China Grove aldermen vote to replace three ZBA members

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó Aldermen have started housecleaning on the town’s Zoning Board of Adjustments.
The board voted Tuesday night to replace Lois Elliott, the longtime chairman whose noise complaint sparked a legal action against the town by a former alderman.
The ZBA ruled in favor of Elliott, saying the town acted incorrectly in permitting Steve Stroud’s home-based business on Ketchie Street. A court action against the ZBA and the town is pending.
The board also opted to replace two other members, vice chairman Harry Mills and Donald S. Wagner, a longtime member. All three applied for re-appointment.Aldermen discovered several weeks ago that the board had never reappointed Elliott, Wagner and Mills when their terms expired in 2006. But since no one had been appointed to replace them, they legally continued to serve.
Three former aldermen have been appointed to serve the 15 months remaining on the terms.
Barbara Doby, Don Webb and Harry Rogers are the newest ZBA members.
Rogers was appointed as alternate member several weeks ago. He is now a full-fledged member.
Mayor Pro Tem Blair Lyseski and Alderman Lee Withers led the nomination procedure with the final vote of 4 to 1 for each appointment.
Alderman Allen Welter voted against each appointment, saying at the outset he saw no reason to do the replacements now. “Leave the three that are there, start with a fresh start later,” said Welter.
The board did appoint Welter’s wife, Barbara, to the alternate seat on the board.
Emily Jackson, town planner, advised the board that three more vacancies will occur in December and more applications are needed.Near the end of the meeting, the board met in closed session with Town Attorney Tom Brooke to discuss the Stroud action against the town.
The action in civil court has been rescheduled several times.
In other matters, the board:
– Approved a resolution encouraging federal and state funding for a replacement Interstate 85 bridge over the Yadkin River.
– Agreed to move the November board meeting from from Tuesday, Nov. 4 to Monday, Nov. 3, to avoid conflict with the election.