Split council approves housing project

Mar. 19, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

On a split vote here Monday night, Town Council gave the go-head Monday night for a multi-housing project to be constructed off Piney Ridge Road in Forest City.

The Pendergraph Companies based in Raleigh, plan to construct 60 housing units on the 10.35 acre site that was rezoned — with conditions — from C-3 Highway Business District to CU R-8 Medium Density Residential District, as recommended by the town's planning and adjustment board. 

Developers are planning to build Cottages at Piney Ridge, a multi-housing project for residents 55 years and older. There will be 32 one-bedroom units and 28 two-bedroom units.

Council members Dee Dee Bright and Chris Lee opposed the rezoning of the property. Members David Eaker, Shawn Moore and Steve Holland approved the request for rezoning.

Allan Green, a resident on Piney Ridge Road, said at least 90 percent of the residents told him they were opposed to the rezoning and property development.

"We don't feel like we need it," he said. "We have a quiet neighborhood."

He said instead of a construction project that would cost the county money, he believes the town should look at projects that would bring revenue and jobs to the town.

The property is not inside the city limits, but is a part of the town's Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, which gives the town authority over its city limits. 

"Why build more units if we have units standing empty?" Green said.

"The people of Piney Ridge Road are not interested in this. . . Piney Ridge is the back road to everywhere in the county."

Linda Bailey said she and her sister, Shirley Shehan, own the property adjacent to the site and  they were also opposed to the project. 

"We know how bad the traffic is," Shehan said. She said if each of the 60 units has two cars and if they travel out of the complex just one time a day that could be 120 more days each day on the road. "(The) construction does not maintain the character of the neighborhood," Bailey said. 

She also asked if there was a need for the multi-housing project.  "What are your plans for the future of Piney Ridge Road?" Bailey said.

Lois Snyder spoke on behalf of the project and said, "there is a desperate need" for standard housing.

Conditions include that the driveway onto Piney Ridge Road be subject to approval from the NC Department of Transportation. Other conditions include revising open space and providing green space or park.

A similiar request for the site was denied in April 2012 when the plan was associated with the developer's request for access on US 74A. However, the plan  changed the access off Piney Ridge Road. 

Scott Roach, a representative from Odom Engineering, said grading of the property could begin as early as the summer of 2013.

Also Monday night, Council passed a resolution in support of National and North Carolina Surveyors Week. The Southwestern Piedmont Chapter of the North Carolina Society of Surveyors will hold a demonstration and hands-on workshop of surveying techniques in Forest City at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. Surveyors will be avilable to answer quesgtions about surveying property. 

• Council approved a sidewalk agreement for construction from Hardin Road to Fuji Yama Resturant. NC DOT plans to contract for additional work from Fuji Yama Restaurant to Burger King and a second contract from Burger King to Retro Cinema, to be funded 100 percent by NC DOT. 

The work is estimated at $133,000 to be funded by the state and town.

* Council unanimously approved a McNair Field Vehicle Policy that states vehicles will no longer be allowed inside the gated area of McNair Field unless a vehicle is making a delivery of such size or weight that it is required to have inside gate access. Exceptions will be made for vehicles that are inside the gated area for promotional purposes.

Exceptions will also made made for vehicles that are needed for maintenance purposes where the vehicles are required to be inside the gate in order to make the necessary repair or upkeep of the facility. The policy appplies to vehicles parked inside the gate at all times, but especially during games.

• Also Monday night, council approved a change order for the Horsehead Project and approved two budget amendments; 

• Council declared some fence, post and other items as surplus;

• Voted to cancel the April 1 town meeting;

• Went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.