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Rezoning, hires on agenda for commissioners

 

ELIZABETH HEFFNER

Staff Writer

 

Lincoln County’s Board of Commissioners will meet on Monday to discuss the fate of several rezoning and conditional use permit requests discussed a public hearing earlier this month.

At the April 7 meeting, applicant Ralph Dickson requested permission to have a 0.92 acre parcel rezoned from General Industrial to Neighborhood Business. The property is located at 4110 N. N.C. 16 Highway, on the north side of N.C. 16 Business and the west side of Denver Industrial Park Drive, in the Catawba Springs Township. The Planning Board voted 6-0 to recommend approval.

American Marine Liquidators, Inc. requested a conditional use permit to sell boats and cars in the General Industrial district in the Eastern Lincoln Development District. The 16-acre property is located at 4879 N. N.C. 16 Highway, on the south side of N.C. 16 Business and the west side of Burnwood Trail, in the Catawba Springs Township. The Planning Board voted 6-0 at their last meeting to recommend approval.

Applicant Dr. Matt Motteler requested a conditional use permit to allow the use of a high-density option in the WS-IV Critical Area of the Catawba/Lake Norman Watershed. At the public hearing, Mottleler, proposed to expand an office building and create additional parking. The Planning Board voted 6-0 to recommend approval.

Planning and Inspections Department Director Andrew Bryant is requesting the approval for two new building inspector positions.  Bryant believes that with the pace of new construction and general building requests continues to accelerate, additional staff members are needed in order to accommodate the department’s current workload. At this time, the department currently has seven inspectors.

According to Bryant, through much of the economic downturn over the years, each inspector made between eight and 10 inspections per day. However, in the past month, the department has seen a rise in the number of daily inspections per inspector to 15. Bryant believes that this increase in inspection activity is directly related to increases in residential, industrial and commercial construction sectors. While monthly new residential starts ranged between 10 and 20 per month from 2008 to 2012, the department has seen 30-40 new residential starts per month in the first quarter of 2014. The majority of the activity seen by the department stems from developments started prior to the economic downtown restarting their building. These developments include Covington of Lake Norman, Villages of Denver, Verdict Ridge, Willow Farms and Treetops. If the department were to stay on track with the first quarter of the year for permit issuance in 2014, Bryant anticipates that 435 single-family permits will be issued this year, offering an additional increase of $150,000 in revenue.

The proposal states that the two new positions would cost the county approximately $57,000 per position, including fringe benefits. However, the purchase of vehicles for these positions has been delayed until the 2016 Fiscal Year, as the department has been able to keep two of its higher mileage vehicles in operation.

Diamond Towers, LLV is requesting the approval of a contract for antenna space at the proposed Owls Dens Road radio tower. According to the tower company, the construction of the tower would improve portable radio coverage for the Union, Howards Creek and northern North Brook fire department areas for all emergency services. According to their documented request, the tower will fit in with the proposed need, and after negotiations, the company has agreed to allow Lincoln Communications to have space at 150 feet free of charge for a five-year term.  No additional funding source will be needed for the tower rental, as electrical and phone installation would be paid for out of funds set aside for Phase II of the radio system.

County Commissioners will also hear a presentation from Sheriff David Carpenter regarding a proposed ordinance to regulate pawnbrokers, metal dealers and scrap dealers in the county. In his proposal, Carpenter states that pursuant to North Carolina law, pawnbrokers and metal dealers are required to keep records of their transactions in order to hinder the trafficking of stolen goods.

Currently, local law enforcement officials with jurisdiction can require that these records be submitted to him or her electronically. While most dealers are already doing this voluntarily, the sheriff would like the board members to consider an ordinance requiring all such dealers submit the records electronically. Carpenter explained that such an ordinance would greatly assist law enforcement officials by eliminating the manpower required to physically enter these transactions.

County Commissioners will meet April 21 at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Citizens Center in Lincolnton.

 

 

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