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    Minutes of 1/8/2008 Board of Adjustment Meeting [adopted]


Regular Meeting
Wake County Board of Adjustment
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
9:00 am, Room 700
Wake County Courthouse
316 Fayetteville Street Mall
Raleigh, North Carolina

Members Present (7): Mr. Ronald Raxter (chairman), Mr. Art Odom, Mr. A. Thomas Anderson, Mr. Tim Sack, Mr. James Compton, Mr. Gary Shope, and Mr. Terence Morrison.

Members Not Present (2): Mr. Billy Myrick and Mr. Jeffrey Willis.

Staff Present (5): Ms. Melanie Wilson (Planning Director), Ms. Brenda Coats (Planner II), Mr. Steven Finn (Land Development Administrator), Mr. Russ O’Melia (Assistant Secretary to the Board), and Mr. Matt Burton (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. Raxter called the meeting to order at 9:03 A.M. with seven (7) members present.


Item 2, Approval of Minutes of the November 13, 2007 Meeting:

Mr. Odom made a motion to approve the November 13 meeting minutes as written, and Mr. Sack seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Planning Department staff members Steven Finn and Brenda Coats were duly sworn.

Item 3, BA-V-2087-08

Petitioner: Jeff French
Landowner: Norwood Road Associates, LLC
PIN: 0799.01 28 9439 & 0799.01 28 8881
Size: 5.44 acres
Location: The site is located at the northeast intersection of Norwood Road and Creedmoor Road.
Zoned: Residential-40 Watershed (R-40W)
Land Use Classification: Non-Urban Area/Water Supply Watershed (non-critical area)

The petitioner is requesting a variance to the maximum number of signage allowed per special use within a residentially zoned district.


Documentary Evidence: Staff report, PowerPoint presentation, Ortho Map, Zoning Map, relevant sections of the Unified Development Ordinance, and a panoramic video of the property.

Testimony: Ms. Coats, Planner II, entered the staff report for BA-V-2087-08 into the record and stated the petitioner’s name, zoning classification, and the nature of the variance request. Ms. Coats used a PowerPoint presentation to identify the location of the property on an Ortho and Zoning map, as well as a video presentation

Before hearing from the petitioner, Mr. Raxter said that the voting members for this variance would be the four regular members present and Mr. Morrison.

Section 18-12 Sign Regulations for Specific Zoning Districts, requires a maximum of one on-premise identification sign per special use on a lot.

The petitioner is requesting a variance to allow for 2 additional identification signs (3 total) to be located on a lot with an approved special use. The petitioner requests a variance from the following section of the Unified Development Ordinance:

18-12-2 (B) (1) Sign Regulations for Specific Zoning Districts – Residential Districts – Special Uses, which states, “A maximum of one on-premise identification sign per special use may be erected on a lot.”

A special use request was approved on February 13, 2007 to construct a retail convenience use (CVS pharmacy) on the property. A variance request to the minimum required bufferyard width was also approved.

The approved special use site plan showed one 32 square foot identification sign to be located at the southwestern corner of the property along Creedmoor Road. The petitioner is requesting a variance to allow for 2 additional identification signs, both of which will be 52.21 square foot each and affixed to the building. The proposed signage is the “CVS/pharmacy” logo, which is proposed to be located on the front and corner of the building.

Notification letters to adjoining property owners were mailed on December 14, 2007. A public hearing placard was placed on the site on December 18, 2007.

Required Conclusions/Findings of fact

The Board of Adjustment shall not approve a petition for a variance unless it first reaches each of the following conclusions based on findings of fact supported by competent, substantial, and material evidence. The Board of Adjustment must make positive findings on the following findings of fact from Article 19-26 in order to approve this variance request:

(1) There are special circumstances or conditions applying to the land, building, or use referred to in the application, which exists through no fault of the property owner.

Staff recommends that if the Board of Adjustment reaches positive conclusions on all of the required findings of fact, the following conditions be required:

(1) The petitioner must record the notarized form pertaining to the order of the Board in the Wake County Register of Deeds and return a copy to the Current Planning Section of the Planning Department. (2) The petitioner must obtain the appropriate permits and inspections for the additional signage.

Mr. Jeff French, the petitioner, came forward, and after stating his name and address (3649 Heathrow Drive, Winston-Salem, NC), was duly sworn in. Mr. French thanked the board and said he was present on behalf of CVS Pharmacy. The signs will help traffic flow in the area as people would be made aware of the pharmacy entrance prior to arriving at the intersection. It will give traffic an adequate time to merge and help alleviate u-turns, illegal turns, or traffic jams that may result if no signs were present. The property has been commercial for five or more years, but the area’s development is slowly going to a low-impact commercial environment. Two additional signs would have a very minimal impact. By granting the two additional signs, it will better serve traffic patterns by more easily letting people in and out of the property, it will benefit CVS as a business, and the property has two parcels and should be allowed two signs, although the intention is to combine the two parcels in the future. CVS would like the 52.2 size sign, but it is willing to work with the county on signage that is more acceptable, whether that is signage that is non-illuminated or smaller.

There was no one else present that wished to speak in favor of the petition and there was no one else present that wished to speak against the petition. Mr. Raxter then closed the evidentiary hearing.


Mr. Odom asked about the wording of the petition, and whether it will restrict the location of the signs to where they can only be on the building, attached to the building. Ms. Eason and Ms. Coats said yes. Mr. Morrison asked if there would be any stipulations as to the size of the signs. Ms. Coats responded that if the board approves the variance, CVS would only be allowed to use the 52.2 size signage that they asked for.


Mr. Odom made a motion that in the matter of BA-V-2087-08, the board find and conclude that the petition does meet the requirements of Article 19-26 of the Wake County UDO and that the variance be granted to allow for the two additional identification signs, with the two recommended staff conditions: (1) The petitioner must record the notarized form pertaining to the order of the board in the Wake County Register of Deeds and return a copy to the Current Planning Section of the Wake County Planning Department, and (2) the petitioner must obtain the appropriate permits and inspections for the additional signage. Mr. Anderson seconded the motion. All voting members voted in the affirmative. This resulted in a 5-0 vote to approve BA-V-2087-08. The variance was granted with the two recommended staff conditions. So ordered.


There was none.


Ms. Eason said there was an issue to discuss that involved the appeal of the board’s decision from William Kent Cummings and Kimberly Cummings, and whether their horse farm and boarding stable constituted a bona fide farm. The Board of Adjustment had decided that their farm and boarding stable did not constitute a bona fide farm and was subject to Wake County zoning. The Honorable Kenneth C. Titus, Superior Court Judge, heard the appeal and held that it was a bona fide farm and reversed the order and decision of the Board of Adjustment. He ordered the Board of Adjustment to approve the appeal of the decision of the zoning administrator. He ordered that the Board of Adjustment inform and direct the Wake County Zoning Administrator that the activities of boarding horses, the commercial storage of horse trailers, and equestrian riding lessons at the farm are part of the bona fide farm and are therefore exempt from zoning regulations pursuant to GS 153A-340. No action is needed by the board today, except to acknowledge that the decision has been handed down. To her knowledge it has not been further appealed and is therefore a final decision of the court on this matter. Mr. Raxter asked if the county chose to appeal it. Ms. Eason said not to her knowledge.

Mr. Raxter thanked the Planning Department staff for providing copies of the Southwest Area Land Use Plan, and he noted the plans were contained in a 100% recyclable binder. He said the plan is also available on the website.

Ms. Wilson came forward and gave a brief update on the hazardous mitigation issue that was previously heard by the board. She assured the board that the department is still working on it and the Planning Board has been considering it. She hopes that the Planning Board will make a recommendation on the issue within the next thirty days. She also introduced an intern from the University of Virginia, Lauren Boswell, who is job shadowing with the department today.

Hearing no additional business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 A.M.


January 8, 2008

All petitions complete, Chairman Ronald Raxter declared the regular meeting
of the Wake County Board of Adjustment for
Tuesday, January 8, 2008 adjourned at 9:25 A.M.

Respectfully Submitted:

Ronald Raxter, Chairman
Wake County Board of Adjustment