County approves used-car lot for NC 16
A used-car lot can open on N.C. 16 after commissioners approved a permit to bypass some development standards.
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 Monday night, April 16, to approve a conditional use permit, which will allow Lake Norman Motors to open a lot near the intersection of N.C. 16 and Unity Church Road in Denver.
The car lot will not be required to have native plants or a 10-foot buffer from the road, as the county Unified Development Ordinance requires. Instead, the landowner will be allowed to have only a 5-foot buffer and palm trees.
Jim McNamara, owner of Lake Norman Motors in Mooresville, plans to use the site to expand his business to Denver.
Commissioner George Arena made the motion to approve the conditional use permit. He noted that the owner owned the lot before the Unified Development Ordinance was enacted three years ago.
“When he bought the property, if he wanted to build it, he wouldn’t have had to come here,” Arena said.
Arena said he might feel differently if the owner bought the site after the ordinance was already in effect.
Commissioner Jim Klein was the lone vote against approving the conditional use permit.
“We had two people who came to the last meeting who said a used car lot does not meet a demonstrated need in Denver, and that’s true,” Klein said.
Klein also believed the buffer should be 10 feet rather than 5 feet.
Commissioner Carroll Mitchem questioned the use of non-native trees, but voted to approve the conditional use permit.
The conditional use permit specifies that the cars for sale must be parked in the site’s paved area. They may not be parked on the grass close to the highway.
Lincoln County’s planning board voted 5-1 to approve the conditional use permit April 11.
Commissioners decide on Oaklawn
Members of the Coalition of Churches fought to have their name on the lease of Oaklawn School, but Lincoln County commissioners denied their request at the board’s April meeting.
The coalition’s 10-year lease on the school expired in September 2011. The county is now pursuing a grant to renovate one of the site’s two buildings and to make it a home for the Boys and Girls Club, a nonprofit that serves at-risk youth. The other building on the site will continue to be used for Head Start, a preschool serving low-income families.
Coalition members Ola Mae Foster and Dean Bethea asked commissioners that the coalition be included on the new lease and told them they were willing to pay for the privilege.
“We’re not looking for a handout,” Foster said at the meeting. “We want to be part of this community.”
Commissioners did agree to give the coalition first-priority to use the space during the off hours of Head Start and the Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Club will become active at the site if the county receives a $500,000 grant for renovations.
Special teams request funding
Lincoln County Special Teams asked the board for $70,000 to pay for additional rescue equipment. The county started the teams two years ago with a budget of $65,000. Due to budget cuts last year, the specialized rescue teams received no funding.
The teams include a high angle rope rescue team, water rescue team, incident management team, land search team, confined space team and Lincoln County crisis response team.
“The concept is really simple – we’ve worked to combine resources and provide one team in each of these special areas,” County Manager George Wood said.
The teams each serve the entire county. In East Lincoln, the Denver Fire Department hosts the high angle rope and rescue team and the East Lincoln Fire Department hosts the water rescue team. Many of the host sites are run solely by volunteers.
The county funds teams’ equipment.