In its continued effort to align zoning in downtown Elkin to what will best suit its desired atmosphere and economic success, the town board of commissioners made adjustments to uses allowed for the zoning ordinance’s B-1 Overlay District.
This new text, which was approved unanimously following a public hearing during which no one spoke out on the subject, will allow medical, dental, optometry and physical therapy offices and clinics as a “permitted principal use” only south of the railroad right-of-way and north of Market Street.
Mayor Sam Bishop expressed concern with allowing the new uses in the area south of the railroad, because it is near the new heritage center, which he said he considers as part of downtown. He specifically cited the issue earlier in the year with a drug treatment program seeking a location in the downtown area. “I can see north of Market Street,” Bishop said.
But Commissioner Cicely McCulloch, a Main Street property and business owner, said of the riverside part of downtown, “I don’t think anyone is going to build in a flood plain.”
Also, George Crater, town planning director, said medical facilities must meet certain parking requirements and that those buildings being looked at as potential medical arts are north of Market Street.
The town’s planning board also recommended the approval of the text changes, Crater said.
“The main corridor [of downtown] there will be no medical offices, so I think we are protecting what we intended to,” said Commissioner Terry Kennedy. He added that some of the buildings, such as the former Yadkin Bank buildings, “aren’t really conducive to retail, but someone with a medical practice might be willing to make adjustments.”
Kennedy also agreed with McCulloch that it is very cost prohibitive to try building in a flood plain due to the height off the ground the building would need to be in new construction.
Two other public hearings were held on requested property rezonings during Monday’s meeting of the town board. Property at 124 Van Eaton St. and 159 Hayes St. were petitioned to be rezoned from R-20 residential to B-2 highway business by the owners.
The board voted to recuse Commissioner Jeff Eidson from both votes since he is involved in the estate which owns the property. Signing to request the rezoning changes were James Partin on behalf of Nancy Wilkes and James Partin.
The property at Van Eaton Road is adjacent to lots already zoned B-2 and is located near the U.S. 21 southbound off-ramp onto CC Camp Road. The Hayes Street property fronts CC Camp Road southwest of McDonald’s.
Both rezonings were recommended for approval by the planning board, and the commissioners unanimously voted to approve both changes.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved spending $1,000 to have the aid of the Piedmont Triad Regional Council in preparing a North Carolina Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Application.
• Granted permission for a special plaque to be displayed at the Elkin Rock Façade’s linear park honoring the donation of Prism Medical Products in helping with the completion of the project.
• Unanimously voted to close Court and Church streets from 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween night to provide safe trick-or-treating for children along Main Street in downtown. The closure will prevent vehicles from going through the lines of families off of the side streets onto Main Street. The request was made by the Main Street Advisory Board.
• After a closed session for personnel, voted to give a merit increase to Town Manager John Holcomb, moving his salary to $110,000 annually retroactive to July 1.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.