Polk planners to map county’s ridge tops for regulation

Published 11:07am Monday, November 12, 2012

Members also said the condominiums would barely be visible if it weren’t for the clearing.

Planning board members left the meeting asked to think about how they want to regulate ridgelines in terms of height of structure, height above the ridge, vegetative screening, building color and lighting.

The planning department and Smith plan to have maps of Polk’s ridges available at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 13 at 5 p.m.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners has a workshop scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. to discuss the rest of the proposed UDO, which has been approved and recommended by the planning board.

Polk County Attorney Mike Egan suggested the county mirror what nearby Lake Lure has done.

Egan said Lake Lure’s approach is fairly minimal and simple with the town creating zones or districts. Egan said Polk County could identify those ridges and have the regulations take effect 300 feet on each side of the ridge, or whatever distance the county chooses.

Egan explained that Lake Lure’s regulations include wording that the building in the zone should be located so its visibility has minimal impact and includes that at least half of the vegetation remain. Lake Lure also decided to regulate roof forms as well, Egan said, with the rooflines aligning with the ridge itself, but said Polk County could choose whether or not to include regulating roofs.

The suggestion was made to create a committee to determine which ridges will be regulated in the county.

Planning board member Wayne Horne asked why every ridge wouldn’t be protected.

“Why wouldn’t it be on any ridge?” Horne asked. “The finger ridges are just as important aren’t they? We can committee this to death.”

Member David Smith said every ridge may be included. It will depend on its visibility, he said.

Member Lee Bradley said he agreed with Horne.

“If we went out in a van we’d end up naming every ridge anyway,” said Bradley.

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