Forest Hills Planning Board 8-20-01

Village of Forest Hills

Planning Board Minutes

August 20, 2001


Present:  Ann Chambers, Jim Davis, Sally James, Larry Kolenbrander, Ian Pritchard, Joe Rossano, David Shapiro, Gene Tweedy


The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm by Kolenbrander.  Minutes from the July 16 meeting were approved unanimously without correction.


Kolenbrander introduced the two agenda items:  Planning Board elections and presentation by Geoffrey Willett (Community Development Planner, Division of Community Development, NC Department of Commerce) addressing Subdivision Regulations.


Item 1:  Planning Board Elections


Kolenbrander called for nominations and volunteers for President, Vice President, and Secretary.  Kolenbrander was nominated for President; Rossano volunteered for Vice President; Shapiro was nominated for Secretary.  Voting resulted in unanimous support.


Item 2:  Subdivision Regulations/Geoffrey Willett


Willett presented a draft document, "Subdivision Regulations," for discussion to the Planning Board.  He indicated that the draft should stimulate discussion so that it can be revised for a better fit for our community. 


James asked about statute of limitations (i.e., How would the draft impact our community's protection against legal action/law suit.  Willett responded, "You are on safe ground," i.e., the document or a revision of it should not impact the community's current level of protection against any potential law suit.


Willett explained/discussed the following terms/concepts (for greater detail, refer to the draft distributed by Willett):  Authority and general regulations; definitions (subdivision, types of subdivisions - conservation, convention, major, minor, small); other definitions; word interpretations; procedures for submission, review, and approval of subdivisions; minimum design standards - lot design, size, dimensions, lot configuration and frontage, setbacks, road design, road standards, road names, utility design - water, hydrants, location, waste water disposal, drainage, above/underground location of utilities; other design standards.  Refer also to two flowcharts that Willett distributed:  Administrative Review Process for Small Subdivisions (3 or fewer lots); Administrative Review Process for Minor Subdivisions (4 to 20 lots)/Major Subdivisions (21 or more lots).


Guest/community resident voiced concern for what a Realtor had told her (i.e., that a main road into the development would be from her property).  Others expressed similar concern in what they had been told and the impact of that hearsay on their own property.  Kolenbrander reiterated that nothing has been decided; furthermore, nothing is ready for public hearing.  He restated the purpose of the Subdivisions Regulations (which are in DRAFT form only), to see to it that the community residents have constructive input into how the land is developed.


Concern expressed by guest/community resident that the Planning Board proceedings are not widely known; also that the Planning Board might act without regard for the views of the residents.  Kolenbrander reiterated that notices appear in the Sylva Herald and that all are welcome to attend the meetings; also that the Planning Board is advisory only to the Village Council.  He further indicated that he felt an obligation to represent his constituents rather than to act autonomously; while he could not speak for the other Council members, he believed that they would act similarly (only after and on the basis of opinions gathered and processed).  When questioned, Kolenbrander explained that indeed the Village Council could potentially act without regard for the majority opinions expressed, but cautioned that he believed that this would not occur.


Howard Hill (visitor) announced that he had a proposal of his intention to purchase the land filed with Mr. Green; however, after observing the present and previous Planning Board meetings, he has decided to withdraw his proposal and terminate his intention.


Next scheduled Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17.  Kolenbrander recommended that the members and guests come with questions for Mr. Willett regarding Subdivision Regulations; indicated that a letter will be sent to homeowners informing them of the meeting; and noted that Mr. Willett will come with a copy of the Zoning Regulations for discussion.


Meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.


Submitted by,


David Shapiro