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    Minutes of 04/11/2006 Board of Adjustment Meeting [adopted]
MINUTES

Regular Meeting
Wake County Board of Adjustment
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
9:00 am, Room 700
Wake County Courthouse
316 Fayetteville Street Mall
Raleigh, North Carolina

Members Present (6): Mr. A. Thomas Anderson, Mr. Billy Myrick, Mr. Art Odom, Mr. Tim Sack, Ms. Genevieve Sims, Mr. Jeffrey Willis

Members Not Present (3): Mr. James Compton, Mr. Ronald Raxter, Mr. John Welch

Staff Present (3): Ms. Brenda Coats (Planner II), Mr. Joe Mangum (Planner I), Ms. Angel Kropf (Secretary to the Board)

County Attorney Present: Shelley Eason (Deputy County Attorney)

IN RE MINUTES

Item 1, Call to Order: Vice Chairman Odom called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with six (6) members present.

Item 2, Election of Officers: Vice Chairman Odom turned the meeting over to Ms. Eason for election of the Chair position.

Ms. Eason opened the floor for nominations for the Chair position. Mr. Odom, seconded by Ms. Sims, nominated Mr. Ronald Raxter. Hearing no other nominations, Ms. Eason closed the nominations. All members present voted aye. Mr. Ronald Raxter was elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of Adjustment for the period beginning April 2006 through March 2007.

Ms. Eason opened the floor for nominations for the Vice-Chair position. Ms. Sims, seconded by Mr. Myrick, nominated Mr. Art Odom. Mr. Anderson, seconded by Mr. Myrick, made a motion to close the nominations. All members present voted aye. Ms. Eason called for a vote on the nomination of Mr. Odom for Vice Chair. All members present voted aye. Mr. Odom was elected to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Adjustment for the period beginning April 2006 through March 2007.

Vice Chairman Odom stated for the benefit of anyone in the audience who had not attended a meeting of the Wake County Board of Adjustment, that the meeting is a quasi-judicial proceeding. Anyone wishing to present testimony and/or evidence will be asked to come forward and be sworn or affirmed. The petitioner will be given the first opportunity to present testimony and/or evidence. Anyone wishing to speak in favor or opposition will present testimony and/or evidence. The petitioner will then be given an opportunity to respond.

Ms. Brenda Coats was sworn/affirmed to present testimony for staff.

For the record, staff member Mr. Larry Morgan and Board member A. Thomas Anderson were present on the site tour on Monday, April 10, 2006.

Item 3, Approval of Minutes of March 14, 2006 meeting. Vice Chairman Odom asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes. Mr. Anderson made a motion that the Board adopt the minutes as written. Mr. Willis seconded the motion. All members present voted aye. So ordered.

Item 4, BA V-2050-06:

Petitioner: Mauldin-Watkins Surveying, Inc.
Landowner: Manning Homes, Inc.
PIN: 1618.04 73 8652
Location: Southeastern corner of Rhea Drive and Rolling Field Drive within the Turner Farms Subdivision
Zoned: Residential-30
Land Area: 0.70 Acre

Item No. 4 heard at the regular meeting of the Wake County Board of Adjustment held on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, was a Variance, Petition No. BA V-2050-06. The petitioner is Mauldin-Watkins Surveying, Inc. The landowner is Manning Homes, Inc. The property is located on the southeastern corner of Rhea Drive and Rolling Field Drive within the Turner Farms Subdivision. The following members of the Board heard and decided this petition: Vice Chairman Odom, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Myrick, Ms. Sims, and Mr. Willis.

In this case the petitioner requests a variance of approximately 3.3 feet to allow an existing residence to remain within the required 30-foot corner side setback.

SYNOPSIS OF TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE PRESENTED

Documentary Evidence: Staff report, PowerPoint slide presentation and videotaped presentation of the site; Variance Application dated 2-27-06; Statement of Justification; Preliminary Special Use Permit Site Plans dated 2-20-06; Vicinity Map; five photographs: (1) South western view from front yard towards residence within corner yard setback, (2) Southeastern view from front yard of property on left off of Rhea Drive, (3) Northeastern view across Rhea Drive from front yard of property, (4) Northeastern view from Rhea Drive adjacent to front yard of property, and (5) Northwestern view of side yard on right from rear of residence.

Testimony: Ms. Coats entered the staff report for BA V-2050-06 into the record and stated that this is a request to allow an existing residence to remain within the required 30 foot corner side setback. The petitioner is Mauldin-Watkins Surveying, Inc. The landowner is Manning Homes, Inc. The property is located on the southeastern corner of Rhea Drive and Rolling Field Drive within the Turner Farms Subdivision. The property is zoned Residential 30 and consists of 0.7 acre. There are no floodsoils shown on the property. The site plan shows the existing residence. The contractor came in and obtained a permit to build this house. The site plan was showing the structure meeting the setback. At the time of construction, the lot was heavily wooded. The location for the house was staked. At some point in time the stakes were knocked down or moved and the contractor was not aware they had been moved until the construction was completed. They had an as-built done on the closure of the house and that is when they found the violation. As soon as they found out the violation, they came in to fill out the appropriate paperwork.

Mr. Wayne Mauldin, PO Box 444, Fuquay-Varina, NC was properly sworn. He stated he had prepared the map and petition that was before the board. He stated they have worked with Manning Homes for eight or ten years. They usually stake a square box on the lot for clearing and permitting purposes. They put the house inside of that box. He stated what he thought happened is that when the lot was cleared, the clearing guy must have moved the stakes so he wouldn't tear them out and forgot to put them back. When the land was surveyed with the house on it, they found that the house was a little over three feet into the setback. He went over the group of four pictures that were submitted with the application.

Ms. Sims asked who performed the clearing work. Mr. Mauldin answered that he wouldn't know the answer to that question. He stated that Mr. Manning would be the one to answer it.

Mr. Mark Manning, 2416 Forest Bluff Drive, Fuquay-Varina, NC, was properly sworn. He stated he agreed with what Mr. Mauldin had stated. He stated that they are now going back to re-stake the lots. He stated he had been building in Wake County for ten years and had never had a setback violation or anything like that.

Mr. Sack asked how Mr. Manning knew the stakes had been moved rather than an error in the survey the first time. Mr. Manning stated he really didn't know. He stated he wasn't aware they had been moved during the construction phase and he didn't know until the end. Ms. Sims asked how they knew that the person who cleared the lot actually moved the stakes. Mr. Manning stated the property had been surveyed by Mr. Mauldin, so he thought that it was the only conclusion.

Mr. Willis asked why the violation was not caught at the footings. He asked if the inspections department verify the location of the footings. Mr. Manning stated they normally do not.

Mr. Myrick stated they are supposed to check the sidelines, but they are not surveyors. The problem is that they can't really tell where the line is and when you're talking two or three feet, they can easily miss that. Ms. Sims asked what they inspected. Mr. Myrick stated they inspected the footing itself, the grade of it, the depth of it. They are supposed to look at the sidelines too. He stated that they may want to have staff tell inspectors that they need to check setback lines too. Mr. Willis stated it was the second time they are coming up against this problem. Ms. Sims asked if they were trained to look for that kind of thing. Mr. Manning stated that when you are in the middle of a lot, you would need someone with the surveyor's expertise to know where stuff should be. He stated he thinks they rely on the surveyor's markers in the field.

Mr. Odom asked about the process of the staking and surveying. Mr. Manning went over the steps. Mr. Odom stated that if the stakes had been moved, wouldn't they all have been moved. The box would be three feet off. Mr. Myrick went over how the footing person would use the staked out area. Mr. Mouldin stated that they just have to stay within the box, not use the box to square up the house.

Mr. Myrick advised Mr. Manning to continue to have the lots resurveyed after clearing. Mr. Manning stated that he was doing that now.

Vice Chairman Odom closed the public hearing.

Mr. Anderson stated that there are no curbs or sidewalks and it would be hard to pull a line in that open field. He proposed condition number two to protect the neighborhood's welfare.

Mr. Willis asked about sending something to inspectors, contractors or home builders to alleviate this problem. There was some discussion about who the letter should go to and what it should say. Mr. Odom stated that some responsibility should go on the contractors to check the work. Ms. Sims stated they had dealt with various problems over the years and have told the contractor that if they come back a second time for the same issue, the board would not look so favorably upon them. Mr. Willis asked about imposing fines. Ms. Sims stated she thought having to move the structure would be a high enough cost. There was some discussion about how to communicate with the contractors. Mr. Anderson pointed out that the county was one of the fastest growing counties in the country. He stated that there are nine municipalities, plus the county itself and they all have different standards. He stated he felt a letter to the heads of the various groups would be the way to go. He stated they were fortunate they didn't have more variances than they had. Mr. Myrick stated some responsibility needs to go on the inspections department as well. They are supposed to check these things.

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER OF THE BOARD

The Board of Adjustment may in passing upon appeals, vary or modify in accordance with procedures specified below, any regulation or provision of the Ordinance relating to the use, construction, or alteration of buildings or structures or the use of land when practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships would result from carrying out the strict letter of the regulation or provision. The Board will ensure, in so doing, that the spirit of the Ordinance is observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done, both for the landowner and the public at large. The Board may impose such conditions in granting such variances as will secure substantially the objectives of the regulations or provisions being varied or modified. A variance shall not be granted unless the Board of Adjustment makes findings of fact supporting its conclusions, and concludes, as a minimum that:

(1) There are special circumstances or conditions applying to the land, building, or use referred to in the application, which exist through no fault of the property owner;
(2) The granting of the application is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights;
(3) The granting of the application will not materially affect adversely the health, or safety of persons residing or working the neighborhood of the proposed use and will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvement in such neighborhood; and
(4) A denial of the application would cause practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships to the landowner. Recommendation

Staff recommends that, if the Board of Adjustment reaches positive conclusions on all the required findings, that it approve the request subject to the following conditions: Motion

Mr. Anderson made a motion that in the matter of BA V-2050-06, the Board of Adjustment find and conclude that the petition does meet the requirements of 1-1-5(E) of the Wake County Zoning Ordinance and the variance be granted, to the degree necessary to correct the violations, with the recommended conditions. Mr. Willis seconded the motion. All voting members voted aye. So ordered.

Item 5, BA SU-2049-06:

Petitioner: W. Tracy Howe
Landowner: YMCA of the Triangle
PIN: 1821.02 89 4006
Location: Eastern side of Camp Kanata Road, south of its intersection with Purnell Road
Zoned: Residential-40 Watershed (R-40W)
Land Area: 150 acres

Item No. 5 heard at the regular meeting of the Wake County Board of Adjustment held on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, was a Special Use Permit, Petition No. BA SU-2049-06. The petitioner is W. Tracy Howe. The landowner is YMCA of the Triangle. The property is located on the eastern side of Camp Kanata Road, south of its intersection with Purnell Road. The following members of the Board heard and decided this petition: Vice Chairman Odom, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Myrick, Mr. Sack, and Ms. Sims.

In this case the petitioner requests special use permit approval to renovate and expand the facilities for the existing youth camp.

SYNOPSIS OF TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE PRESENTED

Documentary Evidence: Staff report, PowerPoint slide presentation and videotaped presentation of the site; Special Use Permit Petition dated 1-24-06; Statement of Justification; Preliminary Special Use Permit Site Plans dated 2-22-06; Vicinity Map dated 3-15-06; six photographs: (1) Southeastern view from access road to site off of Camp Kanata Road, (2) Southwestern view from entrance to site off of Camp Kanata Road, (3) Northwestern view from entrance to site across Camp Kanata Road, (4) Northeastern view from entrance to site off of Camp Kanata Road, (5) East view of office located on property, and (6) Southwestern view of building on site off of internal road.

Testimony: Ms. Coats entered the staff report for BA SU-2049-06 into the record and stated that this is a request to renovate and expand the facilities for the existing youth camp. The petitioner is W. Tracy Howe. The landowner is YMCA of the Triangle. The property is located on the eastern side of Camp Kanata Road, south of its intersection with Purnell Road. The property is zoned Residential-40 Watershed and consists of 150 acres. There is FEMA areas and floodsoils on the property. Ms. Coats pointed out the changed proposed on the site plan. The petitioner is proposing to renovate some of the existing buildings. There are some existing cabins that were built when the camp first opened, in the 1950s. The cabins that can be repaired will be used for storage or for day activities. They will not be used for housing. The proposed use is consistent with the Land Use Plan. Since they are under 12% impervious surface, no stormwater management is required. A minimum of 48 parking spaces are required; they are proposing 319 parking spaces. Staff feels 319 spaces are appropriate. The site plan is showing all required buffers. Ms. Coats went over the requirements for the sign at the entrance to the camp. They are proposing nine new cabins, two comfort stations, one maintenance building, a camp office, an aquatic center, a program shelter, and a day camp shelter. The cabins that cannot be repaired will be removed in some way. Wake Forest is providing wastewater to this site and that is why staff is asking that the camp not expand the housing. The site plan is showing an additional five feet of right-of-way.

Mr. Anderson asked what the existing cabins could be used for. Ms. Coats answered that they could be used for storage or for day camp. By housing, we mean that there can be no overnight stays.

Ms. Sims asked if seven of the cabins would be destroyed. Ms. Coats answered that they would.

Mr. Myrick asked if the septic tanks would be abandoned. Ms. Coats answered that they would when the camp hooks up to Wake Forest. Mr. Myrick asked if they were keeping the existing wells. Ms. Coats answered that they would.

Mr. Willis asked why staff had an issue with the expansion of the camp. Ms. Coats stated it was based on the wastewater flow and the agreement between Wake County and the Town of Wake Forest. There is a maximum capacity for the camp when the sewer line was put in. Mr. Myrick asked if capacity was averaged out or if it was based on the high capacity times. Ms. Coats stated she thought it was based on the maximum number of campers.

Mr. Chuck Smith, 111 McKinnon Drive, Cary, NC, was properly sworn. He stated this camp has been around for about 50 years. For the most part, they are just looking to improve what has become a run-down facility in many ways. He asked how many board members have been out to the site. A few of the members raised their hands. Mr. Smith stated that since they had been out to the site, he didn't need to explain so much about the improvements that need to be made. Ms. Sims stated she had not been out to the camp and wanted to hear what needed to be done.

Mr. Smith stated that the parking number is so great because groups will use the facility for a day or weekend and they need the large number of spaces to accommodate the cars. For the rest of the year, most of those spaces may not be used. They are asking for what they need.

Mr. Smith spoke about the current state of the existing cabins and how run down they are. They are being good stewards of the money given to them and do not want to throw away buildings if they can help it. They will be taking Public Safety through the cabins and deciding which cabins are safe and which are not. The unsafe ones will be torn down. The safe ones will be reused in some fashion. Safety is very important to them. The cabins could be used for a craft area or storage.

Mr. Smith stated the first well was drilled in 1954. The second well was put in sometime in the 1970s or 1980s because the dining hall needed an expansion of water capacity. The sewer capacity is from the Town of Wake Forest and is based on the nine weeks during the summer when the camp is in peak usage.

Mr. Smith stated they have agreed to move their fence back by 15 feet in order to comply with the buffer requirements. They didn't want any problems with the horses eating the buffer, so they are going to move the fence.

Mr. Anderson stated he would like to see the term residential in front of the term housing.

Mr. Myrick asked how often the wells are tested. Mr. Smith answered that it was tested quarterly. Mr. Myrick stated that as long as the testing continues, he didn't see any problems. Mr. Smith assured him that they were very concerned about the safety at the camp.

Mr. Myrick asked who the fire department was for the camp. Mr. Smith answered that it was Stoney Hill.

Mr. Odom related his experiences with the camp and how, 15 years ago, the camp was already run down. Back then, it was run by a different YMCA. Capital YMCA tries to keep their camps in better repair. The inherited this camp and its situation. Having the camp so close to Raleigh allows underprivileged children the opportunity to go to camp.

Ms. Sims stated she was jealous because she used to serve on the board of the YWCA and they did not have as much as the YMCA. Mr. Smith stated they were lucky that Wake County is growing and they are trying to meet the needs that are there.

Mr. Willis spoke highly of the YMCA and its programs.

Mr. Sack asked if the camp will be used more year around with the schools going to year-around school. Mr. Smith stated they see the opportunity there. It is hard to make those kinds of improvements when your emphasis was for the summer. Winter camp means heating needs that are not currently addressed. They may be taking advantage of those opportunities in the future, but it is still in discussion. It will still not increase the maximum number of people at the camp at one time.

Vice Chairman Odom closed the public hearing.

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER OF THE BOARD

The Board of Adjustment shall not approve a petition for a Special Use Permit 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 Section 1-1-11 (C) of the Zoning Ordinance in order to approve or deny this special use request:

(1) The proposed development will not materially endanger the public health or safety.
(2) The proposed development will comply with all regulations and standards generally applicable within the zoning district and specifically applicable to the particular type of special use or class of special uses.

(3) The proposed development will not substantially injure the value of adjoining property, or is a public necessity.
(4) The proposed development will be in harmony with the area in which it is located.
(5) The proposed development will be consistent with the Wake County Land Use Plan.
Recommendation

Staff recommends that, if the Board of Adjustment reaches positive conclusions on all the required findings, that it approve the request subject to the following conditions: Motion

Mr. Myrick made a motion that in the matter of BA SU-2049-06, the Board of Adjustment find and conclude that the petition does meet the requirements of 1-1-11(C) of the Wake County Zoning Ordinance and that the special use permit be granted with the recommended staff conditions. Mr. Anderson seconded the motion. With a vote of 5-0, the motion passed. So ordered.


Item 6, New Business:

Ms. Coats told the board about a case where the attorney asked for an extension and asked to be heard at the June meeting. Mr. Myrick made the motion that in the case of BA A-2056-06, the board grant a continuance to the June meeting. Mr. Sack seconded the motion. With a vote of 4-2, with Ms. Sims and Mr. Willis voting against, the motion carried.

There was some discussion about sending a letter to the inspections department or to the Home Builders Association. At the end, the board agreed to send a letter from the Board of Adjustment letting the inspectors know that violations are coming up and to keep an eye out when they are doing the footing inspections. Mr. Myrick would like to have something in writing that says the inspections department is not responsible for checking site plan. Ms. Sims made a motion to notify the Home Builders Association that the Board of Adjustment is seeing more setback violations and to have their members be aware of the issue. Mr. Willis seconded the motion.

Item 7, Old Business:

There was none.



REGULAR MEETING
WAKE COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
April 11, 2006

All petitions complete, Vice Chairman Art Odom declared the regular meeting
of the Wake County Board of Adjustment for
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 adjourned at 10:10 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted:


Art Odom, Chairman
Wake County Board of Adjustment

AO/ak