China Grove sets public hearing for business district ordinance
By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE — The board wants to hear from the public about changes to an ordinance regarding the use of drive-throughs in the town's central business district. The current unified development ordinance made it harder for businesses to obtain a permit for a drive-through. The amendment will make drive-throughs part of a conditional use. The board will have a public hearing about the ordinance at its November meeting. Currently, drive-through uses are an excluded use in the central business zoning district. The planning board met in June, agreeing the ordinance should be amended to allow drive-through uses as a conditional use in the central business district. The planning board also said the central business district should follow the same special requirements as drive-through uses in the highway business district. The planning board voted during its August meeting to approve the ordinance. The board also: • Approved to amend the rules and procedures for the town planning board. Some of the changes pertain to its officers and attendance at planning board meetings. Before the approved changes, the planning board chairman appointed the secretary. Now the secretary will be appointed by the town manager. Interim Town Manager Ken Deal said there have been issues with attendance. There are often meetings the planning board can't conduct business because they don't have a quorum. Now any member who fails to attend three regularly scheduled meetings will be asked if they want to continue. If a member fails to attend five meetings or more than half of the regularly scheduled meetings within a year that member will be relieved of their duties. A town board member will be appointed to the planning board to act as a liaison. The town board member will not have voting power, but will be there if the planning board has questions. The town board member will also be able to relay information to the town board. • Received an update on the town hall construction. The town staff expects to be in its permanent location by December. The board has been meeting at the Roller Mill Museum, but expects construction on the new town hall to be complete by winter. Deal said construction is "progressing a whole lot better." The town had rented the South Rowan Medical Mall at East Centerview Street since February 2011. Construction has been delayed for many months now. Construction began in May 2011 with an April target date for completion. Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.