06/14/10 — County will talk budget, zoning

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County will talk budget, zoning

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 14, 2010 1:46 PM

Residents with questions or comments about the county's $156 million 2010-11 budget proposal will have the chance to speak during a 9:15 a.m. public hearing Tuesday before county commissioners.

Commissioners will be briefed on the agenda at 8 a.m. in their meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex. The meeting will start at 9 a.m., with a public hearing on the county's new Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Commissioners also are expected to look at prohibiting cluster subdivisions inside airport zones and will look at establishing public hearings on two zoning requests.

The county Planning Board has recommended the move.

Airport zone subdivision lots must be an acre in size. However, the ordinance was amended in 2006 to permit the smaller cluster lots in all zones that allow residential use.

The smaller lots allow developers to reduce expenses by having shorter streets and water lines since the development is denser than traditional ones. In exchange for allowing the smaller lots, the developer must set aside open green spaces.

Recently, the Planning Board received a preliminary plat for the first cluster subdivision since the ordinance was changed. The plat was for 70 lots by developer BAP Partners, LLC, for an area on New Hope Road north of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The property lies within the airport zone, as well as the Air Force's noise-level zone around the base. The developer has since pulled the plat from consideration.

Planning Board members during their discussion of the project were leery of allowing such dense development in an airport zone, particularly around the base.

They were concerned such projects could send the wrong signals to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission and that too much development near the base could threaten its mission the next time the commission looks at military installations for reductions or closure.

As for the budget, it retains the current property tax rate of 76.4 cents per $100 of value, while freezing most jobs and capital projects. There is no cost-of-living increase for county employees.

The budget does include $2.9 million for "pay-as-you-go" minor capital projects.

Property and unrestricted sales taxes account for $63.421 million of the budget's revenues.

Other sources include:

* $4,485,834, restricted sales tax

* $18,618,771, state and federal and restricted governmental

* $14,154,582, fees and miscellaneous revenue

* $10,698,004, fund balance.

Public safety, human services and education eat up more than $81 million of the budget at $24.6 million, $30.4 million and $26.398 million respectively.

Other major expenditures include:

* $15,614, 330, general government

* $1,038,540, transportation

* $3,636,941, economic/physical development

* $5,975,029, utilities

* $2,086,324, debt service

* $1,598,580, cultural and recreation.

In other business on Tuesday, commissioners are expected to set public hearings on two rezoning requests.

Tri-County Electric Membership Corp. has petitioned the county to rezone roughly 7.56 acres on the east side of U.S. 117 Alt. south at Dudley from Residential-Agriculture 20 to Community Shopping. The property adjoins Tri-County's existing facility which already is zoned Community Shopping

The rezoning would allow Tri-County to use the property for storage and equipment.

The Planning Board recommended approval. The change would not affect the base.

The second request is to rezone approximately 12.3 acres on the north side of Potts Road at Dudley from Residential-Agriculture 20 to Residential 10.

The request was made by B&D Management in order to add four lots to an existing mobile home park.

The request was recommended for approval by the Planning Board.

County Manager Lee Smith is expected to ask commissioners to schedule public hearings on both requests for July 6 at 9:15 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room.

In other planning matters, the board will consider approval of two minor subdivisions:

* Rodolfo Trejo Garcia, final, one lot, Lindell Road, Nahunta Township

* Robert Blackburn, final, one lot, Camp Jubilee Road, Indian Springs Township.

Commissioners also will set a date to meet as the Board of Adjustment to consider a request for a special use permit for Young's Auto Salvage on U.S. 117 Alt. South at Dudley.

The board earlier this month approved rezoning of property adjoining the salvage yard to allow expansion of the business. However, a special use permit is required as well.