Zoning: Residential to Commercial
Log Home Diary Entry # 7
I’m not going to pretend to be an adviser or attorney on this topic — I’m far from it. I’m just a log cabin guy with a passion for old authentic log structures and hearing about things of the past from the old timers. There aren’t many old timers left here in Chatham County, North Carolina. (At 53, I might become one of the “old timers” before long.) I’ve seen and am seeing a lot of changes here — some bad, some good. Drastic changes for land use and raised fees for residential building are making it almost impossible for small businesses to come into Chatham County, including our planned development.
Every county in North Carolina has different zoning rules and regulations. Do your homework before building: Get your facts from all the different departments in your county before you ever start a project that requires zoning.
If you have been following along, you know about the proposed Justice Plantation setup. Today, it is an old farm dating back to the late 1700s and falls under residential zoning. For us to host special events such as weddings, rehearsal diners, corporate events, etc., we have to have it re-zoned as a commercial development. That is OK, until you start finding out just how many people and departments are involved and the costs. Understand that, even after all the planning and expenses, we are not guaranteed approval. Chatham County officials will make that decision.
To obtain a conditional-use permit and a neighborhood business district permit is an intense process. To summarize, we have created a minor subdivision, splitting the total 10 acres into a two-acre lot and an eight-acre lot to allow existing road access to the site, and surveyed and identified all 12 structures on the property and boundary lines. Working with the residential setbacks and attempting to comply with the commercial setbacks, we are re-applying for septic permits that were issued June 2009.
Filing for re-zoning applications includes many additional tasks as well: conducting a riparian buffer study; submitting Department of Transportation studies; hiring a landscape architect to present the buffers, lighting, driveways and walkways; and hiring an attorney to compose and submit all the documents to be presented for the public hearing, planning board and county commissioners.
One thing is for sure: If we receive approvals, I am keeping the rural integrity and preserving the past of Chatham County for future generations to come. We’ll see.
Back to 1808 Restoration Diary.