ARCHER LODGE -- Town officials are taking a cautious approach in the creation of guidelines and rules for future growth and development.
On Monday night, council members will be presented with their third installment of material to review that would establish official zoning and subdivision ordinances throughout Archer Lodge. Since incorporating in 2009 the town has used Johnston County procedures as their model. Now they are another step closer in adopting rules of their own, which have been adjusted for life in a rural community.
Councilman Mark Wilson said planning board members have been hard at work for nearly two years drafting a 150-page version of ordinances for the town. The document covers everything from building permits to code enforcement rules. He said specifics include septic tank placement, minimum lot sizes for new construction, nuisance complaints and rules for commercial signage placement.
“This document is a hybrid between Johnston County and Archer Lodge ordinances,” explained Wilson. “A rural community has different needs than larger towns. We’ve taken this and tweaked it to fit our needs.”
The town is contracting with Lee Nichols, a community development planner with the North Carolina Division of Community Assistance, to help planning board members sift through hundreds of various rules and regulations. Three months ago the team readied their final draft and began the process of breaking it down and presenting the information to town council in four segments.
“We’re taking this in sections,” Nichols said. “I answer any questions the council has and take their questions or concerns back to the planning board for review. It’s really a job that Archer Lodge has taken their time with. Other towns have done this much faster.”
“There is no need to rush,” agreed councilman Wilson. “The initial goal is to do this right.”
With a population of close to 4,400 and rising, town planners are taking into consideration the community’s desire to maintain the area’s small town atmosphere while also stating directives for future growth potential.
“It’s been a careful process,” said Nichols. “The county’s ordinances have been tailored with the vision of what the community desires.”
Town clerk Jean Overton noted interested members of the public may attend council meetings and learn more about the new procedures. Once the entire document has been finalized, a public hearing will be scheduled for residents input and and final approval by the council members.
The Archer Lodge town council will meet next Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The last presentation of the proposed zoning and subdivision ordinance is scheduled for March 4. Officials hope to have the policy adopted by late spring.