Council will vote on new Livingstone College radio tower

Published 12:06 am Monday, July 31, 2017

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — A new radio station may be coming to Salisbury’s airwaves — straight from the heart of Livingstone College.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Salisbury City Council will vote on whether to issue a special use permit that would allow the 100-foot-tall radio tower to be built.

The tower would be located at the W.J. Walls Student Center on the Livingstone College campus, located at 800 W. Thomas St. behind the Salisbury High School track.

It would be built on a 6-foot-by-6-foot concrete base and would, for safety and security reasons, be enclosed by a chain-link fence.

The tower would be used for a student-operated radio station, WLJZ 107.1 FM. Should the special permit be approved, the college would hope to have the station functioning by Nov. 7, 2017. The station would feature campus news, music and community event spotlights.

There will be a public hearing before the council votes on whether to issue the special use permit.

Other items of the council’s agenda include:

• Hearing an update on the Empire hotel

The council will receive an update from Billy Hughes, the founder of Gastonia-based Historic Preservation Partners and a potential buyer of the hotel.

The update will include design renderings, finance plans and a preliminary timeline.

Hughes – along with his partner, Britt Weaver – submitted a development agreement to the council last month, which brought them a step closer to starting renovations on the building.

The development agreement with the city is not binding, but Weaver said in a June interview with the Post that they are “100 percent committed to this project.”

The council will not be making any decisions – it will be a purely informational presentation.

• Voting whether to rezone land for new Fire Station 3

The vote will not be about whether the station can be built, but whether the four plots of land that the station would be built on can be rezoned. As it currently stands, the four plots of land are zoned for residential properties. In order for the station to be built there, the council will need to approve the conversion of the land to residential mixed use.

The new Fire Station 3 would sit on 1.17 acres of land in the 100 block of Mahaley Avenue. It would be approximately 17,686 square feet and would have a pond built on an adjacent wooded lot to help control run-off water.

The station would also have 29 parking spots.

The majority of the Planning Board – seven of the eight voting members at the meeting – voted at the Planning Board meeting last week to recommend the new station to the council, as long as certain conditions were met. Those conditions include making sure the retaining wall looks compatible with the exterior brick of the station and that noise from intercoms and speakers would be restricted after 10 p.m.

There will be a public hearing before the council makes their final decision.

• Adopting the “brunch bill” ordinance

The council will consider adopting an ordinance that would allow alcohol to be sold beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

The ordinance would apply to any store that has a valid ABC permit.

The so-called “brunch bill” – Senate Bill 155 – was signed into law in North Carolina June 30. Since then, cities and towns across North Carolina have voted on whether to adopt the state law in their own communities.

Towns that have adopted the bill so far include Hendersonville, Raleigh and Atlantic Beach.

• Hearing results of Community Action Planning Sessions

Brenda Anderson, the Community Action Planning Sessions facilitator, will present findings from the series of Community Action Planning meetings that were held in April.

Anderson will also present the dates of future sessions, where work will begin on the “S.M.A.R.T.” – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely – goals that were decided on in the April meetings.

The four areas of focus for the Community Action Planning Sessions were opportunities for children, public safety and its relationship with the community, workforce development and community relations.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the City Council chambers, located at 217 S. Main St.

Contact Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.