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Spencer board puts brakes on Yadkin museum

A proposed museum in Spencer hit a roadblock Tuesday night when the town’s Board of Aldermen denied a zoning request for the site of the museum.

The Yadkin Historical Museum is planned for an area near the former Color-Tex property along U.S. 29. But the site is zoned for industrial use, which doesn’t allow for museums under the town’s current zoning ordinance.

Gary Hauze is the major proponent of the museum, which would be dedicated to the history of the region, and had requested the town allow “museum” as a permitted use at the nearly 3-acre site across from the Yadkin United Church. The property is owned by the Yadkin Historical Museum Foundation, which Hauze worked to form last year.

Hauze has said he thinks the museum could be a catalyst for development in the area around it.

Last month, the Planning Board approved an amendment to Spencer’s zoning ordinance that would allow museums as a conditional use in industrial zones, meaning the Zoning Board of Adjustment would have to approve any request to put a museum in an area zoned for industry.

But the Board of Aldermen voted against the amendment, with members saying they support the museum but that they don’t think the proposed site should be used for it because the town has a limited amount of industrial zones.

Alderman Jeff Morris said putting a museum in that location isn’t consistent with the town’s goals and policies.

“I think it’s a great idea,” just not in that area, he said about the museum.

Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Gobbel said he would welcome the museum in an area where the zoning currently allows it.

The vote was 5-1 for a motion to deny the amendment. Alderman Scott Benfield voted against the motion.

In other business, the board:

• awarded a street-paving contract worth $101,000 to Piedmont Asphalt and Paving.

The streets to be paved are: N. Yadkin Avenue from Jefferson Street to Cain Street, Whitehead Avenue from Jefferson Street to Forestdale Drive, and 2nd Street from Whitehead Avenue to Charles Street.

• set the date for an open house regarding the town’s proposed stormwater utility for May 13 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

• set the date for the board’s budget session for April 29 at 6 p.m.

• approved an ordinance re-establishing the town’s Community Appearance Commission. The seven commission members are: Sandy Buechler, Francis Driscoll, Sally Greer, Vivian Koontz, Barbara Luther, Melissa Secreast and Charles Wood.

Members serve on the commission for three years. Initially, they will work to award “Yard of the Month” on a monthly basis.

Contact Reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.

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