Board of Adjustment
July 5, 2016
The City of Mount Holly Planning Commission met on June 6, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Municipal Complex located at 400 East Central Avenue, Mount Holly. Those members present were Tom Springs, Lauren Shoemaker, Myles Biggerstaff, Will Crist and Melanie Wilson. City Manager Danny Jackson, Planning Director Greg Beal, Planner Jonathan Wilson, Planner Brian DuPont and Matt Kusak were also present at the meeting. Chairman Bill Gary, Vice-Chairman Carlton Broome, Leroy Thorns and Barry Rumfelt were absent from the meeting.
Mr. Biggerstaff called the meeting to order and moved to the second item on the agenda; the approval of the minutes. Mr. Springs made the motion that the Planning Commission accept the minutes as presented and Ms. Crist seconded, all members were in favor.
Mr. Biggerstaff moved to the third item on the agenda; Public hearing, regarding a request by Jesse Fields, to rezone a 2.97-acre tract of land at 804 West Charlotte Avenue, Tax Parcel #204980 from R-8 Single Family to B-3 General Business. Mr. Biggerstaff opens the public hearing. Mr. DuPont approaches the Planning Commission and stated that Staff had met with Mr. Fields to discuss the possibility of opening a day care center on his property and that in order to operate this use on the property it would need to be rezoned from R-8 Single Family to B-3 General Business. Mr. Jesse Fields Pastor of Restoration and Deliverance Ministries located at 804 West Charlotte Avenue stated that he lives at 131 Coral Rutledge Drive Mount Holly. Mr. Fields states that he would like to consider rezoning 804 West Charlotte Ave for growth in the future. He continued and said the he would like to make a difference with a daycare in the area. Mr. Crist then asked how many participants they were considering to have at the daycare. Mr. Fields responds and says he plans on building a 5,000 square foot building and he is not sure how many people that will hold. Mr. DuPont stated that the number of participants would be determined by the State. Mr. Biggerstaff then asks if there were any more questions for Mr. Fields or if anyone else would like to speak in the public hearing. With no more questions and no one else wishing to speak, Mr. Biggerstaff closed the public hearing was closed. Mr. Crist then made a motion to rezone a 2.97-acre tract of land at 804 West Charlotte Avenue. Ms. Wilson seconded the motion and all members were in favor.
Mr. Biggerstaff then moved to the forth item on the agenda; Public hearing, regarding a request by Tim Murphy, for a text amendment to Article 3, 5, 6, and 7 of the Zoning Ordinance to reflect an outdoor resort use and regulation as a Special Use in the B-3 Zoning District. Mr. DuPont approaches the Board of Adjustment and stated the purpose of the text amendment requested is to establish a proposed use that does not exist in the Zoning Ordinance and is not permitted at this time. Mr. DuPont continues and says that the intent of the applicant is to allow this special use that is not defined in Section 3.26 of the Mount Holly Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Biggerstaff opens the public hearing and Frank Reed approached the Board of Adjustment. Mr. Reed stated that he is partners with Tim Murphy and they have been searching for property all over Gaston County to open an Outdoor Resort. He continues and says they have met with County and City staff and Mount Holly meets more of their need. Tim Murphy then approached the Board of Adjustment and says the Outdoor Resort industry is ready for an upgrade and we believe that Mount Holly is the place to do that. Then Mr. Murphy begins a presentation of what an Outdoor Resort is like and what Mount Holly can expect from his idea. Mr. Murphy shares how this resort would have a positive economical impact on the City. During Mr. Murphy’s presentation he discuss plans for lodging (including camp sites for tents and RV’s) recreation and different amenities the Outdoor Resort will have that would be located off of Caldwell Drive along the Catawba River. He also mentions restoring old campers for possible lodging purposes. Mr. Biggerstaff then asked will you all be furnishing the campers. Mr. Murphy replies yes we would furnish some. Mr. Biggerstaff then responded by stating that he has a concern with campers is that they can become an eyesore or people may stay for a long period of time in them. Mr. Murphy then states that there will be no long term lodging at this resort and that the special note for this use states that 14 days will be the maximum rental period. Mr. Biggerstaff then asks if individuals be able to store their personal RV’s on the property. Mr. Murphy responds by stating that no individuals of the general public will be allowed to store their camper on the property. Mr. Murphy also says they will use city water and sewer and not septic tanks for each RV site. Then Mr. Springs asks how many total RV sites will there be on the property. Mr. Murphy responds by stating that they have preliminarily planned for there to be 80 to 100 RV sites on the property. Mr. Beal then said we are not approving this use, tonight we are providing opportunity for this use. This use has gone into review with staff. Mr. Biggerstaff closes the public hearing with there being no further comments or questions during the public hearing. Mr. Crist asks the acreage of the property. Mr. Murphy states that the site is 31 acres in size. Mr. Beal then says that tonight the Planning Commission is creating the process for this use. Mr. Crist then made a motion to recommend to City Council to allow in the B-3 General Business District as a Special Use within the South Gateway Overlay. Mr. Springs seconded the motion and all members were in favor.
Mr. Biggerstaff then moved to the fifth item on the agenda; Staff Updates and Open Discussion. Mr. Beal said that the Planning Commission needs to appoint a full time participant to the Board of Adjustment but that it may be best to push this to next month since several members of the Planning Commission are not present. Mr. Beal went on to say that 300 Belmont- Mount Holly Road has been appealed to Gaston County Superior Court. The owners of the property also filed a complaint of discrimination against the City. Mr. Beal continues and says hopefully the Greenway will be approved so we can break ground. He also stated that the pet store in downtown has moved out and a couple of new restaurants are planning to be opening some.
With there being no other items for discussion Mr. Biggerstaff made a motion to adjourn which was seconded by Mr. Crist and all members in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:06pm.
Growth and development in Mount Holly
I guess this is the 31-acre location for the campground? If so, imagine that.... Whitewater Center people would use it. People visiting folk in Charlotte would use it. Mount Holly would have a 3rd overnight accommodation (+ Holiday Inn and + Robins Nest B&B). I suppose the YMCA might want to partner with it. Would the Greenway go along this? This idea embraces the community's image.
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Another place a campground might go is on the parcel of land Gastonia bought so that it wouldn't be developed to protect their water intake at the river. Imagine if someone could manage to lease this land from Gastonia and put an all-natural campground here. If the commercial campground doesn't happen -- or it becomes an RV thing, perhaps the Boyscouts could form a non-profit organization or something and partner with the forestry thing that's across the street and do something that typically can't be done because land is so expensive. Gastonia might lease the land to a good cause for $1/year or something and whatever camping fees collected could all go to a tent-only natural campground. Heck.. if that's too much trouble the National Park Service might be tipped off to use this location as a tent-only place. I'd bet they'd LOVE to do it on the cheap.
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