Tryon manager now able to call public hearings

Published 9:13 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

Tryon Town Council recently agreed to change its code to allow the town manager to call public hearings.

The change was made in connection with the current efforts of the towns board of planning and adjustment to revise the towns zoning ordinance.

Previously, town council was required to schedule a public hearing during an open meeting. Now, town manager Justin Hembree can call for a public hearing and advertise it after getting approval from the mayor. The new process will be quicker for the town.

During Tryons December meeting, Hembree and planning board chair John Walters updated town council on the board of planning and adjustments recent progress. The town plans to make changes to its zoning ordinance to restrict some commercial uses from areas close to downtown.

The board of planning and adjustment met three times in December.

The first change the planning board is working on is to create a transitional business district (TBD) that would include sections of what is currently the general business district (GBD).

The TBD is being proposed for the areas just outside downtown, which is zoned central business district (CBD). Hembree said theTBD would more closely follow CBD uses and height restrictions, with parking and setback restrictions fitting more closely with the GBD.

The area being considered for TBD is from Palmer Street downtown to just past the U.S. 176/Hwy. 108 intersection and from the railroad tracks to just past Carolina Drive along South Trade Street.

The planning board is also working on a vision statement and plans to begin text amendments for other sections of the zoning ordinance, including excavation and landscaping, among others.

At town councils Jan. 18 meeting, the planning board plans to make recommendations including establishing the TBD, amending some text in the table of permitted uses and adding a text amendment to the soil removal ordinance.

During the planning boards meeting last week, the board also discussed a text amendment on drive-through establishments.

The town plans to hold a public hearing for the first phase of changes during its February meeting.

The push to make changes to the towns zoning ordinance was begun when the town held a public input meeting a couple of months ago, seeking suggestions from residents on how the town can better protect its commercial districts. About 50 people came with suggestions.

The controversial new Dollar General store at the corner of Chestnut and Trade streets and inquiries from a business interested in locating a car business near the new Dollar General, spurred the community’s interest in revising Tryon’s ordinances for business areas.

The board of planning and adjustment meets again next Thursday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Tryon Fire Department.