Pittsboro development tabled

Staff WriterJune 28, 2006 

— Mayor Randy Voller had to break a tie Monday night when the town's Board of Commissioners split over whether to send designs for Pittsboro Commons to the Planning Board.

The American Asset Corp., the firm behind Raleigh's sweeping Brier Creek development, wants to build a grocery store-anchored shopping center at U.S. 15-501 and U.S. 64.

Pittsboro Commons would add nearly 200,000 square feet of development to roughly 740,000 square feet under construction in Pittsboro. About 232,000 more square feet of development have been approved for construction.

The town, meanwhile, is on the cusp of creating a sweeping land-use plan to guide development for years to come.

With that in mind, Voller, who was elected on a responsible growth platform, said the Planning Board is not yet equipped to handle this proposal. He called it essentially tabled.

"We'd be getting the cart ahead of the horse to send projects to the Planning Board without first getting all the stakeholders to have an input," Voller said Tuesday in an interview.

Commissioners Max Cotten and Chris Walker disagreed, voting to send the proposal to the Planning Board. Gene Brooks and Pam Baldwin voted to drop it, as did Voller in breaking the deadlock. Clinton Bryan Jr. was absent because of illness.

The 50-acre property is now home to the sparsely inhabited Five Oaks Mobile Home Park.

It's also across the street from Northwood High School, which jams U.S. 15-501 when school lets in and out. A new Lowe's home improvement store and the large under-construction Powell Place subdivision sit across U.S. 64.

Several residents told the board Monday night that they didn't want Pittsboro Commons. Still, not sending the project to Pittsboro's Planning Board was a mistake, Cotten said.

Staff writer Patrick Winn can be reached at 932-8742 or patrick.winn@newsobserver.com.

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