Multi-family housing proposal creates a stir in Kinderton
Published 10:25 am Thursday, August 18, 2022
By Jim Buice
BERMUDA RUN – It might not have been on the agenda for August’s town council meeting, but a number of residents from Kinderton Village continue to express concerns regarding a rezoning request involving a possible apartment complex behind the Lowes Foods shopping center.
This goes all the way back to the when the applicant withdrew its initial rezoning request of 22.5 acres for the proposed multi-family residential development on the day of the council meeting in May. Then a couple of residents brought up the latest proposal of conditional zoning for the project in the July meeting as the buzz in the community continued.
“I don’t know that it’s ever died down,” said Town Manager Andrew Meadwell, who confirmed another application has been submitted by Homes Urban. “It’s going to be a conditional zoning. It is scheduled to go to the planning board in August and then could come to the council in September depending on what the planning board does.”
Meadwell said conditional zoning allows the applicant to speak in more specifics, including showing a design and placing conditions of uses of the property, which have to be agreed upon.
In that May meeting, Lee Rollins, former town manager, explained that by the applicant withdrawing its request, meaning no public hearing and no action taken, it also meant any new request would mean starting from scratch in the application process.
“For the sake of the meeting minutes,” Rollins said, “I would like to make sure it’s recorded that the attorney on behalf of the Hillsdale Group 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.”
The specific request called for rezoning part of an overall tract totaling 64.7 acres from Commercial Mixed (CM) to Village Mixed (VM) with the proposed land use of 270 multi-family residential units.
The Planning Board had voted 4-1 to recommend denial of the request in its April meeting before it was supposed to go before the council for official action. The same process will be followed in the upcoming meeting with the council having the final say, if it reaches that point.
In that planning board 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, the Kinderton Village community has stated its overwhelming opposition to the project with concerns related to increased density, water runoff, property values, traffic, access to Kinderton Village amenities and impacts to schools.
Residents turned out in force in last Tuesday night’s meeting, with most wearing green shirts that read: “NO! STOP BERMUDA OVERRUN, Tell our town council to vote against rezoning! No more high-density residential apartments.”
Several paraded to the podium during the citizens’ comments portion of the meeting to be on the record.
One stated: “I live in fear it will happen. It will destroy our community.”
Mayor Rick Cross thanked all those who spoke, saying he appreciated “everybody who has taken the time to put their thoughts down and share them with the council.”
Meadwell emphasized this will be a “brand new hearing” before the planning board, which will make a recommendation to the council – which makes the final ruling, possibly in the Sept. 13 meeting.
In other Bermuda Run news:
• The town council adopted a resolution of intent to close Peachtree Lane Extension after receiving a request from Ariston Place and called for a public hearing on Sept. 13.
• Heard from Meadwell in his comments, saying that the town had received its second installment from the American Rescue Plan Act funding, and it was $70,555 more than originally expected – making the total amount now received $863,351.
• Meadwell provided an update on the new Chick-fil-A coming to Bermuda Run, saying “we’ve been told they’re anticipating a December start date for construction.”