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In-fill lot formula back in committee

By Noelle Edwards
nedwards@salisburypost.com
Salisbury City Council sent to committee an issue Planning Board committees have kicked around for months and for which the board ultimately recommended approval.
The issue at stake is the minimum width for in-fill lots in neighborhoods that are subdivided.
The current Land Development Ordinance provides a formula for determining the minimum width, but Senior Planner Preston Mitchell said several developers have said the formula sets the minimum too high.
The Planning Board ultimately decided to recommend a special exception process that a builder could go through to be able to subdivide land that, when divided, would otherwise be too narrow.
Rodney Queen, who spent time on the committee that created the new Land Development Ordinance, spoke during the public hearing, asking that the issue go to committee before City Council members voted on it.
He said a special exception process would send too many cases to the Planning Board to deal with, rather than setting a formula that would run itself.
Council members ultimately agreed with him.
Councilman Mark Lewis said, “One size doesn’t always fit all.”
He said he thinks the base formula could be adjusted in a way that would set a minimum lot width and still be fair to all property owners.
“Quite frankly, I’d like to take a stab at that,” he said.
Councilman Bill Burgin was more hesitant. He said at some point, the formula will establish a minimum width, and that minimum width will make some people unhappy.
Still, he said, he would like to keep the process administrative rather than judicial if possible, he said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
– Council approved rezoning of 310 Mocksville Ave. from Residential Mixed-Use to Neighborhood Mixed-Use. Jennifer Woomer is renting the building on that property and plans to open a knitting store.
– Council authorized the issuance and sale of $6 million in bonds to Bank of America, the lowest bidder.
– Council awarded contracts to Cloninger Ford and Hilbish Motors for $302,523.51 and $50,046 respectively for city vehicles. Burgin said he would rather award the entire contract to Cloninger since it’s a local company and the price difference was only a couple hundred dollars. But state law requires cities to go with the lowest bidder.
– Council approved an application for rezoning to Rowan County and provisionally approved a license agreement with Carolina Sand for sand mining.

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