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Three members of China Grove Zoning Board are ‘legal’

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó Although town officials had questioned the standing of three members of the Zoning Board of Adjustments, the town’s attorney said Tuesday that those members are serving legally.
In June, some town officials questioned whether Lois Elliott, Harry Mills and Don Wagner were serving illegally. The town officials pointed to minutes of a December 2007 meeting indicating the Board of Aldermen never reappointed those three to the Board of Adjustments.
But since no one has been appointed to replace them, they remain legitimate members in good standing under municipal law, Brooke told aldermen Tuesday night.
That still leaves aldermen undecided about what ó if anything ó to do with the Zoning Board of Adjustments.
Town Manager Bill Pless said the town board could merge the Board of Adjustments into the Planning Board, make the Board of Alderman double as the Board of Adjustments or stay with the current configuration.
But Pless said as many as six seats on the current Board of Adjustments will be vacant within the next few months. He added that no one is sure how many members are supposed to be serving.
Currently, there appear to be 11 members.
During the public comment portion of the aldermen’s meeting, Elliott told aldermen they will have to make a lot of changes if they attempt to merge the Board of Adjustments into the Planning Board.
Mayor Don Bringle suggested aldermen wait until October to consider changes. On Sept. 22, a judge is scheduled to hear a lawsuit former Alderman Steve Stroud has brought against the Board of Adjustments. Stroud and the Board of Adjustments have clashed about Stroud’s home-based business.
Stroud is appealing the ruling that revoked his home business permit. Elliott, of 505 W. Ketchie St., filed a complaint saying noise from Stroud’s safe and lock business harmed her and devalued her property.
In other business Tuesday, China Grove aldermen:
– Agreed to participate in a training session Aug. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
A facilitator will work through various scenarios to help aldermen work together more effectively and better understand their roles in connection with the town manager form of government.
The training session will take place at the Municipal Building, 205 Swink St.
– Heard from former Aldermen Barbara Doby, who thanked the town, its employees and everyone connected with Farmers Day.
“It was a wonderful day,” Doby said.

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