Troutman Council approves fire-access amendment to UDO
CATS Principal Larry Rogers, manicuring students Jayda Zsarmani and Elyssa Bowerson, and instructor Peggy Haynes were recognized by the Troutman Town Council on Thursday evening.
BY DEBBIE PAGE
At its regular meeting on Thursday night, Troutman Town Council members voted to amend the town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to codify its rules on emergency access to subdivisions in the town’s jurisdiction. Council members also approved a variety of requests and recognized a hometown celebrity and CATS students for their contributions to the community.
In 2003, the Town of Troutman adopted an optional Appendix D of the the fire code, which is enforced by the county’s fire marshal. This past summer, the fire marshal began interpreting one section of the appendix to require two physical accesses for developments with more than 30 residences, as opposed to allowing stubs for future development to count for secondary access as had been traditional practice.
The Town of Troutman has consistently valued and required road connectivity for safety and traffic flow through a physical connection as well as future stubs to meet the two-access requirement, such as in the Falls Cove subdivision, according to Town Planner Erika Martin.
However, this new interpretation of the fire code resulted in the loss of the multi-family MI Homes development off Crosstie Road.
To clarify the UDO, the council unanimously passed a text amendment that clarifies its fire access policy to match the town’s and county’s longstanding practice of allowing a stub-out to count as a secondary access.
Before the vote, council member Paul Henkel assured citizens that this adoption changes nothing but only continues what has been done in the past. The town’s staff could find no similar situation in the county or state matching this new interpretation of the fire code, taking everyone by surprise.
The desire of the staff and board is to have multiple accesses wherever feasible, added Henkel. Their intent is not to circumvent good fire practice or to put citizens or firefighters in danger. However, this UDO change will provide the flexibility needed to continue the smart residential and industrial growth in Troutman.
Town Manager Justin Longino said that he and Martin have been working closely with county officials and the fire marshal on this change as well as on a draft of an interlocal agreement that will allow the fire marshal to still supervise fire safety in the town under this new amendment after the future repeal of Appendix D from the town’s ordinances.
Longino hoped the agreement would be complete by the November preagenda meeting for council’s consideration. The agreement would likely need both council and County Commission approval.
PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT
Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson reported ceiling fans had been installed in the ESC Park Pavilion and the final sunshade installed on the playground.
She also praised the recent Scarecrow Building event, which over 100 families attended. The prize- winning scarecrows are on display in front of Town Hall.
Upcoming events include the free Couch to 5K program starting Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Depot, the safe Halloween day Trails and Treats event at ESC Park from 4 to 6 p.m., the Wicked Fast or Not 5K on October 28 at 6 p.m. at the Depot, and the Jingle Run on December 3.
Watson is also seeking more vendors for the 2nd Annual Holiday Market Craft Show on Nov. 11 at Troutman ESC Park. “This is a great opportunity to showcase your unique craft or design,” said Watson.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Branch manager Rebecca Lopez announced that the Iredell County Public Library system won a $100,000 grant to purchase and install self-checkout stations in the county’s libraries. Troutman staff will start tagging the library’s materials in anticipation of its two checkout stations, which are expected to be in place at the beginning of next year.
Lopez also invited the community to the Friends of the Library reception on Wednesday, October 18, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to celebrate National Friends of the Library Week. This social will feature snacks and beverages, and fundraising T-shirts will be for sale.
Other upcoming events are Market Munchkins on Tuesday, October 24, at 4 p.m. and storyteller Sylvia Payne’s Ghost Stories of NC program (recommended for third grade and up) at 4 p.m. on October 30, followed by the Halloween party for all ages at 5:30 p.m.
IN OTHER ACTION, THE COUNCIL:
• Recognized former resident Jim Lauderdale’s induction into the NC Music Hall of Fame.
• Proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
• Unanimously approved the Parks and Recreation Committee’s request to have two alternate positions and to place Melissa Jablonski and Stacey Hall into those roles.
• Approved request (5-0) to close Main Street/Highway 21 to Old Mountain Road to SIHS at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, for the annual SIHS Homecoming Parade.
• Passed a rezoning request (4-1 Judy Jablonski dissenting) at 134 North Eastway from residential to Office/Institutional for a proposed antique store.
• Unanimously approved waiving variance fees for problems not the fault of the current property owner.
• Voted 5-0 to set a public hearing for the non-contiguous annexation of 99 acres on Simpson Road for a proposed expansion of the Sutter’s Mill subdivision. Developers are planning a new phase of Sutter’s Mill using the same rules as the current subdivision.
• Recognized Career Academy and Technology School (CATS) manicuring students Elyssa Bowerson and Jayda Zsarmani, instructor Peggy Haynes, and Principal Larry Rogers for their successful program, offered in conjunction with Mitchell Community College. Rogers also lauded the Emergency Medical Technician program and the Transitional Vocational Academy.
Rogers thanked Town of Troutman staff members who visited manicuring students for services on Thursday and invited the public to use its services at CATS Monday through Friday 8:30 to 10 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.