Council to hold three public hearings
Tonight the Rutherfordton Town Council will hold three public hearings during its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Rutherfordton Town Hall.
The public hearings are a result of council members receiving three requests and recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board during the regular January meeting.
The first request is to correct an error concerning the classification of duplexes that was recorded in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Table of Permissible Uses. Correcting the error will show that duplexes are a permitted use in the R-2 Zoning District.
The second request is to amend the UDO definition of "tower" to allow wireless and cellular antennas to be placed on top of utility poles downtown.
According to Town Manager Karen Andrews, a request was made to construct two-foot towers on some of the downtown utility poles to benefit the area's Internet and Wi-Fi connection. However, the current definition of tower would prohibit the two-foot structures.
The final request is to amend the UDO Permissible Uses for Central Business District Apartments and adopt a corresponding new supplementary use regulation to permit a downtown residence to exist on the main level of a business so long as it is behind the store portion of the building.
"The current UDO says you can only have a downtown apartment if it's on the second floor, and we had someone ask about placing a residence in the back of a building," Andrews said. "The amendment would allow a residence to exist on the main level of a business, as long as you can't tell it is a residence. So the front of the building will have to be the store and the residence can be in the back."
Following the public hearings, the council will potentially take action on the three separate recommendations.
Council members will continue new business with a consensus to rename the Rutherfordton Fire Department to the Rutherfordton Fire and Rescue Department.
"We've been performing rescue services for some time, but in December 2013 we got credentialed through the North Carolina Rescue and EMS Association as a medium rescue provider," said Fire Chief Tommy Blanton. "And to make that official, and the fact that we are performing those rescue services in our district, we are renaming the fire department."
Other new business on tonight's agenda includes:
*Recognition of Betty and Norman Jenkins for Bechtler donations
*Purchase of cemetery plots from family no longer wishing to own same
*Appointment of a council representative to the STEP Steering Committee
*Discussion on possible involvement in the 50th Anniversary of the North Carolina City/County Management Association
*Discussion and possible action on setting a "test" neighborhood for once every two weeks for recycling and garbage collection
*Discussion and possibly setting of a council priorities session for FY 2014-15
*Possible acceptance of N.C. Commerce agreement for the STEP implementation funds