In a full Planning Commission room on Monday night, the planning commission denied a request that would have changed the zoning of Serenity Mountain Manor from rural residential to neighborhood commercial. If approved, the request would have allowed for the owners of Serenity Mountain Manor to increase the number of residents of the personal care home to 24 people. Under the present zoning of Serenity Mountain Manor, the personal care home is only allowed to have 17 residents or less. After hearing from several neighbors that live next to Serenity Mountain Manor about why they didn’t want the care home to be commercialized, the commission chose to deny the request.
Representing Serenity Mountain Manor was attorney Bill Pickett speaking of the little noise and traffic distribution that currently inhabits Serenity Mountain Manor. However, afterwards neighbors speaking on behalf of the subdivision surrounding Serenity Mountain Manor disagreed.
Comments from neighbors that live in the subdivision next to Serenity Mountain Manor such as Steven Layfield and Scott Bundy would even draw applause from the crowd.
Layfield, in his address, said that the noise from the traffic is caused by emergency vehicles, EMTs, and garbage trucks.
“The noise, the traffic, 24 seven hours around…It’s very unnerving to have a flashing red light come up your street,”
Bundy then spoke about how he thought commercializing the neighborhood would not benefit the community.
“NC zoning is not compatible with rural residential. NC zoning will open a Pandora’s Box. The possibilities will benefit no one but Serenity Mountain Manor and will surely ruin our peaceful neighborhood lifestyle. Let’s keep the neighborhood for our neighbors and deny this request,”
“In hearing what all these folks have to say, I have to move that we deny the request,”
said Commission member Clayton Preble after hearing more comments like Layfields and Bundys. The Planning Commission then decided to approve the motion.
Afterwards, Preble also said during the Board Comments part of the meeting,
“We come together about once a month. We are only as good as the input that we get from people like ya’ll that show up. I would encourage you not just to show based on the issue that you got before the board, but to come on a regular basis and participate in this process. We try to make the best decision we can based on the information. The more people that we have and the more people that provide input to us, the better this board will be.”
Smith, appearing disappointed said at the end of the meeting,
“You can be defeated gracefully; I hope you all have a graceful victory.”