City council notes and quotes
By Hugh Fisher
The Kannapolis City Council held its second regular meeting April 28 at the Kannapolis Train Station.
All council members were present. Councilman Richard Anderson gave the invocation.
Among items of business before the council were:
• Members voted unanimously, without further discussion, to approve an amended version of the burglar alarm ordinance introduced at the April 14 meeting.
The new ordinance requires owners of all homes and businesses with burglar alarms to get a permit from the city at a cost of $20 per alarm.
The law also requires owners to keep up-to-date contact information on file with the Kannapolis Police Department, and sets a schedule of warnings and fines for false alarms sent by automatic alarms and monitoring services.
Police Chief Woody Chavis told the council last month that false alarms account for hundreds of hours of wasted time for officers each month.
The ordinance was changed to remove a clause requiring a $20 annual fee for alarm permits after concern from commissioners that the yearly charge would create an unfair burden.
• The council voted unanimously to create new commissions to provide recommendations on environmental, economic and diversity concerns in Kannapolis.
The newly-created Environmental Stewardship Commission, Kannapolis Diversity and Newcomers Commission and Citizens’ Advisory Commission for Community Development are the result of ideas first brought to the council in November.
“These commissions are being created so that the city could be proactive in the changes and the growth that we will experience,” Community Outreach Coordinator Renee Goodnight said.
According to Goodnight’s report to the council, the Diversity and Newcomers Commission “is to ensure that Kannapolis is a community that welcomes newcomers … promotes understanding among residents from different cultures and backgrounds … while also valuing longtime citizens.”
Fifteen people will serve on the commission. Council members accepted the slate of names chosen from applicants and stakeholders selected by Goodnight and city staff.
Nine of these represent Kannapolis and Cabarrus County educational and community organizations, including the Cabarrus Health Alliance, the Kannapolis Police Department, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Kannapolis City Schools.
The remaining seven seats are filled by persons recommended by Goodnight and staff members; two further seats await the recommendation of representatives from Castle & Cooke and CMC-NorthEast.
Seven others who applied were not recommended.
“This in no way implies that these citizens would not make good commission members,” Goodnight said in her report.
The new Environmental Stewardship Commission, which will replace the city beautification committee, is comprised of 15 Kannapolis residents chosen from a pool of 20 applicants.
The Community Development commission is composed of nine city residents who will monitor federal housing dollars and redevelopment efforts.
Among other things, they will make recommendations on the use of the federal Community Development Block Grant funds used to improve low-income areas of Kannapolis.
All three committees will make recommendations on pertinent issues and potential legislation to the city council.
Their members will serve an initial term of one year each, after which the city council will revisit the commissions and determine an appropriate term of service.
“The first meetings will be the last week of May or the first week of June,” Goodnight said. “We are ready to start as soon as they (the members) are ready to start.”
• Council members approved an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance to create a new zoning class, Campus Development-Residential, to allow a new development in the vicinity of the Afton Ridge shopping center.
Assistant Planning Director Ben Warren, presenting the amendment to council members, said that the classification had been narrowly designed to support only one current project, a multi-family housing development planned for a site behind the Target store in the Afton Ridge Shopping Center off Kannapolis Parkway.
Warren said the project will be designed to integrate with the shopping center and to be unobtrusive.
“By setting the complex in that area, it is something that can’t be seen from Kannapolis Parkway or (Interstate) 85,” he said.
The narrow requirements for the district require a CD-R development to be adjacent to an existing area of 60 acres or more currently zoned Campus Development. It also requires such developments to be located within a half-mile of Interstate 85.
This allows the city to give this development without any spot-zoning issues and without “opening up a can of worms,” as Warren said, for housing developments in the midst of office or industrial areas.
City Manager Mike Legg said that the growth of business and residential projects in the area called for measured growth along with new multifamily residential units.
“We’re finding that high-quality multifamily (development) is a good way to strengthen the retail environment along Kannapolis Parkway,” Legg said.
“But are we setting ourselves up for something in the future, that would be outside of the current city limits?” council member Richard Anderson asked.
Legg said that was not the case, unless the council voted to rezone another area along I-85.
He also told the council that the new zoning would help improve the quality of the area.
“There’ve been a lot of mistakes made in a lot of places where you have isolated employment … everybody has to drive to those places, either for work or for shopping.”
Legg said the new zoning will open up the opportunity for residential growth adjacent to growing retail and commercial areas without sacrificing any prime industrial plots.
• The council approved the plan for using the 2008-09 Community Development Block Grant funds, and chose to devote $26,439 of unallocated money to build new sidewalks near Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.
The project will cover installing about 270 feet of sidewalk, curbing and gutter along parts of Walnut Street and Ninth Street.
Contact Hugh Fisher at 704-933-3450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.