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MINUTES OF THE BURLINGTON PLANNING

AND ZONING COMMISSION MEETING

 

October 27, 2003

 

Council Chamber, Burlington Municipal Building

 

 

CITY MEMBERS:                                               EXTRATERRITORIAL MEMBERS:

 

Don Starling, Chairman, Present                        Bud Apple, Present

George Byrd, Secretary, Present                       John Enoch, Present

Jim Burwell, Present                                          Celo Faucette, Present

Paul Cobb, Absent                                               Gale Fletcher, Present

Rev. Greg Hargrave, Present                              Richard Franks, Present

Gordon Millspaugh, Absent                                 Ellis Piper, Absent

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Robert R. Harkrader, Planning Director

John Emerson, Zoning/Subdivision Administrator

Russ Smith, Planner II

Dianne Fogleman, Office Assistant

 

 

       ITEM NO. 1: Mr. Don Starling, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

       ITEM NO. 2: Minutes of the meetings held August 25, 2003, and September 22, 2003, were unanimously approved.  This was a City and extraterritorial item.

 

       ITEM NO. 3Consent agenda:  (City)

 

(A)  Mr. Howard Hawks presented an application for final plat approval of the William A. Hawks Subdivision.  The property is located at the northeastern corner of South Mebane Street and Hawkins Streets as shown on a plat by Alamance Land Development dated September 21, 2003, and containing three lots.

 

(B)  Mr. Larry McCauley and/or Mr. Michael Hughes presented an application for preliminary plan approval of the Lake McEwen Subdivision.  The property is located on the southern side of South Church Street and to the west of the Western Loop as shown on plans by Michael Hughes Engineering dated October 8, 2003, and containing 146 lots.

 

       Staff recommended approval of (A) and recommended approval of (B) contingent upon all engineering requirements being approved by the City Engineering Department.

 

       Commission Member Hargrave made a motion to recommend approval of (A) and recommended approval of (B) with the contingency outlined by staff.  Jim Burwell seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of (A) and approved (B) contingent upon all engineering requirements being approved by the City Engineering Department.

 

       Consent agenda:  (Extraterritorial)

 

(A)  Mr. Mark Reich, representing Empire Homes, Inc., presented an application for final plat approval of the Castle Ridge Subdivision.  The property is located at the southeastern intersection of Burch Bridge Road and Old Glencoe Road as shown on a plat by Alley, Williams, Carmen and King, Inc., dated May 20, 2003, and containing three lots.  In addition, the applicant requested a waiver from Section 33-6(c)(2) of the Subdivision Regulations requiring a minimum of 10 lots on a final plat from a previously approved preliminary plan.

 

       Commission Member asked if the subdivision was on Glencoe Road or Burch Bridge Road and was told Burch Bridge Road.

 

       Staff recommended approval of the final plat and waiver.

 

       Commission Member Franks made a motion to recommend approval of the final plat and waiver.  Gale Fletcher seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommended approval of the final plat and waiver to Section 33-6(c)(2) of the Subdivision Regulations requiring a minimum of 10 lots on a final plat from a previously approved preliminary plan.

 

       ITEM  NO. 4:   Mr. William P. Sloane  presented an application to rezone from R-6, Residential District, to B-1, Neighborhood Business District, the property located at the southeastern corner of Durham Street and Elmira Street (325 Elmira Street) and being as shown on Alamance County Tax Map 66, Block 296, Lot 108. 

 

       This was a City item.

 

       Commission Chairman Starling asked if staff had received any calls regarding the rezoning request and was told that it had not.

 

       Staff recommended approval of the request for rezoning on the basis that B-1 zoning uses had occupied the lot for a number of years and that the proposed rezoning will be consistent with land use patterns in the area.

 

       Commission Member Burwell made a motion to recommend approval of the request for rezoning.  Greg Hargrave seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request for rezoning.

 

       The Commission found that the zoning change as requested would not adversely affect the adjoining property and would be in keeping with land use planning in the area.    

 

       ITEM NO. 5: Ms. Amy Massey and Mr. D. H. Fogleman presented an application to rezone from I-1A, Planned Industrial-Residential District, to CI, Conditional Industrial District, to allow boat and boat accessories sales and service and boat storage.  The property is located on the northern side of Anthony Road and to the east of its intersection with Tucker Street and being as shown on Alamance County Tax 12-5C, a portion of Lot 9. 

 

       This was an extraterritorial item.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader distributed copies of the rezoning application and noted that Part II of the application calls for specific uses to be allowed in the Conditional zoning.

 

       Commission Chairman Starling asked if construction was already going on, and Ms. Massey stated that she had sold some timber on the property and that the timber was being removed.  He asked if there was a structure existing there and was told that there was not; however, a structure exists on the adjacent lot.  Mr. Starling asked if staff had received any calls about the rezoning and was told that it had not.

 

       Commission Member Fletcher asked if storage would be covered and was told that it would be.

 

       Staff recommended approval of the request for rezoning on the basis that the Conditional zoning would be consistent with existing land use in the area.

 

       Commission Member Fletcher made a motion to recommend approval of the request for rezoning. Richard Franks seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request for rezoning.

 

       The Commission found that the zoning change as requested would not adversely affect the adjoining property and would be in keeping with land use planning in the area.    

 

       ITEM  NO. 6Mr. Doug Hoy, representing Ms. Phoebe Harrison  presented  an application to rezone from R-15, Residential District, to B-2, General Business District, the property located on the northern side of South Church Street behind the Blockbuster Plaza and being as shown on Alamance County Tax Map 12-17, Lots 96 and 96A.

 

       This was a City item.

 

       Mr. Hoy stated that his aunt wished to withdraw the application in order to pursue a more appropriate use of the property and to allow a buffer between the lots and the residential area.  He also stated that he and his aunt hope to solicit input from surrounding property owners.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that staff had no problem with allowing the applicant to withdraw the application in order to re-apply for a more appropriate use because staff could not support B-2 zoning for the lots.

 

       Commission Member Faucette commented that applications to rezone the lots had been before the Commission on several occasions and that the same problems with rezoning the lots still exist.

 

       Mr. Harkrader agreed and stated that Conditional zoning would offer a comfort level not available with traditional zoning since neighbors would know more specific uses proposed for the property.  He pointed out that the lots offer limited appeal as a residential use.

 

       Commission Member Fletcher pointed out that the problems with emergency vehicles will remain even with Conditional zoning.

 

       Commission Chairman Starling stated that he was glad the petitioner would be meeting with surrounding neighbors; however, he was still concerned about access to the property.

 

       Commission Member Burwell suggested that maybe the petitioner and the new owners of the adjoining property could work out sharing the public alleyway so that they will have access to the back of their property and the applicant can have a better access to her property.

 

       Mr. Hoy maintained that rezoning the lots will offer a greater degree of safety being rezoned to a Conditional use rather than remaining residential.

 

       Commission Member Burwell made a motion to allow the petitioner to withdraw the application.  George Byrd seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to allow Ms. Harrison to withdraw the application.

 

       ITEM NO. 7: Mr. Charles Bateman, representing Kavanagh Associates, Inc., presented an application to rezone a certain portion of Lot 15, Alamance County Tax Map 3-18, from MF-A, Multifamily District, to O-I, Office-Institutional District, and to rezone another portion of Lot 15 from O-I, Office-Institutional District, to MF-A, Multifamily District.  The property is located at the northwest corner of Boone Station Drive and Forestdale Drive. 

 

       This was a City item.

 

       Mr. Bateman stated that the request to rezone the property was being made in order to straighten up zoning lines.  He explained that O-I was being increased in order to construct office facilities, and that condominiums will probably be built in the MF-A area.

 

       Commission Member Franks asked if a rezoning sign had been placed on the property and was told that it had been.  He also asked if staff had received any calls inquiring about the rezoning and was told that it had not had any calls.

 

       Staff recommended approval of the request for rezoning on the basis that it represented an appropriate extension of existing zoning in the area.

 

          Commission Member Burwell made a motion to recommend approval of the request for rezoning. Greg Hargrave seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request for rezoning.

 

       The Commission found that the zoning change as requested would not adversely affect the adjoining property and would be in keeping with land use planning in the area.    

 

       ITEM NO. 8: Mr. Charles Bateman, representing Mr. Bruce Harris, presented an application to rezone from R-9, Residential District, to B-2, General Business District, the property located on the southern side of Chapel Hill Road opposite Collins Drive and being as shown on Alamance County Tax Map 12-7, Lots 38, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61 and 62A.

 

       This was a City item.

 

       Mr. Bateman stated that the applicant requests that the item be withdrawn because he needs more time to study and fine-tune the request and possibly change the request to O-I or another more appropriate zoning classification.

 

       Commission Member Burwell made a motion allow the applicant to withdraw the application.  George Byrd seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to allow the applicant to withdraw the rezoning request.

 

       ITEM NO. 9: Staff presented proposed amendments to the City of Burlington Subdivision Regulations regarding the posting of sureties for development. 

 

       This was a City and extraterritorial item.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that the amendments will include adding street easements and/or rights-of-way to the list of necessities that a subdivider must provide for a proposed subdivision and will eliminate the choice of providing a letter of credit as surety for construction of remaining proposed improvements in a subdivision.  The amendments also address proposed "large-tract" subdivisions of 200 acres or more.

 

       Commission Chairman Starling asked if developers proposing larger subdivisions in the immediate future were aware of these changes being made in the Subdivision Regulations and was told that they do.

 

       Mr. Harkrader explained that the amendments will offer developers greater flexibility in posting sureties for subdivisions.

 

       Commission Member Enoch asked what constitutes a small subdivision and a large subdivision under the ordinance and was told the acreage -- less than 200 acres for a small subdivision, and 200 acres or more for a large-tract subdivision.

 

       Mr. Enoch also asked what was the City seeking in making these changes.

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that often it takes several years for a developer to complete a larger project in phases, and the amendments will allow the developer to begin marketing and conveying lots with adequate surety before the project has been completed.

 

       Commission Member Byrd asked if surrounding municipalities have similar regulations.  City Planner Russ Smith stated that larger municipalities, such as Greensboro, have regulations such as these and that the regulations are aimed at larger-scale development.

 

       Staff recommended approval of the amendments.

 

       Commission Member Franks made a motion to recommend approval of the amendments.  John Enoch seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the following amendments:

 

Amend Section 33-6(c)5.a.1. and Section 33-6(c)5.b.1. as follows:  (change shown in bold type)

 

FROM:

 

1.    All necessary easements and/or rights-of-way have been obtained for providing off-site sewer outfalls, water mains or other facility connections between existing services and those services within the proposed subdivision.  It is the responsibility of the subdivider to make arrangements for obtaining these necessary easements and/or rights-of-way.  If the subdivider, after due diligence and reasonable effort, is unable to obtain the necessary easements and/or rights-of-way, the City Council, in its discretion and upon application by the subdivider to the City Council, may assist the subdivider, using its power of eminent domain in obtaining such easements and/or rights-of-way; and,

 

TO:

 

1.    All necessary easements and/or rights-of-way have been obtained for providing off-site sewer outfalls, streets,water mains or other facility connections between existing services and those services within the proposed subdivision.  It is the responsibility of the subdivider to make arrangements for obtaining these necessary easements and/or rights-of-way.  If the subdivider, after due diligence and reasonable effort, is unable to obtain the necessary easements and/or rights-of-way, the City Council, in its discretion and upon application by the subdivider to the City Council, may assist the subdivider, using its power of eminent domain in obtaining such easements and/or rights-of-way; and,

 

Amend Section 33-6(c)5.a.2.(ii) by deleting the marked-through words:

 

(ii)   Installed all required storm drainage facilities, water mains and sanitary sewer lines, completed rough grading of all streets to approved engineering standards and received certified inspection approval of these improvements by the City Engineer; and the subdivider has completed (and received inspection approval for) or arranged assurances for completion of all of the remaining improvements (grading, paving, curb and gutter and sidewalks and grass plots as needed) by either providing a letter of credit guaranteed by a state or federal chartered bank/savings and loan, cashier's check, cash or performance bond to the City in an amount equal to 125% of the estimated cost of the remaining improvements; or by petitioning the City for installation and/or construction of the remaining improvements in accordance with the assessment provisions as established by the Charter of the City, Chapter VI, City Services and Facilities, Sub-chapter C, Assessments for Local Improvements.   The subdivider must provide to the City financial compensation in an amount equal to that portion of the cost of the improvements apportioned to the subdivider before construction begins

 

Amend Section 33-6(c)5.b.2.(ii) by deleting the marked-through words:

 

(ii)   Provided assurances for the completion of all proposed improvements, including but not limited to the items specified in 2. (i) directly above by submitting to the City a letter of credit guaranteed by a state or federal chartered bank/savings and loan, a certified check, cashier's check, performance bond or cash in an amount determined by the City Engineer to be equal to 125% of the estimated cost of all the remaining improvements.

 

Amend Sections 32-6(c)5.a.2. and 32-6(c)5.b.2. by adding (iii) to both sub-sections:

 

(iii)For projects of 200 acres or more, a developer may request that a proposed subdivision of property be reviewed under the provisions of special "large tract" subdivision regulations that permit approval under the following circumstances:

 

      A.     A Primary Infrastructure Phase of improvements is proposed that will provide for the necessary public infrastructure to serve and create large parcels that abut a public street right-of-way and are five acres or greater in size, and if desired, provide for the purchase of such parcels by other developers.

 

      B.     The construction of the necessary infrastructure improvements to serve the Primary Infrastructure Phase of the project may be initiated in a manner that will meet the requirements of a typical subdivision project.

 

      C.     However, if desired by the developer, surety in the amount of 150% of the estimated total public infrastructure cost can be submitted to the City for approval prior to the inception of construction to guarantee completion of water, sewer, storm drainage and roadway infrastructure within the Primary Infrastructure Phase of development.  This surety obligation may be met by providing cash, a cashier's check, certified check or performance bond in the appropriate amount and by a company authorized to do business in North Carolina.

 

              This decision to provide surety can also be made at any time after the initiation of construction activities provided that surety is submitted and approved for the balance of the remaining work in the Primary Infrastructure Phase.

 

      D.     Thereafter, a subdivision plat may then be approved and recorded for the Primary Infrastructure Phase thereby creating large parcels each of which can then be developed as a separate tract or further subdivided thereafter in conformance with the City's traditional subdivision regulations.  No surety in lieu of construction can be provided for any portion of the public infrastructure improvements within any of these large parcels until all of the public infrastructure improvements for the submitted Primary Infrastructure Phase have been completed and accepted by the City.

 

       ITEM NO. 10: Staff requested that the Commission make a decision regarding its December meeting. 

 

       This was a City and extraterritorial item.

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that in the past, several Commission members have been unable to meet during the week of Christmas, and that staff needs to know in advance about the December meeting in order to inform applicants and to advertise in the newspaper any change or cancellation of a meeting.  He distributed copies of a fax from Mr. Carl Buckland requesting that the Commission not cancel its December meeting because he has an application to submit.

 

       Commission Member Fletcher made a motion to have the December meeting the first Monday in December.  The motion died for the lack of a second.

 

       Commission Member Enoch asked if the 15th would be convenient.

 

       Mr. Fletcher then made a motion to hold the December meeting on the 15th at 7:00 p.m.  Mr. Enoch seconded the motion.  The Commission voted eight to one to hold the December meeting on the 15th at 7:00 p.m.  Voting for the motion were Fletcher, Enoch, Starling, Byrd, Burwell, Hargrave, Apple and Faucette.  Voting against the motion was Franks.

 

 

       Ms. Charlotte Straney asked if the Subdivision Regulations could address situations to prevent applicants from having to come before the Board of Adjustment to request a variance because their lot will not accommodate their house.    She stated that she serves on the Board of Adjustment and often members cannot approve certain variances because of restrictive covenants.

 

       Zoning/Subdivision Administrator Emerson stated that most requests to the Board of Adjustment were not because the lot would not accommodate a house but may  not  accommodate  a particular  style or  size  house the person wants to build. 

 

 

 

 

 

He further stated that restrictive covenants can often times be more restrictive than City regulations and that the City does not control private restrictive covenants. 

 

       Commission Member Burwell commented that if an applicant has a request for a variance on a new structure, it is probably because someone such as the builder made an error and it would be too expensive to tear down.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that an application for the construction of a new dwelling on a lot is reviewed carefully, and if no construction can be allowed on a lot, it is generally noted on the plat.

 

       There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

 

 

 

 

                                                                             ________________________________________

                                                                                    Donald C. Starling, Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                ­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________________________

                                                                      George A. Byrd, Jr., Secretary