Rezoning request approved

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WINTON – Without objection, a request to rezone property near Ahoskie to a commercial highway district was approved here Monday morning by the Hertford County Board of Commissioners.

The property is a 10.01-acre tract located on the west side of Newsome Grove Road (SR 1419), just north of NC 561 East. The request was made by David Chamblee to rezone the property owned by Trico Grading, Inc. from Residential Agriculture (RA-20) to Commercial Highway (CH).

The commissioners, at their April 18 meeting, had approved a public hearing on the issue to be held at Monday’s meeting. The only person to speak during that hearing was Bill Early, Hertford County’s Economic Development Director and Zoning Administrator.

Early said the Hertford County Planning Board had earlier received a rezoning request from Chamblee and held a public hearing on that request. He further stated that upon closing the public hearing, the Planning Board, which approved Chamblee’s request and forwarded it to the commissioners, made the following findings on that particular piece of property:

The land is favorable for commercial highway (usage);

The land is favorable for all permitted uses in a commercial highway district;

The land is not an extension of an existing commercial highway district; and

The district zoning is consistent with the county’s land use plan.

“I would also like to point out that I included in your (commissioner) packets all permitted uses within a commercial highway district,” Early said. “When you consider this (rezoning request) you need to consider all permitted uses for the commercial highway district.”

As noted in the information Early presented to the commissioners, a commercial highway district is generally located on major highways, roads or streets, near population centers, and provides offices, personal services, amusement and retail sales of durable and convenience goods.

Listed among the permitted uses are retail stores, service operations (which could include motels, banks, barber/beauty shops, shoe repair, laundry/dry cleaning, restaurants and service stations), vehicle repair and storage (but not auto salvage or junkyards), drive-in theaters, and the sale and/or storage of fertilizer, peanuts, beans and grain.

Commission Vice-Chair Curtis Freeman did note that at the last board meeting (April 18) he voted against holding the public hearing as eventually scheduled for this past Monday.

“It wasn’t against the rezoning, it was against the timing of the public hearing,” Freeman stated. “I prefer holding public hearings during our night meetings so that more of our citizens, who work during the day, have the opportunity to attend if they so desire. Again, I want to stress that my vote was not against the actual rezoning request.”

After making those comments, Freeman put a motion on the floor to approve the rezoning request. Commissioner Ronald Gatling offered a second and the measure was approved without objection.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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