Not here, not now: Developers withdraw request for Bermuda Run apartments
Published 9:56 am Thursday, May 19, 2022
By Jim Buice
BERMUDA RUN – When May’s town council meeting was moved to WinMock At Kinderton Loft from town hall because of early voting, the timing seemed ideal to accommodate a large crowd expected for a rezoning request of 22.5 acres behind Lowes Foods for a proposed multi-family residential development.
But it never happened.
The applicant decided last Tuesday – on the day of the meeting – to withdraw the request, meaning no public hearing and no action was needed on the request that was met by overwhelming opposition by residents of Kinderton Village.
Bermuda Run officials scrambled to get the word out at the last minute.
“We attempted to put out information regarding the fact that the applicant withdrew their application for this rezoning request,” Town Manager Lee Rollins said, “but for the sake of the meeting minutes I would like to make sure it’s recorded that the attorney on behalf of the Hillsdale Group LLC that owned the property under consideration for rezoning and the applicant RLM Development, doing business as Homes Urban, sent information to us earlier today that they were withdrawing their application for the rezoning.”
Apparently, most residents must have found out as a slim crowd just filled a few rows in the roomy loft.
The specific request called for rezoning a 22.5 acres of a tract totaling 64.7 acres from Commercial Mixed (CM) to Village Mixed (VM) with the proposed land use of multi-family residential and 270 units.
The Planning Board voted 4-1 to recommend denial of the request in its April 20 meeting.
In that meeting, developer Robert Morgan spoke of compliance to the Comprehensive Plan and Map, including diverse housing choices and the transition from commercial to residential uses on both sides of the subject property.
However, all 16 residents who spoke were in opposition with Diane Pfundstein of Brookstone Drive submitting a petition featuring 252 signatures of residents and citing concerns expressed by most – increased density, water runoff, property values, traffic, access to Kinderton Village amenities and impacts to schools.
During their comments in last Tuesday’s council meeting, members on the board commended residents on their communication and letting their voices be heard during the process.
“I have some personal friends that live at Kinderton Village, and I feel like I know a lot more people now than I ever did,” said council member Curtis Capps. “I admire the manner in which you voiced your concerns, and I certainly admire your unity and organization.”
Council member Mike Brannon added: “Thank you to Kinderton HOA. I think they absolutely are the model for how to engage your community and make people aware and have meetings, educate. Kudos to the leadership of that organization.”
In news shared during the council meeting, Rollins said he and Mayor Rick Cross met recently with NCDOT Division 9 engineer Pat Ivey and his group regarding improvements at US 158/NC.801.
“We were able to receive contingency funding from Rep. Julia Howard, who is our N.C. House representative in Davie County, to look at what we call a low-cost, high-impact project from NCDOT. There is going to have be acquisition of some right-of-way, but the goal right now is to begin construction next summer for some improvements at that intersection.”
Rollins also announced he has presented the 2022-23 fiscal year budget, which must be adopted by June 30, based on feedback from the January council planning sessions and subsequent follow-up feedback. He recommended council to set a required public hearing for the June 14 meeting, which was approved, where he will provide more details.
Before that, there will be a drop-in learning/input session to find out more about the Comprehensive Plan update on May 25 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Granary at WinMock.
“We got almost 600 responses this year (from a survey), which was almost a third more than we got in 2017,” Cross said. “That’s a great response across the town, but it’s just one part. Provide your input and give us your thoughts. I’d like to have 1,000 people coming by during the day.”
Cross also gave an update on visible work now being seen on the Blue Heron Trial project.
“I feel like we’ve been talking about that forever, and saying, ‘It’s coming, it’s coming,” Cross said. “Well, it’s here. If you came down 158 and thought they were widening it to four lanes, it’s not that. It’s Phase I of the Blue Heron Trail, so it will come up out of the pedestrian tunnel and come out to 158 and down to the roundabout. We’ve got a few things we’re working on and will share as time goes by, but if you see some dirt being pushed around, that’s what it is.”
In other highlights from last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:
• Heard from Cross, who read a proclamation regarding National Law Enforcement Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and reminding residents to remember and recognize the men and women who serve and protect them.
• Heard from resident Timothy Deegan in the public comments portion of the meeting. He expressed relief over the withdrawal of the rezoning request for the property bordering Kinderton, and spoke about how Bermuda Run could follow the example of The Woodlands, Texas, on how to grow in an orderly way.