Commercial development studied

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, April 12, 2009

GATESVILLE – Commercial development may hold the key to Gates County’s economic future.

While the county’s coffers have been filled over the years thanks to residential and agricultural development, Gates has not grown from a commercial standpoint.

That now may change following the Gates County Planning Board announcing its 12 recommendations for commercial development.

The list was formally released by Wes Haskett, Interim Director of Planning and Development, to the Gates County Board of Commissioners at their April 1 meeting.

“These areas of possible commercial development were studied by the (Gates County) Planning Board and are being presented to you for your consideration,” said Haskett as he presented the list to the commissioners.

The recommended commercial districts are as follows:

(#1) From Barfield Road going north on US 13 through the Corner High intersection to one-half mile beyond the US 158 intersection.

(#2) From the Reynoldson Road/US 13 intersection to the US 13/NC 37 intersection.

(#3) A commercial triangle area at the intersection of NC 32 and NC 37.

(#4) North of NC 32 and US 158 to one-half mile to the Kellogg Fork intersection. This area includes Beulah Church Road to St. John’s Church Road.

(#5) The intersection of Folly Road and NC 32.

(#6) The intersection of NC 32 and Daniels Road.

(#7) The intersection of Parkers Fork Road and NC 32.

(#8) The intersection of White Oak Road and US 158.

(#9) The intersection of US 158 Business and US 158 Bypass, including Eleanor’s Crossroad.

(#10) US 158 at Central Middle School and the Correctional Facility.

(#11) Gates County High School area on both sides of US 158 from the school to Middle Swamp Road.

(#12) Gates Bank Road, south on NC 37, to Sarem Road.

Of the suggestions, only three were recommended for Heavy Industrial (#1, #3 and #9). The others were a combination of Commercial Neighborhood, Commercial Park and/or Commercial Thoroughfare.

“This is a start,” Commission Chair Henry Jordan said following Haskett’s presentation. “I suggest that we all closely digest this information and think about scheduling a joint meeting with the Planning Board to further discuss this. We also need to closely study these maps in an effort to see if there are any other commercial districts that could be added.”

The Board of Commissioners has scheduled a special-called meeting for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 16. The Planning Board will be invited to be on the agenda at that meeting to further discuss their recommendations for commercial districts.