Commissioners Approve Minor Changes To Land Use Regulations

Rapid growth is changing the landscape of Johnston County.  Many people would like to see Johnston County Commissioners do more to control growth that some believe is out of control.

In response to those concerns, commissioners approved a few minor changes to their Land Use Ordinances this month.  What, if any impact it will have remains to be seen.

Following a public hearing where only two people spoke, Commissioners voted 7-to-0 to approve recommendations from Planning Director Braston Newton to reduce the number of multi-family units allowed per acre from 15 to 8.

Donald Maynard of Garner spoke against the density change saying it would impact a piece of property he currently has under contract. Maynard said by decreasing the density allowed it would increase development costs for builders which would be passed along to buyers. He asked commissioners to leave the density regulation unchanged and make a decision on a case-by-case basis.

Developer Wade Corbett said a decrease in density in multi-family units would lead to urban sprawl.  The higher the density the less land would be needed, he contended. With the change, more land would be needed and the higher costs would be passed along to new residents.

Other changes adopted include:

  • Adjusting the setback requirements of homes in the Interstate Highway Interchange (IHI) districts from main roads and parking
  •  Add environmentally sensitive and natural areas to be required as part of open space which already includes wetlands and riparian buffers.
  • Reducing the density of residential mobile home parks to no more than 1.5 units per acre.

Commissioners did not discuss the possibility of any additional future changes to their regulations that deal specifically with single family housing.