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Planning Board discusses potential challenges to down zoning, uncommon sign additions

SALISBURY — The city Planning Board had a workshop-style meeting to discuss rezoning of Trexler Loop and Seventh Street to rural residential and the use of uncommon signs at City Hall on Tuesday.

Preston Mitchell, staff liaison to the board, said the land is currently zoned general residential.

Mitchell said one of the property owners asked him for a rezoning and, after looking into the request, he saw that several parcels were zoned both general residential and rural residential. The city has made efforts to ensure that parcels have only one zoning classification.

“We have two property owners that happen to be involved in some animal grooming services, which is appropriate for this area,” Mitchell said. “There are large tracts of land. They’re not boarding. They’re not doing medical work. The RR would also help them.”

Board members talked about the potential disadvantages that down zoning could present for property owners on Trexler Loop and Seventh Street.

“The owners of those properties should benefit from RR from a land-use perspective,” John Schaffer said. “The people who would not benefit are who are adjoined to the property.”

Mitchell added, “Or the property owners themselves if they had a desire to ever subdivide.”

Under rural residential zoning, property owners must have a minimum acreage to subdivide the land.

Board members also talked about potential kennels that could be added on the properties that could affect a nearby neighborhood.

The board also discussed designating electronic message centers as uncommon signs, referring to a request from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to erect an electronic sign off Interstate 85.

Mitchell said the city’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan says Salisbury’s appearance goal is to have “subtle commercial signage.”

“The question is at what point are you stepping beyond subtle commercial signage, and so that, I would argue, would be your no,” Mitchell said.

The board concluded it would like to see a proposed text amendment that would list requirements for electronic message centers.

Mitchell concluded the meeting with an update on a rezoning to “community and institution” that was brought to the City Council meeting last week. He said the board would have to organize the properties based on the road type they are on.

The Planning Board will next meet at 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at City Council Chambers.

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