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Hope Mills holds first work session to discuss overlay zoning

The board also approves site plans for the town’s first Sheetz gas station


HOPE MILLS — The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners held a special work session Monday night to discuss the development of an overlay zoning district that will help guide development in the town.

After the work session, the board met for its regular meeting.

Chancer McLaughlin, the town's planning and economic development director, led the work session, explaining to the board what it can expect in the coming months as a policy is developed.

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.

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.

The moratorium also gives the town the authority to halt business licenses that “could negatively impact the character, use and overall harmony of existing and future development areas,” according to McLaughlin’s presentation.

McLaughlin told the board there will be two more sessions, one in September and one in October. According to McLaughlin's presentation, the proposed overlay district will be considered by the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board in November. The proposal will likely go before the town Board of Commissioners for consideration in December after input and recommendations from the staff.

In addition to outlining the steps needed to implement an overlay district, Mclaughlin also explained the town’s options and what type of overlays were possible.

McLaughlin told board members that it would be important to include input from the town. The first phase of creating an overlay district policy would be gathering input from the town. He said he plans to begin asking the public for its input as early as Friday.

McLaughlin said he will use mailers, fliers, social media and the town’s website to gather input from the town.

According to Mclaughlin’s presentation, gathering data also includes asking stakeholders such as the town’s businesses what they want to see in an overlay policy. 

The next work session is scheduled for September, but a date and time have not been set.

During its regular meeting, the board heard an update on the Public Safety Building from its architect, Scott Garner.

Garner told the board the heating and air were nearing completion as well as the carpet and tile. The doors have been hung and hardware has been put on. Garner said he was told the building would be completed by mid-September, but he said he felt that was a bit optimistic though everything was going well and on target.

Garner said once the building is occupied, the plan is to demolish the old fire station.

“The fire chief wants to use the demolition of the old fire station for training purposes,” Garner told the board.

The board unanimously approved everything on the consent agenda. This included:

  • Authorizing the town manager to sign an annual storm drain cleaning contract in the amount of $100,000 with Intragrade. The amount is included in the current budget.
  • Accepting state funding for stormwater projects and approving a related budget amendment. The town originally asked for $300,000 but was granted $600,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds through the state.
  • Approving a site plan for a proposed Sheetz gas station on the southeast corner of Chickenfoot Road and U.S. 301.

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, overlay district, zoning, Sheetz