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Newton City Council votes no on accessory dwellings
[December 14, 2012]

Newton City Council votes no on accessory dwellings

NEWTON, N.C., Dec 12, 2012 (Hickory Daily Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Accessory dwellings won't be allowed in the city of Newton.

After discussing it at several meetings, the Newton City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to deny a change in the city's ordinance to allow detached accessory buildings of no more than 500 square feet.

Newton resident Johnnie Bolick was the only person to speak during the public hearing on the measure. Bolick told the council her concern was the ordinance would allow detached dwellings and she was afraid it would hurt the value of her home. She also questioned what would happen to a dwelling when the person it was built for, such as an elderly parent, was no longer living there.

Bolick also questioned who would monitor how many people were living in a detached dwelling, and expressed concern that it could be used for a business or rental property.

Alex Fulbright, assistant planning director, said the accessory dwelling had to have similar building and design elements as the main house and couldn't be a metal building. Albright said within the last 10 years, the city has had about 40 people asking about building an accessory dwelling on their property.

Council member Wayne Dellinger said there are people who need an additional dwelling on their property but if the city allows it then everyone could build an accessory dwelling.

Fulbright told the council that some subdivision rules will not allow accessory dwellings and those rules would over-ride the city's ordinance.

Council member Robert Abernethy said the ordinance as it is written is not exactly what's needed and proposed the council meet with the planning commission, which recommended the ordinance.

In other business, the council: --Approved modifying a planned development at Catawba County Government Center to include a parking deck. The parking deck is part of a Catawba County expansion of the Justice Center.

--Approved awarding a financing bid for infrastructure improvements to BB&T, and approved financing terms. The financing is at an interest rate of 1.56 percent for five years, 1.78 percent for seven years and 2.60 percent for 15 years. The council voted to approve $486,100 for vehicles, $289,000 for a Ford F-800 Line Truck and $1.3 million for water, sewer and electric improvements. Serina Hinson, finance director for the city, said several items had to be pulled from the financing because they weren't ready to bid out.

--Approved accepting a $4,000 ElectriCities Smart Communities grant for the city's wayfinding project. In September, the council approved spending $10,000 to create a wayfinding plan for the city.

___ (c)2012 Hickory Daily Record (Hickory, N.C.) Visit the Hickory Daily Record (Hickory, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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