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I see the Mayor is getting out his signs again this year. This is a welcome sight because he deserves another term for...

Winterville council approves plans for new subdivision

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The proposed subdivision is ideal for retirees, business professional and young families, according to Landon Weaver of Bill Clark Homes. The subdivision will feature a swimming pool and the neighborhood will connect to the town's and county's proposed greenways.

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By ANGELA HARNE
The Times-Leader

Monday, November 20, 2017

WINTERVILLE — Rezoning for a subdivision that will add 230 homes to Winterville has been approved by town officials.

The Winterville Town Council voted 3-2, with Councilwoman Veronica Roberson and Councilman Johnny Moye opposed, to rezone approximately 100 acres of land from agricultural-residential to R-10 and R-8 conditional use.

Bill Clark Homes, the developer of the proposed subdivision, requested 57.8 acres adjacent to Worthington Road be rezoned R-10 and 52 acres adjacent to Laurie Ellis Road be rezoned R-8 conditional use.

Bill Clark Homes also is requesting 8-foot setbacks within the R-8 zone, instead of the town's 10-foot setback requirement.

This request went before the Winterville Planning Board in September. In a 6-1 vote, the planning board recommended the town council deny the request.

The planning board based its decision on the 2004 future land use plan, which recommends the property in question be zoned R-15, according to Winterville's economic developer Stephen Penn, who until recently served as the interim planning director.

According to Landon Weaver of Bill Clark Homes, he subdivision will feature a swimming pool and the neighborhood will connect to the town's and county's proposed greenways.

"This is a great project and adds things that are not here now ... there is something for everyone in this community," Weaver said.

Bill Clark Homes is working with the N.C. Department of Transportation to ensure proper traffic flow in and out of the subdivision, Weaver said. Right and left turn lanes will be added with entrances into the subdivision off of both Laurie Ellis and Worthington roads.

Noting flooding issues throughout town, Roberson questioned how developers will prevent additional drainage issues, since the property sits in a low-lying area.

Bill Clark Homes plans to keep the trees within the property intact to help hold water. The wetlands will remain in their natural state and developers will build retention ponds throughout the subdivision, Weaver said.

A homeowners association will be established with strict covenants in place, he said.

"The subdivision is designed so we don't add to the drainage problem. We don't want to add to an existing problem," said Linwood Stroud of Stroud Engineering, the firm assisting Bill Clark Homes with the project.

Bill Clark Homes will install its own lift station, which will enable the town of Winterville to increase its utility customer base. The lift station will be able to handle the capacity along County Home Road to the rear of D.H. Conley High School, according to Weaver.

"The town could grab (these residents) and build its tax base. It makes economic sense and is a huge benefit for the town," he told the council.

The 230-home subdivision will be developed through a "gradual build out" process, Weaver said. This is estimated to take eight to nine years "depending on the market," he said

The homes are estimated to cost $180,000 to $300,000.

Moye voiced concerns over the proposed lot size. Last month, the town council voted to deny the development of a subdivision near South Central High School.

"Last month we denied (a similar request). I know it was a different setting and a different time, but I don't understand why we are even considering this ... I need to understand where we stand, as a board, on lot sizes," Moye said.

Bill Clark Homes is the only developer to approach the town to build a subdivision that will feature homes with a two-car garage and a swimming pool, according to Councilman Tony Moore.

"The financial impact (of this subdivision) is tremendous. The town needs this money," Moore said.

Roberson remained unconvinced the development of 230 homes would not add to the town's drainage problems.

"It is not fair to put drainage problems on our residents and use taxpayer money to fix the problem," Roberson said.

Mayor Pro-tem Mark Smith made a motion to approve the rezoning requests, which Moore seconded.

The motion passed despite seven residents voicing opposition to the project. Many of those opposed went before the planning board in September to voice concerns about drainage and traffic.

Hal Pilgreen lives on Laurie Ellis Road.

"They want to build a road facing my house with light shining into my front yard. They will be taking may land for a turn lane. If you allow this, you will be spitting on my wife and I, who have worked hard our whole life for what we have," Pilgreen said. "There will be problems with (drainage) and traffic is already bad. Turn lanes will not be enough. I don't appreciate this."

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