County’s 10-year parks plan to be presented Tuesday

Published 12:05 am Sunday, September 4, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Could Rowan County see a public swimming area on High Rock Lake, a dog park at Dan Nicholas and a rock climbing course at Dunn’s Mountain?

All three were raised as possibilities in an August draft of Rowan’s parks master plan. A final version of the master plan will be presented during a Tuesday county commissioners meeting at 3 p.m. in the administration building at 130 West Innes St. The plan will set goals and provide ideas about developing parks in the area over the next 10 or more years.

Although it’s not the final version, the nearly 300-page draft of the parks master plan may give some clues about what the Charlotte-based John R. McAdams Company will present to commissioners on Tuesday.

The draft parks plan proposes a large number of potential projects at existing parks. It also proposes building new parks in the southern Rowan and Woodleaf areas.

One potential new park is suggested on High Rock Lake. Once built, the new park would include a public swimming area, amphitheater for up to 7,000 people, trails, volleyball courts, fishing pier, boat docks and recreational fields, according to the draft plan from McAdams.

Proposals for improving existing parks include building a dog park at Dan Nicholas Park and developing various sports fields. At Sloan Park, the draft proposes developing a football and soccer field. At Dunn’s Mountain Park, the draft proposes a trail system and rock climbing course.

The 10-15 year priority cost summary is estimated to only be $7.18 million, which doesn’t include all of the projects proposed by McAdams.

A summary of the final master plan — included with Tuesday’s agenda —recommends that within five years Rowan County develops a volunteer program for parks, creates a pricing policy for its parks programs, produce an individual master plan for each park, acquire enough land to create 10 miles of greenway trails, finalize local plans for the Carolina Thread Trail and a number of other planning steps.

Some of McAdams’ goals for the county to accomplish within 10 years include: developing the previously purchased land for 10 miles of greenway trails, buy 8 more miles for trails and acquire land for a park in the northwestern part of Rowan.

In later years, McAdams recommends that county government continue acquiring land for the trails system until it’s complete.

Funding remains a question throughout the the parks development process outlined by McAdams. The Charlotte-based firm continually recommends that Rowan County “identify money available through grants, charitable donors and other foundations.”

The plan scheduled to be presented Tuesday is a separate study from one being conducted to explore the feasibility of a sports complex.

In other business from Tuesday’s meeting:

• Rowan County commissioners will consider selling a building at 1236 West Innes Street to a company owned by NASCAR driver Mike Wallace.

Commissioners had previously approved the building’s demolition. However, they recently received an offer to purchase the building and land for $20,000 from WV LLC. The North Carolina Secretary of State’s office shows the company as being registered to Michael S. Wallace, who is also the registered agent for Buffalo Investments of Concord LLC and Mike Wallace Racing, Inc.

It’s only the second offer commissioners have received since efforts intensified to sell the building. When Rowan County earlier this year tried to sell the 1236 West Innes St. building during an auction, it received no bids and its interior was covered in mold.

In a proposed purchase agreement, Wallace asks that the property be taxed only at the purchase price. He calls $20,000 the fair market value.

• Commissioners will discuss changes to county ordinances that apply to the care of animals in Rowan County.

Proposed by Commissioner Craig Pierce, the ordinances define the terms “adequate food” and “adequate shelter” for animals. Pierce’s proposal would also require animal restraints to be “designed and placed so as to prevent choking or strangulation and be of such design as to restrain the animal during its utmost physical attempts to free itself.”

Pierce’s proposal would not allow animals to “remain on uninhabited property such as a vacant lot.”

At the same time as Pierce’s proposal, commissioners will also discuss changes to ordinances that reflect recent administrative changes at the animal shelter.

• Commissioners will pick a date to hold a public hearing to provide tax incentives to an unnamed business.

A memo to county commissioners says the tax incentives would help an existing, local employer expand its operations. The company is proposing an expansion worth $4 million. It will create 18 new jobs, according to the memo.

• Commissioners will hold public hearings for a number of planning and zoning matters.

At 3320 Deal Road, Mark Butler is requesting that a 3.3-acre tract of land be rezoned from rural agricultural to neighborhood business.

On the 900 block of N. Enochville Ave., Jerry Murph is requesting that a small tract of land be rezoned from rural agricultural to neighborhood business.

On Auction Drive, a service road adjacent to I-85 near Webb Road, David Wood is requesting that 3 acres of land be rezoned from rural agricultural to the county’s commercial, business and industrial classification.

Commissioners will also hold hearing to make various county ordinances align with state laws.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.