Members Present (4): Mr. Art Odom (vice-chairman), Mr. Tim Sack, Mr. Billy Myrick, and Mr. Terence Morrison.
Members Not Present (5): Mr. Ronald Raxter (chairman), Mr. A. Thomas Anderson, Mr. James Compton, Mr. Gary Shope, and Mr. Jeffrey Willis.
Staff Present (4): Ms. Brenda Coats (Planner II), Mr. Justin Rametta (Planner I), Mr. Matt Burton (clerk to the Board), and Mr. Russ O’Melia (Assistant Secretary to the Board).
County Attorney Present (2): Ms. Shelley Eason (Deputy County Attorney) and Bryan Batton (Assistant County Attorney)
Board of Commissioner Member Present: Ms. Lindy Brown
Item 1, Call to Order: Mr. Odom called the meeting to order at 9:23 A.M. with four (4) members present. Mr. Odom noted that under normal procedures, at least five members must be present to produce a 4/5 vote to approve the item under consideration. Because there were only four members present, Mr. Odom asked the petitioner if he would like to proceed with his case at this meeting or continue it until the March meeting, with the understanding that should the case be heard today with only four members present, in order for the special use permit to be granted, a unanimous vote of all four members must occur. The petitioner announced that he would like to proceed with having his case heard and decided today.
IN RE MINUTES
Item 2, Approval of Minutes of the January 8, 2008, Meeting:
Mr. Sack made a motion to approve the January 8 meeting minutes as written, and Mr. Myrick seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Planning Department staff members Brenda Coats and Justin Rametta were duly sworn.
Item 3, BA-SU-2086-08
Petitioner: Brett Doyle
Landowner: Foxborough Crossing, Inc.
Size: 2.00 acres
Location: The site is located on the eastern side of Bethlehem Road, between Greythorne Place and Poole Road.
Zoned: Residential-30 (R-30)
Land Use Classification: Town of Knightdale’s Long Range Urban Services Area (LRUSA)
The petitioner is requesting a special use permit approval as required by Section 4-11 of the Wake County Unified Development Ordinance to construct an 882 square foot clubhouse, swimming pool and 37 designated parking spaces. Neighborhood recreation sites are allowed within the Residential-30 district as special uses and are not required to be located within an activity center.
SYNOPSIS OF TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE PRESENTED
Documentary Evidence: Staff report, PowerPoint presentation, Site Plan map, Ortho Map, Zoning Map, relevant sections of the Unified Development Ordinance, and a panoramic video of the property were shown and/or available.
Testimony: Mr. Rametta, Planner I, entered the staff report for BA-SU-2086-08 into the record and stated the petitioner’s name, zoning classification, and the nature of the special use request. Mr. Rametta used a PowerPoint presentation to identify the location of the property on an Ortho and Zoning map.
Mr. Bob Doyle, father of the petitioner, 418 South Smithfield Road, Knightdale, NC, was duly sworn in. Mr. Doyle testified that he had done development work for years, although none recently. He was approached by his son Brett and a friend Todd Adams about developing this subdivision. They bought the land from the Methodist Church in Knightdale. They contacted a lady who owned a lifetime right to land on which they planned to install a pool. She died soon thereafter, and the Doyles put the pool plans on hold. The subdivision was finished with 16 homes under construction ($400,000 and up). He does not see the problem with having a pool on two acres of land, especially after the buyers who purchased homes in this subdivision and had been told a neighborhood/recreational pool would be available, and each family having paid substantial recreational fees to help pay for it. He said they are willing to make whatever changes necessary to make this situation work, especially since they have already had engineers and soil scientists on site to inspect the area.
Mr. Myrick asked why they could not build the required buffer on the north side of the property. Mr. Eric Thompson, engineer, 103 Waltons Creek, Morrisville, NC, was sworn in. He testified that the reason they could not maintain a bufferyard there was because there was no water or sewer available to the site, and therefore a well and septic system are required. The soil scientists came out and delineated where the good soils were, and he referred the board members’ attention to page two of the site plan, on the north and east sides where the suitable soil limits exist. On page one of the plan, it shows where the soil scientist drew in septic drain lines. He testified that no vegetation is allowed in a septic area, although they did plant a row of shrubs on the north side to have some buffer present. He does not see how the project can fully comply with current Wake County regulations. Instead of making drastic changes to the plan, the petitioners wished to bring it before the board to see what could be done.
Mr. Sack inquired about the “limits of suitable soils” referenced on the plan map and asked why that area could not be used as a septic field. Mr. Thompson testified that this area could not be used because that is the repair area for the main septic area. He suggested that a fence across the north end would work as a buffer. Mr. Sack asked if the plantings on the north end were permissible. Mr. Thompson testified that they are right on the edge of the property. Mr. Myrick asked if there was ten feet left that was not septic between the property line, because he thought there had to be forty feet and the plan only shows ten. Mr. Thompson said that sounded correct. They looked at reducing the number of parking spaces to increase the setback distance, but that was not allowed in the code. He and the petitioners feel strongly this pool would be a good fit for the community. Mr. Sack asked if the dotted lines referred to the only suitable soils for a septic area. Mr. Thompson answered yes, these were the only soils on the two acres that are suitable for septic.
Mr. Doyle came forward again to reaffirm that this pool would be a good fit for the community. He did not think a neighborhood pool would have that much septic use.
No one else present wished to speak in favor of or against the petition. Mr. Odom then closed the evidentiary hearing.
Mr. Odom questioned the staff, asking why is the staff opposed to this special use permit when letters from soil scientists locating suitable soils for a septic field only in the required buffer. Mr. Rametta responded that this section of the ordinance states that they are permitted to be in the bufferyard when a soil scientist qualifies that they must be, and the petitioner indeed has. However, the ordinance continues in Section C of Article 16-10-2J, that no screening may be reduced or eliminated even when the septic is permitted to be in the bufferyard. Mr. Odom asked if fencing would help. Mr. Rametta answered that a solid fence located within the bufferyard allows for a 25% reduction in width of the bufferyard and a 50% reduction of the density. A fence would bring it closer to compliance, although not fully so. Mr. Morrison asked if there was any way to reduce the number of parking spaces. Mr. Rametta said no. Mr. Sack said the letters from the soil scientists adds to the validity of the petitioner’s case, and shows they took extra steps and as such, he feels they are eligible for an exemption in this case.
Mr. Myrick made a motion that in the matter of BA-SU-2086-08, the board find and conclude that the petition does meet the requirements of Article 19-23 of the Wake County UDO and that the special use permit be granted with the eight recommended staff conditions. Mr. Sack asked if he could amend the motion to request that the petitioner consider the appropriateness of adding a fence to the buffering. Mr. Myrick agreed to the amendment. Mr. Sack seconded the motion as amended. All members voted in the affirmative. This resulted in a 4-0 unanimous vote to approve BA-SU-2086-08. The special use permit was granted with the eight recommended staff conditions along with the amendment that the petitioner work with staff on the feasibility of erecting a fence to the bufferzone. So ordered. Mr. Odom asked the petitioners to work with staff to amend the plans and draw in a fence per the motion. He noted that a fence would also help with noise reduction for the neighbors on that side of the property.
ITEM 4, NEW BUSINESS
Ms. Eason introduced Mr. Bryan Batton, a new assistant county attorney, who comes to Wake County from Franklin County where he worked specifically in the planning and zoning fields.
ITEM 5, OLD BUSINESS
There was none.
Hearing no additional business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:49 A.M.