Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
It’s back to the drawing board ó make that the Planning Board ó for Brian and Jocelyn Moore.
The Moores have sought a rezoning of their home at 530 W. D Ave. so they can expand from a day-care home to a day-care facility.
They applied for a two-family (duplex) residential zoning instead of their existing single-family designation to allow for a day-care facility of up to 15 pre-school and after-school children.
With single-family zoning, the maximum number of children allowed in a day-care home are five preschool and three after-school children.
Over the past several weeks, the Moores have gone through two full Planning Board meetings, a committee meeting and, as of Tuesday, a Salisbury City Council meeting.
But council, uncomfortable with two-family zoning in the Moores’ neighborhood, advised them to withdraw their rezoning request and apply instead for a special single-family residential district, which would have specific language to allow only a day-care facility as an additional use.
Otherwise, if council denied their request for the duplex zoning, the Moores would have to wait a year to apply for the rezoning again.
A council denial appeared to be a real possibility Tuesday, especially after council heard from some neighbors.
“I was nervous about the rezoning for a number of reasons,” Councilman Bill Burgin acknowledged after the Moores agreed to withdraw their request and start over.
Several neighbors said they had no problem with a day-care operation at the Moores’ home. They expressed concern, however, about the duplex zoning being in place for possible future owners of the property.
Larry Summey asked city officials to find a creative way to offer the Moores a waiver or variance that would allow them to expand their day-care numbers without changing the zoning.
Edith Smith agreed, urging council to allow the Moores to expand without rezoning the house.
“Everyone wants the same answer here,” Burgin said. “… We just got to figure out how.”
Neighbors also said they didn’t want the Moores’ house to become bigger.
“We have the area and space,” Jocelyn Moore said of accommodating more children.
Brian Moore, a city employee, said it wasn’t the couple’s intention to change the neighborhood. But some of their clients’ families are getting bigger, and they don’t want to split up their children among day-care providers, he said.
Without being authorized to have more children, the Moores could lose families they now serve, he added.
“We just want to keep the families together,” Jocelyn Moore said.
The Planning Board had recommended a rezoning to two-family residential by a 6-2 vote.
In another case Tuesday, council voted 4-0 to rezone approximately 7 acres at 174 Enon Church Road from agricultural to a special office-institutional district, allowing for construction of a 118-unit retirement center.
Holiday Retirement Corp. of Salem, Ore., plans the retirement facility on the north side of Enon Church Road across from White Oaks Drive in Westcliffe.
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson and Burgin said the “semi-dependent” retirement center should be a good match for the area. It won’t create a lot of extra traffic on Enon Church Road or cut-through traffic for the nearby Westcliffe subdivision, Burgin said.
Jerry Bassett, representing Holiday Retirement, said the company has more than 200 retirement communities in the United States and Canada, including 14 in North Carolina.
With its varying rooflines, the buildings are residential in nature and fit into the surrounding community, Bassett said. The Salisbury buildings will have a small footprint on the 7-acre site and will be multi-storied, he added.
Residents share common dining, recreational and meeting spaces in a core building. There are two residential wings, of which 60 percent are single bedrooms, 30 percent studio apartments and 10 percent two-bedroom places.
Residents are usually in their 80s, and 80 percent of the residents are single.
John Callicutt of Sycamore Road expressed concern that water coming off the facility’s parking lot and roof will flow to the bottom of the road where his house is located.
“Has anybody looked at water runoff?” he asked.
Dan Roach, an engineer for the project, said the company plans to contain the water on site.
Council added as a condition to the project’s special-use permit that the company control water on the site. Council members also encouraged the company to seek voluntary annexation, since the retirement center will require city water and sewer.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263 or