Stanfield Council approves subdivision ordinance amendment

Published 10:57 pm Sunday, November 18, 2018

By Jesse Deal, for the SNAP

On Thursday night, the Stanfield Board of Commissioners held a public hearing and special-called meeting to consider an amendment to the town’s subdivision ordinance.

The amendment, designed to clarify regulations between minor and major subdivisions, passed by a vote of 2 to 1. The public hearing was offered before and after the decision, though any public discourse was largely absent.

Commissioner Greg Lucas made a motion to approve, which was seconded by Commissioner Rick Williams. Commissioner Jerry Williams’ vote was the lone nay vote, with Commissioners Larry Sides and James Griffin absent from the meeting.

“I think it’s placing too much of a hardship on anybody trying to do anything,” Jerry Williams said. “This is not Charlotte.”

However, Stanfield Mayor Kevin Barbee and Town Planner Kathy Liles reiterated the benefits of the changes to the town’s codes.

“More or less, it’s to try to clarify and straighten out the ordinance’s ambiguities in regards to a major or minor subdivision,” Barbee said. “The way that’s described in what’s required in the preliminary plat has been further defined, so that people who are submitting a plat or not having to submit a plat are clarified.”

Liles, who has been employed by the town since Oct. 8, said she designed the amendment to make neighborhood planning easier for local developers.

“I felt it just needed to be sorted out so it applied to the right thing at the right time,” Liles said. “That way, I could give a more favorable review of these minor subdivisions that are coming in. Looking at them with the written criteria, they would have to do a lot of improvements. With this amendment, the mayor can sign off knowing that the subdivision is compliant with the code.”

She said the previous design criteria didn’t distinguish what applied to new subdivisions, meaning someone wanting to get approval for a minor subdivision would have to include things typically expected for a major subdivision, such as sidewalks and street lights.

“What I did by making this amendment was to try to draw a distinction between what you do for a minor and major subdivision. Within the major category, there are things you need to see on preliminary plat so you know that you are making a good decision,” Liles said. “You might not see full grading plans but you might want to see how they’re going to handle the property, the size of the roads they’re putting in, where they’re putting the sidewalk — those kind of things.”

The town board will return to its normal schedule with a meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Town Hall.