Ahoskie Council approves rezoning requests

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 15, 2005

AHOSKIE – Two property owners in Ahoskie had their wishes granted by the Town Council here Tuesday.

As part of a busy agenda handled by Council members at their normal monthly meeting, Ahoskie’s elected leaders put their collective stamp of approval on a pair of rezoning requests.

Prior to passing both measures by a unanimous vote, separate public hearings were held on each request. There were no objections voiced during those hearings.

Joseph L. Keinningham, a resident of Vinton, Va. who owns property at the corner of Rhue and Church streets, requested that his parcel (75 feet wide by 150 feet deep on the 300 block of Church St.) be rezoned from B-1 (Central Business District) to R-6 (Residential). Keinningham wants to sell the property to Donald Austin who, in turn, wants to construct a duplex at that location.

Interim Town Manager Evelyn Howard said a duplex is permitted in an R-6 district. She also informed Council members that the surrounding property was already zoned R-6, B-1 and O&I (Office and Institutional).

The Ahoskie Planning Board heard Keinningham’s request, approved it and forwarded their recommendation to Town Council. Ahoskie’s governing body accepted that recommendation and approved the request.

The second request, made by Susan R. Buck, was a bit more complicated in nature, but was approved.

On her parcel of property, located at 1010 North Academy Street, Buck asked for it to be rezoned from R-10 (Residential) to O&I. Other O&I and R-10 parcels surround her property.

In her request, Buck said she desired to change an accessory structure located on the property into a duplex apartment. She also has plans to open a beauty shop on the same property. Under town statutes, the duplex is allowed if she divides the property. However, a beauty shop is not allowed in a R-10 zoning district.

The move to O&I would solve the problem. Howard advised Council members that O&I regulations allow for single family and multi-family housing on a single piece of property, if such property is divided.

There was one other hurdle to clear in this matter. A professional survey of the property revealed it was large enough, with one exception, to divide. The lone exception came in the fact that the rear of the property did not meet the town’s setback requirement. That regulation calls for a setback of 20 feet. The survey cited only eight feet.

Now, Buck has filed for a 12-foot variance to be in compliance. That request will be heard during next week’s meeting of the Ahoskie Board of Adjustment.

The Ahoskie Planning Board was made aware of this variance request at their December meeting. However, they approved Buck’s rezoning request and forwarded that recommendation to the Ahoskie Town Council.

After Tuesday’s public hearing on the matter, Councilman Ronald Gatling addressed the variance issue. He was apparently satisfied with Howard’s response as she suggested there would be no problem with Buck’s variance request.

Town Council members accepted the Planning Board’s recommendation on the matter and granted Buck’s rezoning request.