ARCHER LODGE — On Feb. 11 town council members heard the third installment of material that will create official zoning and subdivision ordinances throughout Archer Lodge.
The group has contracted Lee Nichols, a community development planner with the North Carolina Division of Community Assistance, to work with members of the planning board to develop a strategy for the town’s long-term growth.
At a recent meeting, Nicholas led council members through over 30-pages of policies and procedures that will in coming months be up for approval. The focus of the evening detailed site plan regulations and design standards for future commercial and residential areas.
“This review process is done to give the council insight on what is contained in these ordinances,” explained Councilman Mark Wilson. “It’s a chance for us to have specific sections explained, make changes and ask questions.”
Mayor Mike Gordon said current Archer Lodge rules mirror Johnston County regulations. He is hoping the town will attract commercial businesses, including restaurants and small retailers. Guidelines up for approval included provisions for parking space requirements, landscaping suggestions and placement and size of outdoor advertising signs.
“We want to make sure that we put all of the right ordinances in place,” said Gordon. “It needs to be done right, look right and be fair to everyone. We want to make sure everything looks like it belongs.”
Wilson noted obtaining a permit will soon become more convenient for residents and builders looking to expand within the community. Once the regulations are fully adopted, the town will be able to process and issue certain zoning requests on their own rather than through Johnston County’s Smithfield offices.
Officials expect to hear a fourth, and possibly final, presentation of the proposed zoning and subdivision ordinances at 6:30 p.m. on March 4. The public is invited to attend.
In other business, the council approved to move town clerk Jean Overton to full-time status and also serve a dual role as finance operations manager. She was hired as the town’s first official employee in Sept. 2010 on a part-time basis. Overton oversees all municipal records, prepares budget information, records meeting minutes and staffs town hall.
Her salary will be $43,680 per year plus benefits.
“I’m really happy to be a part of this team,” Overton said. “It’s exciting to be at the start of something brand new. This is such a close-knit community and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Leaders also set a date for the official dedication ceremony for the new town hall building located on Buffalo Road. It will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 21.