Granite Quarry knee-deep into comprehensive plan update

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 7, 2019

GRANITE QUARRY — Beyond his usual duties, Town Planner Steve Blount has a major task ahead this year — updating Granite Quarry’s 2000 Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

If it sounds as though a 2000 plan could be dated, Blount says it is. While the original charge was to revise the plan every five years, “this is the first update,” Blount told the Board of Aldermen on Monday night.

Blount began tackling the project last summer and hopes a final version for the town board’s approval can be ready by November. Several things have happened and need to happen in the months ahead.

The Planning Board has agreed to break down the town into “geographic areas” and will review each area in detail, Blount reported.

The seven geographic areas are the downtown core, North Salisbury Avenue corridor, Faith Road corridor, U.S. 52 South corridor, U.S. 52 Bypass corridor, new and existing corridors, and strategic properties.

The six strategic properties include the corner of East Church Street and North Salisbury Avenue, 2400 Faith Road, transportation corridors west to Interstate 85, North Salisbury Avenue commercial property, North Salisbury Avenue “viewshed” property, and the Old Stone House.

Another section of the plan looks at “special issues.” They include expansion of industrial areas, mult-family housing, utility expansions, stormwater management, and trails and sidewalks.

To date, Blount reported, he has prepared presentations on the seven geographic areas, handled some data and text updates, and had an organizational meeting and work session with the Planning Board.

When all sections are reviewed by the Planning Board, Blount will integrate the new goals and policies into the 2000 plan, then the public aspect of updating the plan will come into play.

The draft of the updated plan will be presented at a joint meeting of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Board of Aldermen, seeking input from all those participants.

A draft copy will be made available to the public on the town’s website.

One or more public workshops will be scheduled “to allow interested parties to review the plan and ask detailed questions of staff,” Blount said.

The Planning Board will make a final review and corrections based on public input. The 2019 Comprehensive Plan then will go to the Board of Aldermen, which will hold a public hearing.

In other town news, aldermen will hold their annual retreat Feb. 22, beginning at 9 a.m. at Town Hall.

Alderman John Linker, a member of the committee looking at updates to Town Hall, said three options and possibly the costs associated with each will be discussed at the retreat.

They include some exterior cosmetic renovations only, a lower floor remodeling, or renovating the entire building.

Other Granite Quarry news:

• Mayor Pro Tem Jim LaFevers reports the Granite Quarry Civitans will make a presentation to the town board in March about partnering with the town and F&M Bank on a renovation of the courtyard at East Rowan High School.

• A reception will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday for Town Manager Phil Conrad, who has resigned and whose last day is Monday. The reception will be held in the Board of Aldermen’s meeting room at Town Hall.