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Spencer approves rezoning request

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — Parts of Lee Street in Spencer have been rezoned to solve a problem with housing code violations.

According to Land Management Director Troy Powell, the problem turned up when two houses on Lee Street were flagged by code enforcement officers. The two residences do not meet minimum housing standards, and the owners were ordered to repair or replace them.

But Lee Street — specifically the 1200 and 1300 blocks — abuts the N.C. Transportation Museum and was zoned industrial. Any homes that were demolished there could not be rebuilt unless the entire street was rezoned.

Angela Morris, a resident of Spencer, spoke during the public-comment period of the Board of Aldermen meeting. Her family, the Thompsons, has lived on Lee Street for more than 60 years, she said, and one of the houses affected belongs to her brother.

It would be cheaper for him to build a new home rather than repair his old one, she said. But under the industrial zoning, he would not have been allowed to build a house on his property — something he had planned to do. Morris asked the board to allow her brother to rebuild his home.

Powell agreed and suggested the board change the street from an industrial zone to highway business.

“In order for him to rebuild a home, it would have to be rezoned to a highway business zone,” he said.

Salisbury Avenue, which runs parallel to Lee Street, is zoned as highway business, so the change would be an extension of an already existing section of town. Highway business zones allow construction of single-family residences.

Powell said the zoning board had already approved the change. About 15 residences will be affected by the rezoning.

Members of the Board of Aldermen asked several questions about the rezoning to ensure it would be consistent with the town’s land use plan. Alderman Mike Boone said he wanted to be sure that residents could build or rebuild homes on Lee Street under a rezoning. Powell said that would be the case.

Boone made a motion to approve the rezoning request. The motion passed unanimously.

In other business, the board:

  • Set a public hearing for its proposed 2017-18 budget. The hearing will be at 6 p.m. June 26 at Town Hall. There is no planned tax increase in the new budget.
  • Announced a carnival summer reading program to be held in Library Park on Saturday.
  • Approved a resolution to allow the N.C. Transportation Museum to set off fireworks July 1 during its Salute the Troops event.
  • Updated residents on Stanback Forest, which had its grand opening June 10.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.

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