Controversial rezoning returns to commissioners on Monday

Published 12:05 am Sunday, June 19, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — When county commissioners meet Monday, they’ll consider a controversial rezoning in southern Rowan for the second time.

At public hearings on the matter, people who live near the rezoning site have turned out to express their opposition, which would change 3.72 acres of land at the corner of N.C. 152 and Menius Road from rural agricultural to the county’s commercial business and industrial zoning on a conditional basis. As a result, local company Knox Contract Seeing would build a facility on the site, which sits about two miles east of China Grove.

Knox Contract Seeing was incorporated in 1994. It’s an erosion control business.

When the company first submitted its request for a rezoning, commissioners were prepared to deny the request. Instead, the rezoning was pulled — a move that avoided a waiting period between denials.

The latest request is a site-specific rezoning that received the Rowan County Planning Board’s approval in May. At the May planning board meeting, local residents also spoke in opposition to the proposal.

Included in the planning board’s May approval were several conditions aimed at easing concerns of local residents. The conditions include: a chain-link fence placed inside of trees planted around the property’s perimeter, that the company researches whether it’s possible to move its driveway away from nearby houses and that lighting at the site be shielded from nearby houses.

The current site plan shows a driveway located near the corner of Menius Road and White Pines Lane. A large portion of the site would be covered in gravel. In the middle of a gravel field, the site plan shows a building with an office, shop and open roof storage. A fuel storage site capable of holding up to 500 gallons would sit near the rear of the site, according to the site plan.

County commissioners will consider the request Monday during its 6 p.m. meeting in the county’s administration building.

The site-specific zoning would only apply to Knox Contract Seeding’s current request. If the property is sold, the new owner would need to return to the Rowan County Planning Board and county commissioners for a rezoning.

In other business on Monday’s agenda:

• Commissioners are scheduled to approve the extension of Salisbury-owned Fibrant to two economic development sites located just outside of Salisbury’s city limits.

The two sites include Summit Corporate Park, adjacent to Julian Road, and Chamandy Drive, which intersects Heilig Road. Gildan Yarns operates a plant that’s adjacent to Chamandy Drive. Agility Fuel Systems has a facility inside of Summit Corporate Park.

Gildan and Agility have both requested Fibrant — a city owned internet provider — be extended to their businesses.

Rowan County isn’t expected to foot the bill for the extension, but County Manager Aaron Church says state law requires county approval before the Salisbury can extend services such as Fibrant to a county economic development site.

The Fibrant extension appears on the consent agenda, which is usually used for items with unanimous agreement.

• Commissioners are scheduled to approve the county staff’s ability to include Fibrant in a list of potential internet providers.

The item also appears on the consent agenda.

• Commissioners are scheduled to approve a construction contract that would allow local nonprofit Shelter Guardians to build an intake room at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.

The intake room would measure 439 square feet, according to the contract. It would sit at the rear of the shelter’s building used for dogs. The intake room would be constructed of steel.

Shelter Guardians would pay for the cost of construction and donate the room to the county afterward. It’s the second time an outside group has constructed a new building at the Rowan County Animal Shelter. The first time was a $1 million cat wing.

The contract appears on the commissioners’ consent agenda.

• Commissioners will consider a rezoning at 177 Swiss Lane — near Enochville — that would change 5.24 acres of land from the manufactured home park designation to rural agricultural.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.