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(A) Intent. It is the purpose of this section to protect the quality of drinking water for the Town of Wilkesboro by setting standards for the development that occurs within designated Public Water Supply Watershed areas. It is further intended that the establishment of watershed regulations reflect the protection of critical environmental areas in accordance with the State of North Carolina's Water Supply Watershed Protection Rules.
(B) Authority. The Legislature of the State of North Carolina has, in Chapter 160A, Article 8, Section 174, General Ordinance Authority, and in Chapter 143, Article 21, Watershed Protection Rules, delegated the responsibility or directed local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry.
(C) Effective date. The provisions in this subchapter were adopted on September 7, 1993 and shall become effective on September 30, 1993.
(D) Jurisdiction. The provisions of the subchapter shall apply within the areas designated as a Public Water Supply Watershed by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission and shall be defined and established on the Official Zoning Map.
(E) Existing development. Any existing development as defined in this chapter may be continued and maintained subject to the provisions provided herein. Expansions to structures classified as existing development, must meet the requirements of this chapter, however, the built-upon area of the existing development is not required to be included in the density calculations.
(F) Watershed areas described.
(1) For the purpose of this subchapter the Town of Wilkesboro extraterritorial jurisdiction are hereby divided into the following areas:
(a) WS-IV-Critical Area; and
(b) WS-IV-PA (Protected Area).
(2) WS-IV-Critical Area.
(a) Only new development activities that require an erosion/sedimentation control plan under State law or approved local programs are required to meet the provisions of this subchapter when located in the WS-IV watershed. In order to address a moderate to high land use intensity pattern, single-family residential uses are allowed at a maximum of two dwelling units per acre. All other residential and non-residential development shall be allowed 24% built-upon area. New sludge application sites and landfills are specifically prohibited.
(b) Allowed uses.
1. Agriculture subject to the provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 and the Food, Agricultural, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990. Agricultural activities conducted after January 1, 1993 shall maintain a minimum ten foot vegetative buffer, or equivalent control as determined by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, along all perennial waters indicated on the most recent versions of U.S.G.S. 1:24,000 (7.5 minute) scale topographic maps or as determined by local government studies. Animal operations greater than 100 animal units shall employ Best Management Practices (July 1, 1994 recommended by the Soil and Water Conservation Commission).
2. Silviculture, subject to the provisions of the Forest Practices Guidelines Related to Water Quality (15 NCA II.6101-.0209).
4. Non-residential development, except, the storage of toxic and hazardous materials unless a spill containment plan is implemented; landfills; and sites for land application of sludge/residuals or petroleum contaminated soils.
(c) Density and built-upon limits.
1. Single family residential development shall not exceed two dwelling units per acre on a project by project basis. No residential lot shall be less than one-half (½) acre, except within an approved cluster development.
2. All other residential and non-residential-development shall not exceed 24% built-upon area on a project by project basis. For the purpose of calculating the built-upon area, total project area shall include total acreage in the tract on which the project is to be developed.
(3) WS-IV-Protected Area.
(a) Only new development activities that require an erosion/sedimentation control plan under State law or approved local government program are required to meet the provisions of this chapter when located in a WS-IV watershed. In order to address accommodate a moderate to high land use intensity pattern, single family residential uses shall develop at a maximum of two dwelling units per acres (2du/ac). All other residential and non-residential development shall be allowed at a maximum of 24% built-upon area. A maximum of three dwelling units per acre (3 du/ac) or 36% built-upon area is allowed for projects without a curb and gutter street system.
(b) Allowed uses.
1. Agriculture, subject to the provisions of the food Security Act of 1985 and the Food, Agricultural, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990.
2. Silviculture, subject to the provisions of the Forest Practices Guidelines Related to Water Quality (15 NCAC 1l.6101-.0209).
3. Residential development.
4. Non-residential development, excluding the storage of toxic and hazardous materials unless a spill containment plan is implemented.
(c) Density and built-upon limits.
1. Single family residential development shall not exceed two dwelling units per acre, as defined on a project-by-project basis. No residential lot shall be less than one half (½) acre (or 20,000 square feet, excluding roadway right-of-way), or one third (1/3) acre for projects without a curb and gutter street system, except within an approved cluster development.
2. All other residential and Non-Residential-development shall not exceed 24% built-upon area on a project-by-project basis. For projects without a curb and gutter street system, development shall not exceed 36% built-upon area on a project-by-project basis. For the purpose of calculating built-upon area, total project area shall include acreage in the tract on which the project is to be developed.
3. In addition to the development allowed under divisions (F)(3)(c)1. and 2. of this section, new development and expansions to existing development may occupy up to 10% of the protected area with up to 70% built-upon area on a project basis, when approved as a special density allocation (SDA). The Watershed Administrator is authorized to approve SDA's consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Projects must, to the maximum extent practical, minimize built-upon surface area; direct storm waterways from surface waters and incorporate Best Management practices to minimize water quality impacts. For the purpose of calculating built-upon area, total project area shall include total acreage in the tract on which the project is to be developed.
(G) Special density allocations.
(1) The Watershed Review Committee may grant Special Density Allocations (SDAs) to project sites in the WS-IV-PA Watershed Areas. The SDAs may permit up to 70% built upon area on a project by project basis without requiring installation of stormwater control devices. No more than 10% of the WS-IV-PA Watershed Area may be developed under SDAs. At no time may the built upon area of a SDA project site exceed 70% of the total SDA project site.
(2) SDA requests must be submitted to the Watershed Administrator, who shall preview the request and submit it to the Watershed Review Committee. The Watershed Review Committee will review the SDA request, and either approve or deny the request. If the request is denied, the applicant may redesign the project and resubmit the request.
(3) If the request is approved by the Watershed Review Committee, the Watershed Administrator shall issue a SDA permit. The permit shall be valid for one year from date of issuance. A record of all SDA permits shall be kept on file in the Office of the Watershed Administrator.
(4) The following review criteria will be used by the Watershed Review Committee to evaluate SDA requests. The review criteria will be used to encourage applicants to maximize development in the SDA project areas, as well as incorporate measures to improve the water quality and aesthetics of the project area. Projects must have a point total of at least 300 to qualify for a SDA.
REVIEW CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING SDA REQUESTS
minimum of 8' landscaped area along street-side of property (measured from right-of-way)
minimum of 8' landscaped area along side of property (measured property line)
minimum of one landscaped space for every space in parking lot
Landscaped area must have grass or mulch ground cover with trees or shrubs planted according to the following specifications:
-evergreen shrubs - 6' spacing with 1.5' minimum height at planting
-evergreen trees - 10' spacing with 6' minimum height at planting
-deciduous trees - 20' spacing with 8' minimum height at planting
permanent greenway easement, a minimum width of 25', granted to Town of Wilkesboro along perennial streams or other location approved by the Town of Wilkesboro Planning Board; or, dedication of right-of-way, a minimum width of 15', along street-side of property for sidewalks
Multi-story building development (excluding basement)
Building development with parking located under building (excluding basement)
Area of project that remains in undisturbed, natural vegetation
50% or more natural vegetation
25 to 50% natural vegetation
Erosion Control Plan approved and implemented
Permanent sedimentation/erosion control measures on site (i.e., dry detention ponds, sand filters, artificial wetlands, infiltration ponds, etc.)
Tax base added by project:
$250,000 or less
$250,000 to $500,000
$500,000 to $1,000,000
$1,000,000 or more
Employment added by project:
1 to 10
11 to 25
26 to 75
76 or more
Planned Unit Development (PUD) approved by Town of Wilkesboro Planning Board
surface drainage rather than curb and gutter; or
drainage through vegetated buffer or grass swale
Percentage of Built-Upon Area:
36 to 50%
51 to 60%
61 to 70%
TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS
(H) Cluster development. Clustering of development is allowed under the following conditions:
(1) Built-upon area or storm water control requirements of the projects shall not exceed that allowed for the critical area or balance of watershed, whichever applies.
(2) All built-upon area shall be designed and located to minimize storm water runoff impact to the receiving waters and minimize concentrated storm water flow.
(3) The remained of the tract shall remain in a vegetated or natural state. Where the development has an incorporated property owner association, the title of the open space shall be conveyed to the association for management. Where a property association is not incorporated, a maintenance agreement shall be filed with the property needs.
(I) Buffer areas required.
(1) A minimum 30 foot vegetative buffer for development activities is required along all perennial waters indicated on the most recent versions of U.S.G.S. 1:24,000 (7.5) minute scale topographic maps or as determined by local government studies. Desirable artificial stream bank or shoreline stabilization is permitted.
(2) No new development is allowed in the buffer except for water dependent structures and public projects such as road crossings and greenways where no practical alternative exists. These activities should minimize built-upon surface area; direct runoffs away from the surface waters and maximize the utilization of storm water Best Management Practices.
(J) Additional requirements for variances within watershed areas.
(1) The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall notify in writing each local government having jurisdiction in the watershed. Such notice shall include a description of the variance being requested. Local governments receiving notice of the variance request may submit comments to the Watershed Administrator prior to a decision by the Watershed Review Board. Such comments shall become a part of the record of proceedings of the Watershed Review Board.
(2) If the application calls for the granting of a major variance, and if the Watershed Review Board decides in favor of granting the variance, the Board shall prepare a preliminary record of the hearing with all deliberate speed. The preliminary record of the hearing shall include:
(a) The variance application;
(b) The hearing notices;
(c) The evidence presented;
(d) Motions, offers of proof, objections to evidence, and ruling on them;
(e) Proposed findings and exceptions; and
(f) The proposed decision, including all conditions proposed to be added to the permit.
(3) The preliminary record shall be sent to the Environmental Management Commission for its review as follows:
(a) If the commission concludes from the preliminary record that the variance qualifies as a major variance and that (1) the property owner cannot secure a reasonable return from, nor make any practical use of the property unless the proposed variance is granted, and (2) the variance, if granted, will not result in a serious threat to the water supply, then the Commission shall approve the variance as proposed, or approve, the proposed variance with conditions and stipulations. The Commission shall prepare a Commission decision and send it to the Watershed Review Board. If the Commission approves the variance as proposed, the Board shall prepare a final decision granting the proposed variance. If the commission approves the variance with conditions and stipulations, the Board shall prepare a final decision, including such conditions and stipulations, granting the proposed variance.
(b) If the commission concludes from the preliminary record that the variance qualifies as a major variance and that (1) the property owner can secure a reasonable return from or make a practical use of the property without the variance or (2) the variance, if granted, will result in a serious threat to the water supply, then the commission shall deny approval of the variance as proposed. The Commission shall prepare a Commission decision and send it to the Watershed Review Board. The Board shall prepare a final decision denying the variance as proposed.
(c) If the application calls for the granting of a minor variance, then the Watershed Review Board may grant such variance if it determines that to do so would not result in a serious threat to the water supply.
(4) Powers of the Planning Board.
(a) To act as the Watershed Review Board on proposed plats of land subdivision and hear major and minor variance request related to the subdivisions within the designated Water Supply Watershed.
(b) To hear cases concerning major variances vested rights, administrative reviews and appeals regarding the zoning ordinance or decisions of the Zoning Enforcement Officer in designated Water Supply Watersheds.
(Am. Ord. passed 9-14-2016)