Lincoln County’s Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to approve two new building inspector positions.
According to Director of Planning and Inspections Andrew Bryant, the inspectors currently on staff are struggling to meet the county’s rising inspection demands. Currently, each inspector averages 16.2 inspections today.
“Inspectors are doing too many inspections per day,” Bryant said. “We’ve approved 135 building permits for single family homes so far this year. That was our average per year between 2008-2012.”
He also informed the county commissioners that the office had received information last Friday regarding another developer’s interest in creating a new housing development that could construct 175 new homes.
“From 2008-2012, monthly new residential starts ranged from 10-20 each month,” Bryant said. “2013 saw this increase to between 20 and 30 each month. Through the first eight days of April, my office has already received 20 applications for new residential starts. That does not include new developments such as Carolina Ridge. The majority of the activity is developments that were started prior to the economic downturn and are now being developed.”
Residential developments currently being rejuvenated include Covington of Lake Norman, Villages of Denver, Verdict Ridge, Willow Farms and Treetops.
During the discussion, Commissioner Carroll Mitchem suggested that the board create one new inspector position and wait until budget time to consider another position.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the two new inspector positions, with Mitchem in opposition.
Other actions taken at Monday night’s meeting included the commissioners approving a new ordinance that would regulate pawnbrokers, metal dealers and scrap dealers. Sherriff David Carpenter gave the presentation, stating that the majority of those dealers and brokers operating in the county are already complying with the state law that mandates electronic record keeping and a sharing of transaction information with law enforcement. The new ordinance would now make failure to comply a misdemeanor, offering law enforcement “more teeth.”
Commissioners also unanimously approved the N.C. 16/N.C. 150 Small Area Plan. A public hearing for the plan was held at their previous meeting. Changes with the plan would include a portion of the Commercial-Residential rezoned to a Mixed Use and Commercial, a portion of the Industrial rezoned to Mixed Use, and a portion of Industrial rezoned to Medium Density Residential.
The Board of Commissioners will hold its next meeting on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center.