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City of Burlington, NC

January 10, 2006



Members Present                                                                       Members Absent

City:                                                                                        City: 

Mr. H.E. “Ed” Wilson, Chairman                                              Mrs. Joyce Lance
Mr. Mike Gee, Vice Chairman                                      Mr. Todd Smith

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 8:35 a.mHe explained that the city representatives to the Board of Adjustment are appointed by the City Council.  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.  After the City Applicant and the public have presented all evidence the Board will then close the meeting to the public and discuss the case and vote, during this time no more evidence shall be admitted nor any other arguments made unless the Board wishes to ask the Applicant a question pertaining to the evidence already presented.  Anyone that tries to make an argument or present any evidence at this time will be out of order.  The Chairperson may order any individuals who willfully interrupt, disturb or disrupt to leave the meeting, failure to comply with this order is punishable by imprisonment up to 6 months a fine of $250.00 or both.  An affirmative four-fifths vote is required to grant a variance, special use permit or an appeal.   


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. 01-06:  SPECIAL USE PERMIT (AMENDMENT)  SECTION 32.9 - ZONING ORDINANCE (Churches in Residential District)

Harvest Baptist Church Family Life Center, 3741 South Church Street, Burlington, NC



Mr. Joey Lea explained that Harvest Baptist Church, at 3741 South Church Street, has submitted an application for an amendment to their Special Use Permit for a Family Life Center building to be located to the rear of the property to be used for a place for the children as a gymnasium and other activities for the Church.  Mr. Lea stated the only correspondence he has had was with Ms. Massey located to the west of the property who inquired about the use of the building. Mr. Lea stated he explained to her the use and she was concerned that the building was going to be used as a half-way house or something of that nature. Mr. Lea stated that he explained to her that was not the case.  Mr. Lea informed the Board that this plan has not been approved by the Technical Review Committee (TRC) but will be presented at the next meeting of the TRC.  Chairman Wilson asked Mr. Lea if to the best of his knowledge as the plan is being submitted does it meet the criteria of the TRC?  Mr. Lea stated yes it does.  Chairman Wilson asked Mr. Lea if he anticipated any problems going through TRC?  Mr. Lea said he does not.   


Mr. Brett Englund of Kirkland Construction stated they will be the general contractor of the project and Mr. Kenneth Lee Capps Building Chairman for Harvest Baptist Church explained that the primary use of the building will be for family functions such as basketball games, classes for Sunday school and there will be a small cafeteria. The building will also be used for homecomings, bridal showers and things like that. It will be used as a general functioning facility for family oriented functions.  Mr. Englund stated that the approximate size of the project is about 12,500 square feet so the scope of the project is basically the building that is on the plan with a wrap around driveway extending along the top of the property.  Mrs. Margaret Stephens stated that it appears there is adequate parking.  Mr. Englund said there is an excess of 300 spaces as to what the plan shows and there are about 85 spaces that are required.  Mr. Lea explained that there is an existing parking area where the building is being proposed, but there is ample parking for the Church.  Mr. Lea stated that all of the technical requirements out of the Zoning Ordinance have been met.  Mrs. Stephens asked if the fire code was being met for ingress and egress?  Mr. Lea stated that the width of the drive is adequate.  Mr. Capps commented that the Church is currently under negotiations with the landowner beside them to use their exits when having functions.  Ms. Charlotte Straney asked if the exits were on Church Street or Westbrook Avenue?  Mr. Capps said he believes it would be both, but is not sure.  Mr. Lea asked Mr. Capps if there was going to be an inner connected drive in the parking lot that will take you over to Westbrook Avenue?  Mr. Capps said yes, that is the plan but it has not been confirmed.  Ms. Straney asked what the building between the Sanctuary and the proposed building was used for?  Mr. Capps explained that is for Sunday school classes. Ms. Straney asked if it was possible for there to be services of some sort going on at the same time at both the Family Life Center and the Sanctuary? Mr. Capps stated not to his knowledge but there may be a basketball game going on while there is a service. Ms. Straney asked, like a children’s service and a regular service?  Mr. Capps stated that the building to the east of the property is where the children’s services are being held right now and it would be possible for the services to be going on simultaneously.  Ms. Straney explained that the reason she is asking is because she knows there is a requirement for parking spaces based on one space per 7 seating capacity in the Sanctuary and asked Mr. Lea if there was anything beyond that requirement? Mr. Lea stated that is it and the functions of the Church are going to be at most times no more than the capacity of the Church to begin with, so no matter what they put on the property the parking ratio is just for what the Sanctuary seats.  Mrs. Stephens stated that unlike other properties that the Board has looked at that this one has pretty good parking.  Mrs. Mary Watson stated that the back of the property is surrounded by Twin Lakes Cottages and asked Mr. Capps if he has heard from any of those folks about the proposed building? Mr. Capps Stated that he had not. Ms. Straney asked if there was adequate lighting? Mr. Capps said they are in the process of adding lighting and that it is already lined out.  Chairman Wilson stated that vehicle circulation has been addressed with the road that goes around and Mr. Lea has stated there is ample parking. They meet or exceed what is needed and the effect on adjacent property owners was advertised to the other property owners and Mr. Lea had one phone call. The use will remain a Church so there is no large effect on adjacent property owners.  Chairman Wilson also stated that the service entrance and areas will remain the same but there may be additional entrances through a neighbor’s property. Utilities will remain the same and tie into the existing utilities and as testified by Mr. Lea the screening guidelines have already been met. Chairman Wilson asked if the lighting would be concentrated toward this property and not toward the neighbor’s properties?  Mr. Capps said yes.  Chairman Wilson asked if there were any required open spaces? Mr. Lea stated no. Ms. Straney asked how close the driveway is to the first group of cottages? Mr. Englund stated that it should be 5 feet off of the property line but I do not know what the adjacent structure is, it is not shown on the plan.  Mr. Capps stated there is a group of trees along the property lines. Mr. Lea said that there are trees along the adjacent property and a pretty good distance providing a good sound barrier.  Ms. Straney’s stated that her concern is if there is a function at night will there be enough buffers for the crowd’s noise?  Mr. Lea stated that other than the normal landscaping there is nothing else that is required.  Mr. Capps stated that they want to be good neighbors and if there is someone to complain then they will try to accommodate them.


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 they meet the all of the general requirements for a special use permit. Ms. Straney stated that it appears that all of the four general conditions have been met as well as the individual ones, specifically parking and lighting. 


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 are as testified even though this has not gone before the Technical Review Committee, Mr. Lea has stated that it does in his opinion meet most of the technical codes of the Zoning Ordinance and this is an existing Church facility with a proposed addition.


2)      that the use meets all required conditions and specifications

The Findings of Fact as Chairman Wilson questioned the applicants and received satisfactory responses regarding vehicle circulation, parking and loading, the effect on adjacent property, the service entrances, utility screening, signing and lighting, open spaces and the general compatibility.


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 there has been no testimony to indicate any injury to adjoining property owners for the value of their properties. 


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 are that this is an addition to an existing Church facility and in an area that is becoming increasingly commercial as opposed to residential and it is in general conformity and harmony with the existing area. 


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


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

(NOES:  none)



Mr. Mike Gee made a motion to approve the amendment to the special use permit for Harvest Baptist Church to be located at 3741 South Church Street in Burlington, contingent upon approval of the Technical Review Committee of the City of Burlington due to the previously stated Findings of Fact and that the applicant/owner shall complete the development in accordance to the plans 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.  Ms. Charlotte Straney seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Special Use Permit.


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

(NOES:  none)




Mr. Lea handed out copies of the changes to the General Statute with regards to the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Lea explained these changes to the board and stated that the changes were in effect as of January 1, 2006.








                                                                                    Ed Wilson, Chairman




                                                                                    Mary Fanelli, Secretary