Granite Quarry aldermen deny rezoning at old quarry site

GRANITE QUARRY — Siding with neighborhood opposition, the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen voted Monday night against a rezoning request involving the quarry site off Balfour Quarry Road.

At least a half dozen residents of the area said they were against the rezoning request, which asked that the whole site be classified as heavy-industrial.

The current zoning is partly heavy-industrial, but mostly neighborhood business. The quarry has been closed for many years.

Ken Miller, representing Granite Realty, made the rezoning request.

The zoning case came to aldermen from the Granite Quarry Planning Board, which recommended denial. The planners said denying the request was in the best interest of the surrounding, residential property owners.

“Rezoning may negatively affect and possibly devalue the surrounding properties with no clear, designated use of the land in mind by the rezoning applicant,” the recommendation said.

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather and Aldermen Jim LaFevers and Eloise Peeler voted to support the Planning Board’s recommendation.

In another zoning matter, aldermen voted for a couple of changes in the town’s sign ordinance in connection to banners and the internal illumination of signs.

Businesses may use a banner to advertise a special sale or feature, providing it hangs securely against a wall, or it can be freestanding, if secure.

The banners may not exceed 24 square feet. A business can have only one banner, and it may not be in place longer than 30 days. A new banner is allowed every quarter.

The board also discussed sandwich boards. The Planning Board recommendation said businesses could have sandwich boards in front of their establishments as long as they were not more than 5 feet high and 2 feet wide.

The recommendation also required that the sandwich board have a finished appearance, be off the street right of way, not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic and be brought in at the end of every day.

Track- and channel-style lettering boards would not be allowed.

Aldermen sent the sandwich board section of the sign ordinance back to the Planning Board for more discussion on the distance between signs.

“I think there should be a minimum distance between signs,” Feather said, suggesting 25 feet.

“I had the same concern,” LaFevers said. Lafevers also had questions about how long the sandwich boards should be allowed to be in front of a business every day.

Garry Mattingly, owner of Slice of Heaven pizza and chairman of Granite Quarry’s downtown Revitalization Committee, supported the sign ordinance changes as a way to benefit business.

Later Monday, Mattingly shared a map laying out the boundaries for a proposed municipal service district in Granite Quarry. It was one of the recommendations of a visiting team with the N.C. Downtown Association.

“This is where our focus is,” Feather added.

The Revitalization Committee has turned the proposed district map over to a leadership team, Mattingly said.

In a short period of time, Feather said, the Revitalization Committee has been able to accomplish several items, such as forming a Granite Quarry Business Association, establishing a Visionary Fund, working with Rowan County Tourism, looking at bicycle rack locations and having the Department of Transportation erect directional signs for Granite Quarry at Interstate 85 in Salisbury.

The town also is talking about forming a community appearance committee.

“We’re well on our way to getting things done,” Feather said.

Mattingly reported that Kay Dover, a member of the Revitalization Committee, has resigned and asked that a replacement be named to take her spot.

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