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Planning Board starts talks about Salisbury’s 2040 plan

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — With 2020 on the horizon, the Salisbury Planning Board is looking ahead to 2040 to update its comprehensive plan.

At its meeting Tuesday, City Planning Director Hannah Jacobson explained the board’s role in the city’s crafting of the plan — “Forward 2040: Salisbury’s Framework for Growth.” The comprehensive plan will focus on land use, future growth, physical development and capital improvement.

The Steering Committee of Forward 2040 will guide the plan. That includes two members of Planning Board, Bill Burgin and Bill Wagoner as well as 12 new members approved by council.

The Forward 2040 plan is expected to answer:

• How will Salisbury change in the next 20 years?

• Where will people live? Work? Go to school?

• How will they get around?

• How can the city sustainably, efficiently and cost effectively provide public services?

• How will all of this affect quality of life?

Jacobson said they haven’t laid out a timeline, but the goal for completion is 2020. The 2000 comprehensive plan started work in 1988 and the current, 2020 comprehensive plan started in 2001.

Jacobson recommended using some of the advice for Forward 2040 from a previous Planning Board meeting — when N Focus stress tested the land development ordinance. That advice included to identifying strategic corridors and nodes as catalyst activity areas, balancing supply and demand for development types, distinctions in residential intensity, policies for voluntary annexation and policies for developer participation and capacity.

At their next meeting, Planning Board members will consider the suggestions from N Focus to alter the city’s land development ordinance.

Wagoner thanked the Planning Board members for being willing to take on the comprehensive plan. He told his fellow members to “buckle up their chin straps” because they have things to recommend to council.

Jacobson said people can visit the City of Salisbury website to take a survey or apply to be on the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

In other business:

• Chad Vriesema, of Central Piedmont Builders, received approval for a frontage width special exception for his property at 235 Eldon Lane.

The property is in the extra-territorial jurisdiction and is zoned general residential. The parcel, where Vriesema wants to build a small home on, is near a curve, which caused the parcel to be shaped like a triangle.

“Geometry is the enemy here so to speak,” Wagoner said.

In the city’s land development ordinance, it states lots should be the same width at the front and at the back of the lot. There are also guidelines of having comparable frontage widths with neighboring properties.

The frontage width of the property is 125 feet, which surpassed the city’s minimum and the 90% of the average frontage with of neighboring properties, according to the board. The board also said the Eldon Lane property did not create or increase any known non-conformity.

The board also considered if the request negatively impacted the provision of city services or utilities, which City Engineer Wendy Brindle said the property does not get water or sewer nor fire services, because it is outside the city limits.

They also determined the lot compare to others in the area.

The request does not need to go to City Council, so it was approved at that meeting.

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