The Richmond County Planning Board has approved the conditional use permit for James Wadsworth’s fresh market/produce stand beside Bo’s Pawn in Rockingham.
Last month the matter was continued due to incomplete paperwork, but the board approved the application at its meeting Tuesday in what Planning Director James Armstrong said was a unanimous vote.
Wadsworth and Bo Ussery are going into business together and share the space where the stand and pawn shop are located.
Armstrong said he brought up another issue at the meeting that he feels will ultimately help both the board and applicants.
“I’ve prepared amendments to the planning code to require site plans of applicants,” said Armstrong, who aims to bypass issues the board faces when applicants either don’t have site plans, or have poorly presented plans that aren’t legible.
“I’ve made it easier for the applicant and created an online site plan builder, similar to our other GIS products. That could help the applicant or staff in creating a scaled site plan and elements listed in the ordinance, and they can submit it with their applications,” he said.
Armstrong said the website is relatively easy to use, and applicants will be responsible for creating their own, but if they run into problems, the planning staff is available for assistance.
“We’ve been trying to suggest it to applicants,” said Armstrong, who seeks consistency in what is presented to the board.
“Right now, if it’s a stick drawing, we have to send it up to the board but this way it will help us filter them and not send them to the board until the plans are a certain quality. This way, they can set a drawing to scale and print it off and then they have a starting point. If they mess it up, we are more than happy to help folks. We can’t do it for them, but we can guide them,” he said.
Armstrong has sent the website address and proposed amendments to the planning board for consideration. If the board decides to implement them, the amendments and website will be recommended to the Board of Commissioners to accept, and that will require a public hearing on “whether or not to implement them,” said Armstrong.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.