Housing development approved on NC 152

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CHINA GROVE — The Town Council on Tuesday kicked off 2016 by approving a housing development, forming an economic development committee and issuing a public plea for resident participation on citizen boards.

An eight-lot subdivision represented the only major item that required a vote during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Once completed, the housing development, called Peyton Crossing, would sit at the corner of Stirewalt Road and N.C. 152. It received approval from the town council in 2008, which only lasted for two years. The council reapproved Peyton Crossing without any “no” votes.

A single person who lives near the development questioned what type of homes would be built on the property, which measures about 4 acres.

Town Planner Franklin Gover responded that no specific restrictions were associated with the Peyton Crossing’s request. Houses built on the property would either be stick-built or modular homes, Gover said. Peyton Crossing would use a single driveway and use shared mailboxes, he said.

Houses built in Peyton Crossing would be served by Salisbury-Rowan Utilities for water and use private septic systems for sewer, Gover said. He said no additional infrastructure would be required to serve the houses.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Stroud, appointed to the position in December, offered the only comment among council members present.

“We certainly don’t have the right to tell them what they can build,” Stroud said. “We don’t have the right to tell them they can’t build on it, either.”

He them made a motion to approve the Peyton Crossing’s request.

In other business from Tuesday’s meeting:

• China Grove Mayor Lee Withers selected several people to serve on a newly created economic development committee for the town.

Withers said the committee’s purpose would be to create guidelines about economic development inside town limits. China Grove also has zoning control over an area immediately surrounding town limits — called the extraterritorial jurisdiction.

He said the committee would include: Councilman Rodney Phillips, Rowan Works Economic Development Director Robert Van Geons, Town Manager Ken Deal and Councilman Charles Seaford.

Because it was formally appointed by the town government, the economic development committee’s gatherings will be open to the public whenever a majority of its members are present, according to North Carolina’s open meetings law.

• During Tuesday’s meeting, Withers also issued a public plea for residents of China Grove to participate on citizen boards, such as the town’s Planning Board.

Withers said the the town “doesn’t have anyone willing to step up and answer the call.”

Phillips served on the planning board before successfully running for town council. A replacement is needed for his position, Withers said. Other town boards also need volunteers, he said.

• A decision to place “In God We Trust” in town hall, on police cars and on fire department vehicles also came up during Tuesday’s meeting.

Local resident Jason Higgins spoke during the meeting’s public comment period about the town’s decision to post the U.S. motto on town property.

Higgins referenced a recent TV news report that included Stroud. Higgins said Stroud gave China Grove a “black mark” by saying people should avoid coming to China Grove if they don’t agree with the “In God We Trust” motto.

Higgins said the town should be focused on keeping streets clean and paying police officers adequately instead of focusing on the motto.

Later in the meeting, Withers addressed Higgins’ argument by saying the town starts off its meeting by saying the Pledge of Allegiance, which contains the words “under God.” Police officers also have flags on their uniforms, Withers said.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.