More than 200 properties could become sole county locales

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Planning Board worked Monday night on rezoning for over 200 properties that were previously within Granite Quarry’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

The rezoning comes as a result of Granite Quarry relinquishing a large portion of their ETJ in order for the divider between the town and the county to more closely follow property lines and roads.

Previously, the line between Granite Quarry’s ETJ and the county’s jurisdiction was just a circle that extended one mile out from the town limits, which meant that properties on the edge of that circle could be, and often were, divided in half between the town’s zoning restrictions and the county’s. Although there are many similarities between the two sets of regulations, Granite Quarry relinquishing a part of its ETJ will allow people living or building in that area a simpler process in knowing what government they need to work with.

“Granite Quarry relinquishing this ETJ, since so many of the parcels were split between county zoning and ETJ zoning, it will make it much clearer to the residents that hold those properties as to what they can and cannot do with the properties,” said Mike Julian, a member of the planning board.

According to Rowan County’s Planning and Development Director Ed Muire, the relinquishment affected over 250 properties totaling close to a square mile in area, including non-residential properties such as McCanless Golf Course, a county recycling center on Dunn’s Mountain Road, and Dunn’s Mountain Park. Because the rezoning project was so large, planning staff had to break it down into seven separate divisions to provide zoning recommendations to the board.

For the most part, the change from properties being half in the county and half in the ETJ to being fully in the county will not present any massive changes to property owners. The planning board and staff attempted to make the rezoning as consistent to the previous town zoning as possible while staying within the confines of the county’s land use plan. Most of the areas were changed to rural agricultural zoning, which allows for low-density residential usage as well as non-residential uses, such as a golf course, through special permitting. Higher-density neighborhoods will receive either a rural residential or rural suburban zoning, which are intended to be used almost entirely for housing.

The decision on the relinquished ETJ made by the planning board is not final. As with any other matters brought before the board, the decision is submitted as a recommendation to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and they will make a final decision on the rezoning.

The town of Granite Quarry previously postponed the actual relinquishment of the properties to allow the county more time to figure out the zoning aspects. Granite Quarry plans to fully relinquish the areas either when the county makes a final decision or Oct. 10, whichever comes first.