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Bermuda Run eyes Kinderton speed limits

BERMUDA RUN – As the Kinderton Village residential area continues to grow, the homeowners association wants to take steps to reduce traffic speeds and focus drivers on activity in the park at Town Park Drive and Parkview Lane by making a change to a four-way stop.

The group voted to bring the matter to the Bermuda Run Town Council in its July 10 meeting, where it was unanimously approved.

Town Manager Lee Rollins said that the request was consistent with recommendations from a prior traffic and speed study conducted by Ramey Kemp & Associates in 2015.

“This is certainly in keeping with the spirit of the speed study,” Rollins said.

In addition, the community invested in new amenities in 2017 at the park, including a new playground installed for smaller children along with a fenced basketball court.

Also, a new phase of 72 single-family units is being developed at what is currently the end of Town Park.

Councilman Chris Fowler lives in Kinderton and said it will continue to get busier there.

“I go through that intersection every day, so it will be very heavily traveled with the addition of the new homes,” he said. “Of course, it’s concerning for the residents because it’s a community area with a basketball goal and playground area, and a lot of kids and some open space. Even though a state trooper does live in some apartments by the community center, many seem to act like there isn’t a speed limit there.”

In other business, the council approved a text amendment and rezoning request that included repealing the Town Center zoning district at Hillsdale (US 158 and NC 801).

“The primary reason for this was there always seemed to be confusion about what is the Town Center of Bermuda Run,” said Erin Burris, zoning administrator. “Is it here in Kinderton at Bermuda Run or is over there where people call it Hillsdale? This will put the focus on building this area (Kinderton at Bermuda Run) out as the Town Center of Bermuda Run.”

It also called for reclassifying the Town Center district at Hillsdale to Commercial Mixed (for the banks and drive-thru restaurants closest to 158) and Village Mixed Use (exactly like the Town Center at Kinderton at Bermuda Run) for the remaining undeveloped area to facilitate more realistic development potential.

This action also included establishing a “Master Plan Overlay” that requires conditional zoning for all new development to ensure overall development cohesiveness and the fulfillment of land use and infrastructure goals and strategies as part of the Comprehensive Plan.

There was also a public hearing where Gray Wilson, who was representing Riverview Townhouses, spoke. He wanted to make sure his clients’ 72-unit rental complex would not be affected by the proposed text amendment and rezoning request.

Finally, a proposed text amendment to permit temporary signing for permitted temporary uses – such as Christmas tree sales and construction projects with valid building permits – was approved after a public hearing where no one spoke.

Burris said that these were excluded by oversight previously, and this action was taken to “rectify the situation.”

In other business, the council:

– heard that the Bert’s Way bridge over I-40 will be torn down on July 31 at night and ultimately be replaced by what Mayor Ken Rethmeier called “a beautiful edifice.” That new pedestrian bridge will continue to allow the interconnectivity between the north side of I-40 and the south side of I-40 and link in to two parts of the Blue Heron Trail.

– Heard from Sheriff J.D. Hartman on the progress of the community officer program that was started late in 2017 with positive results. Jason Robertson, the town’s community officer, was also present and talked about how he has connected with Bermuda Run residents and businesses. He added that he recently received his radar certification, so instead of just sitting and monitoring traffic, “the next time I sit out there, it’s going to be for real. There’s going to be some people that’s going to be slowing down.”

– Honored Christy Schafer with a plaque for her nine years of service on the planning board, including the last couple of years as the chair. Rethmeier and members of the council thanked Schafer for her hard work and dedication.