Elizabethtown wraps up ordinance rewrite

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — The two-year process of rewriting Elizabethtown’s ordinances is drawing to a close, and the Town Council met Monday to look at the final draft of the 188-page document.

“To the best of my knowledge, the ordinance incorporates all the changes the staff, committee, and Planning Board decided to make,” said consultant Dale Holland, adding the process was lengthened from the initial eight meetings to 13 gatherings because of significant input from the Ordinance Committee.

Major revisions include simplified parking standards and a change in the way site plans are approved. Now grouped into major sites and minor sites, the latter — buildings less than 2,000 square feet, those that constitute land disturbance of less than one acre, units with fewer than 10 dwelling units, and parking lot expansions — can now be approved by staff without having to go before the Town Council and Planning Board.

“We see this as a major simplification of the process,” Holland stated.

Graphics have been added so that users can see photos of the ordinance requirements; building facade and landscaping requirements have been updated, as have definitions; and sign regulations — in accordance with a Supreme Court mandate — reflect that the town cannot refer to the message of signs in making a determination about their usage. In addition, a digitized zoning map was incorporated to simplify things for town users.

“I think as a committee we did a good job coming up with the document,” Michael Leinwand told the council.

“It’s a very important document that needed that time spent on it,” Mayor Sylvia Campbell said of the long process.

Because not every council member was present, the board agreed to postpone the vote until October.

In other business, the board:

• Tabled a vote that would allow W.R. Martin to undertake a community-wide assessment for sites that would be eligible for a grant program benefiting communities affected by Hurricane Matthew.

• Approved a bid from Directional Services, Inc. for the Phase II Utility Burial Project. Directional Services came in approximately $138,000 lower than the other two bids received, at $799,864. Final approval rests with the Local Government Commission.

• Amended the inmate labor contract to include the addition of the town of Clarkton, which lowers the overall costs of transportation from the Tabor City Correctional Facility.

Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com