Regulations aimed at preventing fences and walls from obstructing visibility in rural residential areas is headed to the Lincoln County Commission.

In the January session of the County Planning Commission, planners voted to send a proposed amendment to the county’s zoning resolution to the full commission. According to the provisions, fences and walls would continue to be permitted in any residential district provided a number of standards are met.

While fences or walls may be erected on property lines, they can’t be located any closer than 12 feet from the edge of the roadway or create a visual obstruction. Fences or walls in front yards of residential lots will be limited to a maximum height of four feet if chain link or made of any other material that is 75-percent unobstructed; otherwise, three feet. Access to any easements must also be provided. Additionally, barbed wire fencing would not be permitted in any residential district, excluding agricultural properties.


Proposed R-3 zoning

In addition, planners are proposing the establishment of an alternative zoning district, which would allow for denser lots. The proposal, also headed to the County Commission for its consideration, would see the new high-density residential zoning district referred to as R-3.

R-3 districts shall have access to public water and public sewer, a 60-foot minimum lot width, minimum front setback of 30 feet, minimum rear setback of 25 feet, minimum side setback of five feet per side, a minimum of two parking spaces per dwelling, a 35-foot or three-story maximum height, 30-percent maximum lot density. Permitted uses would include single family dwellings and manufactured homes, with churches as a permitted use by special exception.

The request for the high-density district was made to planners by local developer and contractor Barry Brown, with his surveyor and engineer, John Phillips and Jason Phillips, respectively.


Private roads

Regulations relating to private roads are also being sent to the County Commission, according to action taken by planners.

Current regulations limit development of properties that are land locked or have minimal access to comply with regulations, and permitted easement access is limited to only one other lot via the parent parcel. Other language is vague, officials said.

Under the proposed regulations, development of lots or tracts of land by a private road shall have a road or maintenance agreement between all land owners utilizing it and approved by the County Planning Commission. The agreement and plat of the roadway must also be filed with the Register of Deeds and should include a number of points, such as maintenance to allow for safe passage of emergency vehicles, the shared expense of repair costs by all property owners using it, and the requirement that property owners are responsible for providing all required utilities and services along the road.

Commissioners will decide whether to schedule public hearings on each of the planners’ recommendations, including those pertaining to fences, the R-3 zoning district, and private roads.

Planners tabled their ongoing discussion related to height restrictions on accessory structures, following discussion, as more research on the matter was requested.

In a recent planning commission meeting, a county commissioner had asked that they secure a cost estimate for Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a guideline of sorts for growth and community planning. According to discussion in the meeting, the cost of such a plan is estimated at $175,000 to $225,000. There was no action on the estimate.

Dan Douthit, a new member of the planning commission was introduced. He succeeds Jeff Parker, who recently resigned.

Members of the County Planning Commission also elected officers, which included the election of Charles Hunter as secretary, the re-election of Roy Butler as co-chair, and the re-election of Bruce Tanner as chairman.

County commissioners who had requested more strict subdivision regulations had been invited to the planning commission’s Jan. 2 meeting, but none were in attendance to hear the results of their request. While the matter remains under study, it was noted that those commissioners had requested written reports from the Utility Committee on anything they had reviewed.

Harris contacted the Utility Committee members with the request. Those agreeing included the Emergency Management Agency, Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities, and those refusing included Fayetteville Public Utilities, Lincoln County Highway Department, and the Lincoln County Board of Education. No response was received from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

There were 16 building permits issued in December, with total fees collected amounting to $6,673.

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