§ 156.064  SPECIAL USES.
   (A)   Intent. This chapter provides for certain uses to be located by right in certain districts where the uses are compatible with the purpose of the district and with other uses to be located in certain districts only by complying with additional development standards to insure the same compatibility. However, certain uses which are basically in keeping with the intent and purpose of the district may have substantial impact on the surrounding area and shall only be allowed after a review of a specific proposal. In order to insure that these uses would be compatible with surrounding development, be in conformance with adopted plans and policies and be in keeping with the purpose of the district in which they are proposed to be placed, they are not allowed to be established as a matter of right. They may be established only after review and approval of a special use permit by the Town Council as set forth in this section.
   (B)   Procedures for approval of special use permits.  The following information shall be submitted as part of a request for a special use permit. Applications which are not complete shall be returned forthwith to the applicant, with a notation of the deficiencies in the application.
      (1)   A completed written application for a special use permit along with standard application fees required by the town shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator. All other reasonable application expenses incurred by the town for the processing of a special use permit application shall be paid prior to the issuance of a final notification of action taken, and the associated issuance of a special use permit, if any. The application, at a minimum, shall include the following items:
         (a)   Name, address and telephone number of the applicant and all property owner(s), if different from the applicant, deed book and page number of the property description;
         (b)   A scaled boundary survey drawn to an appropriate scale prepared by and certified to be correct by a surveyor or engineer registered with State of North Carolina showing the total acreage, present zoning classification (s), date and north arrow;
         (c)   The current owners' names, addresses, and tax parcel numbers (as shown on the current year Wilkes County Tax Records), and the uses and current zoning classifications of all adjacent properties;
         (d)   All existing easements, reservations, rights-of-way and all yard requirements for the zoning district;
         (e)   A site plan showing all existing and/or proposed buildings, storage areas, parking and access areas, proposed size, layout and setbacks of land and proposed structures, planned illumination, and proposed number, type and location of signs;
         (f)   Landscape plan showing existing and proposed trees, ground cover and landscape material, proposed screening, including walls, fences or planted areas as well as treatment of any existing natural features;
         (g)   Plans and elevations for all proposed structures with materials and colors of all exterior surfaces noted;
         (h)   A map at the same scale as the site plan showing the following:
            1.   Delineation of areas within the floodplain as shown on the official flood hazard boundary maps;
            2.   Existing and proposed topography at five foot intervals; and
            3.   Plans for providing potable water and for the treatment of wastewater; and
         (i)   Proposed phasing, if any, and approximate completion time of the project.
      (2)   Prior to submitting an application, the applicant may submit to the Zoning Administrator a sketch plan of the proposed development showing the appropriate location and dimensions of all proposed structures and improvements. The Zoning Administrator shall review the sketch plan and forward the sketch plan to members of the town's Technical Review Committee and advises the applicant as to its general compliance with this subchapter and any other pertinent regulations and plans.
      (3)   After the receipt of the required application materials, the Zoning Administrator shall place the item on the planning board agenda which shall be at a regular or special meeting within 60 days from the filing of the application.
      (4)   The Planning Board shall have a maximum of 45 days from the date at which it met to review the application and to submit its recommendation to the Town Council. If a recommendation is not made during the 45 day period, the application shall be forwarded to the Town Council without a recommendation from the Planning Board.
      (5)   When dealing with the special use permit process, it may be desirable to request additional information in order to evaluate a proposed use and its relationship to the surrounding area. Therefore, the Zoning Administrator, the Technical Review Committee, the Planning Board and/or the Town Council may request additional information, as they may individually deem necessary.
      (6)   Once the application is forwarded to the Town Council from the Planning Board (or the Zoning Administrator as prescribed in § 156.064(B)(4)), the Town Council shall consider conducting a public hearing. If a public hearing is held, due notice of such public hearing shall be published in a manner similar to that as prescribed in § 156.042 - Public Hearing and Notice Requirements.
   (C)   Town Council decision. If the Town Council should find, after conducting a public hearing, that the proposed special use permit should be granted, the Town Council may impose such additional reasonable and appropriate special conditions upon such special use permit, as it may deem necessary.  In no instance shall any of these conditions be less restrictive than any requirements which would pertain to that particular development found in the same zoning district.  Any conditions should relate to the relationship of the proposed use to surrounding property, proposed support facilities such as parking areas and driveways, pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, screening and buffer areas, the timing of development and other matters that the Town Council may find appropriate or the petitioner may propose.  The conditions may include sign controls and architectural review or control.  The landscaping provisions of the tree ordinance shall be minimum landscaping requirements as a condition for awarding a SUP, however, the Town Council may impose additional reasonable landscaping requirements as a condition for awarding a SUP as the Council considers necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare in accordance with the purpose and intent of this chapter. The petitioner will have a reasonable opportunity to consider and respond to any additional requirements prior to approval or denial by the Town Council.  The Town Council shall give due regard to the intent and purpose of this section of the chapter and that the public health, safety and welfare will be secured and substantial justice done.
      (1)   Burden of proof. The applicant has the burden of producing competent material and substantial evidence, tending to establish the existence of the facts and conditions which the appropriate section of this chapter requires for the issuance of a special use permit.
      (2)   Voting. When deciding special use permits, the Town Council shall follow quasi-judicial procedures.  No vote greater than a majority vote shall be required for the Council to issue such permits.  For the purposes of this section, vacant positions on the Council and members who are disqualified from voting on a quasi-judicial matter shall not be considered "members of the Council" for calculation of the requisite majority.
      (3)   Findings to be made by Town Council.  The Town Council shall issue a special use permit only after having conclusively confirmed each of the following findings:
         (a)   The use will not materially endanger the public health or safety if located where proposed and developed according to the submitted plan.
         (b)   The use meets all required conditions and specifications.
         (c)   The use will not substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property, or the use is a public necessity.
         (d)   The location and character of the use, if developed according to the plan as submitted and approved, will be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located and will be in general conformity with this chapter and adopted town plans and policies.
         (e)   Additional review criteria, as listed for specific uses in § 156.064(J), shall also be considered and addressed where required.
      (4)   Appeal of Town Council decision on special use permit. Every SUP decision of the Town Council shall be subject to review by the Superior Court by proceedings in the nature of certiorari.  Any petition for review by the Superior Court shall be filed with the appropriate Clerk of Superior Court within 30 days after the decision of the Town Council is filed in the Office of the Town Clerk, or after a written copy thereof is delivered to every aggrieved party who has filed a written request for such copy with the Clerk at the time of the hearing of the case, whichever is later.  The decision of the Town Council may be delivered to the aggrieved party either by personal service or by registered mail or certified mail return receipt requested.
   (D)   Binding effect.
      (1)   Any special use permit so authorized shall be likewise binding to the property included in such permit unless subsequently changed or amended by the Town Council.  Notification of any approved special use permit shall be forwarded to the Wilkes County Register of Deeds for recordation.
      (2)   However, minor changes in the detail of the approved plan which will (1) not alter the basic relationship of the proposed development to adjacent property, or (2) will not alter the uses permitted or increase the density of development, or (3) will not decrease the off-street parking ratio or (4) reduce the yards provided at the boundary of the site may be made upon submittal to and the subsequent approval of the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator shall take action on such requests within 15 days, unless additional information is requested.  A written decision shall be provided to the applicant, and, if positive, a copy shall be forwarded to the Wilkes County Register of Deeds.  Any applicant may appeal a negative decision of the Zoning Administrator to the Board of Adjustment which shall determine if an amendment to the special use permit is required in order to allow the proposed minor change to be made to the approved plan.
   (E)   Certificate of occupancy. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any building or land use on a piece of property which has received a special use permit unless the building or structure is constructed, or used, or the land is developed or used in conformity with the special use permit as approved by the Town Council.  In the event that only a segment of a proposed development has been approved, the certificate of occupancy shall be issued only for that portion of the development as approved.
   (F)   One year limitation.
      (1)   If a special use permit request is denied by the Town Council, a similar application for a special use permit for the same property or any portion thereof shall not be filed until the expiration of a 12 month period from the date of most recent determination by the Town Council.
      (2)   This waiting period shall not be applicable or otherwise be involved in the filing of a new application for rezoning of all or any part of the property previously considered by the Town Council where the new application requests rezoning to a different zoning district and/or where the application for a special use permit is substantially different from the original application.
   (G)   Change in special use permit. Any request to materially change a SUP shall be reviewed by the Planning Board as required by § 156.064(B) or in compliance with the applicable portion of the minor change approval procedure set forth in § 156.064(D).  The Town Council may thereafter change or amend any previously approved special use permit, only after having held a public hearing.  Notice of a public hearing shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 156.042. Amendment by the Town Council of a special use permit shall be subject to the same considerations as provided for in § 156.064(C)(3).
   (H)   Time limitations validity of special use permit and approval of a site plan. A special use permit issued pursuant to this section shall expire two years after the date of issuance or approval if the work authorized by the permit or approval has not commenced.
   (I)   Revocation.
      (1)    A special use permit may be revoked by the Town Council after a finding of the existence of any one of the following conditions:
         (a)    That the physical construction or activity authorized by a special use permit has not commenced within the time limit set above;
         (b)    That the governmental licensees or permits required for the activity authorized by a Special Use Permit have not been obtained or have subsequently been terminated; or
         (c)    That any of the applicable requirements of this section or any conditions attached to the special use permit, or modification of special use permit, have been violated.
      (2)   On request by the holder of a special use permit, the Town Council may, for good cause shown, extend the time limits for commencement of authorized construction or activity by up to 12 months.
      (3)   The Town Council may consider reapplication for a special use permit on property on which previous permit has been revoked provided that all of the standards which are set forth in this chapter are met.
   (J)   Additional review criteria. The review criteria specified for each of the following uses shall be addressed by the Town Council as an integral part of any applicable special use permit review activity:
      (1)   Single and multi-tenant retail buildings with a gross floor area equal to or greater than 30,000 square feet.
         (a)   Access to public streets and the adequacy of those streets to carry anticipated traffic.
         (b)   On-site circulation for both pedestrian and on-site and off-site vehicular traffic circulation patterns.
         (c)   Adequacy of existing community facilities such as water, sewer, and police and fire services.
         (d)   Compatibility of the proposed use with the general characteristics of the area with respect to the location and design of structures, the location, design and landscaping of parking and service areas, and the location, size and character of signs and the streetscape.
   (K)   Additional standards for findings of fact require in specific uses.
      (1)   The review criteria specified for each of the following uses shall be addressed by the Zoning Board of Adjustments as an integral part of any applicable conditional use permit.
      (2)   Assembly/coliseum uses.
         (a)   Compatibility of proposed use with the general characteristics of the area with respect to the location and impacts of existing land use.
         (b)   Compatibility with the Town of Wilkesboro and Wilkes County's economic development efforts to bring additional jobs to the area.
         (c)   The proposed location is being utilized at its highest use.
         (d)   Adequate parking for the use can be onsite or though a shared parking agreement.
         (e)   The existing structure can be modified to meet all building and fire codes.
         (f)   Access to the site can be provided by the existing roads or improvements of existing roads can be improved to meet the transportation requirements of the new use.
         (g)   Meets all adequate zoning codes.
         (h)   Adequate traffic control is provided for each special event.
(Am. Ord. passed 9-14-2016)