hope mills logo The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners on Monday, Jan. 9 is expected to receive the final report from the group working on the town’s overlay zoning initiative.

The board meets at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

Thomas Lloyd and Associates has been working with town staff on the overlay initiative.

Commissioners adopted amendments to the Hope Mills Zoning Ordinance at the Dec. 5 board meeting. Those amendments concluded a six-month process that included three work sessions, consideration from the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board, final approval by the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners, and a moratorium that sunset on Dec. 31, according to a memo from Thomas Lloyd and Associates.

The firm plans to present its recommendations to the board for updates to the Southwest Cumberland Plan. The Southwest Cumberland Plan is the town’s planning guideline for development, according to Mayor Jackie Warner.

Warner has previously said it was time to revise the plan because of the town’s unprecedented growth.

According to the memo from Thomas Lloyd and Associates to the board, Hope Mills is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the southeastern portion of the state.

“The commercial growth, scattered along major entrance corridors, has led to a saturation of certain commercial uses which don't fit in with the overall harmony of the town and aren’t compatible with the desired vision for future development,’’ the memo states.

The update for the Southwest Plan would call for “the prevention of uncoordinated commercial strip development,” according to the memo.

The town hired the firm to help develop an overlay zoning policy after the town experienced a saturation of similar businesses. Overlay zoning is a regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district over existing zoning. It can include additional or different regulations that apply within the district.

Last year, the board implemented a six-month moratorium that restricted certain businesses from filing a business permit.

Businesses which specialize in motor vehicles parts and accessory sales; motor vehicle repair shops or bodywork; and tobacco stores and smoke shops were some of the businesses affected by the moratorium. The moratorium ends on Jan. 18.

Other business

The board also is expected to discuss amending the town charter to alter the terms served by the mayor and the Board of Commissioners to four-year staggered terms and setting a date for a public hearing.

According to a resolution of intent in the agenda package, “At the regular municipal election in 2023, there shall be elected five members of the town board to fill the seats of those officers whose terms are then expiring.

“The three members who receive the highest number of votes shall serve a four-year term, while the remaining two members elected shall serve a two-year term. Thereafter, in the 2025 election, there shall be elected two members of the town board to fill the seats of those officers whose terms are then expiring.

“The two commissioners elected in the 2025 election shall serve four-year terms. In each election after 2025, board members shall be elected to fill the seats of those officers whose terms are then expiring and shall serve four-year terms in staggered biennial elections.’’

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