoning in July 1999. Throughout the past 2 years, the Planning & Zoning Commission reviewed and recommended revisions to the Zoning Ordinance, which was adopted in March 2001. The Planning & Zoning Commission also reviewed each township and assigned zoning districts. Public informational meetings were held on April 19, 2001 in the Wittenburg Township; April 24, 2001 in the Taylorsville and Millers Townships; April 26, 2001 in the Ellendale, Little River, and Sugarloaf Townships; and on May 3, 2001 in the Gwaltneys and Sharpes I & II Townships.

Staff sent notices of all informational meetings to the Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Observer, Hickory Daily Record, Statesville Record & Landmark, Taylorsville Times, and WACB. A display ad was published in the Taylorsville Times from April 11 – May 2, 2001. Announcements were posted at 41 locations throughout the county. The Taylorsville Times published a half-page ad announcing the public hearings with the Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Commissioners for 7 consecutive weeks beginning on May 23, 2001 and ending on July 4, 2001. Additional notices were posted in 41 locations and staff also asked each county department to post the notice as well.

Approximately 2,000 letters were sent to property owners not residing in the general newspaper circulation area and only 36 letters were returned with no forwarding address. Since posting, publishing, and sending notices, staff has received 55 contacts to date requesting information.

At the June 21, 2001 Commissioners’ Meeting, the Board requested that letters be sent to property owners in the proposed districts of R-20 (Residential), N-B (Neighborhood Business), H-C (Highway Commercial), L-I (Light Industrial) and H-I (Heavy Industrial) outside of the county zoned areas which totaled approximately 1,300 letters. All letters were sent by June 29, 2001.

On June 21, 2001, the Planning & Zoning Commission conducted a public hearing on revisions to the Zoning Ordinance and zoning districts within the Bethlehem and Highway 64/90 areas. A total of 9 concerned citizens attended the meeting. One person spoke during the public hearing and the Planning & Zoning Commission accepted their request.

Ms. Turnmire reviewed with the Board proposed revisions to the Zoning Ordinance which included:

    1. Section 154.202 (Schedule of Uses)
    2. Multi-Family: Delete as a permitted use from R-20;

      Condominiums/Townhouses: Add as a conditional use in RA-20 and R-20;

      Manufactured Homes: Add multi-sectional homes

    3. Bona Fide Farms – revised the provision and relocated to definition section.
    4. Removed the Industrial (I) District.
    5. Added Section 154.355 (Separability) and 154.356 (Effective Date).
    6. Deleted repetitious paragraphs such as "authority", "jurisdiction", and "amendment procedure", etc. from the manufactured home park, RV park, and telecommunication tower section.
    7. Section 154.006 (Definitions) – all definitions were relocated to this section, including the definitions within the manufactured home park, telecommunication towers, and RV park sections.

Ms. Turnmire informed the Board that the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the map including revisions in the currently zoned areas of Bethlehem and 64/90 and proposed new zoning districts outside of those areas and also revisions to the Alexander County Zoning Ordinance.

Ms. Turnmire also reviewed several rezoning requests that had been submitted to the Planning & Development Office. Ms. Turnmire noted that the top portion of the list were revisions that were made at the Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting and the bottom portion were requests that had been made since the meeting.

Corey Teague, Alexander County Planner, and John Marshall, WPCOG Planner, reviewed the zoning maps with the Board. Mr. Marshall explained that the maps were colored by use. Mr. Marshall noted that the large maps were not up-to-date but the smaller map was.

Commissioner Robertson inquired about uses allowed in RA-20 and R-20. Mr. Marshall explained each district and its uses and also noted that manufactured homes were not allowed in R-20 Districts. Mr. Marshall stated that if someone wanted to place a manufactured home in a R-20 District, they would have to request rezoning of the property.

Commissioner Harbinson asked if the process for requesting rezoning of property would remain the same. Mr. Marshall stated that it would.

Public Comment

At this time, Chairman Odom asked for public comment and stated that each individual would be allowed 3 minutes to speak. Chairman Odom also stated that the Board would not tolerate any rudeness or outbursts of any kind. If these occurred, the individual would be asked to leave the meeting.

Roger Lee approached the Board with a concern with the location of chicken houses near his property in Hiddenite which is located within an RA-20 District. Mr. Lee explained that he was downwind from chicken houses and felt that there should be some restrictions enforced regarding a required distance from a residence in which a chicken house could be built. Mr. Lee also stated that he had spoken with Cooperative Extension, Poultry Association, and USDA and had been informed that prevailing winds could carry 40 diseases from chicken house which could cause serious health concerns.

Skyler B. Little requested that property located on the corner of Millersville Road and Highway 64/90 next to Mitchell Gold be rezoned from H-C to L-I. Chris Welborne stated that the property had been rezoned already and that he planned for a future Chrysler Dodge dealership in the next 24 to 48 months. Commissioner Watts instructed Mr. Welborne to contact the Planning & Development Office for the appropriate paperwork to be sent to Chrysler for approval.

Phyllis Little stated that she lived in the Wittenburg area and her property was proposed as R-20. Ms. Little stated that she may expand her property into a commercial business in the future and asked if there would be any restrictions under the R-20 District. Ms. Little was told that she would be able to expand her business as she wished.

Harold Mitchell stated that his 4 generation family farm in Hiddenite was proposed as R-20 and requested that it be zoned as RA-20. Mr. Mitchell stated that his mother was 92 years old and may need someone to care for her later on. If the property is zoned R-20, manufactured homes are not allowed. Mr. Mitchell stated that he may wish to place a mobile home behind his mother’s house so that someone could stay there to care for her. Commissioner Harbinson asked if the property could be zoned as RA-20. Mr. Marshall stated that there would be no problem zoning the property as RA-20.  The Board instructed the Planning & Zoning Commission and staff to zone the property as requested.

David Moose stated that he owned acre across the street from Hiddenite Elementary School that is proposed as R-20. Mr. Moose requested that the property be zoned as RA-20 so that he would be able to rent the mobile home. After review of the maps, it was noted that the property was proposed as RA-20. Mr. Moose also stated that he owned property on Lake Hickory and informed the Board that his neighbors were doing commercial work on their property which was not allowed according to the deed.

Bill Randlett stated that he was concerned that some residents were not aware of the purpose of zoning and felt that efforts should be made to further ensure that all property owners were aware of the effects of zoning so that they may request rezoning of their property if necessary. Commissioner Harbinson stated that many efforts had been made to inform the public and that there would always be someone that says they didn’t know.

Jamie Harrington stated that she owned 30 acres near Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and that she received a letter stating the property would be zoned as R-20. After review of the map, it was noted that her property would be zoned RA-20. Ms. Harrington stated that she didn’t understand the purpose behind not allowing a manufactured home on property zoned R-20 but allowing a farm instead. Ms. Harrington stated that some people could only afford manufactured homes and felt that it was unfair to not allow them on property zoned R-20. Mr. Marshall noted that most districts proposed as R-20 were those requested by the property owners themselves.

Clark Icenhour stated that his property was proposed as RA-20 and asked if he would be allowed to build a garage on his property in the future. He was informed that he would be allowed to do so in an RA-20.

Teresa Smith stated that her property was proposed as R-20 and that she was interested in purchasing adjoining land in the future for a pasture. Ms. Smith was informed that she would be allowed to do so with the Board of Adjustments’ permission.

Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Hammer thanked the Planning & Zoning Commission and staff and stated that the Zoning Ordinance was to protect the citizens and their property. Commissioner Hammer also stated that rezoning would be ongoing and that the Zoning Ordinance would constantly have to be amended.

Commissioner Watts stated that the Zoning Ordinance was a "work in progress" and that efforts would be made to keep the public informed of any changes being made. Commissioner Watts thanked the individuals that spoke at the public hearing and felt that the Zoning Ordinance was fair and in no way restrictive. Commissioner Watts commended the Planning & Zoning Commission and staff.

Commissioner Harbinson explained that when he and Commissioners Watts and Odom were elected, the county manager at the time resigned. Charles Mashburn left a list of items that he wished for the Board to implement which included the Subdivision Ordinance, Manufactured Home Ordinance, and Countywide Zoning. Commissioner Harbinson felt that zoning was good for the county and would keep the county rural. The Zoning Ordinance would prevent a chemical plant or a nuclear waste plant from being built next to a family farm or residence.

Commissioner Robertson noted that efforts for zoning actually began 10 or 12 years ago when a hazardous waste facility was proposed in the Vashti area. The residents of Vashti were concerned and wanted some type of protection in order to keep this from happening. Commissioner Robertson noted that he felt that everyone’s land must be protected and the Zoning Ordinance was the best way to do it. Commissioner Robertson also suggested that staff update the maps before consideration by the Board.

Chairman Odom thanked the Planning & Zoning Commission and staff and stated that he was pleased that farms were exempt. Chairman Odom agreed that the maps needed to be updated before consideration by the Board.

Commissioner Harbinson suggested that the Zoning Ordinance be publicized before adoption.

There being no further public comment, Commissioner Robertson made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to table consideration of Countywide Zoning and Zoning Ordinance until the August Commissioners’ Meeting to allow Planning staff to update the Zoning Ordinance and Maps due to zoning changes and requests made during the public hearing. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

TEXT AMENDMENT 01-03: ALEXANDER COUNTY ROAD NAMING ORDINANCE

Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, presented Text Amendment 01-03 to the Alexander County Road Naming Ordinance. Ms. Turnmire stated that revisions were made to Sections 83, 86, and 87 as requested by the Board at the June 5, 2001 Commissioners’ Meeting. Ms. Turnmire stated that it was requested of staff to recommend a fee for each address that would be requested by a road name petition. Staff contacted several 911 Addressing divisions regarding their fee schedule. Ms. Turnmire stated a "fee per address" would cover cost of mailings and staff time and that staff recommended a fee of $3.00 per address.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve Text Amendment 01-03 to the Alexander County Road Naming Ordinance and a fee of $3.00 per address. Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

COUNTY ANIMAL RESPONSE TEAM PLAN (CART) FOR ALEXANDER COUNTY

Terry Foxx, Emergency Management Director, presented the County Animal Response Team Plan (CART) which was established due to the loss of livestock during Hurricane Floyd and the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth Disease. Mr. Foxx stated that after review by Cooperative Extension, Public Health, and Animal Control officials, the plan was ready to be implemented. Mr. Foxx requested that it be approved and made part of the Emergency Operations Plan.

Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve the County Animal Response Team Plan (CART) for Alexander County. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Mr. Foxx also updated the Board on the communications project by stating that testing results would be available Friday, July 13, 2001. Radios will be programmed after testing results are received. Mr. Foxx also stated that they would be live and on-line by August 1, 2001.

BOARD APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS

Chairman Odom made the following board appointments and reappointments:

A.   TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY BOARD
Reappoint Hal Bond 1 year term
Reappoint Paula Brawley 1 year term
Reappoint Angela Johnson 1 year term
Reappoint Patti Foster 1 year term
Reappoint Nan Campbell 1 year term
Reappoint Leeanne Whisnant 1 year term
Reappoint Dallas Dolle 1 year term
Reappoint Terry Foxx 1 year term
Reappoint Rick French 1 year term
Reappoint Keith Hertzler 1 year term
Reappoint Andrew Jackson 1 year term
Reappoint Nolan Jarvis 1 year term
Reappoint Tom Jones 1 year term
Reappoint Tim Lackey 1 year term
Reappoint David Odom 1 year term
Reappoint Dana Robertson 1 year term
Reappoint Roger Underwood 1 year term
Reappoint Ben Zachary 1 year term
Reappoint Florence Davis 1 year term
Reappoint Chris Fortner 1 year term
B.  REGION E EMS (WPCOG)
Reappoint David Odom 2 year term
Appoint Marie Chapman 2 year term
C.  UNIFOUR CONSORTIUM (WPCOG)
Reappoint Tim Mays 1 year term
D.  UNIFOUR TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE (WPCOG)
Reappoint Raeford Thomas 1 year term
E.  HUMAN RELATIONS COUNCIL
Reappoint Helen Anthony 2 year term
Reappoint Lonnie Carrigan 2 year term
Reappoint Margo Mosley 2 year term

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the appointments and reappointments. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

OTHER BUSINESS

Rescue Squad Agreement

Chairman Odom discussed the Rescue Squad and EMS Inc. Franchise Agreement and asked that the Board review the agreement for consideration at the August Commissioners’ Meeting. Chairman Odom also discussed the Rescue Squad’s yearly contract with Alexander County which allows the Rescue Squad extrication backup to EMS. Chairman Odom asked that the Board reinstate the contract until it could be incorporated with the franchise agreement at the August meeting.

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the contract between the Rescue Squad and Alexander County for back up for EMS effective July 1, 2001. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

NCACC Voting Delegate

Chairman Odom stated that a voting delegate needed to be designated for the NCACC annual meeting in Fayetteville, NC. Chairman Odom suggested Commissioner Hammer serve as the voting delegate. Chairman Odom will serve as alternate.

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to designate Commissioner Hammer as the voting delegate at the NCACC annual meeting. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Tax Refund Requests for June $952.51 and Tax Release Requests for June $2.461.98.
  2. Minutes from June 5, 2001 Regular Meeting, Minutes from June 12, 2001 Work Session, and Minutes from June 21, 2001 Special Called Meeting.
  3. Budget Amendments #38 and #39.

Commissioner Watts noted that he had spoken with Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board, regarding some clarification to minutes.

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

CLOSED SESSION – N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1)

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to enter into Closed Session at 9:10 PM to discuss confidential information pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1). Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

LOAN FOR ALEXANDER COMMUNITY HOSPITAL

Upon returning to open session, Commissioner Harbinson made a motion for Alexander County to allocate funds, not to exceed $10,000, to assist Alexander Community Hospital to hire a bankruptcy attorney since hospital funds are depleted and also for Commissioner Watts to work out the details of repayment and possible discounts on cafeteria meals for jail inmates. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Commissioner Robertson made a motion to adjourn at 9:40 PM. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

 

                                                                                                           

  David S. Odom, Chairman           Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board