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Public hearings: ‘Not in my back yard’

Staff Writer

Public hearings for a storage facility and an Internet sweepstakes center drew some complaints from neighboring residents at Monday’s meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.
The first, a request from LandMark Self Storage to rezone property, located roughly 250 feet west of N.C. 150 and just south of Quinlan Lane in Ironton Township, to permit a storage area for boats and recreational vehicles in conjunction with an existing self-storage facility, had some neighbors worrying about what its effect would be on the value of their homes.
Dr. Jason Glass spoke during the hearing, citing his concerns over the noise, light and visual impact the storage facility could have in the area, saying he believed it would have a “measurable negative impact” on the property values of adjoining residents. He noted that an appraiser had confirmed this belief.
He additionally read aloud to commissioners a letter from Dr. David Curtis, founder of Carolina Eye Care and an N.C. Senate candidate, who is building a home directly across the street from the proposed storage area. Curtis noted in the letter that such a facility would be better-suited for an industrial area, not a residential one.
Another conditional-rezoning request, this one to operate an Internet sweepstakes center at 1894 W. N.C. 150 in Lincolnton, also received some complaints from a neighbor, who said she was concerned over potential increased nighttime traffic.
Applicant Caroline Brown submitted her request prior to the recent approval by commissioners of standards to regulate such centers and, therefore, is not subject to the regulations. Nonetheless, she told the board she did not want to “hinder neighbors.”
At its separate meeting Monday night, the Planning Board voted to recommend both requests be denied. Commissioners will have the final say on the cases at their next meeting.
In other board action at Monday’s meeting:
A public hearing was conducted on 14 proposed amendments to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance. Zoning Administrator Randy Hawkins said “none are earth-shaking,” but added that the amendments would help to relax regulations and provide flexibility while not affecting the intended goals of the ordinance. Commissioners had charged planning staff with reviewing the UDO and developing a list of potential changes. Hawkins noted that the original list was twice as long, but they narrowed it down by prioritizing some items over others. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend that commissioners approve the amendments at their next meeting.
Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances regarding soil erosion and sedimentation control.
The first of two public hearings was conducted on the 2012 Scattered Site Housing Program.

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