The Hillsborough Town Board voted 3-2 Monday in favor of approving the annexation, rezoning and master plan of the Collins Ridge development project in central Hillsborough.
“The Collins Ridge master plan fits well with our overall plan for Hillsborough,” Mayor Tom Stevens said.
The 125-acre development, under Caruso Homes of Burlington, will will have 1,038 housing units from Orange Grove Street running south the Interstate 85 behind Daniel Boone Village.
“A year ago, when we found this property in Hillsborough, we proceeded with meeting with the town and taking part in several public hearings,” said Caruso Homes CEO Jeff Caruso.
“The Town of Hillsborough had a lot of water, sewer and school capacities, and they wanted this to be a dense development with a lot of rooftops and some affordable housing,” he said. “They felt that this type of community would be a good addition to the town.”
The plan includes age-targeted apartments, affordable housing and a small section set up specifically for military veterans, Caruso added.
The project, which originally had 1,150 units, now has 950 market-rate houses, townhouses and apartments and 88 affordable rental units; 14 of the 88 rental units are the ones earmarked for veterans.
Included in the plans are parks and trails that will connect with other neighborhoods and the town for a pedestrian walkway throughout Hillsborough.
“About 10 years ago we came up with a strategic plan for Hillsborough,” said Stevens. “We wanted to see developments where neighborhoods were connected with paths and walkways. We wanted neighborhoods that looked like they were actually part of the town with sidewalks and doors that faced the road.”
The developers also donated land to the town, giving it access to have bike and walking trails that go over I-85.
“The annexation and approval of the master plan allows the developers to put in the roads and overall infrastructure, but it is still broad strokes and a first step,” Stevens continued. “They will still have to receive approval and special use permits for each pod or parcel of the development of the project.”
We wanted neighborhoods that looked like they were actually part of the town with sidewalks and doors that faced the road.
Mayor Tom Stevens
Caruso expects to break ground in about a year. “Completion of the project will take about five years, depending on the demand of the buyers,” he said.
Collins Ridge is a big project for Hillsborough, which had a population of 6,381 residents, as of 2013 census estimates.
Commissioner Kathleen Ferguson opposed it because she wanted to see more afforable housing. Commissioner Evelyn Lloyd also voted against it, citing traffic concerns.
“Churton Street will not be widened until 2023 and when Orange County came to us back in October, they said traffic will be backed up on the I-85 exit when all the units are filled, Lloyd said.
Stevens said that all of the commissioners are concerned about traffic.
“And it will cause more traffic,” he said, “but it will also enhance Churton Street and be a benefit to Hillsborough.”