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West Rowan plan could impact entire county

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.comDraft recommendations for a land-use study for Western Rowan County cover a broad range of subjects from residential and commercial development to natural environment and private property rights.
County Planning Director Ed Muire has repeatedly emphasized that the goal of the study is to provide recommendations that will keep the rural character of the county, but will not prevent a landowner from selling his or her property for development.
The draft study is 14 pages with many of the proposals dealing with changes in subdivision development. Among the recommended changes are an expansion of the existing technical review committee and requiring a sketch plan for all major residential subdivisions.
Among other subdivision recommendations:- Conservation subdivisions that would cluster homes and preserve useable common open space;
– Area 1 ó Limit traditional major subdivisions in areas north of U.S. 70; increase minimum lot sizes to two to four acres to reduce strip residential development along roads and perpetuate open space;
– Area 2 óareas adjacent to Salisbury, China Grove and Landis ó encourage medium density residential development, maintain existing lot size requirements;
– Area 3 ó areas south of U.S. 70 ó Encourage conservation subdivision design for all proposed developments greater than 20 acres in this area; promote clustering of smaller residential development; promote mixed use development with open space networks to promote walking and biking;
Commercial/Industrial- Encourage commercial nodes at key intersections such as the intersection of Millbridge Road and N.C. 150, N.C. 152 and N.C. 153.
– Encourage mixed-use development that incorporates small businesses, retail and housing in order to reduce trips to city centers.
Commercial/industrial corridors
– Encourage commercial and missed use development on U.S. 29 including heavy impact land uses, discourage residential uses on undeveloped properties;
– Encourage commercial and industrial uses in U.S. 70 corridor having transportation dependency due to rail availability; establish standards to promote U.S. 70 as a gateway entrance to Rowan County;
Other recommendations
– Recognize agri-tourism uses and other forms of tourism development;
– Promote and expand voluntary agricultural district programs; encourage agri-business; pursue various grants to help preserve farmland including pursuing a regional partnership with Iredell County; Also consider establishing a county position to pursue implementation of farm related recommendations;
– Consider establishing a 100 foot stream buffer for new development in water shed protection area and a minimum 50-foot buffer for all new development outside of watershed protection areas.
– Consider development of a county-wide farmland protection plan to reverse the decline of farmland.
– Create a Heritage Tourism Plan for western Rowan in collaboration with Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
– Conduct a detailed study of the Westside connector in Kannapolis. Committee members expressed concern of the possible impact the connector will have in the Enochville, Atwell and Millbridge areas.
The full report can be found at www.co.rowan.nc.us/GOVERNMENT/Departments/PlanningDevelopment/LandUseSteering/tabid/705/Default.aspx

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