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City Council approves annexation for expanding housing development

SALISBURY — The City Council on Tuesday approved a voluntary annexation for the fifth phase of The Gables at Kepley Farm, which would bring 65 single-family lots into the city limits. 

At its Nov. 19 meeting, the council approved a plan to maintain the roads at the housing development. The approval was subject to a voluntary annexation of the property. 

The Gables at Kepley Farm is a retirement community located on River Birch Drive. Spencer Lane of Spencer C. Lane Construction is the builder.

Currently, the 20.198 acres has a tax value of $104,408, generating annual property tax revenue of $751. After dividing it into 65 parcels, the estimated values of the undeveloped property would be $2.21 million, generating an estimated annual property tax revenue of $15,903.

The city will also incur costs for police and fire protection, and waste collection will be offered. The city would also take over the street lighting, which is estimated to cost $5,040.

The property is in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The annexation goes into effect Dec. 31.

Councilman Brian Miller said the annexation makes perfect sense and would give the development access to Hotwire, the city’s fiber optic internet service, and other city services.

Councilman David Post thanked the city staff for moving at light speed, saying Lane is appreciative of that.

“He’s wanted us to get this done as quickly as possible,” Post said. “I want to thank the city for moving forward very quickly in the last month for dotting i’s and crossing t’s helping him get through some of the issues he has.”

Post said the Gables at Kepley Farm is one of the most successful local housing complexes and Salisbury need another 25 to 30 housing complexes similar to it.

Post pointed out there is more acreage available for Lane to expand and the city should encourage it.

The voluntary annexation was approved unanimously.

Other business:

• The council approved the closing of the 200 block of West Cemetery Street, agreeing the move is not contrary to the public interest and no individual will be deprived of reasonable means of access to private property.

• The council members delayed an appointment to the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to allow time to decide on the 10 additional members. The council will decide at its Jan. 7 meeting.

• The council decided on liaison appointments. Mayor Karen Alexander will be the liaison for the ABC Board, Centralina Council of Governments, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Rowan County Tourism Development Authority. Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins will be the liaison alternative for Centralina Council of Government, Human Relations Council, Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency, Technical Review Committee and Tree Board. Post was appointed liaison to the Economic Development Commission, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Transportation Advisory Board and Youth Council. Miller was appointed liaison to Downtown Salisbury Inc. and Fireman’s Relief Fund. Councilwoman Tamara Sheffield was appointed liaison to the Community Appearance Commission, Housing Advocacy Commission and alternative to the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

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