The North Wilkesboro commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to deny a rezoning request made by the owner of the Hidden River Mobile Home Park off Armory Road.

The owner, Rick Del Carlo of Cocaris Real Estate Group Inc., had requested that Hidden River be rezoned from PC-CD (planned development conditional district) to R20 (rural residential).

Del Carlo had previously told the board he wanted to bring more affordable housing into the 20.55-acre parcel (ID #1402717) that he bought about seven months ago. He said he wanted to replace six or seven homes that used to be there, adding to the 23 mobile homes currently at the park.

Del Carlo was informed last month by Fire Chief Jimmy Martin that he needed to install several more fire hydrants in the park to comply with code that regulates at least one hydrant per 1,000 feet. The park currently has only one hydrant, Martin added.

Commissioner Debbie Ferguson made the motion to deny that was seconded by Commissioner Andrew Palmer. Commissioners Angela Day and Bert Hall also voted to deny. Commissioner Michael Parsons not present at the meeting and was thus excused from voting.

“I hope the town and Mr. Del Carlo can work together to update this PC-CD,” said Ferguson. “I can see how an HOA (needed for R20) would be burdensome for residents.”

Ferguson added that the streets at Hidden River need to be widened to 24 feet and meet all state standards. “The roads over there are not paved but seem to be reasonably maintained.”

Del Carlo didn’t attend the board’s bi-monthly regular meeting Thursday, either in-person at town hall or virtually on Zoom and YouTube.

Town Attorney Danny Johnson on Oct. 21 presented Del Carlo a temporary amendment to the town’s PC-CD code that would allow Brenda Hernandez to move her mobile home into Hidden River without triggering the current zoning requirements of PC-CD.

Other matters

Also on Thursday, the board:

• approved by 4-0 vote the costs associated with the conversion of a former women’s prison off Boston Avenue to a training facility for the town’s fire department and other area firefighters. The cost would be around $77,000 over a 10-year period, with $12,000 and $16,000 earmarked the first two years for the installation of a live-fire simulator unit, made up of shipping crates on the lawn behind the current building, and new fencing; and

• swore in new police officer Clinton Tyler Hart, a transfer from the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office.

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