[Photo: West Hoke Elementary Beta Club students appeared Monday night before the Hoke County Board of Commissioners to seek support for traveling to the national Beta Club convention in Kentucky. Several board members said they were committed to making sure the students had the money to travel for the convention. It was one of several matters discussed at the meeting.]
By Catharin Shepard • Editor • Three new major subdivisions are on the way for Hoke County after commissioners approved Monday preliminary plat requests for the projects, and approved a rezoning request as a step forward in the planning process for another proposed subdivision.
The board approved preliminary plat requests for the following subdivisions:
•A 75-lot major subdivision called Kingston Village, set for construction on a 37.38-acre property located at Fayetteville Road and Johnson Mill Road. Request submitted by Floyd Properties & Development. The property is zoned Conditional Use as part of the Williams family tract of land.
•A 47-lot major subdivision called Buffalo Creek, set for construction on a 50.85-acre property located on unaddressed parcels of land on Neil Sinclair Road. Request submitted by Drafting and Design Services Inc. The property is zoned Residential Agricultural (RA-20).
•A 26-lot major subdivision called Strother Landing, set for construction on a 20.16-acre property located on unaddressed parcels of land on Strother Road. Request submitted by LKC Engineering. The property is zoned Residential Agricultural (RA-20). County sewer is not available for this parcel of land and the homes would be on septic tanks. The project could end up removing a few of the lots for the final plat due to right-of-way acquisition for the N.C. 211 widening project, officials discussed.
Commissioners unanimously approved all three of the preliminary plat requests.
The board additionally approved two rezoning requests, including one for a property intended as a future subdivision. Commissioners approved unanimously an application for general use rezoning submitted by Ralph Huff to rezone 98.39 acres of land located near Royal Birkdale Drive, adjacent to the existing Turnberry subdivision. The approved request rezoned the land from Residential Agricultural (RA-20) to Residential-8 (R-8), allowing for future housing lots of a minimum 8,000 square feet.
Several Turnberry residents spoke during a public hearing on the rezoning to raise concerns about increased traffic and other safety issues. While the project would build a new road, it would apparently use the same entrance, which residents said is already difficult to navigate coming off of U.S. 401 at highway speeds.
The commissioners approved the rezoning, and noted that the developer will have to approach the board again in the future to seek approval for a preliminary plat for the subdivision.
The board also approved a rezoning request submitted by Delton Woods Jr. to rezone approximately 1.33 acres of a parcel of land located at 1270 Haire Road from Residential Agricultural (RA-20) to Highway Commercial (HC). The property would be used for an auto repair and restoration business, Woods said.
Resolution honors Crumpler
As part of the consent agenda, the Hoke County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution honoring the life of the late G. Franklin Crumpler, who served as Hoke County’s coroner for 62 years and was the longest known serving elected official in the United States.
The resolution honored Crumpler, who was a member of the North Carolina National Guard, a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming, and patriarch and founder of Crumpler Funeral Home. He was also a lifetime deacon at First Baptist Church in Raeford.
“Mr. Crumpler was a beloved member of the community, and he was involved in several organizations,” the resolution stated. “The Hoke County Board of Commissioners honors the life and memory of Mr. G. Franklin Crumpler and extends its sympathy to the family and friends of this cherished member of the community and public servant.”
Commissioners pledge help for Beta Club
Commissioners informally pledged this week to make sure that nine students at West Hoke Elementary School will get to represent Hoke County by attending the National Beta Club Convention in Kentucky this summer.
Several West Hoke Elementary students appeared before the board Monday night during the public comment period to explain their success at the state convention, and their opportunity to go to the national level. Overall, nine students from WHES’ Beta Club placed in the top five of their events at the state convention in Greensboro earlier this year.
School sponsors said the club had raised $3,200 out of a goal of $6,700 needed to send all nine students to the national convention. Commissioners including Chairman Allen Thomas, Vice Chairman James Leach and Commissioner Harry Southerland spoke up to offer to help pay for the remaining funds needed for trip.
A number of youth in Hoke’s elementary and middle school Beta Clubs also found success at the state level and are eligible to participate. Braydon McKethan, a student at Upchurch Elementary School, won election to become president of the North Carolina Elementary State Beta Club.
Several people brought up concerns to commissioners during the public comment period Monday night.
Karen McLean said she had run into an issue with getting transport from the Hoke Area Transit Service (HATS) to her specialist doctors’ appointments out of town. McLean asked if the county could consider contracting with another vendor to make sure that riders can get transportation to out-of-town appointments even when HATS is not available to take them.
Southerland noted that he had spoken with McLean about the matter, and had also discussed the issue with HATS Director Nancy Thornton and the Hoke County Department of Social Services Director Terry Stanton. The commissioner said he would like the board to consider addressing the matter during the budget workshop sessions this week.
Crystal Myers spoke regarding animal welfare concerns. At the beginning of her comments, she began to mention the county animal welfare committee, which has begun holding meetings. “There’s been a few medical issues…for whatever reason, the meetings haven’t produced anything,” she began.
Leach spoke up as Myers started to speak, saying, “Let me stop her, Mr. Chairman, I serve on that committee, let me stop her. We have a full committee, only had two or three meetings so far. They’re looking at the policies and they’re looking at how this works. Very good committee. If you give it a chance it will work and it will take care of that, so I’m not going to allow you to stand here and disgrace that committee who are doing a good job and working hard and meeting and doing all they can. They’re working hard, but you have to address those issues but you have to give them time and give them a chance and let them do their job.”
Thomas noted he would give the speaker another minute to her three-minute time limit after Leach concluded his comments.
Myers went on to point to a specific address that she said had multiple dogs chained up outdoors without shelter, and asked about adding additional staff at the county animal shelter and enforcing the county’s ordinance.