Rowan Planning Board will recommend draft land use plan to commissioners
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY ó The Rowan County Planning Board voted unanimously Monday to recommend a draft land use plan for areas east of Interstate 85 to county commissioners.
No one spoke at a public hearing at Mondayís meeting, and the board held no discussion before its vote.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners likely will consider the plan at a January meeting, Planning Director Ed Muire said Monday.
The study recommendations mirror those in the countyís land use plan for areas west of the interstate, which was approved in 2009.
The planning board invited feedback on its land use study by email, through its website, and at three public workshops in September.
Those comments were attached to the draft plan in an appendix, Muire said, but the board and staff made no major changes.
Industrial and commercial corridors are recommended in areas around I-85 and U.S. 29, as well as an area on U.S. 52 near Gold Hill.
The plan says the corridor between Salisbury and China Grove is an appropriate location for manufacturing, distribution and motorsports industries.
One member of the public said the I-85 highway corridor is more appropriate for the western side of the interstate.
ěEncouraging more industrial and commercial next to these existing residential developments would be troublesome for the many residents that live along that portion of the corridor,î the person wrote in an email.
Someone else said a highway corridor for U.S. 152 East could cause traffic issues for local residents, even though the existing commercial and industrial areas work well.
ěThe road facility cannot support the traffic generated by linear ëstripí type development and will most likely not be widened for the next 15 to 20 years,î the emailed comment states.
Commercial development would be encouraged at a proposed regional node around the Old Beatty Ford Road area. The plan also recommends mixed-use developments that incorporate small businesses, retail and housing there.
Smaller, community nodes are proposed at several key intersections, where commercial uses that ěsupport the existing populationís need for retail goods and servicesî would be encouraged.
According to the plan, the voluntary agricultural district program and ěagri-business and natural resource related industriesî would be promoted in rural areas.
Commissioners asked for the land use study in May. During the study, planning board and staff researched the eastern Rowan areaís geography, history, population, economic data, housing, land use, community facilities, natural environment and transportation.
Other comments received by the planning department include:
ěMore protection (is) needed to ensure adequate buffers are in place and/or provided between established residential areas and any commercial or industrial development.
ěOrdinances need more defined criteria to ensure residential property owners are protected against the potentially harmful noise, dust, odor and traffic that can be associated with many industrial and commercial properties.î
ěFarm use is not a ëgentleí use of land. Forests are removed, soil is tilled (creating sedimentation that migrates to the Yadkin and its tributaries), and phosphate run-off from fertilizers create algae that alters the waterís natural oxygen balance.
ěSo I would propose that with proper vegetation buffering, at least light industrial uses should be allowed in the same zoned areas as ëagriculturalí use.î
ěI think the entire N.C. 152 could use a shared path for bicycles and pedestrians, with the stretch from the high school into China Grove as a priority.î
ěLeave landowners the – – – – alone… we donít want government control.î
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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