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Elizabethtown Approves Changes/Updates to Zoning Ordinances As Required By State Statutes

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By Joy Warren

The Town of Elizabethtown Town Council met virtually on Monday evening. New Town Manager Dane Rideout indicated that he is hoping that the Governor will relax meeting restrictions and plans to have the council members and any speakers presenting in the Town Hall in person for the June meeting. Others interested will be included virtually.

A public hearing was held for the Ordinance Amendments related to NCGS 160D. The ordinance amendment is required by North Carolina state statute prior to July 1, 2021. Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes is new and will consolidate current city and county enabling statues for development regulations into a single, unified chapter. Several changes were made as a part of this ordinance amendment to adhere to the requirements of 160D and better align the Town with these requirements and best practices. Town Council and Planning Board have been provided workshops with presentation from WitherRavenel that have provided an overview of the changes made. A few changes highlighted are:

– Conditional Use Permits must now be called Special Use Permits

– Conflict of Interest Standards are detailed and differ in legislative and quasi-judicial decisions. These changes applying to all advisory boards and Town Council.

– Conditional Zoning is permitted. A single lot can now be conditionally zoned for specific uses.

– Minor Administrative Modifications for Development Approvals allow for developers to make minor changes with the approval of staff if conditions for change are met.

– Permit Choice and Vested rights allows the applicant to protect their rights in case of a rule change during or after the application process. Permit Choice allows for the applicant to choose from new rules or old rules. Vested Rights are granted upon application and allows the applicant to have their plans vested for current ordinance standards in case of rule change.

With this being a Virtual Meeting, Town Council was not able to take action immediately following the Public Hearing. Consideration by Town Council will take place at the next scheduled Town Council meeting on June 7th.

Town Manager Rideout gave his plan to talk individually with each council member regarding the Proposed FY 2021-2022 General Fund and Water Fund Budget. The budget will be available to the public on Tuesday, May 4th. There will be a public hearing scheduled for June 7th. He also reported that they have scheduled a structural engineer for the CA Nails building to check if the building is structurally sound. This will cost approximately $2,500. The West King Street issue that was brought up at the last meeting has been inspected and waiting on the contract to do repairs to correct the issue.

Pat DeVane gave an overview of the Greene’s Lake project. They will be walking through Tuesday with the designer of the project prior to the inspection by PARTIF. The Cemetery project has approximately 55 feet completed out of 450 feet of the wall.

A Proclamation to Recognize May 9-15, 2021 as “National Police Week” was approved by the Council. Mayor Sylvia Campbell called upon “all citizens of the Town of Elizabethtown to observe Saturday, May 15th, as “Peace Officers’ Memorial Day” in honor of those law enforcement officers who, through their courageous deeds, have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community or have become disabled in the performance of duty, and let us recognize and pay respect to the survivors of our fallen heroes. We have a great police force. They do an amazing job to keep us safe.”

In administrative matters, Council approved Annexation Ordinance for 911 Airport Road and Annexation Ordinance for Four (4) Town-Owned Properties: approved CDBG – NR Compliance Plans; and approved budget amendments and monthly financial report (98% tax collection rate).

The White Lake Water Festival parade is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

In observance of Memorial Day, the Town offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st.

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