Polk County Appearance Commission – Regular Meeting
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
First Peak of the Blue Ridge Visitor Center
Attending: Joe Cooper - Chairman; Reneé McDermott – Polk County Commissioner; Carolyn Ashburn, Beth Cannon, Burt Baer, Glenn Franklin, Harry Peterson.
Guests: Walter Hoover, Ernie Kan, Lisa Krolak, Carroll Rush
Chairman Joe Cooper called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
The agenda was amended to include: Abandoned Housing, Courthouse Sidewalk Project and the Saluda Interchange report.
Carroll Rush, guest, presented his concern about the number of abandoned houses and mobile homes in the area of the county where he has been working with the Federal Census. Commissioner McDermott noted that currently all county resources are fully utilized and not available for assistance. That scrap costs might defray removal costs was mentioned. Joe will work with Carroll to investigate options.
The Courthouse Sidewalk Project:
Ernie Kan, guest from the Columbus City Council, gave a report on the current status of the work on the courthouse sidewalks which has included removal of pavers and leveling the beds. A rain garden is planned to receive run off. Physical labor and donations will be appreciated.
Dark Sky Ordinance:
Lisa Krolak noting several points that need clarification including pole heights, sign ordinance agreement, use of LED lights, etc. It was recommended that a cover letter be drafted to the Unified Development Ordinance committee stating the goals of a Dark Sky Ordinance and the noting that there are areas of the attached sample ordinance in need attention. The commission agreed that Lisa would bring a draft letter to the August meeting.
High Impact Building Ordinance:
Burt moved, Carolyn seconded, and the vote was unanimous, to send the proposed High Impact Building Ordinance to the Unified Development Ordinance committee for their action.
Beth presented the information about the award including the criteria, nomination forms, web page information, etc. The nomination deadline for the first awards will be April 15, 2011 and the first awards will be given in June 2011. The committee suggested a modification that would restrict a winner from reapplying without new landscaping and structural improvements since receiving the previous award. The committee agreed that the award information should be available on the web page.
Points of Pride:
Joe reported that the town of Columbus has partnered with the Appearance Commission to apply for a PCCF grant to implement the beautification of the corridor on 108 from I-26 to Walker Street. This is part of the “Gateway Development” plan developed by Mark Byington, landscape architect, at the commission’s request.
www.beautifulfoothills.org will be the address of the new web page. Burt has worked with Thomas Oder, web page designer, and commission members Carolyn, Beth and Joe to have the page up and running by the end of July. Burt reviewed the layout of the web page noting that updates by Melinda Young, web master, will enable the commission to keep the page current. The committee commended Burt and his helpers for their time and effort in bringing this project to completion.
Walter Hoover, guest, reported that he had been working with Richard Queen, NC-DOT, and Connie Morgan to have improvement made at the Saluda I-26 interchange. The Bradford Pear trees have been removed. Other clearing, planting, etc. will be done in the future, contingent on DOT funding availability.
Walter also mentioned the personal concern for formal protection to be afforded to the few Canopy Roads in Polk County. Several expressed concerns that need investigation including right-of-way issues for power lines.
Joe presented the specific goals of the 20/20 Comprehensive Plan applicable to the Appearance Commission and asked that each commission member review and select a goal to work on.
The next meeting is August 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at the Visitors Center at Hwy 108 and Walker Street. Visitors are always welcomed.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:20.