Planning and Zoning Board recommends Colonial Crossing rezoning
BY DEBBIE PAGE
At its October meeting, the Troutman Planning and Zoning Board finally approved a revamped Colonial Crossing subdivision after tabling the request last month. The revised plan calls for 366 single-family homes on the parcel located between Tally Street and East Monbo Road.
Board Chairman Layton Getsinger and member Randy Farmer recused themselves from the decision because their properties are impacted by this possible development.
At the September Planning and Zoning meeting, Oak Creek of Troutman II LLC asked the board to rezone the 200-acre Colonial Crossing project from a conditional planned unit development to mixed residential. The board voted unanimously to table the request after a lengthy public comment period.
Since neighbors did not receive a letter about this matter coming before the board until two days before the September meeting, no rezoning signs went up until the day of the meeting, and Town Planner Erika Martin was not present to provide historical background and answer technical questions, the board tabled the decision until the October meeting.
Rebecca Harper of Iredell County Planning, again acting for the recused Martin, indicated staff recommended acceptance of the request since the developers removed a commercial area as well as a section of townhomes, which brings the project more in harmony with the surrounding residential and agricultural areas. They also requested the same overall number of residential units.
The revised plan also includes larger buffers around the subdivision, increased from 25 to 75 feet in the new plan, and an expansion of protected open space from 60 to 82 acres. The new proposal also includes added tree preservation in the buffer area and 4-foot fencing along the inside buffer around the entire subdivision.
Stream crossings were were also moved to reduce impact, and erosion control measures were also specified and meet all levels of government regulations. A 10-foot-wide trail, following closely on the historical Sherrill’s Path, is also being dedicated to the town for public use.
The builders also agreed to use the previously approved construction materials, including wood siding and shingles, brick, stone, stucco, and fiber cement siding. Vinyl is allowed only for soffit, windows and trim.
Merrick civil engineer Joel Madden, who redesigned the plan and again tweaked the plan after hearing residents’ comments at the September meeting, said the new plan improved the development as many ways as possible. He noted the elimination of the commercial component also lessened the traffic impact on the area by 2,100 trips per day.
Madden said the property was currently on the market and indicated that no builder has yet signed on to the project, so no home designs are available to view at this time. The owners were seeking the changes to the zoning to increase the parcel’s attractiveness to developers.
Community members still expressed concerns about the project.
Brent Warren appreciated the increased buffer but still favored a reduction in the number of homes planned for the property. Farmer also expressed concern about the number of lots and favored retaining the age 55/over restricted section to reduce the impacts on traffic and schools.
Beth Span noted the traffic difficulties that already exist and questioned why developers did not have to pay impact fees to help fund school classroom space and infrastructure improvements necessitated by these large developments.
The rezoning request now goes to the Town Council for final approval at its November meeting.