Commissioners slated to consider amended plan for disputed event center on Organ Church Road
Published 12:05 am Sunday, March 20, 2022
SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday will once again consider a proposal for an event center on Organ Church Road that received pushback from neighbors at a previous public hearing.
During a commissioners meeting last month, Deborah Wright came before the board to request a special use permit to accommodate a 2,400-square-foot event center and six rental cabins on her property at 3425 Organ Church Road. Wright said she wanted to create a place where she could “bring community together” and celebrate life’s events. The center would primarily be used for weddings, family gatherings, musical performances and craft classes.
Several neighbors spoke against the proposed event center, with most expressing concerns about Wright’s plan to utilize Doublethumb Road instead of Organ Church Road as an entrance. Doublethumb Road is a privately maintained, unpaved road that serves as a vital access point connecting more than a dozen residences to Organ Church Road. Wright’s house is the first home on Doublethumb Road.
Neighbors said an event center would exacerbate an already dangerous “hairpin” turn from Organ Church on to Doublethumb. They also said the extra traffic would damage the road.
Other neighbors said they were concerned about inebriated individuals staying at the cabins wandering onto their property or making noise late into the night.
After hearing those concerns, commissioners decided to table the request to give Wright time to adjust her application.
In an apparent attempt to appease her neighbors, Wright has nixed the six cabins from a newly submitted site plan and is now proposing a new driveway off of Organ Church Road leading directly to the event center. Wright previously said the North Carolina Department of Transportation discouraged her from placing the entrance on Organ Church Road. Wright has added extra screening between the center and adjacent properties in the new site plan as well.
The new site plan only calls for the event center, a small pavilion and a bridal suite, along with 33 permanent gravel parking spaces and overflow parking in a grassy area.
The Board of Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building. The meeting can be joined virtually at https://bit.ly/rowanboc6pm using password 028144 or by phone by dialing 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299 or 213-338-8477.
Also on the meeting agenda:
• The board will take a few minutes to recognize and honor the Salisbury High School girls basketball team for winning the 2A state championship. The Hornets beat Farmville Central 54-44 in Chapel Hill on March 12 to claim the title. The Hornets finished their season with just a single loss on their record, winning 28 of 29 games.
• Commissioners will consider revising the county’s personnel and ordinance policies to allow county employees to serve on boards, committees, councils or commissions where appointments are made by the board of commissioners or where funding is provided by the county. The language from the ordinance has not been revised since 1987. The goal of the change is to allow employees to apply for and serve on advisory boards. The county has dozens of advisory boards, many with vacancies that have been difficult to fill. The board will take action after a public hearing is held.
• The board will consider a request from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to use the West End Plaza parking lot for a temporary truck driving range. The college has held the course at the Intimidators Stadium in Kannapolis since 2016, but the property has been sold for redevelopment. In a memo to the board, RCCC President Carol Spalding said the parking lot would host three to four events annually. Spalding said the college settled on West End Plaza after investigating dozens of other sites. The long term plan is for Cabarrus County to build a driving pad as part of a larger public safety training site, but that’s more than two years away from becoming a reality.
• Commissioners will consider executing a contract with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for $354,000 in Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant funding for phases one and two of Woodleaf Community Park. The board will also consider transferring $354,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the park project to satisfy the county match required for the PARTF grant.
• The board will consider authorizing Davco Roofing and Sheet Metal to replace the Rowan County courthouse roof for $451,000. Davco was the low bidder on the project. The roof replacement will take more than a year to complete.
• Commissioners will consider authorizing payments of $50,000 to seven municipal fire departments. The board previously approved $50,000 payments to the county’s volunteer fire departments and rescue squad to help offset revenue lost and additional expenditures related to COVID. The seven municipal departments slated to receive the funding are located in Kannapolis, Salisbury, Spencer, East Spencer, Rockwell, Faith and Granite Quarry. The money will come from Article 46 sales tax revenue.
• Commissioners will consider adopting a resolution pledging to allocate almost $2 million of county American Rescue Plan ACT funds to Yadkin Telephone Membership Corporation, known as “Yadkin Valley,” to support the company’s expansion of fiber to the home broadband in Rowan County. The county’s allocation will come if Yadkin Valley receives a GREAT grant from the state.