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Zoning sparks concern

WINDSOR – There’s no time like the present.

That’s the thinking behind a discussion here last week by the Bertie County Board of Commissioners in regards to an overall lack of zoning regulations within the non-municipal areas of the county.

The discussion ensued after the Commissioners briefly addressed a junkyard screening ordinance. In particular, Bertie’s elected leaders pointed to a private residence located along US 13 between Buena Vista and the NC 305 intersection.

&uot;I’m surprised that DOT (Department of Transportation) has not done anything about that particular location,&uot; Commissioner Norman Cherry Sr. said. &uot;Some of the material in that yard is very close to DOT’s right-of-way.&uot;

Lloyd Smith, attorney to the Board, informed the Commissioners they have options when it comes to such instances, especially if there is a public health nuisance present.

&uot;That’s not a junkyard, that’s a dump,&uot; Smith suggested.

Board Chairman Rick Harrell said the time had come for the Commissioners to address taking appropriate action when it comes to, &uot;dealing with the aesthetics of this county.&uot;

&uot;We need to clean up places such as this one,&uot; Harrell said. &uot;Just think of the impression it leaves to those visiting or passing through Bertie County.&uot;

The topic then turned to a lack of zoning regulations within the county. That door was opened when Commissioner Wallace Perry addressed an issue concerning the possibility of an auto salvage yard coming to the Aulander area.

&uot;From what I understand, this is the same salvage yard that Hertford County’s Commissioners just recently denied,&uot; Perry said.

&uot;Again, I must stress to you the importance of having zoning ordinances in place that will regulate such businesses that are planning on locating here,&uot; Harrell noted. &uot;We need to set-up some work sessions to discuss zoning in order to protect the citizens of this county. This is a serious issue that needs to be immediately addressed.&uot;

Harrell suggested beginning those work sessions next month.

Meanwhile, County Manager Zee Lamb said he would contact the North Carolina Institute of Government, the Mid-East Commission and other organizations to aid Bertie in establishing a land use plan, which includes zoning ordinances.