Proposed changes to a county ordinance will not lower the number of junk cars that may be kept on oneâ€™s property, but will require they be kept out of sight, says the Lincoln County Planning Board.
Board members discussed Thursday ways to revise the current ordinance on junk car ownership.
The board agreed unanimously to recommend the ordinance be changed to require all junk cars to be screened from public view by suitable means such as fencing, trees or shrubbery.
â€œIf you canâ€™t see â€˜em, it ainâ€™t bothering anybody,â€ said board member Harold Howard.
Current rules allow four junk vehicles to be kept in the open on a lot.
The changes and new definitions of suitable screening will be reviewed at the Dec. 6 public hearing to be held before the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.
State law defines a junk car as an unlicensed vehicle that is partially dismantled or wrecked; cannot be self-propelled or moved in the manner in which it originally was intended to move; or is more than 5 years old and appears to be worth less than $100.
Efforts were made by the board to keep the ordinance simple. A suggestion to register approved junk and/or unlicensed vehicles was strongly rejected.
â€œMecklenburg County has staffs of thousands of people to oversee such things, said board member John Pagel. â€œWe donâ€™t.â€
Members were also hesitant to recommend a change that might keep hobbyists and car sellers from keeping unlicensed vehicles on their property.
â€œThatâ€™s a manâ€™s personal property. I donâ€™t think we should have the right to take it away from him,â€ Pagel said.
Zoning Administrator Randy Hawkins said county staff plans to provide a list of groups, like Hospice of Lincoln County, that offer to take junk cars for owners who cannot afford to move them.
â€œPeople should have some incentive to move their junk,â€ said board member Darrell Harkey.
In other business, the board approved text of an amendment which will require applications of subdivisions of 21 to 50 lots to appear before the planning board for consideration. The change would give planning board members more control over proposals of such size and allow for public review.
â€œItâ€™s all about public input. Give the public a chance to speak about it,â€ said Kelly Atkins, director of Building and Land Development.
The proposed amendment will also be reviewed at the Dec. 6 public hearing.
Commissioners have the final say on both proposals.
At the workshop, Atkins presented the following updates on future projects of the board:
Â· A rough draft for an adequate public facilities ordinance is expected to be ready in February.
Â· A soil and erosion control plan is expected to be ready for review in January.
Â· A transportation plan is halfway finished and is expected to be complete in February or March. by Josh Davis