County hears plan to address growth

First Posted: 5/5/2014

LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Board of Commissioners on Monday heard a presentation of a comprehensive plan to guide the county’s land use, address environmental issues, and develop ways to handle the needs of the county’s growing population.

The county Planning Board is recommending adoption of the plan that also includes a health and wellness component, according to Dale Holland, a consultant who has been working with that board since summer.

The commissioners took no action Monday, but agreed to continue reviewing the plan for action at a later date. The plan can be viewed on the county’s web site, Holland said.

The $35,000 plan is being paid for through a Community Transformation Grant, which is money provided to the state through the Affordable Care Act. The driving force behind the money being available is the emphasis on wellness and health that is included in the proposed plan.

“It did not cost the county anything to prepare this study,” Holland told the commissioners.

The plan addresses seven areas identified by the Planning Board — land use; promotion of the natural environment; economic growth; health and welfare issues; housing enhancement; infrastructure and services; and transportation.

“This is not intended to suggest there is a magic pot of money out there to pay for all this,” Holland said. “There is no capital budget adopted with this (plan). You have to seize opportunities when they arise.”

Holland said that he met with the Planning Board seven times, with some of the meetings being public.

In other business, the commissioners on Monday:

— Approved a conditional-use permit that allows Diana R. Sinclair and Christy Worley, of Back Swamp, to place a third dwelling on a 2.5-acre tract in a Residential Agricultural District.

— Approved a conditional-use permit that allows Abigail Jacobs, of Saddletree, to operate a hair salon on a two-acre tract in a Residential Agricultural District.

— Approved a conditional-use permit that allows Ernest Burks, of Parkton, to establish and operate a tree cutting and removal service on a .69-acre tract in a Residential Agricultural District.

— Appointed William Oxendine as chairman of the county’s Board of Equalization and Review.

— Approved a contract with the Scotland County Correctional Center to provide inmate labor services to Robeson County. The county lost its local inmate labor pool when the Robeson County Detention Center on N.C. 711 was closed in August.

— Recognized three county employees, Alfred Brown, Sarah Purcell and Tammy Freeman, for 30 years of service. Each employee was presented a watch.