ASHEBORO — After hearing concerns about increased traffic from neighbors in the area, the Asheboro City Council voted Jan. 5 to table a residential development on Golda Avenue.
The request by Darren Lucas was to rezone 8.5 acres east of 210 Golda Avenue, approximately 850 feet east of the intersection with North Fayetteville Street, to develop 23 duplexes, or 46 units, each with some 825 square feet of living space. There would be a 35-foot setback around the perimeter with a vegetative buffer, a recreation area and 23 visitor parking spaces.
During a public hearing on the request, Lucas said, “There’s a big need for housing. We’re trying to keep the numbers (of units) low” to blend in more with the neighborhood. There are two multi-family developments in the area — Matthew Grande and Summers Run apartments.
The rezoning staff report states, “The application seeks to develop a relatively low-density multi-family project when compared to density typically permitted by the RA6 district (46 825-square-foot units proposed versus 77 825-square-foot units that a 17% (floor area ratio) could otherwise accommodate on this property).” In other words, Lucas could put as many as 77 units on the site as opposed to just 46.
A negative factor for the development was noted by the staff concerning Golda Avenue. It has a “pavement width of less than 20 feet in various locations between the subject property and North Fayetteville Street.” Discussion with the Public Works Department indicated that improvements to the street, including widening the roadway, “are expected to occur in the next few years.”
During the public hearing, eight people spoke against the development, primarily concerned with traffic.
Sherry and Derrick Olinger along with Tony Whitaker said they live in the neighborhood, calling it “a quiet area.” They expressed concerns with the density of the development. “We have problems now with traffic,” Sherry Olinger said. “We don’t want to see 90 or 100 extra vehicles” on the street. “It’s not like our community. Our biggest concern is safety.”
Korey Bennett told the council that spot zoning would “set a precedent for the land nearby. There’s no direct access to Fayetteville Street.” He also recommended heavier landscape buffering.
Mike Thomas said there would be increased traffic, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours. “It would be wise to think this through a little longer.”
Doug Isley also had concerns with traffic. “It’s not safe to back out of your driveway.”
Ruta Spivey said, “Traffic is going to be ridiculous. I ask you to reconsider the plan.”
Finally, Dean Butler noted, “The people who have spoken are all retired” and could be particularly at risk with the added traffic. “Traffic will be backed up in the morning.”
After closing the public hearing, Mayor David Smith said the council could table the request for more consideration or vote to either approve or turn down the development.
Mayor Pro Tem Walker Moffitt, in a motion to approve the request, said, “Progress is often painful. If Golda needs improvement, it’s incumbent on us. I felt it’s a well-thought-out plan with a positive recommendation (from city staff). This is a controlled development. I'll make a motion to approve with conditions the developer agreed to.”
When no one seconded the motion, it died and Smith asked for another motion. Clark Bell made a motion to continue the request until the February meeting and ask the city staff what can be done to improve the roadway.
Smith added, “We desperately need housing, and it’s incumbent on the city to improve the street.” He said the city should “try to have a plan to address the traffic problem available next month.”
With that, Walker seconded Bell’s motion, which passed unanimously.