Moore Commissioners move to simplify zoning rules
Fayetteville Observer (NC), 2014-02-19
Feb. 19--CARTHAGE -- Moore County commissioners adopted a new Unified Development Ordinance on Tuesday that combines the county's development and zoning laws into a single document.
County officials said the ordinance is meant to simplify regulations. About 265 properties were rezoned, but all changes were to designations rather than zoning requirements, officials said.
About 125 people attended the commissioners' meeting. Thirteen people spoke during a public hearing. Nine others signed up to talk, but decided not to speak after hearing county officials explain the changes.
Included in changes not related to rezoning are changes to cell tower regulations.
Scott Thomas, lives on N.C. 705, which is also known as Pottery Highway. He asked commissioners to oppose a part of the law that lessen restrictions for cell towers on his road.
Previously, towers had to be at least a mile from historic properties and scenic byways, such as Pottery Highway. The new law says towers have to be half a mile from historic properties and 500 feet from all public and private roads, including scenic byways.
Thomas said a 300-foot tower is proposed on property next to his. He said scenic byways should be treated differently than other roads.
"I have never denied that cell towers are needed," he said. "My debate and fight has always been location, location, location."
Commissioner Otis Ritter said 90 percent of calls to the county's emergency dispatch center come from cell phones.
"If you cannot make that phone ring down there, you can't get help," he said.
Chairman Larry Caddell said after the meeting that commissioners still have to approve cell towers in the county.
Debra Ensminger, the county's planning director, said during a break in the meeting that a cell phone tower company has indicated that it plans to ask for five towers on N.C. 705. The company submitted requests for the towers last year, but they were not approved because they didn't meet the requirements at the time.
Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-486-3572.
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