‘Inkee’ faces a zoning roadblock in Granite Quarry

GRANITE QUARRY — Logan Pope wants to bring a new business — Inkee — to Granite Quarry.

He plans to specialize in graphic and website design and sell custom-printed T-shirts. Those uses are fine for his proposed location at 115 N. Salisbury Ave., which carries with it a central-business zoning.

But Pope, a licensed tattoo artist in three shops in Rowan and Cabarrus counties, also would like to offer tattoos at his new Granite Quarry location.

The property is not zoned for that. In fact, while the Granite Quarry Zoning Ordinance identifies “body piercing and tattoo studios” as a possible business, they are not allowed in any zoning district.

The same goes for “bars and nightclubs.”

Pope spoke briefly at the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen’s meeting Monday night, describing the proposed business and his qualifications.

He has applied for a business license and zoning permit, setting things in motion.

Later in Monday’s meeting, aldermen decided to refer the zoning issue to the Planning Board for a recommendation.

In other business, aldermen returned to their discussion from last month, when the proposal for having a separate mayoral election was brought up.

While the board members have reached a consensus that a separate mayoral election would be best, they are having a more difficult time deciding on whether mayors should be elected to two-year or four-year terms.

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Feather favors the mayor’s position being open every two years. That way a sitting alderman, in the middle of a four-year term, could run for mayor, and if he lost, he could still remain on the board as an alderman.

Eloise Peeler said she didn’t like that idea. It doesn’t make good sense, she said, that a candidate for alderman can be elected to a four-year term, while mayoral candidates would only be elected to two-year terms, she said.

She and Alderman Jim LaFevers also were against an alderman’s being able to return to the board if he or she were unsuccessful as a mayoral candidate.

At present, Granite Quarry has five members on its board. The seats are set up in staggered terms, with three seats open in one election and two seats in the next.

Two seats are up for election this November, for example.

Aldermen serve four-year terms. After every two-year municipal election, the aldermen decide among themselves who should be mayor and mayor pro tem.

The current board wants to change the town’s charter so residents have the responsibility of electing a mayor.

Generally, board members seem agreed that the number on the board should remain at five, even with a separate mayoral election.

Alderman Brad Kluttz said he would like to have more feedback from people before the board decided on whether a mayor is elected every two or four years.

“I’m like Brad,” Alderman Jim LaFevers said.

Aldermen are not looking to make the change to a separate mayoral election this year. But they want it in place by the 2015 election.

Discussions will continue in future meetings.

Garry Mattingly, a business owner and part of the town’s revitalization committee, gave aldermen an update on plans for lighted trees in Granite Lake Park for the holidays.

Churches, businesses and clubs will be encouraged to sponsor, decorate and light individual trees around the lake.

Mayor Mary S. Ponds made it clear — and Mattingly agreed — that the trees should be “Christmas” trees and not “holiday” trees.

If someone has a problem with that, send them to her, Ponds said.

“I’m big enough to handle that,” she said.

Trees will begin going up Dec. 1, with an initial lighting planned for Dec. 8. “I think that’s going to be a beautiful thing,” Mattingly said.

Plans are continuing for a Family Fun Festival Oct. 19 at Civic Park, located at the corner of Peeler and Oak streets. It will run from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

LaFevers said two bands already are lined up.

Residents also are being invited to attend a presentation on the Carolina Thread Trail at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Town Hall board room.

Granite Quarry is participating with other municipalities in Rowan County in becoming part of the regional trail network designed to ultimately reach 15 counties and more than 2.3 million people.

Promoted as a “green interstate system,” the Thread Trail already has 119 miles open to the public with 14 active corridors under development.

For more information, go to www.carolinathreadtrail.org.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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