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Commissioners extend moratorium

GATESVILLE – Land use issues dominated the Gates County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday.

The board held a public hearing at the beginning of their November meeting to discuss a proposal to extend the moratorium on major subdivisions.

According to the official moratorium ordinance, “a moratorium on major subdivisions will help limit the number and improve the quality of development proposals that are occurring in Gates County by allowing the county to pass land use regulations that will address the quality, volume and affect of development on public services.”

The board listened to comments from the public concerning development in the county and the 10 acre tract rule. In the board’s previous meeting, County Manager Mark Biberdorf informed the board that ten acre parcels are exempt from subdivision regulations.

The board approved to extend the moratorium on preliminary applications for major subdivisions through November 30, 2006.

In a related matter, the board received a request from the Gates County Planning Board to deny a request for a variance from the moratorium on major subdivisions from D.M.B. Builders.

Bruce Gallop from D.M.B. Builders requested that a subdivision originally divided into two lots, with a 4.2 acre third parcel, be exempted from the moratorium so D.M.B. could buy the 4.2 acres and build a house.

The commissioners supported the planning board’s recommendation and denied the request for the variance.

The board also discussed an amendment to the agreement the county has with the Community Planning Collaborative (CPC) on the zoning project.

The county is working with CPC to coordinate the creation of zoning districts in conjunction with new computerized land parcel maps and a zoning ordinance.

According to CPC, the amendment provides for additional work necessary for the preparation, facilitation and follow-up of additional Planning Board work sessions to complete development ordinance text, complete delineation of proposed zoning districts resulting from the County’s decision to utilize hard copies of the county’s property identification maps (being developed) as the base for its proposed zoning district maps and recent transitioning of the project from the Zoning Task force to the Planning Board. The lump sum fee for the additional services for Amendment I will is $6,250.

Commissioners David Brown and Marsha Langston expressed concern over the added expenses and asked Biberdorf for more clarification on the added expenses.

“Extra meetings have drawn out the process,” Biberdorf said.

The board agreed to table the amendment and to continue to discuss the issue.

The commissioners also received a proposal from Clarion Associates to perform a preliminary assessment to develop an adequate public facilities program for the county’s schools.

“This is something I am very big on,” Brown said.

The commissioners approved to hire Clarion to perform the preliminary assessment for approximately $2,440.

“This is a good time to implement this,” J.S. Pierce said, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners.

According to Clarion, if the county decides to develop the program it would require a budget of approximately $15,000 – $25,000.

In another matter before the board, the Gates County solid waste and recycling convenience site on Water Plant Rd. is going to be temporarily closed for improvements Monday November 7 n 13. Residents are urged to bring their trash and recyclables to the Roduco site on US 158 this week.