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Hope Mills board to discuss overlay zoning

The Board of Commissioners will hold its second workshop as the town looks to create a policy to guide growth

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HOPE MILLS — The town Board of Commissioners will hold a special work session an hour before its regular meeting tonight to discuss the development of an overlay zoning district.

This will be the board’s second work session as commissioners continue to work on the town’s first overlay district policy.

The board’s regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

On July 18, the board adopted a temporary moratorium on certain businesses while town staff works to create an overlay district. The moratorium gives the board six months to study the idea and implement the district.

Overlay zoning is a regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district over existing zoning. It can include additional or different regulations that apply within the district.

The first workshop was on Aug. 15. Chancer McLaughlin, the town's planning and economic development director, led the work session with a presentation that laid out the town’s plan for creating its overlay policy.

Since then, the town has been gathering information from local businesses through mailers, fliers, social media and the town’s website. McLaughlin has told the board that gathering information from local residents is important to creating a successful policy.

Regular meeting

During the regular board meeting, commissioners are expected to hear an update on the Public Safety Building project from architect Scott Garner. Garner also is expected to present a change order — No. 10 — for the board’s consideration.

The change order consists of seven modifications that include items such as a new parking lot behind Town Hall and Parks & Recreation, electric power to a digital sign and widening the building’s walking trail.

According to materials in the agenda packet, the change order totals almost $1.2 million. A reduction in change order No. 5 for $62,864 brings the total to $1,106,889, according to a memo from Finance Director Drew Holland to Town Manager Scott Meszaros. The town staff recommends approval of the change order.

The board also will hear a presentation from McLaughlin regarding the Hope Mills Pedestrian Plan and a request for its adoption.

In 2020, the town was awarded $60,000 in grant funding through an N.C. Department of Transportation matching grant program. 

The plan seeks to improve the quality of life of Hope Mills residents by enhancing pedestrian mobility and safety, such as adding sidewalks along both sides of North Main Street and Golfview Road to a greenway along Old Wire Road and a pedestrian alley off of Trade Street. The sidewalks would provide access to Hope Mills Lake.

Four public hearings are also scheduled, including:

  • The initial zoning of 82 acres to single family and planned service and retail to a more restrictive zoning district located 655 feet from the intersection of Rockfish Road and Waldos Beach Road.
  • The initial zoning of 33.92 acres from rural residential (county) to single family (Hope Mills) or more restrictive zoning located at 4742 Tumbleweed Drive.
  • The initial zoning of 46.22 acres from mixed conditional use (county) to single family (Hope Mills) or to more restrictive zoning located at 3680 Elk Road.
  • The initial zoning of 6 acres from planned commercial (county) to planned commercial (Hope Mills) or more restrictive zoning located at 5533 Corporation Drive.

Under new business, the board will consider authorizing the town manager to enter into an agreement with Richard Grubb & Associates for archaeological data recovery at Heritage Park.

In June 2020, Richard Grubb & Associates completed a Phase I archaeological survey for the Heritage Park Phase I Project. The survey identified a site that includes the remains of Hope Mills No.1 and possibly the antebellum-period Rockfish Factory.

The referenced site is considered to be a contributing element to the Hope Mills Historic District, according to a memo from Parks & Recreation Director Lamarco M. Morrison to Meszaros.

Morrison’s department is recommending that the town request a one-year extension to allow for the archaeological data recovery and delays in construction.

The board is also scheduled to go into closed session for personnel and attorney-client advice.

Jason Canady covers Hope Mills for CityView. He can be reached at jcanady@cityviewnc.com. 

Hope Mills, Board of Commissioners, zoning