New business coming

Published 9:20 am Thursday, February 14, 2013

JACKSON – With the rezoning of a piece of land in the Lake Gaston area, a new business may be coming to the county.

Last week, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners agreed to a request to rezone 4.45 acres of land at the intersection of River Road (SR 1214) and Arcadia Road (SR 1240) from Agricultural Residential-Watershed (AR-2) to Highway Business-Watershed (HB-2) following a public hearing on the matter.

There are plans for the property to be used for a marine repair business.

“This 4.45 acres has been recently separated from a parent tract of land and approved as a subdivision of land by the Northampton County Planning Board,” said William Flynn, planning and zoning director. “The Northampton County Planning Board recently gave a favorable recommendation to have this property rezoned AR-2 to HB-2.”

Flynn said in order for the board to consider the property for re-zoning they must take into consideration four factors of validity, including: the size of the tract, compatibility with the land use plan (which Northampton County has no official plan), benefits and detriments, and relationship of uses.

He noted rezoning the property from AR-2 to HB-2 would not be a large change compared to what is already in the area.

“There are several HB-2 properties near the property in question,” Flynn stated in his report.

Those similar properties include a volunteer fire station, a sign shop, a boat broker, a pet grooming business and a fiberglass repair shop.

The applicant for the rezoning request is Greg Roller.

During discussion, Commissioner Joe Barrett questioned what type of business would be going on the property.

“I believe it is Mr. Roller’s intention to operate a marine repair business in that location,” Flynn said.

Commission Vice Chair Virginia Spruill noted the need for the county to have a comprehensive land use plan.

“What we are doing is parceling out as requested or as needed,” she said.

Flynn said there was a recent meeting with a person that could help the county in obtaining a grant to use toward putting in place a land use plan.

“He has helped us,” said County Manager Wayne Jenkins.

Flynn said there is money in the department’s budget set aside for the plan.

“It’s not overly costly; we can do some of the work ourselves, but it is going to take some money,” he said.

Flynn added he agreed with Spruill that the county needed a growth plan.

Jenkins added the county had been approved for up to $5,000 pending approval and receipt by the county.

“That $5,000 coupled with the funds we have placed in the Planning and Zoning budget is what will be used to fund that comprehensive plan,” he said.

Commissioner Fannie Greene said she was glad of a new business coming to the Lake Gaston area along with the land use plan.

“I’m happy to hear of the possible plan that is coming because I think that the attitude on Lake Gaston is changing,” she said. “I’ve talked to a lot of citizens up there and I think at one time businesses were not as welcomed up there as they are now. I think that attitude is beginning to change and I think that is a good thing that we’re working in that direction in getting some things in place for that because there is a lot of opportunity up there.”