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At their most recent meeting held Monday evening, a zoning public hearing was heard by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and the Lincoln County Planning Board on a request to rezone 11 acres of land located on Ranger Island Road, Mozelle Sherrill Drive and Ranger Island Mariner Road in Denver (Catawba Springs Township). The applicant, Ranger Island Marina Associates has requested this rezoning to permit 27 attached single-family dwelling units, either townhomes or condominiums as well as three lots for single-family detached homes to be located on what’s known as Ranger Island which is connected to the rest of the subject property by a narrow strip of land. The property is currently zoned single-family residential. The applicant is requesting that it be changed to planned development residential.

The property currently in use for mobile home lots some of which are being rented with many abandoned. Use of this property as a mobile home park with 34-38 spaces is grandfathered in. 

Members of the development team who attended the public hearing included Cindy Reid, an attorney with a law firm located in Cornelius, Shane Buckner and Shane Seagle, both Denver residents, Kevin Vogel and David Dupree. This team has also developed two other developments in Denver, WestShore and Covington.

Dupree provided the commissioners with information regarding the project.

“We’ve had great collaboration with adjacent neighbors,” he said. “We’re somewhat confident on what we’re trying to establish here. We know traffic and density are a concern. We understand what you battle every day. We also know that safety is a concern. We’ve tried to be thoughtful about this process.”

The developers plan to remove the abandoned mobile homes, a few of which are in the lake buffer and to re-establish a buffer around the lake. There are some mobile homes that share on-site lower pressure sewer, some that are on septic and some that no one is really sure where sewer is going, according to Dupree.

“We’ve got an opportunity to reduce potential density, change the look of the island and also take away metal boat slips,” he said. “We’ll actually have more open space than is required by your ordinance.”

Access and exit from the island by the fire department is difficult and the proposed development plans to construct a truck turnaround for fire apparatus. They’ll also relocate the fire hydrant to make it more accessible. The developers have also made several adjustments to their plans to address concerns about the development such as re-establishment of a lake buffer, reducing density, agreeing to town homes rather than condominiums, increasing guest parking, no short-term rentals will be allowed, boat docks will be part of the development and there will be no storage of watercraft on site. 

“If you approve this plan, your taxes from what’s on the island today is just under $19,000,” Dupree said. “With our three single family homes, we believe they’ll be in the $2.5 million each and 27 townhomes that will average $750,000 plus each, your tax revenue from this will be almost $200,000.”

Several community members spoke in favor of the development, no one spoke against it.

A decision will be made on this rezoning request at the next meeting of the commissioners which will be held on May 17.

A second public hearing was held on a request from Mike Robbins, applicant for a special use permit to allow outdoor storage of landscaping materials in the Eastern Lincoln Development District overlay district in the general industrial district. The 3.9-acre parcel is located on the east side of N.C. 16 Business at its intersection with Mundy Road.

The applicant spoke at the public hearing explaining to the commissioners that his business had been so successful that he needed the extra space to store landscaping materials. The owner of adjacent property spoke expressing concerns about dust from the materials. The board voted unanimously to approve this request.

After hearing from several individuals, the board unanimously voted to approve entering into an option to purchase with The Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, Inc. (PNC) for the property and building located at 129 East Pine Street in Lincolnton known as Pleasant Retreat Academy for the sum of $1. The option shall expire at noon on the April 1, 2022. This is a recess of public hearing that was held on April 19. It was continued because no one showed up for the hearing. Four community members spoke at the public hearing against the county entering into the option to purchase.

Another public hearing was held to receive public input concerning a proposed real property exchange between Lincoln County and Carrol D. Mitchem and Wayne E. Mitchem. The property in question is a 0.239-acre tract or parcel of land in North Brook Township. Carrol Mitchem was recused from the discussion. The exchange was approved unanimously by the board.

The board approved the purchase from Camino Permit Application Guide System & Permit Portal – software that offers a simple to use interface that guides users through the permitting process similar to TurboTax. This will allow for a more streamlined permitting process.

Also at this meeting, the commissioners issued a proclamation naming the week of May 9 through 15 as National Police Week and May 15 as Police Officer Memorial Day.

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