Residents of the Village at Aversboro won a growing battle against the developer who wanted to build an apartment complex next to their neighborhood.
Or did they?
Seth Coker, of Signature Property Group, the development company looking to build on the property, said he will now hold off advancing the proposed 204-unit apartment complex.
“The Village residents have repeatedly stated they want the property developed under current zoning which allows for a large retail development or townhomes built at 9 units per acre,” Coker said in an email. “The impacts of both these uses including more people, more traffic and a less controlled environment than a Class A apartment community has been explained to the Village residents.”
Instead, Coker said he will discuss the property with potential commercial anchor tenants “to see if developing as a retail center is a viable alternative.” Coker said he talked to a friend about a subdivision with townhomes, but that person was not interested.
The current zoning – community retail – allows for townhomes or condominiums, cemeteries, lodges, day care centers, adult day care center, night clubs and bars, retail businesses and emergency care facilities, among many other things.
Signature Property Group was hoping to rezone the 15 acres of land to Multi-family 2. That zoning allows for apartments.
The 204 units would be made up of one- to two-bedroom apartments.
The plan had not gone before the council yet, however, the developers conducted a meeting with The Village residents. Those residents have strongly opposed the plans, twice filling the town council meeting, and once voicing their opinions about the specific plans before the town’s attorney told them that that was considered an improper communication.
“We’re not being critical of your proposal,” Jeff Swain, the HOA president of the Village said, “this is just not the right place for it.”
The Village residents have also garnered support from other nearby neighborhoods along Aversboro Road including Heather Woods, Autumn Oaks, Lynn Shire and Dunhaven, Swain, the HOA president of The Village said.
“I am sort of dismissive of the language Seth Coker has used because nobody has seen potential development,” Swain said.
Swain said the five neighborhoods are calling for the town to conduct a complete land use study, traffic plan and environmental plan from Timber Drive to Lake Benson and White Deer Parks down Buffaloe Road.
He said the subdivisions believe that rather than approving projects individually, the town council should look at a long range plan for the corridor, and create an Overlay District for Aversboro Road.
“We want to see a plan for both sides of the road,” Swain said. “Aversboro Road is a very attractive road with the two parks.”
Planning Director Brad Bass said he had not received any notification from Signature Property Group of their intentions to look at other options. He said usually a developer would send an official withdrawal letter.
The plan for the rezoning request and apartments had been submitted to the town in June. Town staff submitted comments in mid-June for the developers to address, but have not heard anything since, Bass said.