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Hope Mills board approves zoning for town manager’s home


HOPE MILLS - The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners on Monday night approved initial zoning for the town manager’s home.

Commissioners Bryan Marley and Jerry Legge had excused absences and were not at the meeting.

The board voted on the initial zoning of Town Manager Scott Meszaros’ home following a public hearing. 

According to the town manager’s contract, the employee’s home must be located within town limits. The position is the only employee on staff whose home is required to do so. The property was qualified to be annexed because it was located within the town’s Municipal Influence Area. The board had approved the annexation of the property on Nov. 15, according to information in the agenda package.

The initial zoning, which went from County R7.5 (single family) to Town R7.5 (single family), is required after a property is annexed. 

“You can voluntarily annex any property within the town’s MIA. So I made a voluntary petition for annexation,” Meszaros said. “So I filed the paperwork to be annexed.”

No objections were presented from the public. The only question came from Commissioner Joanne Scarola, who asked Chancer McLaughlin, director of Planning & Economic Development, if neighbors were asked if they wanted to have their properties annexed.

“Typically the only time we would have the authority to annex is if we were forced to annex through the legislature,” said McLaughlin, who presented the proposal.

“In terms of the neighbors, they were notified because it’s in our statute that we notify them of the public hearing,” McLaughlin told Scarola.

McLaughlin explained to the board the legal rights of what would take place if the residents were interested in annexation.

“If we approach them to do an annexation and they are void of sewer and water, then the town is responsible for the water and sewer. If they come to us then that eliminates our requirements for water and sewer,” McLaughlin told the board.

In other business, the board approved the bylaw and articles of incorporation to create a nonprofit for Hope Mills Prime Movers.

The nonprofit status will allow Hope Mills Prime Movers, a benevolent organization created by Mayor Pro-Tem Kenjuana McCray, to accept donations from businesses and help Prime Movers carry out its service in the community.

Hope Mills Prime Movers has been operating as a committee for about two years. In that time, its members have written Valentine's Day cards to the elderly, helped with the town’s litter clean up, offered a concert on the lake, organized a blood drive and family field day and created a toy drive, according to McCray. The organization was designed to get millennials involved in the community.

The group does receive funding from the town board, and it has fundraisers. Having the nonprofit status will help the group solicit additional and larger sources of funding, according to background material in the agenda package.

The board also discussed the legal requirements a potential business must complete before being allowed to operate at Hope Mills Lake. 

Currently, only one business, Hydrobikes NC, has completed the legal process and has approval to operate at the lake. Hydrobikes NC, which is owned by Joel Laboy, rents Hydrobikes, kayaks and other water sports equipment for the season, according to its website.

The board also heard an update on the Public Safety Project from architect Scott Garner, who said the project was 70% complete and was still on time and budget. Garner said metal panels will be installed this week on the outside of the building, which will drastically change the appearance and bring color to the building.

“We are installing red panels on the Fire Department side, and on the police side the panels will be blue,” Garner said.

Workers also have started to paint the interior walls and install tile in the bathroom and lobby, Garner told the board.

Jason Canady covers Hope Mills for CityViewTODAY. He can be reached at jcanady@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Hope Mills, Board of Commissioners, zoning, town manager, Hope Mills Lake, Hope Mills Prime Movers, nonprofit