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Salisbury City Council signals approval for proposed apartment development, concerns about another

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Following the presentation of two proposed multi-family apartment developments Tuesday, council members signaled preliminary approval for one and worry another would result in major safety issues.

The Salisbury Planning Board in March unanimously approved rezoning requests from Halcon Development, LLC, and Kent Place Holdings, LLC, for the development of two multi-family apartment complexes. Development Services Manager Teresa Barringer presented council members Tuesday with a presentation of each proposal. A public hearing was held, and comments will be accepted for up to 24 hours. Council members will then revisit and make a formal decision for both requests at the next city council meeting.

Halcon Development, based in Virginia, is requesting that a parcel of about 9 acres currently owned by John Leatherman be rezoned to residential mixed-use with a conditional district overlay. The developer is proposing 84 multi-family, campus-style units to be called Salisbury Oaks Apartments between Jake Alexander Boulevard West and South Main Street near Rosemont Street. The new development would also be adjacent to Colonial Village Apartments.

Based on concerns expressed at the March 10 meeting and following conversations with nearby residents, the developer is proposing the cul-de-sac that currently ends Rosemont Street become city property, be gated and designated for emergency response vehicles only. The designated entrance and exit for the complex is off South Main Street.

Tracy Dusenbury, owner of Halcon, said the development company was involved with the construction of The Villas at Hope Crest on Lincolnton Road. She estimates this project would cost $13.7 million. Additionally, Halcon is working with nearby parcel owners to widen the entrance off South Main Street and add a sidewalk.

Barringer said the North Carolina Department of Transportation noted a study needed to first be completed to determine whether a left-turn lane could be implemented at the South Main Street entrance.

Council member Brian Miller said a multi-family complex would suit the area well and that he likes the idea of pushing traffic toward South Main Street. Miller said he plans to vote in favor of the proposal at the next meeting.

The other residential development request comes from North Carolina-based Kent Place Holdings, which is requesting two parcels totaling around 6 acres between Jake Alexander Boulevard West, Brenner Avenue and Milford Hills Road be rezoned to corridor mixed-use with a new conditional district overlay. The company has plans for 84 multi-family campus style units called Tenby Crossing Apartments. They would be located behind the existing Zaxby’s restaurant.

Following concerns from Planning Board members about regarding traffic congestion near the area, the developer is proposing an entrance and exit be placed on Milford Hills Road, too. Currently, one house is across from the proposed entrance, and the road ends several houses down. An existing entrance and exit from Jake Alexander Boulevard West as well as Brenner Avenue are also included in the plan.

Stephen Brock, the applicant for the project, told council members the developer is currently in the pre-construction phase for a development on Statesville Boulevard, similar to this development being proposed.

Pamela Jones, a resident of Milford Hills, requested the city consider building a sidewalk due to the high foot traffic from nearby Livingstone College students and those using the greenway. Additionally, she called on the city to consider improving the road conditions because they were impacted by nearby commercial construction.

Council members asked about conducting a traffic analysis to consider the implementation of a traffic light at the Milford Hills and Brenner Avenue intersection. City Engineer Wendy Brindle said the current development doesn’t warrant such a study, though the volume of traffic could be studied later.

Miller and Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins said they’d like to see a crosswalk at the intersection of Brenner Avenue.

“If we don’t do something … we’re going to cause an accident,” Miller said.

All members requested the city address the condition of the Milford Hills Road, with council member David Post emphasizing the implementation of a natural landscape barrier since it’s unfair for Milford Hills residents to have to “look into neon lights at all hours of the night.”

Mayor Karen Alexander suggested the city look into grants that can be obtained for a sidewalk to connect to the road.

Barringer said she would relay the concerns to the development company and have them addressed in the plan at the next meeting.

Barringer said both developments plan to provide affordable housing units for families, though only one may be ultimately granted housing tax credits through the state. The other, she said, could reapply in two years.

Also at the council meeting:

• Council members adopted a resolution declaring the city’s intent to close a 20-foot unimproved right-of-way located on Lloyd Street within the 300 block of Harrell Street. A public hearing was set for May 4.

• Council authorized a sole source purchase from Carter Pump amounting to $9,010 for sludge pump replacement parts. Funds for the purchase were adopted in the 2020-21 budget. Members approved a separate purchase from ForTech, Inc., in the amount of $88,930 for materials and services associated with the control logic and integration of the chemical feed improvements at the water treatment plant. Those funds were also adopted in the 2020-21 budget.

• Council members authorized executing an easement agreement to Rowan County for a chemical booster station to serve the North East Water System, located at 1375 Long Ferry Road.

• Council members adopted a resolution establishing a $10 filing fee for the upcoming mayoral race. The filing period for the 2021 race for mayor and city council begins in July. Since at least 1987, fees for the city council race have been set at $10.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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