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New Commercial Truck Routes, Recognition of Litter Clean Up Leaders, Info on Minimum Housing and More on Monday's Town Council Agenda

06/01/2018

We hope you will join us 6 p.m. Monday, June 4 for the Clayton Town Council meeting at The Clayton Center/Town Hall, 111 East Second Street in Downtown Clayton.

You can view the full agenda packet online here, or click here to download a PDF copy. Here are the highlights:

Recognition of Local Litter Patrols

Do you ever wish you could make a "Citizen's Arrest" when you see someone throw trash out a car window? Tired of seeing our beautiful landscapes and roadsides cluttered with litter?

On Monday, the Mayor & Town Council will recognize two people who have taken action and inspired others in the battle against litter. 

Matthew Lloyd is only 6 years old, but this Downtown Clayton resident and Cooper Academy student is showing no shyness in tackling this BIG issue! Matthew has inspired people in his neighborhood and community to pick up trash and beautify our Town. In just two hours one Saturday morning, he and his crew of volunteers filled more than 15 bags with trash near his school. Matthew’s efforts have even grabbed the attention Johnston County’s largest private employer and one of our most passionate corporate environmental stewards – Grifols! On Tuesday, the global leader in plasma-derived medicines has invited Matthew to its Clayton plant to honor him for joining forces with Grifols in the fight against trash.

The Council will also recognize another crusader in this fight – Clayton resident and artist Jen Kehrer. She kick-started the #CleanUpClayton effort and it’s gaining HUGE momentum. Disgusted by the amount of litter on the roadsides of our community and disheartened that her community had become an eyesore, Kehrer took to inspiring neighbors to join her to tackle litter, one weekend at a time. Her before-and-after pictures following a clean-up are astounding and applause worthy! She’s showing how just a few people can make a difference, and her efforts are helping to change attitudes.

“It is bad for the environment and for our reputation as a healthy, safe and clean place to live,” she writes on her popular Facebook group, where more than 150 people have joined the cause in just weeks. “We’re committed to cleaning up Clayton, North Carolina. #CleanUpClayton doesn't mind picking up the garbage, but hopes to inspire others by setting an example.”

Click here to learn even more.

Minimum Housing Process Update

Keeping Clayton’s neighborhoods safe, healthy, and attractive is an important part of maintaining out town’s vitality. Town Council set a goal of maintaining a safe, clean, engaged community. Blighted structures take away from that goal, not only putting the people who live there in danger, but creating a domino effect where one dilapidated property can lead to a decline in other parts of neighborhood, to crime, decreased property values and a loss of our sense of community.

The Planning Department, with assistance from the Engineering & Inspections Department, oversees a program to regulate housing and property to assure the protection of the health, safety and welfare of our residents. The Town works to ensure compliance with our minimum housing code, both through voluntary compliance and, if necessary, enforcement. 

Now, with three months under her belt as Town of Clayton Planning Director, Samantha Wullenwaber will draw upon her extensive minimum housing experience to present an overview of our current program to the Town Council. The Council earmarked $20,000 for minimum housing action in the recently approved budget for fiscal year 2018-19, and Wullenwaber will refresh the councilmen's knowledge of the Town's housing ordinance. That will include walking them through the process that moves a nuisance structure to either repair, renovation or demolition. The briefing will help the Council make decisions that improve our Town's appearance and ensure houses are safe for residents and the community.

Public Hearings

The Council will open the floor for public discussion before voting to approve or deny the following:

Designated Commercial Truck Routes

Staff proposes an amendment to the Town's Code of Ordinances that would designate certain routes for commercial truck traffic inside Clayton's town limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Currently, the Code only restricts traffic on a handful of streets in Town. The proposed amendment would provide a comprehensive list of available commercial truck routes and establish penalties for violations. Click here for the proposed ordinance, which includes a list of the list of roads, and click here for a map.

By establishing designated commercial truck routes, the Town would protect its roads from costly repairs caused by heavy truck traffic; provide safety and enjoyment to residents by eliminating regular truck travel through neighborhoods; and generally promote the efficiency and safety of the connecting street system.

The new routes would also reduce the amount of truck traffic in Downtown Clayton. In 2017, drivers in Downtown Clayton reported 11 incidents where parked cars were sideswiped, causing $33,000 in property damage. During the 2018 retreat, Councilman Butch Lawter's car was sideswiped while parked on Main Street. Click here for more info.

Floodplain Ordinance Revisions

Staff proposes an amendment to the Town's Code of Ordinances to adopt the updated Flood Insurance Rate Map, which is required to maintain participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The new maps are available for viewing on the N.C. Flood Mapping Program's website using the Flood Risk Information System (FRIS) viewer.

The Council must take action by June 20 to remain in the program.

Setting June 18 Public Hearings

The Town Council will take a first look at the following items and consider scheduling public hearings for them on the Monday, June 18 agenda:

Steeplechase: Up to 600-Unit Development North of Sam's Branch Creek

Shenandoah Homes Inc. seeks rezoning and site plan approval to develop up to 600 houses on 266.72 acres of land located north of Sam's Branch Creek bordering City Road to the west, Covered Bridge Road to the north and North O'Neil Street to the east. The development would have entrances from each of those three roads.

The site plan shows a cluster of about 161 townhouses along Covered Bridge Road, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the units, with the remaining 424-plus units to be developed as single-family houses. A main amenity area would include a clubhouse and pool, as well as a possible playground, putting green and other associated nonresidential features, such as a coffee shop, small food service restaurant and/or a small postal service shop. These amenities would be intended only for residents of the development and not draw people from surrounding neighborhoods.

Nearly a third of the development is shown as open space, recreation area or resource conservation area, including several pocket parks and a 16-acre pond that will include a boat dock and fishing pier. The dam on the pond, dubbed Earp Lake, would be reconstructed with a road on top of it. A walking trail would encircle the pond, and a series of multi-use trails would connect the houses in the neighborhood. The trails would eventually tie into the Sam's Branch Greenway. 

NCDOT reviewed a traffic impact analysis (TIA) report for the development and recommended numerous improvements to surrounding roads. They include several new and lengthened turn lanes; a new stoplight at the intersection of Covered Bridge and Shotwell roads; and a stoplight at the intersection of Covered Bridge Road and North O'Neil Street. Due to existing traffic, NCDOT would restrict work hours for road construction. For more info, including lists of new and extended turn lanes, see NCDOT's TIA review report and its letter to the Planning Director.

In addition to site plan approval, the applicant is requesting the land be rezoned to Planned Development-Residential from from Residential-Estate, Residential-10 (R-10), and Neighborhood Business (B-2). The land is owned by the Raymond Elmore Earp, Jr. Family Trust; Nancy Crews Earp Trustee; and Mary Worley.

The Planning Board reviewed the rezoning request and site plan on May 29 and recommended the Council approve them.

Rezoning of Historic Clayton Spinning Mill

Bass, Nixon and Kennedy Inc. seeks rezoning of 24.5 acres – located east of East Front Street and south of Central Street – that houses the historic Clayton Spinning Mill.

The request would rezone the entire property to Neighborhood Business (B-2) from a mixture of Central Business (B-1), Office-Institutional (O-I), Highway Business-Special Use District (B-3-SUD), and Residential-Estate (R-E).

More than 100 years old, the 55,000-square-foot Clayton Spinning Mill once housed 100 workers and the whir of more than 10,000 spindles before shuttering in 1976.

Staff supports the rezoning in its report: "A downzoning of the property from B-1 to B-2 would be in keeping with the intent of the Future Land Use Map and Comprehensive Plan, which encourage a focusing of development in areas that are already served by public infrastructure, and close to the downtown area. Also, this rezoning would provide for a better mix of uses across the parcels, that would support the neighboring uses and compliment the growth of the general area, particularly given the proximity to Main Street and downtown."

The applicant has separately submitted a major site plan to renovate the historic Clayton Spinning Mill building into a loft apartment building with 25 apartments and build 8 new apartment buildings on the surrounding properties to the south and east of the mill building. Those plans are still in the technical review process and will eventually go the Planning Board for approval.

The Planning Board reviewed the rezoning request on May 29 and recommended the Council approve it.

Review Bodies Amendments: Changes to Planning and Adjustment Boards

The Town of Clayton Planning Board is a vital group of volunteers that helps to advise Town Council on development and rezonings in Town and is sometimes the final decision maker things like site plans for new development projects, such as new retail uses, restaurants, apartment buildings on rezonings and other development related items.

A similar but separate board is the Board of Adjustment, which serves to interpret the Town’s ordinances and policies when unique situations or special cases come up.

In an effort to streamline the duties of the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment, staff is proposing to fold the responsibilities of both boards into one.

They are also requesting to remove the review authority of quasi-judicial applications from Planning Board to allow these applications to proceed directly to Town Council for public hearings.

330 W. Stallings St. (Former Site of Champion House)

CommunitySmith LLC seeks rezoning to Residential-6 from Residential-8 of 0.5 acres located along North Robertson Street between West Stallings and West Whitaker streets. Owned by 101 W. First Street LLC, the land is the former site of the Champion House, which was demolished in April.

The applicant separately seeks a special-use permit to allow development of a duplex on a 0.22-acre section of the site, which is located on the north side of the property facing West Whitaker Street.

On the southern part of the property, the developer would build two single-story houses on roughly 2,000-acre lots, according to the submitted site plan.

The Planning Board reviewed the rezoning request on May 29 and recommended the Council approve it. The Board recommended approval of the special-use permit, with the added condition that the developer build a sidewalk along Robertson Street.

Spring Branch Plaza Rezoning

Bartlett Engineering & Surveying PC seeks to rezone 2.12 acres to Highway Business (B-3) from Residential-Estate. The land is located in the northeast corner of N.C. 42 and Johnson Estate Road, and it's owned by Spring Branch Plaza LLC; Spring Branch Square LLC.

The land borders the Spring Branch Medical Center to the north and east, and that land is zoned Planned Development – Mixed Use.

The Planning Board reviewed the rezoning request on May 29 and recommended the Council approve it.

Setting the June 18 Consent Agenda

The Council does not plan to vote on the following items Monday. However, routine and otherwise uncontroversial items may be grouped together onto a Consent Agenda, which the Council approves together in a single vote at the following meeting. Here are the items up for placement on the June 18 Consent Agenda:

Utility Relocation Reimbursement Agreement

Since mid-January, drivers on N.C. 42 East have experienced delays due to the start of tree-clearing for the upcoming $43.1 million project to widen N.C. 42 East to four lanes between Glen Laurel Road and Buffalo Road. With tree-clearing finishing up, it’s time to begin grading and moving existing utilities back off the road to make way for the widening.

The Town of Clayton has sanitary sewer lines that run along N.C. 42. They are allowed in the right-of-way thanks to an encroachment agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). That agreement states that once NCDOT contracts with a company to relocate those utilities, the Town must reimburse NCDOT.

The estimate of that reimbursement $21,635. Staff seeks authorization for the Town Manager to execute that agreement and to allocate money for it.

The widening work is set to begin in 2019 and includes a complete replacement of the bridge over the Neuse River. The payment would likely be made to NCDOT in the fiscal year 2019-20 budget after the work is complete.

Triangle J Council of Governments Charter

For the first time since 1996, the Triangle J Council of Governments has updated its charter. The changes are minor, such as removing gender-specific language; updating references to technology; adjusting style such as capitalization and punctuation; and modifying membership to the executive committee.

Originally established in 1959 as the Research Triangle Regional Planning Commission, the Triangle J Council of Governments (TCOJ) has evolved into the lead regional planning organization for a seven-county region and 41 local governments. Member governments include Johnston, Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Lee and Moore counties – and 41 municipal governments (including the Town of Clayton) across the seven-county region.

The TCOJ has asked the Town of Clayton to adopt the updated charter by the end of June. 

Need More Info?

If you have any questions about the agenda or any other Town-related issues, please feel free to email Public Information Officer Stacy Beard or call her at 919-358-0348. You may also email Assistant Public Information Officer John Hamlin or call him at 919-480-0170.

Have a great weekend, and we hope to see you at the meeting.

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