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Granite Quarry approves third fire department door, rezones townhome site

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

GRANITE QUARRY — During its socially distant meeting on Monday night, Granite Quarry made an addition to its town hall upgrade project and addressed a zoning issue raised at the prior meeting.

The Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen amended the scope of its town hall upgrade project to add a third bay door for the fire department and replace the HVAC system. The changes added $54,435 to the estimate cost of the project, bringing it to $403,803, along with other work that included a total overhaul of the building’s front fascia.

Alderman Doug Shelton noted his concern with “scope creep” potentially expanding the project too much.

The board has not yet made other additions that include reworking parking areas and adding pavers, which would significantly increase the project cost further.

Aldermen on Monday also awarded its 2020 capital streets improvement project to contractor J.T. Russell and Sons, which delivered the lowest bid at $299,375. That amount was more than $13,000 under the next lowest bidder and more than $55,000 below the highest bidder.

The board opted out of an option presented to negotiate work on the town hall parking areas with the same contractor in addition to the street work.

The board also approved the rezoning of a parcel of land to its residential high density classification to accommodate 24 new townhomes.

The parcel, on the corner of Rowan and Salisbury streets, was already partly zoned residential high density and light industrial. The change made by the aldermen only rezoned the light industrial part of the land to make the zoning homogenous for the entire parcel.

Rezoning a piece of land requires a public hearing. The board recently refused to rezone a different piece of land to accommodate a new Dollar General location, and a number of residents came to that meeting to comment on the project, but no one from the public attended the Monday meeting in person, which was also available via streaming and call-in.

The board only received one comment about the project, which was sent in from a nearby resident who said she could not attend due to the pandemic and was not in favor of the rezoning. She cited concerns over appearance and traffic it would bring to the area.

The rezoning request was approved with no comments from the board after Town Planner Steve Blount presented the property. Aldermen also adopted a statement of consistency stating the board found the decision to be in the best interest of the public and consistent with Granite Quarry’s Comprehensive Plan.

Blount included the site plans in his presentation for information only, noting they are not usually considered in a rezoning request.

The project includes sidewalks, entrance signs, parking lots, stormwater detention, sewer easements, parking lot plantings and 15-foot buffers along property lines.

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