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Public hearings, left-turn arrows on City Council agenda

SALISBURY — If you’ve noticed the new traffic signals and flashing yellow left-turn arrows in Salisbury lately and wondered what’s going on, you’re not alone.
In response to many inquiries about the changes, City Engineer Wendy Brindle will update City Council at 4 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Traffic Control Devices Inc. in November 2013 to upgrade the cabinets and controllers for Salisbury’s closed-loop traffic signal system. The city will be responsible for 3 percent, or $110,000, of the roughly $3.6 million project.
In addition to upgrading controllers and cabinets, the project also includes replacing existing pedestrian signals with count-down signals.
Motorists also are seeing new flashing yellow arrows for permissive left-turns at certain intersections, which are designed to help keep traffic moving.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda:
• Mayor Paul Woodson will proclaim National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Days.
• City Council will hold a public hearing and consider the city’s own request to rezone about 20 acres or seven parcels located along the east side of Faith Road from general residential to rural residential. The addresses are 1210, 1230, 1304, 1308, 1312 and 1316 Faith Road. These residential properties are on left or east side of Faith Road before the left turn to the Granite Quarry North Main Street.
The city is acting as the petitioner on this rezoning request because it is part one of a two-part rezoning process to properly downzone land along the east side of southern Faith Road to a rural classification. The downzoning is based on limited future development potential, environmental sensitivities and a long-range effort to zone consistently with the Eastern Gateway Area Plan.
In addition, an existing property owner in the area would benefit from this downzoning and separate text amendment related to secondary homes that would allow a mobile home on their property.
This request would downzone property that is sandwiched between the east margin of Faith Road and Crane Creek, staff said. The area is encumbered by floodway and floodplain and is not suitable for nor encouraged to support additional development, according to staff.
Salisbury Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend approval.
• City Council will hold a public hearing and consider another request from city planners to rezone roughly seven acres or 12 parcels located between Wood Avenue, West Jake Alexander Boulevard and Statesville Boulevard by removing the general development A overlay.
The city is acting as the petitioner on this rezoning request because this application of the overlay has outlived its usefulness, city staff said. The majority of the seven-acre area is developed, with two remaining developable lots. The goal of the overlay has been met with the adoption of the provisions and processes found in the new Land Development Ordinance, staff said.
The rezoning includes multiple properties west of Wood Avenue, along Statesville Boulevard and West Jake Alexander Boulevard, including Community One Bank and the American Red Cross.
• City Council will hold a public hearing regarding an application for a 2014 Justice Assistance Grant worth $34,260. The grant requires no match and would be split between the police department ($20,958) and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office ($13,302).
The funding would pay for equipment like body cameras for patrol and Police Interdiction Team officers, a portable alarm system for burglary investigations, surveillance camera and binoculars for vice and narcotics investigations, bulletproof vests and more.
• At the strategic planning retreat last year, City Council adopted a goal to establish a Citizen’s Academy. City staff have been working to develop the program and will give an update.
• City Manager Doug Paris’s comments.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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