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New single-family development in Landis to be considered at Aug. 3 meeting

By Natalie Anderson

LANDIS — The Landis Board of Aldermen on Monday voted to table consideration for a subdivision plot that would create a seven-lot single-family development at the intersection of West Laurel and North Zion streets, moving the discussion to the Aug. 3 regular meeting.

The town Planning Board on June 16 didn’t recommend the development, called “Laurel Garden,” due to concerns that the development wouldn’t have access to a publicly maintained street. West Laurel Street is currently an unopened street, which means it hasn’t been developed or accepted for town maintenance.

The item on the agenda at the Monday meeting was to consider the Planning Board’s recommendation, but the board received a request from the developer to move the discussion to the Aug. 3 meeting.

The area is currently zoned R-8 and isn’t within a designated watershed or flood zone area. Phase II post-construction stormwater rules would apply to the development, which requires the installation of stormwater “best management practices,” or BMPs, to treat the run-off and the responsibility of a home owners association to maintain the BMPs.

Wellspring Carolina Investment, LLC, proposed the plan for the subdivision, which it expects to range in size from 9,300 square-feet to 12,100 square-feet. Additionally, the proposed plan includes enlarging West Laurel Street from 35 feet to include a 50-foot right-of-way.

The town’s zoning ordinance requires all lots to have access to a publicly maintained street. Enlarging the street and meeting North Carolina Department of Transportation road standards could allow the town to accept the street and maintain it.

The original subdivision was created in 1939, and the lot is considered a single parcel of land rather than multiple lots, according to Landis town attorney Rick Locklear. Locklear said it is his opinion, based on state statutes, that the parcel is considered abandoned, and no person or entity is able to enforce it as a public easement.

At the meeting, town aldermen also voted, per interim manager Leonard Barefoot’s request, to establish a public safety director position for the town, which would consolidate the police chief and fire chief positions. As Landis is currently without a police chief, and as fire chief Ron Miller desires to step aside, Barefoot said the timing is perfect for the new position. He also said that since both departments are involved in emergency services, “a single leader might improve moral and even comradery, which has always been important in emergency services.”

He added that a salary has not yet been established, but the salary would likely range between $70,000 to $80,000 based on grades 29 and 30 pay ranges. The board will finalize its approval for the position once the salary is established.

Also at the meeting:

  • Town aldermen voted to create a budget amendment that would reinstate and include a $25,000 police grant. The Landis Police Department was awarded the grant in 2019 to obtain equipment. The equipment has been ordered, but has not yet been received, according to Landis finance officer Diane Seaford.
    The grant overlaps the 2019-20 fiscal year budget and the 2020-21 fiscal year budget. However, since the equipment has not yet been received, the invoices were not paid, so it’s been added to the current fiscal year budget.
    The grant requires that the equipment be purchased and paid for by the end of September, and Seaford said the town doesn’t anticipate any issues meeting that deadline. Once the equipment is received, Seaford said the town will pay the invoices and submit them for reimbursement.
  • Town aldermen approved a project to renovate Town Hall by adding a walk-up pay window and night deposit box, paid for by $91,371 in Coronavirus Relief Funds funneled to the town from the county. The funds have a deadline of Dec. 31, and the town must submit its plan for the renovation to be approved by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners no later than Aug. 4, which Barefoot calls “a tight window.” Barefoot said the walk-up pay window would be considered “a blessing especially for customers wishing to make cash payments.” The current drop box wouldn’t be affected.
  • Town aldermen voted to reclassify the former administrative position and hire for a new HR-related position that will be responsible for human resource functions as well as duties associated with the town clerk position. The new job is a Grade 21 salary, with a range that begins with a little more than $49,000. Barefoot said he intends to have the position filled as early as mid-August.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.



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