June 2019 Special Meeting



Village of St. Helena Town Board CUP Quasi-judicial Hearing

June 10, 2019

Present were Mayor Robert Barnhill, Mayor Pro Tem Judy Katalinic, William Hunter, Nancy Jones, Kaye Knowles, Margaret Brinzey, Louis Hesse, Nathaniel Coleman, and Kimberly Rivenbark.

In the audience were Brad Sedgwick, and Mike and Mary Frazier.

Mayor Barnhill gave an overview explaining the hearing.

Brad Sedgwick and Mike Frazier were sworn in by Attorney Nathaniel Coleman.

Kim led the hearing. She went over the findings and the issues.

Kim went over the Standards:

1) That the use will not materially endanger the public health, safety, and general welfare if located where proposed and developed according to the plan as submitted and approved.

Kim talked about the area still being B-2 and she explained about the driveways. She talked about drainage and how the rainwater will be treated in a retention pond. She pointed out that the planning board recommends that “safety barriers shall be present around any construction site”.

2) That the use meets all required conditions and specifications (for parking, loading, landscaping, buffering, and signage).

Kim went over the list.

First item was parking. She pointed out that the planning board wanted all parking spaces marked. She also pointed out that in her opinion, there should be no vehicles on the right-of-way but it is up to the Council to make that decision. Actually, she said that it is up to the DOT to tell Westgate to remove the vehicles but the Council can require them not to place any vehicles on the right-of-way as part of the CUP.

Second item was loading. There were a few questions about locations. The representative from Westgate answered those questions.

The third issue was landscaping. Kim put up a picture of the present Westgate Chevrolet and pointed out the lack of plants. She said that she wanted something better for St. Helena. She went over what is to be planted and where.

The fourth item was buffering. Since the tractor place was on the south side of the proposed Jeep dealership, there was no problem there. Because the Jeep dealership and the Chevrolet dealership will be owned by the same company, importance was placed on the north side where there are houses.

Margaret asked about if the neighbor next door cut down their trees, would Westgate put up a fence? Kim said that if the house next door cut down their trees, then that is their bad luck. If Westgate does that, there might be an issue because of the requirement for a buffer.

In reference to signage, Kim pointed out that she does not know what the new signs are going to look like but Westgate will have to get a permit to put up signs and for that, they must follow the sign ordinance.

3) That the use will not adversely affect the use of any physical attribute of adjacent property, or that the use is a public necessity.

Kim pointed out that it always been a dealership for many years and that it will be continue to be.

4) That the location and character of the use, if developed according to the plan as submitted and approved, will be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located and in general conformity with the Village of St. Helena Land Use Plan.

Kim pointed out that the area is considered low density residential but will be replaced with a “Commercial Service Node” in any future land use plan. Kim also pointed out that in the current Land use plan, it states that “future commercial development should be concentrated in service nodes along US 117”.

Robert asked if Westgate was going to change the look of the Chevrolet place so that the jeep place and the Chevrolet dealership will look alike. The representative said no because of the licensing agreement. Jeep likes their dealerships to look a certain way.

5) That the Village Council and Planning Board may impose additional requirements beyond those specified in this section for driveways, storm water, wetland impacts, lighting, public address system, and temporary modular unit (sales office).

A) Driveways: Kim talked about Westgate removing the three present driveways and making two full access NCDOT approved driveways. She said that the building permit CANNOT be issued until they get the driveway permit.

B) Stormwater: Kim talked about the gravel and how the water will run downhill.

C) Wetland Impacts: This involved a conversation. The representative from Westgate said that the wetlands can be moved or a payment can be made to offset that to the NCDEO/ Army Corp for mitigation of these impacts. He mentioned $50,000. The representative said it was a lot of money but that is the cost of doing business.

Robert asked about the run off from washing cars, etc. The representative said it will go into the pond and will leave there cleaner than when it came in.

D) Lighting: Kim said they are scheduled to use eleven (11) lights at 4000 watts per light which would equal 44,000 watts. All lights will be LED which is the way of the future. All will be downcast which means the lights will have a decreased light area on the highway and in the sky but will shine down on the property. The representative was asked about timing the lights to go off. The representative said that is usually never done for a number of reasons. Robert asked about hours. The representative did not know exactly what they would be but he said that it will most likely be the same as the Chevrolet dealership.

E) Public Address System: Kim pointed out that some dealerships have a public address system that can be heard far away from the dealership. She said that when they put in a public address system, it should not be heard outside the confines of the dealership. A question was raised about people not being able to hear the speakers if they are located in a noisy place such as a service area. It was pointed out that the dealership can called them on their phones if that happens.

F) Temporary Modular Unit (sales office): Kim pointed out that the planning board made the following recommendations: 1) that the modular unit shall be allowed for 120 days to allow time for building permits to be issued. Use of the modular unit shall not exceed 180 days. 2) that the modular unit shall be removed from the property on day 121 if building permits are not pulled for the new construction building, within 30 days upon the expiration of the building permit, and within 45 days of the issuance of the occupancy permit.

Nancy said that she thinks that the 18 months is too much and it should be 12 months since 12 months seems to be a reasonable time.

Louis said that the modular unit was not hook up and couldn’t be used. It was pointed out that it wasn’t even supposed to be there.

Judy suggested that instead of 18 months, allow 14 months.

The representative said that Westgate needs the 18 months because of getting all the permits takes time, dealing with unexpected issues and acts of nature that might take time. Allowing 18 months will give Westgate some leeway.

Judy brought up sewer. She asked if they are going to use a sewer tap. She wanted to know if they are going to use a separate sewer tap or use the existing sewer tap at the Chevrolet dealership.

The representative said that the sewer tap at the Chevrolet has a 2-inch line and is large enough to handle sewer from that tractor place, the Jeep dealership, and the Chevrolet dealership. He said they are using the sewer connected to the Chevrolet dealership. Judy said “thank you because we don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box”. Nancy said” so to get it straight, you are going to use the existing sewer tap and not add a new one”. The representative said that is correct.

Kim went over the staff recommendations. A vote was taken on the following standards.

On standard 1, Nancy, Kaye, Judy, William, and Margaret voted to approve.

On standard 2, Nancy, Kaye, Judy, William, and Margaret voted to approve.

On standard 3, Nancy, Kaye, Judy, William, and Margaret voted to approve.

On standard 4, Nancy, Kaye, Judy, William, and Margaret voted to approve.

Louis pointed out that that for the past 4 months, he and Nathan would not allow Westgate to use the modular unit.

On standard 5, Kim reminded the council about the additional condition that the planning board suggested- which was to require safety barriers around construction areas. This was added to “standard 5 requirements”. The vote was taken.

Nancy, Kaye, Judy, William, and Margaret voted to approve.

Kim pointed out the staff believes that all standards were met with added recommendations.

Finally- a final vote was taken on the issue of the Conditional Use Permit. On motion by Nancy and seconded by Judy, Robert asked for each council member to state their vote to approve or deny the conditional use permit for Westgate Jeep. A vote was taken. Nancy, Kaye, Judy, William, and Margaret voted to approve. The meeting was adjourned.


Last Updated on Monday, 24 June 2019 09:19