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Commissioners to address megasite rezoning process Monday

December 03 2015

Courier Tribune

ASHEBORO — Hal Johnson, Randolph County manager, will ask commissioners Monday to start the process of rezoning county-owned land at the proposed megasite in Liberty.

The request will be made as part of the monthly agenda when the board meets at 6 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse at 145 Worth St. in Asheboro.

“County staff recognize that this will be one of the most complex procedural rezonings ever undertaken by Randolph County,” Johnson said in the prepared remarks he will make to the board on Monday.

There are approximately 1,400 acres either owned or under contract by Randolph County or the Greensboro/Randolph Mega Site Foundation off N.C. 421 in Liberty Township.

In his prepared remarks, Johnson said, one of the important steps in preparation of a large megasite property is to pursue site certification. Site certification provides the verification and documentation that is necessary for potential investors and future development of the property.

Johnson said the Greensboro/Randolph Mega Site Foundation is pursuing site certification by engaging the services of KPMG’s Global Location and Expansion Services. The Randolph County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is coordinating the site certification process on behalf of the foundation and Randolph County, he said.

KPMG will assess the site’s infrastructure, site features and environmental factors.

“One of the requirements for megasite certification is verification that the site is zoned or may be zoned for future industrial use,” Johnson said in his remarks. “Both the foundation and Randolph County have been advised to pursue the rezoning of the site as an important step in the final site certification process.”

Johnson is expected to recommend a rezoning classification of heavy industrial, conditional district. Johnson is also expected to ask the board to consider amending the county’s Growth Management Plan to make the area of the megasite a primary growth corrider, a step up from the current designation of secondary growth corridor.

Rezoning requests cost money. Johnson is recommending the county establish a rezoning application fee of $10,000, payable by the Greensboro/Randolph Mega Site Foundation. Any amount not expended by the county as administrative costs during the rezoning process would be refunded to the foundation.

If approved Monday, the rezoning process will begin with preparation of an application for a Jan. 12, 2016, public hearing before the county planning board. The planning board will make a recommendation to commissioners who will make the final decision on rezoning after a public hearing in February 2016.

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