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Originally published: 2014-02-18 21:25:30
Last modified: 2014-02-21 11:08:17

Ordinances brought into compliance

by Allison Haver

Following a public hearing Tuesday at which no members of the public signed up to speak, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a request to amend nine county ordinances.

The request was made by Watauga County Planning and Inspections Director Joe Furman to standardize wording of the ordinances and to bring them in compliance with state statutes.

The amended ordinances included:

- Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses.

- Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.

- Ordinance to Regulate Junkyards and Automotive Graveyards.

- Ordinance to Regulate Wind Energy Systems
- Ordinance to Govern Structures on Land Adjacent to National Park Service Land.

- Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures.

-- Ordinance to Regulate Signs.

-- Height of Structures Ordinance.

-- Manufactured Home Parks Ordinances.

The board also voted to allow the Watauga County Board of Adjustments authority as the primary variance granting board.

With this approval, the board of commissioners will no longer hear variance requests, and the board of adjustments will be the primary variance granting board. After lengthy discussion, commissioners voted in agreement that members of the board of adjustment are trained for such cases and operate in a quasi-judicial manner.

"If the planning board thinks it's best for us, I move we accept the proposal of our planning director," Commissioner Billy Kennedy said.

In other business, commissioners:

- Unanimously approved the Southern Appalachian Historical Association request to use county staff and equipment to demolish a structure on the "Horn in the West" property and waive any associated landfill tipping fees, contingent that no asbestos is found.
The commissioners decided not to discuss SAHA's request for $25,500 for the next fiscal year until the upcoming budget retreat that takes place on Friday and Saturday.

- Unanimously approved the Watauga County Sanitation Department, Recycling Office's request to apply for a 2014 Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The grant will provide recycling containers for county offices and schools.

- Approved four to one, to accept Watauga County maintenance director Robert Marsh's request to hire Valor Engineering to provide services to the County during the due diligence period of the potential property acquisition for a new ambulance station.

- Approved Kanipe Construction of Vilas' bid in the amount of $99,596 to build Rocky Knob Park restrooms contingent upon a contract review by county attorney Stacy "Four" Eggers, and Watauga County Tourism Development Authority approval and funding at its Feb. 20 meeting. The restrooms will be funded 100 percent by TDA funds, commissioners said.

CORRECTION: This story has been modified from its original version to reflect corrections to two votes made by commissioners.