Aberdeen Town Board approves change to UDO for Wholesale businesses in certain districts

Town Board approves sale of property to NCDOT for road widening project

ABERDEEN — The Aberdeen Town Board met Monday, where they approved a change to the UDO and sold property to the Department of Transportation.

The board held a public hearing for a proposed text amendment to the UDO Principal Use Table to designate “Wholesale, Major” and “Wholesale, Minor” Use Types as a Permitted By-Right within the Light Industrial District, with additional Use Standards.

“The proposed amendment from SiteOne Landscape Supply is asking to add Wholesale, Major and Wholesale, Minor Use Types to the LI District and amend the Use Classification of those to allow the sale of toxic chemicals or substances, pesticides or fertilizers,” said Planner Danielle Orloff. “They are also wanting to add enhanced protections for any residential zoned areas by increasing landscape buffers from an average width of 45ft to 55 ft, minimum width from 35ft to 50ft, and to increase the minimum setbacks from 40ft to 55ft in the LI zoning district.”

According to the UDO, Wholesale, Major use type can be described as a wholesale use located in a building of more than 10,000 square feet of gross floor area or one that includes outdoor storage. In addition, it cannot sell toxic chemicals or substances, pesticides, or fertilizers. Wholesale, Minor use types can be described as a wholesale use located in a building of 10,000 square feet or gross floor area or less that does not include outdoor storage, nor does it sell toxic chemicals or substances, pesticides, or fertilizers. Also, Light Industrial District, as currently described in UDO, does not allow wholesale major or minor use types.

The amendment, according to the applicant, Area Business Manager Brent Sanders, was just so that they could relocate their business, which was upended due to the NCDOT road widening project, to a potential site located in a LI district.

The amendment came with full staff approval because they viewed it as a reasonable request and one that was perhaps an oversight to not include Wholesale businesses in the LI district.

However, the board did have concerns about future issues in relation to residential areas. Even though the applicant’s property is not near residential properties, the amendment is tricky because it would be a broader change. There were also concerns regarding the proposed toxic chemicals or substances, pesticides, or fertilizers, as well as their potential impacts on surrounding areas.

“To get this to work, we need to make sure that the people are going to be protected while [Sanders] gets what he’s looking for tonight,” said Mayor Robert Farrell. “This is a balancing act between industrial and residential, and sometimes it gets real tough to make it work, but we’ve got to make it work.”

Following the hearing, the board approved the text amendment with the condition that ‘non-airborne toxic chemicals of a standard agricultural or landscaping use shall be required for indoor storage in sealed containers.’ 

According to the board, this condition will work to prevent a secondary party from attempting to abuse the newly allowed regulations and keep the types of toxic materials potentially introduced into the district very limited.

The board then approved an offer from the NCDOT to purchase town property near Highway 211 in relation to the Road Widening Project on Highway 211.

After negotiating a better deal, the town managed to land on a price of $34,000 for 0.489 acres of land at the corner of Highway 211 and Glasgow Street, as well as 0.287 acres of land for a permanent utility easement and 0.026 acres for a temporary construction easement. In total, 0.802 acres of town property.

The Aberdeen Town Board will next meet January 23.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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