WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
JOINT MEETING WITH THE
WATAUGA COUNTY PLANNING BOARD
MONDAY, JULY 20, 2015
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners joined the regular meeting of the Watauga County Planning Board for a special meeting at 6:00 P.M. on Monday, July 20, 2015, in the Commissioners’ Board Room located in the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina.
The following were present: Board of Commissioners: Chairman Hodges, Vice-Chairman Blust and Commissioners Kennedy, Welch, and Yates; Watauga County Planning Board: Chairman Ric Mattar, Vice-Chairman Jim West, and members Todd Castle, Neil Hartley, and Patrick Morgan; Sheriff’s Office: Captain Kelly Redmon; Staff: County Manager, Deron Geouque, Planning and Inspections Director, Joe Furman, Planner, John Spear, Planning Board Clerk, Jennifer Storie, and Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, Anita Fogle.
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M.
Planning Board Chairman, Ric Mattar, welcomed the Board of Commissioners and stated that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss proposed amendments to the Ordinance to Regulate Loud Disturbing Noise and Activities (Noise Ordinance) and to potentially further amend the Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses (HILU).
Mr. Joe Furman clarified governing regulations for the racetrack located in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the Town of Boone. Towns can only enforce planning and land use regulations in ETJ areas; County ordinances under general ordinance authority affect everywhere in the County except inside the city limits of incorporated towns.
As directed by the Planning Board, Mr. Furman and Captain Redmon worked on modernizing the current Noise Ordinance, which went into effect in 1986, and submitted their recommendations to the Planning Board. Subsequently, the Planning Board reviewed and submitted a draft of the revised ordinance to the Board of Commissioners. A public hearing was scheduled and held on June 16, 2015, to allow citizen comment on ordinance revisions as recommended by the Planning Board.
After lengthy discussion, Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to adopt the Ordinance to Regulate Loud Disturbing Noise and Activities as recommended by the Planning Board and presented at the June 16, 2015, public hearing for citizen comment.
[Clerk’s Note: Captain Redmon left the meeting at 6:59 P.M.]
Discussion was held regarding the proposed moratorium for Category 2 and 3 Uses for which a public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, 2015.
County Attorney Eggers stated that regulations could not be so restrict that it would be impossible for industry to locate within the county. Restrictions of that level would be considered a defecto ban and, if challenged in court, could lead to the nullification of the entire HILU ordinance.
The County Attorney also stated that air quality is governed by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The County does not have the authority to regulate air quality and has to stay within statutory authority when determining regulations.
After lengthy discussion and an unanimous vote by the Planning Board to recommend that Chemical Manufacturing, Chemical Storage Facilities, and Explosives Manufacturing Uses be moved from Category 2 to Category 1 under the Watauga County Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses, Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to set a public hearing for 5:30 P.M. on August 4, 2015, to allow citizen comment regarding the proposed amendments as recommended by the Planning Board.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 P.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board