At September’s Town Council meeting, Clayton residents can weigh in on two proposed subdivisions and the town’s new comprehensive growth plan.
The larger of the two subdivisions would build 177 single-family houses on 61 acres at the intersection of Glen Laurel and Powhatan roads. The Gordon family owns the land, which currently houses about a half-dozen mobile homes.
Plans show main entrances on Glen Laurel and Powhatan roads, and a connection to neighboring Stallings Station subdivision via Green Path Road. A 20-foot landscape buffer around the development would shield it from the surrounding farmland, existing homes and a small family cemetery.
The developer signed an annexation agreement with Clayton, but the land lies closer to the primary town limits of Wilson’s Mills. That means Clayton would either need to get approval from Wilson’s Mills, or wait until its own borders grow closer to the land, before it could add the houses to its tax rolls.
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Having noticed that a few residents have already expressed concerns about the project, Councilman Michael Grannis said the developer should come expecting to answer questions.
“I would like to be sure that the applicant is prepared to discuss those appropriately,” he said.
The second subdivision proposes less than one-fourth as many homes, but it could prove more controversial than the larger project.
That’s because the current plan for Brookside – which would build 38 houses on 22 acres off of N.C. 42 West near Amelia Church Road – would require residents to cut through an existing neighborhood, Wynston, to reach their new homes.
Councilman Art Holder would like to continue pushing for a second entrance to Brookside via N.C. 42, he said, because that would quell most of the opposition in Wynston. The state Department of Transportation has played down the idea of a highway entrance, but Holder noted that the DOT never formally rejected it.
The developer will address that concern at the meeting, Town Planner Jay McLeod said, and he will arrange to have a DOT representative in attendance.
Regardless of how that turns out, the council wants to avoid routing construction traffic through Wynston. The planning board made the same request, McLeod said, and the developer has begun negotiations with an adjoining landowner to secure a temporary construction entrance via Amelia Church Road.
However, the town cannot require the construction route if it decides to sign off on Brookside, Town Attorney Katherine Ross said. That’s because the route depends on a deal with a third party, she said, which would not be a “reasonable condition” for approval.
“It would not be something that we typically see, and I think it would be a stretch for the council,” she said.
Residents might also wish to share their thoughts on Clayton’s Comprehensive Plan 2040, which lays out goals and strategies for how the town should grow for years to come. To view the 144-page report, visit bit.ly/clayton-2040.
Town staff worked for eight months to develop the document with LandDesign, a planning and design firm based in Charlotte. In September, Clayton will receive a presentation from LandDesign and open the floor for public comment. In October, the Town Council will vote to adopt or reject the plan.
In laying out goals and strategies for growth in Clayton, the document is designed to work like a stylebook. A key component is an updated land-use map, which Clayton would consult when deciding whether a new development fits into the town’s vision for the future.
Compared to the town’s current map, which dates to 2008, the new one emphasizes downtown as Clayton’s core. It also offers a broader array of housing densities and opportunities for mixed-use growth.
LandDesign surveyed almost 1,000 locals in drafting the plan. When asked what they want to see more of around Clayton, those polled ranked commercial growth as No. 1. The interviewees also indicated they would support putting tax dollars toward developing more downtown retail and restaurants.
The public hearings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St.