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Planning board to hear revised Watauga Avenue request

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A revised request along Watauga Avenue seeks to change two lots from residential to commercial.

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The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Property owners who want to develop several lots along the new 10th Street Connector have reduced the size of a rezoning request that failed in September in hopes of gaining approval from the city Planning and Zoning Commission.

Kenneth and Christine Lloyd Sr. will ask the commission at its meeting tonight to rezone two lots that total less than a half acre along Watauga Avenue south of Farmville Boulevard. The Lloyds want to rezone the lots from from residential (high density multi-family) to heavy commercial, which will match the zoning for six adjacent lots they own to the north.

The Lloyds in September asked the city to rezone a larger area to heavy commercial: seven lots totaling just under 1.3 acres. Neighbors raised concerns that the request would significantly alter the residential nature of the neighborhood.

City staff advised the request was not in compliance with land-use plans, and the planning board voted against recommending the change to City Council, which has final say.

The council was set to hear the larger request last month, but the Lloyds withdrew it to revise their plans. Staff determined the smaller request complies with city land-use plans, according to agenda materials for tonight’s scheduled meeting.

If rezoned, the Lloyds could join the two lots with the six that front Farmville Boulevard and develop a variety of commercial uses allowed in the heavy commercial zoning rules. Farmville Boulevard makes up the western end of the 10th Street connector project expected to open in the spring.

The Lloyds have not publicly identified how they would like to use the property. Kenneth Lloyd told the zoning commission in September they purchased the properties to develop “a positive” for the area. The location once housed a convenience store that was a nuisance and since has been demolished.

Kenneth Lloyd also removed single-family homes that were no longer were habitable, he said. Another building was demolished as part of the connector project.

Lloyd said he did not want to build a convenience store on the lot because of past issues but did not discuss his plans further.

Three people who live near the property spoke in opposition during the September hearing and said they were concerned commercial development would adversely affect area’s residential value.

Three other requests also are on tonight’s agenda. A public hearing is scheduled before each request.

■ Scotland Management LLC and Happy Trail Farms LLC have asked to rezone 7.362 acres located along Frog Level Road north of Davenport Farm Road. The partnerships want to change 6.410 acres from office to residential medium density and 0.952 acres from office to neighborhood commercial.

■ East Carolina Inn wants to rezone 4.793 acres located at the southeastern corner of the intersection of Stantonsburg Road and Moye Boulevard from medical-support to medical-heavy commercial.

■ Happy Trail Farms is seeking approval for a preliminary plat for West Arlington Commercial Park, to be located west of Arlington Boulevard and south of the Norfolk Southern Railway. The proposed plat consists of 11 lots total ing 55.075 acres

The commission meets at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers of City Hall, 200 W. Fifth St.

ROAD WORK

The N.C. Department of Transportation is installing brick crosswalks at the intersection of 10th and Evans streets as part of the ongoing work to complete the 10th Street Connector. The sidewalks are among several design elements meant to enhance the roadway as a new gateway to the the city and the main campus of East Carolina University. 

Detours in the area are expected to remain in place through Dec. 14, when the sidewalk work is expected to be completed. The connector itself will not open until the spring of 2019 at the earliest, Sarah Lentine, the DOT’s resident engineer in Pitt County, said on Monday.

Crews are scheduled to begin paving the main line and side roads connecting to project in April and May, Lentine said. The road will be ready to open before summer provided weather cause no delays, she said, but no portion of the project will open until then.

In addition to the DOT work on Evans, crews working for the city have shut down Fourth Street just east of Reade Street through February as part of ongoing updates to the Town Creek Culvert. Traffic has been rerouted to East Third Street, which reopened after a culvert collapse nearly three years ago, at East Fifth, which will close after the work at Fourth Street is completed.

The city also is installing traffic safety delineators at six busy intersections this month. The delineators limit left turns and through traffic in center turn lanes at the intersections. 

The locations include Charles Boulevard at Turnbury, Smythewyck, Elm Street and Oakmont Drive; Arlington Boulevard and Wimbledon Drive and Greenville Boulevard at Belvedere Drive.

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