Carrboro Board of Aldermen approved Tuesday evening changes to a proposed development that will increase population density.
The Raleigh developer, M/I Homes, requested the zoning classification of the proposed 25.79-acre site at 8110 Old N.C. 86 be changed so that more homes could be placed on the property.
The original zoning designated the site to hold approximately 18 lots, ranging from 20,000 to 43,560 square feet, including houses that would cost an estimated $600,000. The changes would allow it to hold approximately 101 possible lots at about 10,000 square feet each. The new zoning also opens up the property to commercial interests.
“The company now plans on building between 55 and 75 town homes and three to four business locations,” said Jeremy Medlin, the developer’s representative at the meeting.
“I want to encourage uses for this project that are diverse and help the community’s economy,” Alderman Sammy Slade said.
Several citizens, including one whose property is adjacent to the new development, expressed concern that so many new residents would make the already dangerous intersection of Old N.C. 86 and Hogan Hill Road even more hazardous.
Mayor Mark Chilton said Carrboro has an ongoing discussion with the N.C. Department of Transportation about this intersection, and the town will continue to search for a solution. Aldermen assured residents that with a new development, they would not ignore the already present safety concerns.
The board passed the zoning request unanimously.
Aldermen also discussed the necessary width of buffers and their effect on local environments. A buffer is an undeveloped area parallel and adjacent to water that leads in a larger body, which enhances water quality.
Buffers are a particular concern in protecting Jordan Lake. Relatively undisturbed strips of vegetation can effectively trap soil and pollutants carried over land from upstream.
The board discussed the importance of preventing an individual from cutting down vegetation in a buffer zone. An existing ordinance prevents an individual from changing a zone without a written plan made by someone with recognized expertise, such as a forestry agent.
The board approved changes to the buffer provision, including the language dealing with the definition of a stream and responsibility for conflict review. The new ordinance passed unanimously.
Alderman also discussed the possibility of restricting the building of flag lots in Carrboro in the future. A flag lot is named for the shape its long driveway creates. A flag lot is parcel of land that is only accessible from a main road by a very long narrow strip of land.
They can create problems with trash pickup, and several aldermen said they were ugly.
The amendment proposed that further development of these lots be put under stricter rules, including their width and the type of residences that can be considered for a flag lot.
“Under these new regulations, my home would not be permitted to be built,” Alderman Jacquelyn Gist said.
As of now the provision is only affecting one pending application.
The board will continue flag lot discussion at its Nov. 23 meeting.
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