ST. PAULS — The town’s first land-use plan since 1974 that is intended to guide growth for the next 15 years was adopted Thursday by the St. Pauls Board of Commissioners.
No one came forward during a brief public hearing to speak in favor or against the plan that was developed during the past two years by the town’s Planning Commission. The commission approved the plan Thursday just minutes before the commissioners gave the plan their approval.
J.R. Steigerwald, the town’s administrator, told about 40 people attending the town board’s regular monthly meeting that a land-use plan is supposed to be developed every five years to reflect the growth and changes in a community.
“This has taken us eons. It’s long overdue,” he said.
Mark Zeigler, a community planner with the N.C. Department of Commerce who assisted the town in preparing the plan, said that the final plan included few changes from a draft discussed at a community meeting earlier this year. The final plan outlines goals and policies dealing with such things as housing, public safety, health and emergency services, school and library facilities, general government, potable water and sewer facilities, parks and recreation, solid waste, and transportation.
St. Pauls. which now has about 2,300 residents, is expected to add 500 to 1,500 residents during the next 15 years, according to Steigerwald. He told The Robesonian after the meeting that the plan is a significant tool for guiding the town’s development.
“This is a road map that we can follow,” he said. “It will guide us in making future zoning decisions.”
In other land-use issues, the commissioners approved a zoning change and a request for a conditional-use permit.
The rezoning of 39 Shaw Mill Road, from R-8 Residential to Neighborhood Business, allows for the establishment of a small beauty salon.
The conditional-use permit that was approved allows for a Class “B” manufactured housing unit to be placed in a Residential RA-20 zone. The property where the housing unit will be located is at 89 Spring Branch Road.
In other business, the commissioners:
— Adopted job descriptions for the town clerk, which also is the town’s human resource officer and deputy finance officer, and the finance officer, which also holds the titles of tax collector and assistant town clerk. A job description was also adopted for the position of administrative clerk/deputy tax collector.
— Tabled until their August meeting a request from Steigerwald for final approval to acquire a press that will allow Public Works Department staff to complete the sewage de-watering process in-house.
— Approved several budget amendments to the town’s 2015-16 fiscal year budget. The town is currently operating under its 2016-17 budget that became effective July 1.
— Authorized Steigerwald to participate in a July 26 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mediation hearing for former St. Pauls police Officer Lisa Freeman. The authorization, according to Steigerwald, was granted during a brief closed session meeting to discuss the employment issue.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.