Waynesville residents can weigh in on skate park, noise June 11

By Mary Ann Enloe | May 17, 2013

Folks using Haywood County's on-demand transit service will have more shelters available as they wait for their rides, thanks to a unanimous vote Tuesday night of Waynesville's governing board. The board adopted the Planning Board's recommendation that, among other things, the town's Land Development Standards ordinance be amended to require shelter construction for commercial space of 50,000 square feet or more, add the requirement for "institutional" uses of 50,000 square feet or more, and delete the clause: "are adjacent to present of planned transit routes."


"Waynesville won't ever have planned transit routes, because of the size of the town," said Mayor Gavin Brown. "The service will always be on-demand."


At the public hearing preceding the vote, two residents spoke in favor of the ordinance amendment. No one spoke against it.


Philan Medford said to the board: "Imagine your weekly errands' destinations while imagining that you have mobility challenges and then look around in your destination and see if there is a convenient place to rest and wait for transit to return and pick you up."


Tamara Watson asked for clarity on 'grandfathering' in existing commercial buildings.


"Existing commercial buildings will not have to comply," said town manager Marcy Onieal, "But we hope this will encourage them to do so."


"This is not the end of this discussion" said Brown. "But it's one step closer to where we need to be."


Old-timers will remember that in the 1950's, a private bus line did run from Waynesville to the head of Allens Creek Road and back, with stops along Balsam Road and in Hazelwood.


The board also voted to adopt a zoning designation of "Dellwood Residential Medium Density" for the 7.2 acre parcel of land located at 2180 Dellwood Road which was recently annexed into the town. No one spoke at the public hearing.


Folks get an opportunity to talk about jake brakes at a public hearing on June 11. Waynesville is considering an ordinance amendment which would prohibit use of engine compression brakes within town limits, except in the case of emergency. The issue was prompted by citizen complaints about noise.


In anticipation of the opening of the town's long-awaited skateboard park, a public hearing will be held June 11 at 7 p.m. to consider an ordinance amendment which would require the use of helmets and elbow and knee pads at skate park facilities.


"This is to ensure the safety of park users and to reduce the town's liability," said Onieal.


The third public hearing scheduled for June 11 is to consider multiple ordinance amendments that would remove specific references to terms of office and discharge of duties in the Code of Ordinances, and replace those references with an annually reviewed and adopted Board & Commissions Manual.


"These three public hearings are not mandated by any statute," said Onieal. "But we believe that any time an ordinance is changed, the public should have the opportunity to weigh in."


In an update on the Junaluska-Waynesville merger, Onieal announced a tentative date of August 10 for a "Tour the Trucks" event at Lake Junaluska, where Waynesville will take fire engines, police cruisers, and trash trucks and crews to the Junaluska community for an introduction.


"It'll be a sort of a 'show-and-tell'," said the mayor.


In other business, Brown responded to a request by Mothers On A Mission Domestic Violence Organization and proclaimed June 15, 2013 as "North Carolina Domestic Violence Proclamation 100 Day."