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City amends watershed regs, OKs development under new provisions

ASHEBORO — After amending the city’s watershed protection regulations, the Asheboro City Council approved the first residential development under the new guidelines.


The action came at the council’s June 8 meeting. Terry Tucker, local developer and builder, requested both the watershed protection amendment and rezoning for the residential development within the Back Creek Watershed.


Early on in the meeting, the council approved a request by Tucker for an amendment to the Watershed Protection Regulations of the Asheboro Zoning Ordinance.


Trevor Nuttall, community development director, explained that there are critical and non-critical areas within the Back Creek (Lake Lucas) and Cedar Creek (Lake McCrary) watersheds, determined by proximity to the water supply. 


According to Nuttall, watershed protection standards seek to protect surface water quality by restricting development intensity. A single-family residential development is limited to one dwelling unit per acre in non-critical areas and all other development is limited to 12 percent built-upon or impervious area (building, pavement, other hard surfaces, etc.) unless a special intensity allocation (SIA) is requested and approved by the City Council.


Under state rules and the city code, up to 10 percent of the city's non-critical jurisdictional area within city watersheds may be granted a SIA, allowing a project to construct built-upon area of up to 70 percent.


While the state allows residential projects to seek a special intensity allocation, the city code only identifies non-residential projects. “The amendment proposes to make both residential and non-residential projects eligible for a SIA,” Nuttall said.


The council approved the amendment to allow residential developments to seek the special intensity allocation, with the following provisos:

— The city will strongly enforce watershed protection regulations and ensure that state stormwater runoff and water quality regulations are followed.

— The Zoning Ordinance will periodically be reviewed to ensure that the specific regulations for each zoning district are aligned with the desired character and focus of each district.


Later in the meeting, the council held a legislative hearing on Tucker’s request to rezone property at 1195 Pineview Road from general commercial conditional to medium-density conditional for a residential planned unit development, including the special intensity allocation within the Back Creek Watershed.


Tucker’s plan is to build 22 duplexes, or 44 residential units, on 13.37 acres adjacent to North Pointe of Asheboro Assisted Living. The project is slated to have recreation space and buffers.


During the public hearing on the request, there were objections to the plan by three nearby residents. Mike Frye said he owns land next door to the site and complained that the planned development is not consistent with the neighborhood. He also alluded to the increased traffic from 44 new homes.


Gary Hinesley said the project is “completely out of character” with the neighborhood. He also recommended a fence be placed around the development in addition to the vegetative buffer.


Hinesley’s wife, Jennifer Hinesley, said they own and run horses across the road from the project. She expressed concerns about the addition of that many families nearby.


Despite the concerns, the council unanimously approved the request.