Promoting Beauty in Polk County          

Polk County Appearance Commission


Polk County Appearance Commission – Regular Meeting
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
First Peak of the Blue Ridge Visitor Center

Attending: Joe Cooper Chairman; Reneé McDermott – Polk County Commissioner; Carolyn Ashburn, Beth Cannon, Burt Baer, and Harry Peterson; Guests: Lisa Krolak, Rolfe Wardner, and Virginia Pack Lisella

Chairman Joe Cooper called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

LITTER PREVENTION AWARD: The $500 award monies will be used to set up a stewardship account designated for special situation sites clean-up. An example of the fund use is cleaning up illegally dumped trash on private properties near road sides. An announcement of the award will appear in local newspaper. It was noted that removal of items dumped on right-of-ways is the responsibility of other agencies and would not be a use of the award funds.

GATEWAY REVIEW: Mark Byington, landscape architect, and Joe Cooper presented the conceptual plan commissioned by the Appearance Commission to the Polk County Commissioner at their meeting Monday night. A joint meeting of the commissioner and town councils is planned and Gateway Development will be an agenda item. Joe plans to meet informally with Tryon and Columbus council members to review the plan. It would also be helpful if a committee member would meet with Saluda council. DOT has funds to assist in implementing the plan contingent on issues of maintenance, etc.

High Impact Buildings Ordinance: Last August, Commissioner tabled the Appearance Commission’s recommended ordinance pending the adoption of a comprehensive plan. Now that the commissioners have adopted a comprehensive plan, the ordinance should be reintroduced. It was noted that the recommended ordinance needed to be amended to permit some larger square footage stores like grocery stores. Discussion included other concerns that might be included: number of chain stores permitted in an area, façade appearance, landscaping requirements, etc.

How to approach introducing this (and any other) ordinance was discussed. Commissioner McDermott noted a citizen, or commission, can request the Planning Board to review a proposed ordinance and a Citizen (or commission) can request the Commissioner to consider an ordinance. Joe suggested that Appearance Commission talk to each commissioner individually about the ordinance and then ask to be on a County Commission agenda to request the ordinance be reconsidered.

Slope Protection: General agreement that the state does not provide the level of protection that local citizens seem to want. Lisa Krolak has agreed to help us research this.

Dark-Sky Ordinance: Cathy Ruth, county planner, has agreed to help with research. There is a “dark sky” ordinance in Columbus that can be used as a model. It was noted that Dale Holland, professional planner who helped with the county comprehensive plan and Mike Eden, an attorney will work on a unified development ordinance.

501(c)3- Foothills Appearance Resources, Inc.: How to move on this? We need people to serve on the board. Carolyn Ashburn will work with Joe on this.

Points of Pride: Brenda Ward. Master Gardner president and the Master Gardeners are interested in this project. Harry continues to try to get this project moving forward.

CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION: a sample certificate was presented that included the Polk County Clean and Green logo. It was agreed that Beth would work on criteria for awarding a certificate. Ideas can be circulated by email to the committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.