Troutman Planning Board supports Children's Hope Alliance rezoning request, discusses future of Old Mountain Road corridor
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously to recommend approval of a request to rezone an 18.73-acre parcel on Old Mountain Road at its monthly meeting Monday.
The narrow parcel, which is owned by the Children’s Hope Allowance and adjacent to South Iredell High School’s west side, is partly in Troutman’s ETJ and partly in unincorporated county jurisdiction. The Troutman section, about one-third of the acreage, is zoned suburban residential, but the remaining county section is designated rural agricultural.
Children's Hope Alliance wants the property to be zoned consistently and plans to ask for annexation into Troutman if the rezoning is approved at the Town Council’s September meeting.
Town Planner George Berger said the rezoning would allow the building of 36 homes, though Children's Hope Alliance Senior Director of Properties Greg Heaton said that the organization has no plans to sell or develop the property at this time.
“We are just looking into the future. Currently, the property is in two zones under two authorities,” said Heaton, who noted that the nonprofit wanted consistency for the parcel.
If developed in the future, the property can access town sewer services with the installation of a pump station and connection to a line on the eastern side of of the high school. Water capacity is also sufficient in the area.
Heaton noted that working out sewer connections would not be a matter of concern because Children's Hope Alliance has “a great relationship with the town working on other projects. We just want this hurdle out of the way for any future plans.”
Board member Mark Taylor noted that NCDOT would most likely require turning lanes for any development at the location, even though it would be small, because more than 3,500 cars per day travel Old Mountain Road.
Berger noted that NCDOT is already working on a future traffic corridor plan to four-lane Old Mountain Road from Highway 21/Main Street to Buffalo Shoals. This project is part of the state’s “Fast Design” program that seeks to accelerate much-needed projects.
NCDOT has started the feasibility analysis of the project, which would also potentially include multi-use paths on both sides of the four-lane road. However, the project is still years away from construction, if approved to go forward after the NCDOT study.
The board also approved a rewording of a board policy to allow the removal of a member who misses three consecutive board meetings unless the absences were “with good cause,” such as maternity leave, illness, military deployment, or other justifiable reason.
Additionally, Berger updated the board on the Calvin Creek subdivision near the intersection of Perth and Autumn Leaf roads, noting the project gained council approval earlier this month and that traffic impact studies were continuing.
Berger said the developers were now focused on completing Sanders Ridge, but he expected the developers to present plats and start the preliminary subdivision processes in the near future.
Chairman Randy Farmer welcomed George Harris for another term and congratulated Jim Freeman, who joined the board as a full member after serving as an alternate. He replaces Lewis Weeks, whose term expired.