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Salisbury, county officials to meet Monday about special use permit

Discussion between city and county officials about zoning for the former Salisbury Mall will occur Monday in an open meeting.

County Commission Chairman Greg Edds and Vice Chairman Jim Greene will have an open meeting Monday at 3 p.m. with Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson and Mayor Pro-Tem Maggie Blackwell about the zoning for the former Salisbury Mall — now West End Plaza — according to a public notice distributed Friday. The meeting will be at Salisbury City Hall, 217 South Main Street.

The meeting was approved by a motion during the county commission’s Monday. Newly sworn in commissioner Judy Klusman made the motion, stating: “I move that we direct Chairman Edds and Vice Chairman Greene to discuss this issue and negotiate an understanding with the city .. in good faith to meet the needs and concerns of the city and county, while also protecting the county’s interests to continuing the appeal process,” Klusman said.

The motion by county commissioners constitutes the delegation of a new subcommittee, according to North Carolina’s public meetings law.

“‘Public body’ means any elected or appointed authority, board, commission, committee, council, or other body of the State, or of one or more counties, cities, school administrative units, constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina, or other political subdivisions or public corporations in the State that (i) is composed of two or more members and (ii) exercises or is authorized to exercise a legislative, policy-making, quasi-judicial, administrative, or advisory function,” the law states.

When asked about Monday’s meeting, Edds said: “It is the public’s first opportunity to see how the new board will interact with other elected bodies. It’s great step forward in building a good faith relationship with Salisbury City Council. I’ve got nothing but high expectations.”

The content of discussions between the city council and county commission will include both the special use permit for government services, which was denied earlier this year in a 4-1 vote by the Salisbury City Council, and the possibility of submitting a conditional district overlay, according to county attorney Jay Dees.

After the city council denied the special use permit, multiple members suggested Rowan County submit a conditional district overlay, which would require a master plan for the former Salisbury Mall.

The county purchased the former Salisbury Mall in late 2013 for $3.4 million. The county has maintained leases at the former Salisbury Mall, but proposed limiting the space it would use in the West End Plaza for government services at 40,000 square feet; the plaza is 326,000 square feet.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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