View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version




City of Burlington, NC

October 11, 2005




Members Present                                                                  Members Absent

City:                                                                                        City: 

Mr. H.E. “Ed” Wilson, Chairman                                              Ms. Charlotte Straney
Mr. Mike Gee, Vice Chairman                                      Ms. Joyce Lance

Mrs. Mary Watson

Mrs. Margaret Stephens                                                                      

Ms. Charlotte Straney                                                  



Also present was Mr. Joey Lea, Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Burlington.


Chairman Ed Wilson, called the meeting of the Board of Adjustment to order at 8:32 a.mHe explained that the city representatives to the Board of Adjustment are appointed by the City Council and the representatives of the Extraterritorial jurisdiction were appointed by the County Commissioners.  This is a quasi-judicial hearing.  Everyone speaking before the Board should state their name, sign the log on the podium, and swear or affirm that everything they say is true to the best of their knowledge.  Appeals of the Board’s decisions may be taken to the Alamance County Superior Court.  The City will state their position because of their knowledge of the case and the technical codes.  The applicant will state their case, and then anyone from the public may speak.  The Board will then close the meeting to the public and discuss the case and vote. 


Mr. Joey Lea, Code Enforcement Officer with the City of Burlington, advised that due notice and publication of this meeting of the Board of Adjustment and matters to come before it had been made, and all contiguous property owners were mailed a notice advising of this meeting.


Prior to testifying before the Board, each party was sworn in or affirmed that the testimony they were about to give was true to the best of their knowledge.











CASE NO. 21-05  SPECIAL USE PERMIT:  SECTION 32.13.W - ZONING ORDINANCE (Child Care Facility Requirements)

Mrs. Annie M. Woods (Annie’s Blessed Children Daycare), 1875 NC Hwy. 62 N, Burlington, NC



Mr. Joey Lea explained that Mrs. Annie Woods at 1875 NC Hwy. 62 N, Annie’s Blessed Children Daycare is applying for a Special Use Permit to allow her to care for 8 children per shift. With the site plan that has been submitted and upon inspection of the property, Mrs. Woods does meet all of the conditions of the ordinance.  She has approximately 1600 sq. ft. fenced in area and 800 sq. ft. is all that is required.  Mr. Lea explained that individuals with in-home daycares have to have approval for a Special Use Permit prior to be licensed by the State. 


Mrs. Annie M. Woods explained that she would like to get a permit to keep 8 children because right now she can only keep 5 children and has to turn people away.  Chairman Wilson asked Mrs. Woods if she was operating a daycare right now at the same address? Mrs. Wood Stated that she was.  Mr. Gee asked Mrs. Woods how many shifts she operates?  Mrs. Woods stated that she has two shifts, first and second, but only has children on first shift right now.  Mrs. Watson asked Mrs. Woods if she was going to continue with first and second shift?  Mrs. Woods stated yes. Chairman Wilson asked Mrs. Woods if she was aware of all of the state guidelines for operating a daycare and if she intended to comply with all of them. Mrs. Wood stated that she was aware of the regulations and that she would comply with all of them.  Mr. Lea stated that if she keeps 5 children, she still has to be registered with the State. She is registered now, but she doesn’t have to have a Special Use Permit from the City because the City does not recognize a daycare unless they care for 6 or more children.  Mr. Lea explained that this would change her  licensing requirements by the State so she can keep 8 children.  Mr. Smith asked Mrs. Woods how long she has been keeping the 5 children?  Mrs. Woods stated that she received her license on May 24th and started keeping kids on the 29th of May. Mr. Smith asked if that was of this year? Mrs. Woods stated yes that was this year and I have 4 children right now. I had Five but lost but lost one a few weeks ago.  Chairman Wilson asked Mrs. Woods if she owns or rents the house? Mrs. Woods stated that she owns her house.  Chairman Wilson asked Mrs. Woods if there is ample parking for the parents to pick up and drop off children?  Mrs. Woods stated yes.  Chairman Wilson asked if there was adequate vehicle circulation on her property for cars to turn around and not have to back out on the street?  Mrs. Woods said that there is plenty of room to turn around on the property. Chairman Wilson asked if there is any negative effect on her adjoining property owners with noise or lights or anything like that?  Mrs. Woods stated no.  Mr. Smith asked if she has lighting at night?  Mrs. Woods stated that she has motion lights on the outside of the house


DISCUSSION & FINDINGS OF FACT:  There being no comments from the public, Chairman Wilson turned the meeting over to the Board for discussion.  Chairman Wilson stated that it appears that she meets all of the guidelines. 









Mr. Mike Gee made a motion that the four required conditions for issuing a Special Use Permit in accordance with Section 32.13.B(1)(A) are met due to the following Findings of Fact:


1)      that the use will not materially endanger the public health or safety if located where proposed and developed according to the plan submitted and approved.

The Findings of Fact is that this personal residence is currently owned by the applicant and she is currently operating a child care facility there and there are no changes with this request other than 3 additional children.


2)      that the use meets all required conditions and specifications

The Findings of Fact in regards to specific requirements as testified by Mr. Lea is that they have been met for an in-home daycare facility and the applicant has testified that there is adequate ingress and egress to the property and there is adequate parking and lighting.


3)      that the use will not substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property or that the use is a public necessity

The Findings of Fact are that the facility is already operating in this location and as testified by the applicant there is no injury to the adjoining property owners.


4)      that the location and character of the use, if developed according to the plan as submitted and approved, will be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located and in general conformity with the plan of development of Burlington and it’s environs.

The Findings of Fact is that this is a residential use and is an approved use in a residential district.


Mrs. Margaret Stephens seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the motion on the findings of fact.


(AYES:  Wilson, Gee, Stephens, Watson, Smith)

(NOES:  none)



Mr. Mike Gee made a motion to approve the Special Use Permit for Annie’s Blessed Children Daycare to be located at 1875 NC Hwy. 62 North, due to the previously stated Findings of Fact contingent upon receiving all State approvals and that the applicant shall complete the plans as submitted and approved by this Board and if any of the conditions affixed hereto or any part thereof shall be held invalid or void, then this permit shall be void and of no effect.  Mrs. Mary Watson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Special Use Permit.


(AYES:  Wilson, Gee, Stephens, Watson, Smith)

(NOES:  none)













CASE NO. 22-05  VARIANCE:  SECTION 32.10.G(1) - ZONING ORDINANCE (Fences in Residential Districts)

Brad & Jayne Woodruff, 404 Oakland Avenue, Burlington, NC



Mr. Joey Lea explained that Mr. Woodruff who lives at 404 Oakland Avenue is seeking a variance to the fence height requirement of the ordinance that will only allow the height of a fence between the street line and the building line to be 4 feet from ground elevation or from the elevation of the street, which ever is higher. Mr. Lea explained that if your property is at least 2 feet below street grade then you can put up a 6 foot fence because you would only be 4 feet above street grade.  Mr. Lea stated that he met with Mr. Woodruff on his property and it appears that to the rear of the property on the Colonial Drive side, there is 2 feet below street grade, but the grade elevation comes up as you get closer to Oakland, so a 4 foot height above street grade could not be maintained all the way up his property. Because of this, Mr. Woodruff is seeking a variance of 2 feet in order to erect a 6 foot fence along the Colonial Drive side of his property. It appears that a portion of his property to the rear can meet the requirements but the rest of the fence could not.  Chairman Wilson asked Mr. Lea if this is a corner lot with the fence adjacent to the street and is that what brings us here today? Mr. Lea stated that is correct. Chairman Wilson asked if this would be considered a side yard? Mr. Lea stated that this is a side yard and he would have to move the fence back approximately 20 feet from the property line in order for it to be 6 feet tall. The first 20 feet is the required yard area along the side street, so for the first 20 feet the fence cannot be over 4 feet tall.  Chairman Wilson asked if it was only going to be the backyard that will be fenced in? Mr. Lea said yes that is correct.  Mr. Smith asked if this would obstruct the travelers view from seeing around a corner or anything like that?  Mr. Lea stated no, it is a wide-open corner, and it is a very heavily traveled road.  Mrs. Stephens suggests that this two-way stop should be a four-way stop and a recommendation should be made to the division that this would be under.  Mr. Lea explained that the neighbors would need to make a formal request to the Traffic Commission and let them study it and if they feel it would be warranted then they can make a recommendation to the City Council. 


Mr. Brad Woodruff explained that he and his wife bought this house in October of last year and remodeled the whole thing, inside and out. We re-landscaped it and this was another point of the remodeling that we were going to do because we have 3 small children. There is a fence already there. Mr. Woodruff submitted pictures of the existing fence to the Board.  Mrs. Watson asked if the fence would start at the back of the house and continue to the corner?  Mr. Woodruff stated that it would. Mr. Woodruff stated that he has 3 small children and there is a lot of traffic on this road and the fence that is already there is easy for the kids to climb over and he wants to make it higher than the 4 feet to keep the kids out of the road because it is very heavily traveled plus, there is a lot of traffic noise at night with the sunroom right there and the lights are shining right into the house. I would like to keep the lights out of there and a 4 foot fence would still allow the lights to come through the house at night, but the number one issue is to keep the kids out of the heavily traveled road and cars do travel rather quickly from Church Street to Shadowbrook and they run the stop sign coming from Oakland to Colonial. Mr. Woodruff stated that there are approximately 75 cars that travel through there in a day and 1 out of every 5 run the stop sign.  Mrs. Stephens asked Mr. Woodruff if there was anything in the restrictive covenants within the subdivision that addresses fencing?  Mr. Woodruff stated that he does not believe there is and in the past there have been variances allowed within the neighborhood around the Shadowbrook area and in the adjoining areas where they have allowed fences. Chairman Wilson asked what type of fence he would like to put up? Mr. Woodruff stated that it would be a shadow box 6 foot tall fence.  Mr. Smith asked if it was going to be off of the road a couple of feet?  Mr. Woodruff said that it will be exactly where the existing fence is and there is approximately 8 ft. to 10 ft. from the curb with a well-maintained grass line.  Mr. Woodruff said that he has spoken to all of the neighbors and asked them if they would have a problem with the fence and they have said that they have no problem with it because they know how heavily traveled that road is and they see my kids and don’t want them in the road either.  Mr. Gee asked how far below street grade the back corner is?  Mr. Woodruff said it is 2 feet at the back corner at the pole and it comes up to be level with the street grade at the corner of the house.  Mr. Gee asked, so the lay of the land is what creates the situation?  Mr. Woodruff stated that it is the lay of the land that is creating a 2 foot variance and if I had known about this Ordinance before purchasing, I would have weighed my decision on buying this house and I would have pursued this or had the prior owner pursue this and made it a condition with 3 kids coming into this house. 


DISCUSSION & FINDINGS OF FACT:  There being no further comments from the public, Chairman Wilson turned the meeting over to the Board for discussion.  Chairman Wilson stated that this is a 2 foot variance for about ½ the length of the fence for a 6 foot tall fence. The hardships could be defined as this is a corner lot and that the fall off of the property from the front of the house or to the back corner necessitates that a 2 foot variance be necessary for the 6 foot fence and it actually improves the public safety and welfare in the area. It is in harmony since it is replacing an existing fence.  Mrs. Stephens stated that the biggest thing is the  lay of the land.  



Chairman Wilson made a motion to approve a 2 foot variance for the length of fence to be located at the corner of Oakland and Colonial Drive specifically for 404 Oakland Drive. The Findings of Fact being that there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in carrying out the strict letter of the ordinance and being that this is a corner lot and the elevation of the lot from the corner to the house rises 2 foot, making it necessary for a 2 foot variance. The variance is in harmony with the general purpose intent of the ordinance and preserves it’s spirit and in granting the variance the public safety and welfare have been assured and substantial justice has been done and the fence actually improves the safety as keeping children in the yard and keeping traffic lights out of the yard as well.  Mr. Gee seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimously.


(AYES:  Wilson, Gee, Stephens, Watson, Smith)

(NOES:  none)
















                                                                                    Ed Wilson, Chairman




                                                                                    Mary Fanelli, Secretary