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Rowan County commissioners approve permit for warehouse on I-85

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a conditional-use permit for a nearly 700,000-square-foot development along Interstate 85.

The proposed development, a warehouse and distribution center for an unnamed e-commerce company, will be at the southeast corner of the interstate and Long Ferry Road.

Planning Director Ed Muire said the parcel has generated a lot of interest from both county and outside sources.

“As a staff and as a county, we’ve looked at the economic development potential of this property since 2000,” Muire said.

NorthPoint Development LLC sought the permit to allow for warehousing and distribution uses.

NorthPoint general counsel Ian McDonald said the company has “been looking in this market for quite a long time.”

The company looked for sites from Greenville to Greensboro, he said, and settled on this one because it “really liked it.”

He said both the city of Salisbury and Rowan County had been welcoming and inviting.

NorthPoint, said McDonald, is pursuing a particular user as it builds the proposed warehouse facility.

“It’s a user that’s been well received in multiple communities,” he said. “We’ve worked with this particular user before. We’re excited to hopefully have them come to this community.”

NorthPoint has worked with industrial clients including Amazon, BNSF Railway, General Motors, UPS and Tradebot.

The parcel is owned by James E. Epting and Jerry J. Trevey. Their attorney, Vernon Powell, said the pair offered unconditional support for the development that is proposed.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• Sheriff Kevin Auten recognized Detective Steven Ralph Stoner Jr. with the Sheriff’s Star, the highest honor given by the Sheriff’s Office.

Stoner works as an undercover agent and was nearly killed when a suspect pulled a gun on him during an operation last year.

“He remained calm … through the situation and ultimately found an opportunity to take control of the situation,” said Auten. “With significant legal right and justification to shoot at least one of the suspects in the vehicle, Detective Stoner’s experienced training and moral code dictated in the frame of deadly force and thereby spared the life of at least one person that day.”

• Alyssa Smith with Healthy Rowan and Dari Caldwell with Novant Health Rowan Regional Medical Center presented Rowan County with the 2018 Corporate Cup.

The cup is given to the business or entity that has done the most in a given year to improve the health of the community. The county was chosen because of its work to make parks tobacco-free.

• The board approved a conditional-use permit on Ritchie Road in China Grove.

Applicant Nicole Sherrell requested the permit to accommodate a 2,400-square-foot residential storage facility.

It will be used to store personal items and equipment during construction of a home on the property at a later date.

After the decision, Commissioner Craig Pierce moved that the county Planning Department evaluate the ordinance restricting garages or storage facilities on unoccupied lots. He suggested that an exception could be created for parcels of a certain size or that are not in developments with ordinances prohibiting such facilities.

• The board rezoned a property on N.C. 152 from rural agricultural to commercial, business and industrial.

Applicant Donnie Gibbs is considering selling the property. The rezoning will allow a new owner to operate an existing race shop on the property without the current requirement to live adjacent to the business.

• The board rezoned a property along Beaver Loop Road from commercial, business and industrial with a conditional-use district to rural agricultural.

The parcel was rezoned from rural agricultural in 2001 to accommodate a paintball facility. The facility is no longer in operation.

• The board approved a family subdivision waiver for a 10-acre parcel off Parks Field Drive.

Applicant Jeff Parks is planning a two-lot family subdivision on the parcel. His second cousin, Rae Parks, owns the parcel.

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