Apartment hearing on tap this week


By Tom Joyce - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com



This photo, taken Monday afternoon, shows the general vicinity of the area eyed for new apartments on Old Toast Road. The site is near Beasley Street just south of West Pine Street.


Citizens have a chance to weigh in Thursday night on an annexation/rezoning issue, with the fate of 60 new apartment units hanging in the balance.

The apartment project, planned for a site at 384 Old Toast Road, already has drawn some opposition from neighboring property owners, which surfaced during a March 27 meeting of the Mount Airy Planning Board.

It is an advisory group to the city board of commissioners, which will conduct its own public hearing on the proposed annexation and rezoning during a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the council chamber of the Municipal Building.

Those two actions have been requested by Wynnefield Properties, LLC, a Jamestown firm that previously launched the 56-unit Edgewood Place apartment complex near Walmart.

It also is in the process of developing the Jasper Pointe apartment project of 60 units in the 100 block of North Franklin Road near the Pipers Gap Road intersection, which the city government rezoned to accommodate.

The latest project is called Danbury Pointe Apartments, a 60-unit endeavor eyed for a 5.6-acre parcel at 384 Old Toast Road. The property, owned by local businessman E.D. Bray III, is now occupied by a single-family dwelling.

It is located near Beasley Street just south of West Pine Street (N.C. 89) near its interchange with U.S. 52-Bypass and is now in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) zone. That is an area which is just outside the city limits but still under municipal zoning control.

The property presently is zoned a combination of R-20 (Residential) and M-1 (Industrial). Wynnfield Properties is seeking to have that changed, in conjunction with the annexation, to the municipality’s B-2 CD (General Business-Conditional District) zone, to allow construction of the apartments.

Conditional zoning typically refers to flexibility for the use of land in a way not otherwise permitted within a particular zone, which may be allowed as long as certain conditions are met. No conditions were listed in planning department documents pertaining to Wynnefield Properties’ proposal.

Early opposition

During the March 27 meeting of the planning board when the matter received preliminary consideration — which surrounding property owners were notified about and invited to attend — multiple objections were voiced to the annexation/rezoning.

One of the main points of opposition from neighboring landowners was a fear that the apartment complex would negatively impact the value of their property.

It also was mentioned that the site on Old Toast Road floods regularly, although there are no designated flood zones on the property.

Another objection relates to a description by the developer of Danbury Pointe Apartments as “workforce housing,” a term used to describe accommodations that fill the housing needs of the lower-middle-income population.

Despite the concerns raised before the planning board, it voted 6-0 to recommend approval of Wynnfield Properties’ annexation and rezoning petition by the commissioners, which subsequently voted to set this week’s public hearing on the matter.

The commissioners are not bound by the planning board recommendation.

This photo, taken Monday afternoon, shows the general vicinity of the area eyed for new apartments on Old Toast Road. The site is near Beasley Street just south of West Pine Street.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_Build-it.jpgThis photo, taken Monday afternoon, shows the general vicinity of the area eyed for new apartments on Old Toast Road. The site is near Beasley Street just south of West Pine Street.

By Tom Joyce

tjoyce@civitasmedia.com

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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