East Spencer approves annexation request for housing development near McCanless Road

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

EAST SPENCER — Town aldermen on Monday approved an annexation request for a nearly 21-acre lot near the intersection of McCanless and Choate roads in anticipation of a residential development.

The property is owned by Luann Bridle and has a total assessed tax value of $198,602. The request was approved by the Planning Board, and the area is zoned for residential development.

The request for annexation was first heard at the Sept. 13 meeting, with several residents of McCanless Road speaking in opposition due to concerns of the environmental impact, traffic congestion, crime and flooding. The request was then tabled due to the absence of two board members.

At Monday’s meeting, McCanless Road resident Jane Debeaumont voiced concern about water drainage in the area and the “safety of our lifestyle.” She provided a page full of signatures from nearby residents indicating their opposition to the annexation request.

Navin Dundigalla and Vamsheedhar Devarasheti, with Concord-based Nava Realty LLC, said developers are responsible for ensuring minimal impact to the nearby residents and environment. The two said no design plans are in place yet, but the goal is to develop anywhere from 50 to 80 single-family homes within the annexed property, with a price point around $350,000 each.

Nava Realty is currently developing more than 120 homes off exit 55 on Interstate 85 in Kannapolis.

Dundigalla said the company would spend around $20,000 to conduct a traffic study analysis with North Carolina Department of Transportation, in addition to the cost of improving the stormwater system before connecting to water and sewer lines.

Town Administrator Michael Douglas said the development will increase the value of the surrounding homes and estimates the town would receive almost $250,000 from “tap fees.”

Douglas said the value being added with the annexation and future development is greater than the concerns voiced across both public hearings.

“The town is growing and we have the capacity to grow,” Douglas said.

At the Sept. 13 meeting, a concern about crime was voiced by Tim Weaver, a resident who lives across from the property. Douglas said Monday that the town doesn’t have a crime problem, but it can hire more officers if necessary using the revenue from annexing the property into the town’s limits.

Also at the meeting, aldermen discussed criteria for the homeowner rehabilitation program, which is funded from the town’s share of the federal American Rescue Plan. Aldermen voted in September to use a little more than $247,000 for home and business revitalization, to purchase vehicles for the police and public works departments and provide bonus pay for employees.

About $24,000 was budgeted for the housing rehabilitation project. Douglas said the town’s website will soon include an application and residents can visit town hall for a physical copy.

Residents eligible for the grant must be homeowners whose income doesn’t exceed more than $28,032. That is a percentage of the area’s average median household income. Homeowners would be eligible for a one-time grant of up to $500 to make various improvements, and would cover the cost of the repair upfront with a reimbursement from the town.

Douglas was also instructed to seek out a few members of the public who could join him and board members in forming a committee to make selections for the grants.

In other items at the meeting:

• Town aldermen approved a request to pull $55,000 from the general fund of the 2021-22 budget to cover the cost of demolitions for dilapidated homes, as well as fund a new town website. Only $5,000 was budgeted for demolition costs, and Douglas said several quotes among firms who could do the work range from $5,000 to $14,500. Douglas said nearly $9,000 is what will actually be pulled from the general fund once factoring in revenue from surplus property sales.

• Town aldermen approved of the implementation of an unpaid internship program for Livingstone College graduating seniors.

• Aldermen approved the demolition of four homes: 307 Adams St., 109 E. Broad St., 403 S. Long St. and 938 Cedar St.

• Town aldermen approved of a contract for $16,000 with Lexington-based Eddie Carrick CPA to conduct the town’s annual audit.

• Douglas invites all residents to join the next Meet the Administrator event, scheduled for Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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