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Planners say no to rezoning request in eastern Davie

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Davie County Planning Board members recommended on a 4-2 vote last week to deny a rezoning request on Armsworthy Road.

Trent Adams had requested that 42.36 acres be rezoned from R-20 to R-12. R-20 designations allow homesites on 30,000 square feet, R-12 at 8,000 square feet.

Adams said he envisioned a development similar to Kinderton Village, which his company also designed.

Davie Development Services Director Andrew Meadwell reminded board members that because it was a zoning change, members should consider all uses allowed in an R-12 zone.

“Our philosophy is to create a neighborhood feel first, and then develop and maintain it, like Kinderton has for 20 years,” Adams said. “We think Armsworthy Road is a good location. People want to come out further from town, and have a little more land than they’ve had inside the city.”

He said his team had looked at several plans and was deciding whether to develop some 65-67 single-family homes with 18 duplexes, or 109 single-family homes. There would be plenty of open space on the 75.89 acre tract, he said.

Slayton Harpe, who owns adjacent property, questioned Adams’ plans, and said it is not consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. R-12 allows a more dense population than anywhere in the county other than inside a city, he said.

“There’s a lot of questions to be asked. “Please take a lot of due diligence and know what you’re voting for here. I’m not sure from this application if it’s clear exactly what we’re getting,” Harpe said.

Libby Cook said her math reveals that as many as 215 homes could be built on the site with the new zoning. “If his idea is to put this many homes there, we’re going to have some runoff problems. How will this affect the neighbors?”

Wayne Webb said such a development would add traffic to an already overcrowded section of US 158. He suggested the board table the issue until US 158 is widened from Baltimore Road to NC 801, and after Baltimore Road is extended to make a new intersection with I-40.

Cindy Wilson questioned how the board could vote on the matter when there are no concrete plans. The R-20 zoning is appropriate, she said.

“Basically, this would be an eyesore, cracker box, a side-by-side housing development – a frame and brick trailer park if you will,” Wilson said.

She also questioned extending sewer services to the site when it is not available to all county residents. “This is spot zoning at its worst … a direct violation of the Davie County Strategic Plan.”

Brent Shoaf said that while he thinks people should be able to do what they want with their property, within reason, the plan would allow for a house on a lot no bigger than a baseball diamond.

“How does this comply? I scratch my head sometimes … I saw how we (county) struggle to make ends meet and pay for services.”

He said it costs Davie County about $1,900 a year to educate a child in the school system. This development could add more children without the revenues.

“I don’t want to close the county (to growth). We really don’t know how many houses or what it’s going to look like. It could impact our property values negatively,” Shoaf said.

Amber Bostic said the plan would add more traffic to an already dangerous road and intersection (Baltimore Road/US 158). The county doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to support such developments, she said.

“The logical and right thing to do at this point is to leave this lovely old pasture zoned R-20 and let this developer build what he can within the existing zoning,” Bostic said.

Board member Wendy Gallimore made the motion to approve the request, and the chair, Jeff Allen, cast the only other vote for the rezoning.

“This is an area that is going to grow, regardless o whether we want it or not,” Gallimore said. “It’s going to grow, that’s just the facts of life. I’m sorry.”

“We have a developer who is experienced and has projects we can see,” Allen said. “I don’t see a huge difference in density with regards to traffic. This development is going to take time … It may not work, but I’m for it.”

The issue will now go before county commissioners for a final decision.