Saluda considers exempting gardening from permit

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Public hearing set for June 10

Saluda commissioners are considering amending the city’s land disturbing ordinance, adopted earlier this year, to exempt gardening activities from obtaining a permit.

Saluda is also considering a new definition in the zoning ordinance for manufactured homes.

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Commissioners met May 13 and discussed several recommendations from its planning board and decided to go forward with public hearings for the gardening exemption and manufactured home definition.

Commissioners scheduled a public hearing regarding these factors for its June 10 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

The draft exemption to the land disturbing activity currently states, “home gardens, community gardens, home landscaping or lawn preparation on existing lots and parcels shall be exempt from permitting fees unless erosion, drainage and slope stabilization concerns necessitate a land disturbance permit as required in Section 3.10 of the city ordinance when determined by the zoning administrator.”

Commissioner George Sweet said he thinks the exemption for gardens and landscaping is in accordance with the city’s intent. He said people technically need a permit and “we didn’t think they should have to get one.”

The draft manufactured home definition can be found in the N.C. General Statutes 143-145(7).

“It is a structure, transportable in one or more sections, which in the traveling mode is eight feet or more in width, 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet; and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling, with or without permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, including the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems contained therein. A manufactured home includes any structure that meets all of the requirements of this subsection except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the Secretary of HUD and complies with the standards established under the Act. Further, a label in the form of a certification is required by HUD to be permanently affixed to each transportable section of the manufactured home,” states Saluda’s draft definition.

The Saluda Planning Board also sent recommendations to commissioners on definitions for boarding house, junk, junkyard, modular homes, motels and hotels and rooming house as well as a recommendation to amend the sign and outdoor advertising section of the ordinance. The rest of the planning board’s recommendations were sent back for further consideration.

Commissioner Lynn Cass said she wants more specifics in the definitions for boarding and rooming houses. Other commissioners expressed concern over the sign amendment recommendation, which is being proposed for signs in C business districts.