03/18/11 — County votes again on rezoning request

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County votes again on rezoning request

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 18, 2011 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners Tuesday for a second time voted 5-2 to approved a rezoning request by John Harrell for approximately 10 acres of land on the west side of Woodland Church Road near U.S. 13 in Brogden Township.

Commissioners Jack Best and Andy Anderson, who also voted against the rezoning at their March 1 session, voted against approval.

The second vote had been recommended by county attorney Borden Parker since the initial vote was not unanimous.

Best did not comment prior to Tuesday's vote, but Anderson reiterated his concerns saying the county appeared to be approving the rezoning on a "whim."

"I can see some problems arising in the future," he said.

At the March 1 meeting, Best and Anderson said that the county needed to know what was going on the property before rezoning. Harrell had said he wanted the rezoning in hopes that it would enhance its appeal to a buyer.

Chairman J.D. Evans disagreed with Best and Anderson. He said rezoning the property from Residential-Agriculture 20 to Village District addressed many of the points in the county's Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

"There appears there ought to be some good in it," he said.

The rezoning would allow residential or small commercial use of the property. The current zoning does not allow commercial use.

Best also had questioned how the zoning could impact Seymour Johnson Air Force Base when the next generation of aircraft arrive.

The property is within the one-half mile extension of the base noise area, but is outside the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base noise levels and accident potential zone.

The county has received a letter from base officials saying that the request is compatible with the land use information in the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone Report and that they have no objection to rezoning.

In other business, commissioners amended the county's road-naming ordinance by removing a March deadline for hearings on such changes.

The change cleared the way for commissioners to schedule a public hearing for 9:15 a.m. on April 19 for a road name change request.

The ordinance had required that public hearings on road name changes be held at the first meeting in March. The wording was put in place in 1991 when the roads were named, Parker said. The date was established because the county was receiving numerous requests for name changes, he said.

The county receives few such requests now, Parker said.

At its meeting last Tuesday the Planning Board tabled a request to rename a section of road named Harper Ham Road to Dyke Smith Road. The 1.2-mile road stretches between Rodell Barrow Road in Wayne County and Oakdale Road in Greene County.

Approximately 200 feet of the road is in Wayne County -- the rest is in Greene County and is named Dyke Smith Road. There are no residences on the Wayne County portion of the road.

Michael Brown of the Property Tax Division of the N.C. Department of Revenue, briefed commissioners on their duties when they sit as the Board of Equalization and Review to hear appeals from county residents.

The county is nearing completion of the revaluation of all property in the county. State law requires the revaluation every eight years although some counties conduct them more frequently, Brown said.

All property owners should receive notice of their new property values within the next few months.

The notices will include a section where people can file an informal appeal.

Chuck Waller, executive director of the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross, spoke to the board about relief efforts in Japan.

"Our phones have been ringing off the hook from people who want to help," he said.

Waller said that some people have wanted to volunteer for rescue efforts. However, he said that Japan has two million volunteers and that the Red Cross actually operates several hospitals in Japan.

Donations of money are the most-needed, he said.

He encouraged people to visit the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org or people may call the local chapter office at 735-7201.

Mary Ann Dudley, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, reminded commissioners of the fundraising Pig in the Park to be held April 9 at Waynesborough Park.

The barbecue cookoff will benefit the club. The day-long event will include local vendors and music.

Commissioners voiced concern over an upswing in trash being dumped along the county's roads.

Board members said they did not understand why people would dump the trash because it can be taken free of charge at any of the county's convenience sites.

They urged people who see, or who know who is dumping the trash, to contact the county.

The board approved of three subdivision plats:

* Wesley and Todd Thornton final; owner/developer Kathy and Harold Thornton and Louise Hood, one lot on U.S. 13 South in Grantham Township

* Jason and Georgia Mitchell and Melissa and Harris Spell final; owner/developer Joe Thomas Mitchell; two lots on Stevens Mill Road in Grantham Township

* John Michael Bulla final; owner/developer John M., John H. and Elaine Bulla, two lots, Hooks Road in Great Swamp Township.

The board in closed session for 50 minutes to discuss personnel, land acquisition and for attorney-client privilege. No action was taken when the board returned to open session.