Polk sets hearing to rezone TIEC parcel

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

COLUMBUS – The Polk County Board of Commissioners set a public hearing for June 19 at 7 p.m. to hear comments regarding rezoning 1.76 acres of Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) property.

TIEC requested the 1.76-acre portion of P105-17 to be rezoned to Equestrian Village District to allow its permitted uses.

The property adjoins and is contiguous with the present Equestrian Village District and the Equestrian District. The county’s Equestrian District zoning currently includes more than 1,000 acres and the Equestrian Village District now includes more than 29 acres.

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Polk County rezoned three properties in May to Equestrian Village zoning, including P105-13, P105-20 and P015-66.

During the commissioners’ June 5 meeting to set the June 19 public hearing, commissioner Ray Gasperson clarified that the rezoning is being requested by TIEC not the county. Gasperson also said TIEC has paid all their taxes to the county. Gasperson has said he would like anyone requesting a rezoning to be current on taxes but since he cannot make that a requirement he at least will ask every time.

During citizen comments, Gray Lancaster said he doesn’t like that TIEC is allowed to construct buildings 60 feet high while the rest of the county is restricted to 40 feet. Lancaster said he feels like the county is giving the horse park a blank check because the height restrictions start from the foundation, saying they could pile 60 ft. of dirt before they even start a building. He also complained about recent signs placed by the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding a detour in the TIEC area and wondered if the county could get their engineers or attorneys to stop the state from closing the road. He said there are elderly people who would not be able to get medical help quickly with roads closed.

Commissioner chair Tommy Melton said he agreed with Lancaster and directed county manager Marche Pittman to reach out to DOT officials on the issue.

Monday’s public hearing on the rezoning will be at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus.