County still undecided on whether to rezone Advance land for HVAC business

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

The possible rezoning of 3 acres of land in Advance has been postponed by county commissioners.

Brad Rye had requested the land off NC 801 near Sowers Lane be rezoned from residential to highway business conditional.

Although one commissioner indicated they are against the proposal, the decision was made to postpone a vote until next month so that additional conditions be set and agreed upon – including more buffers and re-location of the building by at least 20 feet.

After neighbor Jody Everette pointed out that Rye owns other properties more suitable for such a business, board member Benita Finney said: “Of all the places in the county, and all of the places you already own, why would you choose this location in the middle of all of these residences?”

Rye plans to put a metal structure on the property for his heating and air business, with outside dumpsters for storage. The property he owns in Bermuda Run would require more grading and a brick exterior because of town ordinances, pushing the cost upwards of $1 million, Rye said.

“What ifs and maybes, I’m also hearing that from your side,” Finney countered. “You’re not giving us definites and that is alarming to me. This is an area that I don’t consider suitable at all.”

Everette gave a presentation citing concerns with erosion, saying the property in question abuts residential back yards that are higher in elevation, meaning buffers wouldn’t work. He said if the board OKs the request, him and neighbors would have no option other than considering legal action.

“If this site was up there on the highway, and they could control the water and control the visibility situation, I wouldn’t be here tonight,” Everette said.

The site includes a drive on NC 801 to the property a bit off the road.

Sandra Mooneyham said her family has owned property there for more than 60 years, and that natural springs and family wells are nearby. She said an environmental impact study is warranted. “This is spot zoning at its finest. If you approve this, this will not be one and done, you will be setting a precedent for every resident of Davie County in a situation such as ours. There are enough road frontage sites available.”

Ashley Everette said she enjoys the signs that started popping up a few years ago that say, “Don’t change Davie County, let Davie County change you.” “This sign is what my family is fighting for,” she said. “This place in the woods is no place for a business of any kind, especially a HVAC facility with all of its scrap metal.”

Rye said there would be no outside storage of scrap metal, as his company contracts for its removal and it goes straight into a dumpster. “We are not trying to upset anybody.”

Finney pointed out that only one member of the county’s planning board visited the site, and that was the only member to vote against recommending the rezoning. She urged her fellow commissioners to visit it prior to next month’s vote.

“We’ve talked for months and months about preserving our rural character. Every citizen of this county, that’s what they want. Planting a metal building in the center of all of these houses is not preserving the rural character.”

The board is expected to make a decision at its May 6 meeting.