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Developer withdraws rezoning request for China Grove subdivision

CHINA GROVE – The developer of a major residential subdivision withdrew its application to build in China Grove on Tuesday night after the Town Council was unable to reach an agreement for a conditional-use rezoning.

Eddie Moore, principal land planner with engineering firm McAdams, withdrew the application after the council debated whether it wanted the subdivision in the south Rowan County town. The Town Council originally requested more time to reach a final decision on the request.

McAdams had requested a conditional-use rezoning from a residential district to a mixed residential conditional use district to accommodate the subdivision. The rezoning would have allowed single-family homes on smaller lots to be developed. The current owner of the land is B&C Land Farming LLC, of Monroe. The roughly 64 acres is along the north side of Red Fox Lane off North Main Street.

“This property is unique to where it will be serviced by water and sewer, 37% of the site is open space and 67% of site existing trees will be preserved,” Moore said before the withdrawal.

Members of the Town Council as well as Mayor Lee Withers debated whether the subdivision should be approved or denied.

“This is a tough decision I struggle with,” said Councilman Rodney Phillips.

Councilman Charles Seaford expressed concern about the safety of the subdivision, with the homes proposed being in close proximity to one another.

“If one house burns, you’re going to have three gone,” Seaford said.

Withers said he wanted to maintain the feel of China Grove and expressed some positives about the proposal.

“The positive of a development is it’s at the edge of corporate limits, it doesn’t kill the feel of small-town China Grove, it would not cause a disruption to the Cruise-in or Farmers Day or Christmas in the Grove as it relates to being a 200 housing unit in the middle of town,” Withers said.

Councilman Steve Stroud said he opposed the subdivision.

“I don’t like houses stacked on top of each other. Just because it’s happening everywhere is not a good reason to do it,” Stroud said.

After much discussion, the board accepted Moore’s withdrawal.

“We gave some pretty stout deadlines last time about what we needed,” Withers said, noting that they were not met.

Withers reached out to the Post with further comment Wednesday afternoon.

“Hopefully in the near future, the developer will come back with something else at a later date,” Withers said. “There is a lot of great development in China Grove. I just hate this is not one of them right now.”

In other business:

• The board approved a request presented by Franklin Gover, assistant town manager, to rezone parcels located at 1675 N. Main St. The request was for land to be rezoned from suburban residential to highway business. There is a single-family home on the property.

• The board approved a development ordinance amendment regarding consistency with adopted plans and policies that ensure compliance with stormwater-related state requirements.

• The board rescheduled its November monthly meeting to 7 p.m. Nov. 4 instead of Nov. 5 because of Election Day.

• The board adopted an ordinance temporarily closing Main Street from N.C. 152/Church Street to Coach Deal Lane for the Southern Rowan Christmas Parade, which will be 3-6 p.m. Nov. 26.

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