City seeking public input

Published 7:57 pm Thursday, December 27, 2007

By Staff
Interchanges, synthetic siding to be discussed on Jan. 14
Contributing Editor
Washington’s City Council will conduct a public hearing Jan. 14. on imposing a temporary moratorium on development located in proposed highway interchange overlay districts.
The council also will conduct a public hearing on imposing a temporary moratorium on the use of synthetic composite siding as a replacement for wood siding on homes located in the Washington Historic District.
Those hearings have been set for 6 p.m. in the council chambers of the municipal building at 102 E. Second St.
Anyone interested in having their views on the proposed moratoriums heard and considered by the council should attend one or both of the hearings, said Bobby Roberson, the city’s director of planning and development, on Wednesday.
Having adequate controls in place will help the bypass corridor to develop in a way that’s attractive, Roberson has said in the past. City officials have said they don’t want the corridor lined with all types of development.
A city document defines an interchange area as an area consisting of a 3,000-foot radius around the center of an interstate highway interchange.
One of the two interchange overlay districts for the bypass corridor will be located where the bypass intersects U.S. Highway 264 near the southern end of Whispering Pines Road. The other overlay district will be located where the bypass intersects U.S. Highway 17 adjacent to the northern end of Whispering Pines Road.
During its October meeting, the Washington Planning Board talked about the possibility of forming highway interchange overlay districts to help guide growth around the U.S. Highway 17 bypass interchanges in Washington. The board formed a subcommittee to discuss the possibility of implementing a temporary moratorium on development around those interchanges. At its November meeting, the board suggested the council conduct a public hearing on whether to implement the moratorium.
The council’s concerns with development near the bypass corridor go back to early 2006. That July, the council implemented a temporary moratorium on approving development on properties within 500 feet on either side of the bypass corridor boundary within the city’s jurisdiction. The moratorium was extended until Aug. 6 of this year.
In early 2006, the council began discussing the need to protect the bypass corridor from unwanted development. Existing land-use control ordinances are not adequate to respond to expected increased development adjacent to the bypass, according to the city. Land uses along the bypass right-of-way are expected to include, but not be limited to, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional.