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New Shelton Station development hits snag due to Carrboro ordinance

Developers hope to address the growing demand for affordable housing with a new mixed-use complex in Carrboro.

But the $15 million project on 500 N. Greensboro St. in Carrboro, which will take 2.5 acres of land, can’t proceed unless the Board of Aldermen first changes the town’s land use ordinance.

The Shelton Station development, which is slated to include 12,000 square feet of retail space and 114 apartments, would exceed Carrboro’s population density restrictions by more than three times, said Damon Seils, chairman of the town’s advisory planning board.

The Board of Aldermen held a public hearing June 14 to consider altering the land use ordinance after Shelton Station developer Belmont Sayre requested a review.

Though the aldermen did not reach a decision, they voted to continue discussing the ordinance in September.

The aldermen will not receive an official presentation of the project unless either the ordinance or the proposal is changed, Seils said.

But he said the advisory planning board has seen a presentation on the development and made recommendations.

Catering to Carrboro

If constructed, the new development will be more middle-income oriented than Chapel Hill’s mixed-use Greenbridge development, Carrboro’s interim Town Manager Matt Efird said in an email.

Greenbridge has had trouble selling its high-end condominium units, but those involved with Shelton Station say there is a demand for its one- to two- bedroom rental apartments.

“In my opinion there is an unmet need of non-student rental housing,” said Ken Reiter, an engineer for Belmont Sayre.

Reiter said there is not much multi-family residential housing catered for Carrboro workers.

Patricia McGuire, Carrboro’s planning director, said the developers have shown the town an illustrative site plan of what the development would comprise.

“They are intending to comply as much as possible with it,” she said.

Moving Forward

Developers must address the board’s concerns before continuing with the project, Seils said.

“I think there was some concern from some of the aldermen that the plan as it was proposed, would create a big change to the ‘streetscape,’” he said.

The Carrboro advisory boards, which have reviewed the plans, recommended the aldermen amend the ordinance only if the developers include an additional driveway access and offer to relocate structures on affected lots.

“We’re going to go back and try to even further respond to the comments we got,” Reiter said.

At this stage the plans would require the relocation of one structure.

“At this point it comes down to the rezoning request,” Seils said. “They want to see what they can get the town to agree to.”

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Reiter said if everything goes as planned they expect to break ground next fall.

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