A rezoning decision tied to plans for a flea market just south of Mount Airy, which produced opposition at a recent public hearing, could come during a meeting this afternoon.
The city board of commissioners will discuss and possibly act on Grayson Vaughn’s request to have the zoning for property he owns along U.S. 52 changed from B-4 (Highway Business) to an industrial classification. The meeting begins at 2 p.m.
Vaughn has said he made the request after a mobile-home business vacated the site before its lease was up, leading him to find another way to produce revenue in order to pay a mortgage on the property. The industrial zoning was sought because flea markets aren’t allowed in Highway Business zones. He envisions an operation that would contain 100 display tables.
During an April 19 public hearing on the request, a neighboring landowner expressed opposition to the rezoning. Bill Smith, who owns property on the opposite side of U.S. 52 formerly containing a Neighbors fuel center, said he was concerned about possible trash problems from the flea market if the rezoning were approved.
Smith presented photographs to the commissioners during last month’s hearing documenting trashy conditions at another flea market nearby.
But Vaughn promised at the same hearing that his flea market would be kept in immaculate condition, even though the site is not be visible from the four-lane highway. He assured the commissioners that a “Sanford and Son” situation would not exist there.
The property in question, located at 2167 S. Andy Griffith Parkway, is outside the city limits, but within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) zone. That is a one-mile area surrounding Mount Airy where land is subject to municipal zoning regulations.
Vaughn’s rezoning request cleared one governmental hurdle in March when the Mount Airy Planning Board recommended the rezoning. But that board added a condition to allow the flea market only on the portion of Vaughn’s property which already has been used commercially.
This means acreage to the rear of that site will remain undeveloped and serve as a buffer between it and neighboring residents who expressed concerns to the planning group.
Vaughn has 16 acres there in all, which are included in the rezoning request. The “small outdoor family flea market” he plans would occupy about 2 acres.
One commissioner, Dean Brown, has already gone on record as supporting the rezoning, saying at the board’s April 19 meeting that he believes the flea market would provide employment opportunities.
In other business at today’s meeting, the city commissioners are expected to take action, including a budget amendment, to incorporate a recent contribution for playground equipment.
This involves a “Fit Cubs” program targeting childhood obesity at B.H. Tharrington Primary School.
It is operating through a partnership between Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, Surry County Health and Nutrition Center and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina. The latter organization awarded a $39,000 grant to the Fit Cubs project in late 2010.
Today’s action is necessitated by a $3,697 contribution from Surry Health and Nutrition Center to buy playground equipment at Tharrington.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.