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New rules for farmland ordinance advance

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
Amendments to the county farmland preservation ordinance will come before county commissioners again this month.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners instructed the county planning board to review changes to the ordinance approved by the county agricultural advisory board.
The planning board unanimously voted Jan. 24 to recommend its version of the ordinance to commissioners rather than the agricultural advisory boardís version, said Rowan County Planning Director Ed Muire.
Amendments agreed upon by both boards would change the requirements for voluntary agricultural districts and create guidelines for enhanced voluntary agricultural districts.
The advisory boardís version would have continued to give that board authority to approve or revoke agricultural district applications.
But according to changes the planning board sent to commissioners, the agricultural advisory board could only make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for final decision-making.
Muire wrote in an e-mail to the Post that local residents James and Marian Rollans spoke during a public hearing on the issue.
ěJames did question whether the (Board of Commissioners) wanted to be burdened having to review all district applications, assuming all properties in the Present Use Value System (tax deferral program) wanted to be included in the program,î Muire wrote.
In other news, Mac Butner was elected board chairman and Greg Edds was elected vice chairman at the Jan. 24 meeting.
The planning board also voted to continued until its next meeting a rezoning request for a 1.06-acre property at 4725 Long Ferry Road.
Annie Boone-Carroll is applying for a zoning change from rural agrucultural to commercial, business and industrial in order to convert a vacant 2,720-square-foot convenience store into a funeral home.
ěThere were questions about whether the parking was adequate and where the new septic system would be placed,î Muire said in an interview. ěOne nearby resident (Ron Bankett) who spoke about the request had concerns related to parking.î
Boone-Carroll and her real estate agent, Cathy Shoaf, spoke in favor of the rezoning.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

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