Polk approves expanded equestrian zoning for TIEC

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, December 8, 2016

MILL SPRING– The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) has purchased additional property and the Polk County Board of Commissioners approved rezoning the additional 18.75 acres into the county’s Equestrian Village zoning district.

Commissioners met Monday, Dec. 5 and approved the rezoning and also discussed proposed development at TIEC.

The new properties to be incorporated into the Equestrian Village zoning district include 2.68 acres off John Shehan Road and 16.07 acres off U.S. 74 near the facility.

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Commissioner Ray Gasperson said a lot of building is going to happen at TIEC and asked what are the next steps for Polk County.

Polk County Planner Cathy Ruth said TIEC will have to submit plans for what they are building, with reviews from an administrative perspective, including the fire marshal and building inspector. Ruth said the county will make sure everything meets requirements.

Gasperson asked county fire marshal Bobby Arledge about sprinkler system requirements for new buildings.

TIEC was recently approved to host the World Equestrian Games, with several new building projects in order to host the games in September 2018.

Gasperson said TIEC is going to be constructing without a doubt, some of the tallest buildings in Polk County.

Gasperson said Arledge will need to make sure if the buildings need sprinkler systems they have them. Arledge said that is correct.

“Between now and building permits, even though (the buildings) are multiple stories, the fact that we don’t have a ladder (fire) truck does not permit you to pass inspection?” Gasperson asked Arledge.

Arledge responded that buildings can pass inspection without the county having a ladder truck.

Commissioner Ted Owens said there is a ladder truck within 12 miles of Polk County.

Arledge said there is one in Rutherfordton and in Forest City and Polk County has mutual aid agreements and can call upon those departments if needed.

Owens asked if TIEC needed to come back to the county for another variance how much time would that take.

“Time is very important,” Owens said.

Ruth said rezoning usually takes 2-3 months to get approved. She said TIEC requested the current rezoning on Oct. 26 and she needs 10-25 days to advertise twice for a public hearing.

“There’s a lot of building and a lot of stuff happening in two years and they need to be prepared for that,” Owens said.

Polk held a public hearing on Monday regarding the rezoning but no public comments were made.

The Polk County Planning Board recently voted unanimously to recommend the rezoning of the new properties. Both the planning board and board of commissioners approved a setback of 25 feet.

The Equestrian Village zoning district was originally approved by the county in April 2013.