Planning board looks at signs, commissioners to learn about Tasers.
by Clellie Allen
ROLESVILLE — For the second time in three years, the town of Rolesville is attempting to bring clarity to its sign ordinance.
It might seem drafting municipal code concerning signs would be a straightforward enterprise. However, there are many options, today, for signage — such as signs on gas pumps, on the sides of vehicles and even the twirly signs spun by college kids — and that makes the task difficult.
“The current ordinance is vague — and not in a good way,” Planning Director Thomas Lloyd told the planning board at its July 22 meeting. “It’s difficult to interpret and even more difficult to enforce.”
But rather than rushing to just cobble together a new ordinance, Lloyd, Town Manager Bryan Hicks and other staff took their time so they could present something as unencumbering as possible.
“The way our UDO (unified development ordinance) works, if something is not expressly written into the code, it is not allowed,” Lloyd said, explaining the need to make the ordinance as precise as possible.
What Lloyd doesn’t want to do, however, is make things more difficult for businesses.
“The new (draft) language is not more or less restrictive than the current ordinance,” he said. “We did not want to create a bunch of non-conforming signs.”
The planning board has only just begun to take up the task of evaluating the draft language. Lloyd says he anticipates several meetings with the planning board and also meetings with business owners and town residents to gain input.
Ultimately, the board of commissioners will have the final say on the ordinance once they receive recommendations from the planning board.
Tasers come to town
The board of commissioners will hear from the police department about their new “use of force policy” and the incorporation of Tasers into the department at its Monday, Aug. 5 meeting.
Bringing Tasers on board was one of the many recommendations Chief Matt Anderson made to the board last year after he was promoted to the top spot.
At that time, Anderson presented data to show that in spite of some of the negative press the use of Tasers has received over the years, injuries to both law enforcement officers and suspects fall dramatically when Tasers are used to subdue uncooperative persons.
Tasers allow officers to maintain a safe distance, said Anderson, an important factor in a small department like Rolesville’s where an injured officer would have a major impact on the ability to staff all shifts.
New home possible
The board is also expected to hold a public hearing regarding a text amendment to the UDO to create an Urban Mobile Home-Watershed (UMH-W) district. This would allow Jennie and Clair Stampp to put a mobile home back on the property where their first home stood before being destroyed by the April 16, 2011 tornado which swept through Rolesville. The planning board enthusiastically recommended the board pass such an amendment. (See “Planning board agrees there’s no place like home,” The Rolesville Weekly, June 26, 2013)
After the board holds a vote on the UDO text change, if successful, they will then hear a request to rezone the Stampp’s one-acre parcel off of East Young Street to the new UMH-W zone.
Spa for pets could open
A public hearing will also be held to allow animal service facilities as a special use in the commercial, commercial outlying and industrial zoning districts. This would permit businesses that operate pet grooming, boarding and daycare type of facilities.
If that is successful, then the board will hear Dr. Frank Batten’s petition for a special use permit for his Rolesville Pet Resort and Spa to open at 312 South Main Street, the site of the former Rolesville Veterinary Clinic.
In his presentation to the planning board, which signaled positively in response, Batten explained that his concept of a pet resort and spa included individual rooms for pets that would be decorated with beds, pictures on the wall and other items that would make the stay like being at home for the pet.
The board of commissioners meets at 7 p.m. in the town hall, 502 Southtown Circle.
The town has hired an additional full-time planner in response to the overwhelming growth the town has seen, especially in residential development.
Matthew Klem is a 2010 graduate of Appalachian State University and has worked for both the towns of Knightdale and Wendell before being hired by Rolesville.
“Matthew is well-versed in the Wake County permitting system,” said Lloyd as he introduced Klem.