Commission delays mobile home park query again
By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 10, 2012 1:50 AM
For the second time in as many months, Wayne County commissioners have delayed approval of a 32-lot mobile home park on N.C. 55 east of Mount Olive.
The first delay was to check with the state Department of Transportation on whether or not the project would require a turn lane on N.C. 55 -- it does. Commissioners had incorrectly been told last month that a left-turn lane was not required and that a driveway permit had been issued.
On Tuesday, commissioners decided to hold off on approval until DOT issues a driveway permit and the developer's engineer submits plans for the turn lane. The developer has to pay for the work and must provide a bond to cover the cost. The bond is held for one year to ensure the work is paid for.
"What I said (last month) to the board was that a driveway permit had been issued and there was not going to be a turn lane required," County Planner Connie Price said Tuesday. "I was mistaken when I said that. At the time there had not been a driveway permit, and there has still not been one issued now. The plat has been submitted to DOT."
The DOT has since said that a left-turn lane will be required, Price said. The left turn lane will be designed by an engineer for the developer and submitted to the state for its approval, he said. No right turn, or deceleration lane, is being required.
"If the developer decides not to build the turn lane, that will be the end of the project," he said. "The mobile home park would not be built. This being a mobile home park, it comes to the board one time. You would not see this again."
The reason that it does not come back before the board is because, unlike a subdivision, the lots in a mobile home park are rented, not sold, Price said.
The mobile home park would sit on approximately 14.7 acres on the south side of N.C. 55 east of Mount Olive and about 200 feet west of Billy Price Road and would access N.C. 55 by way of an interior street. It also would have access through the adjoining Cabin Creek Mobile Home Park to N.C. 55 and to Billy Price Road near its intersection with N.C. 55.
Commissioner Bud Gray asked Price if fire trucks would be able to get in and out of the mobile home park without problems and if Fire Marshal Bryan Taylor had signed off on the plan.
"He has seen it," Price said. "We always send preliminary plats to him. I have not heard anything from him. As far as I know, he has reviewed it and we have not heard anything from him. He has not sent anything back, so I guess he is satisfied. But I will verify that."
The mobile home park itself would not be redesigned since the turn lane will be built within existing DOT right of way. Once the turn lane is approved, the developer can begin driveway construction, Price said.
"This is the only time that this is going to come before you," said County Attorney Borden Parker. "It is not like a subdivision where you see a preliminary to approve and then approve a final. If you give this approval -- it is done. It would seem to me that if it has to be redone you would want to have it presented to you in its fashion that it is going to be approved as opposed to you approving it subject to DOT approval.
"My recommendation would be not to act on it until then. You can approve it if you don't care what it looks like."
Commissioner Sandra McCullen agreed and said the county should hear from Taylor first as well. Her motion to delay was approved by a 6-0 vote. Commissioner J.D. Evans is sick and did not attend the meeting.
During last month's meeting, Mrs. McCullen and Commissioner Jack Best insisted that the county check with DOT about the turn lane. That provoked Commissioner Steve Keen to complain about the board seemingly blocking development and questioning the DOT.
Tuesday Keen said it was about the fourth time over the past two-and-a-half years that he had heard the board question fire safety or fire trucks being able to navigate in subdivisions.
The mobile home park has a cul-de-sac, and Keen said that all of the cul-de-sacs he had seen over the past decade have been built in accordance with county policy and DOT standards.
"My question then is why do you bring a fire marshal in to give us an OK as to whether or not it's OK, if it is built to standards and policy?" Keen said.
Price said the fire marshal might look to see if there was anything "unusual" about the property. Keen asked for examples.
"If there was something in this area that required (the cul-de-sac) to be less than minimum," he said. "I can't think of anything offhand -- if there was a creek running through there, or a cemetery you were trying to avoid disturbing. They might have a 35-foot radius instead of a 40-foot turn radius."
"If he has a job description and he has the policy the county has established to build these subdivisions, then I don't understand how a fire marshal can come in and say this or any other subdivision is," Keen said. "Give me some examples. Are the turning radiuses too small? Do they need to be bigger? Give me some example why a fire marshal says that, 'Commissioners, this is not adequate. We need to make some changes.'"
The fire marshal would be verifying that it is built to code, Price said.
Mrs. McCullen said all that was being asked was whether Taylor had looked at the plans. The plans are sent to a number of individuals and agencies including the Wayne County Board of Education, Price said.