Planning Board OKs rezoning
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY - As part of the upcoming Klumac Road realignment, Johnson Concrete will lose about 2.5 acres of land used for outdoor storage.
The company asked the city to rezone a vacant tract across the street for a new storage yard.
Johnson Concrete is also negotiating with Darrin Brown, owner of three occupied houses at the corner of Klumac Road and Carolina Street. If purchased, the houses could be torn down to make way for additional storage, according to a site plan presented to the city.
Salisbury Planning Board on Tuesday unanimously recommended that City Council approve the rezoning request from Johnson Concrete.
The company asked to rezone the vacant tract from commercial mixed use to light industrial. City staff recommended adding the houses to the request.
Preston Mitchell, Planning and Development Services manager for the city, said he's not trying to hinder or harm residential developments.
"But you've got to look at the realities," Mitchell told the Planning Board. "You've got to look at Klumac Road and see how that's being severed and look at the expansion plans of this facility."
The homes do not have long-term viability as residential properties with Johnson Concrete's plans to buy them and N.C. Department of Transportation's plans to close the Klumac railroad crossing and turn the street into a dead end, Mitchell said.
Klumac will become basically an internal driveway for Johnson Concrete, he said.
The state is closing the crossing this winter and realigning Klumac Road, which will go underneath the railroad tracks at a separate location and tie into N.C. Highway 150.
As part of the realignment, Johnson Concrete in December will lose about half an acre of land it owns, as well as two acres it leases, said Charles Newsome, executive vice president.
"It is very important for us to be able to continue to operate and replace at least part of the storage area," Newsome said.
The company, founded in 1947, is run by the fourth generation, he said.
No one spoke in opposition to the rezoning. Owners of two nearby businesses - Darrell Elium and Angela Pipes of Select Customers Insurance and Jim Mundy of Boundary Point office condominiums - spoke in support.
Some Planning Board members talked about continuing the light industrial zoning from the homes on Carolina Street to the railroad tracks, which would encompass the former La Bamba property and make it more appealing to industrial developers.
La Bamba, most recently used as a nightclub, was originally Klumac Mill.
The board will consider the issue at a future meeting.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.