Sewer OKd for 80-unit apartments in Advance

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, January 7, 2016

It took more than an hour of discussion and several motions, but county commissioners on Monday night approved on a 4-1 vote allocating more than 26,000 gallons a day sewer capacity in eastern Davie for an 80-unit apartment complex off US 158 near Hillsdale Baptist Church.

The company planning to build the apartments will pay $307,060 for the capacity. Stipulations include the capacity can’t be sold or transferred, and the project will have to start within a year and be completed within three years.

Commissioner Dan Barrett was the only commissioner to vote against the final motion, saying it had to do with process. He favored a chance for the public to have a say.

Commissioner Mark Jones voted for it, but with reservations, saying such developments put more strain on infrastructure such as schools than they pay in taxes.

The land is in the Bermuda Run extra-territorial zoning jurisdiction, and has been zoned for multi-family use for some time, said board chair, Terry Renegar. “We have a policy and this developer has met the requirements.”

Jones also questioned the location. “This is basically rural Davie County. I hope we’re as transparent as we can be.”

The site is at the western edge of Bermuda Run’s zoning, and the developer plans to purchase two tracts, one where the apartments will be built and another further west, in the county’s zoning jurisdiction.

Commissioner Richard Poindexter asked if a request to extend Baltimore Road to I-40 and an extra interchange (That plan is in preliminary stages and has not been funded by the N.C. Department of Transportation.) would be affected. Renegar said the developer had said they are willing to provide for that corridor.

Public Utilities Director Johnny Lambert said fees for getting sewer capacity help ease the burden on users of the system. “The cost for allocation seems like a lot, but in reality, it is not. These companies write this into their budgets.”

Barrett said the allocation process is the only say the county has in development in that area, and that residents, if given a chance, may have information helpful to commissioners in making a decision.

“The problem is, you don’t govern use of the property, you govern the allocation,” Ruffin said. “I don’t know if we’ve ever rejected a capacity allocation. What goes there is up to Bermuda Run … there would have to be some type of justification.”

“We just can’t throw our hands up and say there’s nothing we can do,” Jones said. “You’re going to the western edge of the ETJ, and that is a rural part of Davie County. We can’t even get an agreement to handle law enforcement in that community.”

Commissioner John Ferguson said it makes sense for the county to sell that sewer capacity to help ease the burden current users pay. He also said that housing will come to Davie County as new jobs are being brought here. He questioned why there were no objections to recent apartment buildings in Mocksville.

“We can’t keep sitting on this (capacity) and say we’re only going to use it for business,” Ferguson said. “We’re going to have to have some housing to go with it.”