Aberdeen approves downtown zoning change

The Aberdeen Town Board met Monday evening. The Board considered a text amendment to the UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) to change the minimum separation allowed between a bar or nightclub and an existing religious institution or existing school in the Central Business District in downtown Aberdeen to 35 feet from 50 feet.

The intent is for a small wine and wine-tasting shop. Applicant Betsy Saye, of Eloise Trading Company, spoke to the Board. A change in the minimum separation standard would allow the applicant to serve beer and wine inside Eloise Trading Company as an enhancement to the shopping experience. 

A change in the text of the UDO, though, would be applicable to all businesses within the Central Business District. 

According to Aberdeen Town Planner Lisa Brosan, the plan is consistent with the vision of the UDO. Also, the project is consistent with the town’s Long Term Development Plan, and according to staff, the plan will also help existing businesses and will encourage further development for existing businesses. It is also consistent with the purpose of the Central Business District, which is stated in the Towns UDO.

“The Central Business (CB) district is established and intended to encourage the urban form, and architectural character found in the traditional downtown area, as well as promote redevelopment that will make the downtown area a more diverse and vibrant mixed-use urban center. The CB district is intended to accommodate a well-balanced mix of uses (e.g., office, retail, service, high-density residential, and market showroom development), promote a strong pedestrian-oriented environment with a reduced need for parking, and preserve and protect the downtown’s historical and architectural scale and character.”

Aberdeen staff recommended the revised text amendment, and the planning board also recommended approval. The North Carolina ABC has to approve any application to serve alcohol. 

The Council approved the amendment without dissent.

In other business, the town changed the speed limit on U.S. 15-501 to a consistent 45 mph from Pee Dee Road to Pinebluff Lake Road. The Board obtained a resolution to request the NCDOT to modify the speed limit. Currently, the limit fluctuates between 45 mph and 55 mph. 

The Aberdeen Police Department gained a new officer as police officer Zach Davis was sworn in. The Board also recognized police captain Brian Chavis, who graduated from the FBI National Academy.

The Council heard a report considering the recent power outage. Rumors have been swirling, but the town faced a few incidents including a rock thrown through the window at smoke shop. There was an incident at Walmart, but it was a simple case of shoplifting. According to Mayor Robert Farrell, the power grid attack really showed the care Moore County residents have for each other.

This was the last meeting of the Board for 2022. The next regular meeting will be on Jan. 9, 2023.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].

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