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City Council to consider proposed 80-unit apartment complex

SALISBURY — A proposed 80-unit, working-class apartment complex that earned a recommendation from Salisbury Planning Board despite opposition will go before City Council on Tuesday seeking final approval.
City Council meets at 4 p.m. in City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
Council members will consider establishing a conditional district overlay to allow the development of Abbington Court on about 5 acres of the 9-acre Dodd Brown Estate tract that fronts West Jake Alexander Boulevard. The request proposes no change to the underlying residential mixed-use base zoning.
City Council will hold a public hearing.
The developers — KRP Investments, owned by Rowan County native Karen Perry, and Rea Ventures — are proposing a tax credit, income-restricted apartment complex that would be financed through the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. Families with incomes in the range of starting police officers, teachers and firefighters would qualify.
The N.C. Housing Finance Agency finances the statewide construction of affordable rental apartments using federal and state housing credits, low-interest loans and tax-exempt bond allocations. The agency awards funds once a year through a competitive application process.
Charles Parks, whose business is next to the proposed apartment complex, told Planning Board the street that would lead to the development is too narrow. After a lengthy discussion, Planning Board members eventually recommended that City Council approve the complex, as long as developers build a sidewalk alongside Dodd Street. Perry agreed.
The entire 8.9-acre tract is currently owned by John Leatherman and was originally slated for development as the Pinnacle IV office complex, according to city staff. The plan was last revised and approved by City Council in 2008 and called for 75,000 square feet of condominium office space in six different buildings.
The plan maintains a valid approval and was recently granted a vested rights extension by City Council.
Because the Pinnacle IV plan maintains a valid approval and is vested through January 2017, Leatherman wants to ensure that he maintains his vesting should Abbington Court not receive an award from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, Preston Mitchell, the city’s Planning & Development Services manager, wrote in a memo to City Council.
This would be accomplished by drafting the Abbington Court conditional district ordinance in such a way that would allow City Council to “approve” the plan this spring with an effective date linked to the tax credit award date in September, Mitchell said.
Staff recommends the rezoning and master plan petition. Although the site is adjacent to the Rosemont neighborhood, which is a lower-density, single-family residential area, the site acts as a transitional area between the neighborhood and higher-intensity commercial uses along South Main Street, Mitchell said. The site also backs up to the existing Colonial Village apartments, which has 98 units.
A resident from the Rosemont neighborhood told Planning Board she opposes a plan to connect Abbington Court with Colonial Village. No connection is proposed to Rosemont Street.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda:
• Shawn Campion, president of Integro Technologies, is scheduled to make a presentation.
• Mayor Paul Woodson will proclaim National Healthcare Decisions Day, National Day of Prayer and Better Hearing and Speech Month.
• Laurel Street Residential and the Salisbury Housing Authority, which are working on the redevelopment of the Civic Park public housing complex, have asked City Council to permanently close a portion of Hall Road. Council members will consider setting a public hearing for May 20.
• City Council will consider revisions to the master site plan for the Gables at Kepley Farm phases three, four and five in the 2000 block of Faith Road.
Developer Spencer Lane is requesting a new street pattern and removal of the proposed traffic circle on Sonoma Lane. The realignment of Sonoma Lane would create a new street stub connection to the adjacent tract of land. A new street section would then connect Sonoma Lane with Pepperstone Drive.
Salisbury Planning Board and the city’s Technical Review Commission unanimously recommended approval of the revisions. The city’s Public Services Department and Fire Department said the removal of the traffic circle would make it easier to maneuver city vehicles.
City Council will take public comment.
• City Council will consider a request from William Derrick Milligan to rezone 21 acres in the undeveloped phase of Oakview Commons from general residential to rural residential.
The Salisbury Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend approval. Milligan wants to “downzone” and construct his homestead on the property, city staff said.
Staff supports the request because downzoning land acts as a method of conservation for large undeveloped tracts, Mitchell said. This positive environmental impact also reduces the need for additional infrastructure and the provision of public services, he said.
City Council will hold a public hearing.
• Staff will give an update on the use of 311GIS, a hosted solution for non-emergency problem reporting by citizens.
• City Council will receive public comments.
• City Manager Doug Paris will give comments, including the third quarter financial update.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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