Planning panel faces business decision
The county Planning Board yesterday couldn't decide whether to recommend approval of a wood and lawn products business in Mount Airy.
Two planning board members favored confirming a "non-conforming use" that would allow Kennety Clements to continue to operate a business on Ridge Road that sells cross ties, logs, pallets, saw dust, mulch, fencing, utility buildings, utility poles, panels, trees and lawn furniture.
Designating the site as non-conforming would acknowledge that the business has been operating since 1962, before zoning regulations prohibiting it were created.
Two other members voted against confirmation that would allow sales of items they thought were not related to the lumberyard on the property, such as gazebos.
"I think it's going to hurt the viability of the business," said board member Ted Mariani. "I think we're being overly restrictive."
But board Chairwoman Kay Partridge said zoning regulations clearly do not allow a non-conforming use to expand beyond its original purpose.
The board's non-binding vote will be forwarded to the county Board of Appeals, which will hear testimony on Feb. 9 and make the final decision on the confirmation of non-conforming use.