City council will consider annexing land slated for industrial development

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, June 21, 2022

SALISBURY — City council on Tuesday night will consider annexation and rezoning requests that would pave the way for the construction of a 300,000-square-foot industrial facility on Peach Orchard Road.

On behalf of the current property owners, the Sansone Group is requesting that approximately 43 acres located in the 700 block of Peach Orchard Road west of I-85 be annexed into the city’s limits. The property consists of three adjacent parcels. The Sansone Group is a national real estate and development first headquartered in St. Louis.

In conjunction with the annexation, the Sansone Group is asking for the property to be rezoned from Rowan County’s I-85 economic development corporate park district and rural residential zoning to the City of Salisbury’s light industrial zoning. The Salisbury Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend the rezoning at its May meeting.

Public hearings will be held on both the annexation and rezoning requests prior to council taking action.

According to an ordinance amendment passed in September, property owners outside of the city’s limits must request voluntary annexation before being allowed to connect to Salisbury-Rowan Utilities’ water and sewer system.

Salisbury’s approach to adding new land using this technique has become a point of contention between city and county leaders. At the request of the board of commissioners, Rep. Harry Warren has introduced a local bill that would put a pause on the city’s ability to add new property outside of its extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. The bill recently passed the N.C. House and has now moved on to the N.C. Senate.

If the bill becomes law, Salisbury would not be able to annex property such as the 43 acres on Peach Orchard Road. That isn’t the only voluntary annexation request on Tuesday’s agenda. Council will also consider scheduling public hearings for three other requests and will consider instructing the city clerk to investigate the sufficiency of a fourth.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting in-person at city council chambers or virtually beginning at 6 p.m. The meeting will be streamed live at and on the city’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Anyone who wishes to speak virtually during the public comment period must sign up by 5 p.m. on Tuesday by contacting City Clerk Kelly Baker at Those who wish to speak during public comment in-person can sign up in council chambers.

Council will consider applying for economic development grant

The Rowan Economic Development Council is requesting that the Salisbury City Council apply for a $75,000 Rural Building Reuse Grant from the state to aid a local company’s expansion efforts. The company behind what’s being called “Project Strong” is an existing employer in Salisbury. The company will retain current employment levels and create 14 well-paying jobs over the next three years in the expansion, according to a memo from the Rowan EDC. The company estimates that it will invest approximately $2.9 million in new construction and equipment.

“Approval of this request would give us an opportunity to demonstrate local support for a valued existing employer as well as allow a vacant building in the City to be put back in use,” Rowan EDC Vice President Scott Shelton said in the memo to council.

The City of Salisbury would collect an estimated $176,942 in new property tax revenue from the expansion over a 10-year period, according to a Rowan EDC model.

Salisbury would receive the grant and disburse the funding to the company. The grant would aid the company in renovations. In addition to applying for the grant, the Rowan EDC is requesting the city hire a grant administrator for an amount not to exceed $6,000.

Also on the agenda:

• Council will receive a request for the voluntary annexation of approximately 43 acres located at 1465 Peeler Road. The 43 acres consist of three combined parcels each with different owners. According to the city council agenda, the request for annexation is being made by Sheetz, Inc.

With council approval, the city clerk will investigate the sufficiency of the request for annexation. At a future meeting, council will certify the statutory requirements for annexation have been met and will set a public hearing date. After a public hearing is held at that future meeting, council will vote on annexation.

The property is adjacent to 64 acres of land that was recently annexed by the city. Crow Holdings is planning to construct a large industrial building called the Innovation Logistics Center on that property.

• Council will consider authorizing the demolition of structured located at:

318 Vanderford St.
425 Messner St.
623 Forney St.
1027 W. Horah St.

Council was slated to consider the demolitions at its last meeting, but the item was postponed.

• Council will consider approving the 2022-23 fiscal year budget. The recommended city-wide budget is $93.38 million and projects a little over $52 million in general fund expenditures. The budget recommends maintaining the city’s current property tax rate of 71.96 cents per $100 valuation, but includes a 4.2% increase in water and sewer rates for Salisbury-Rowan Utilities customers, an average increase of $2.49 per month for the average customers.

At a budget work session earlier this month, some council members voiced support for raising the municipal vehicle tax from $10 to $30 in order to raise funding for road resurfacing. The recommended budget also includes a 25-cent increase in stormwater rates to $4.41 per equivalent residential unit.

• Council will consider renewing a contract with Strategics Consulting for $60,000 for federal lobbying services beginning Aug. 1. Strategics is the same firm used by Rowan County government.

• Council will receive the certificate of sufficiency for the annexation of a 33-acre parcel of land on Majolica Road and set a public hearing for the annexation for July 19.

• Council will receive the certificate of sufficiency for the annexation of The Gables Phase 6 located off of Faith Road and set a public hearing for the annexation for July 19.

• Council will receive the certificate of sufficiency for the annexation of property at 1215 Peeler Road and set a public hearing for the annexation for July 19.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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