Clayton News-Star

Clayton approves Gordon tract

The Clayton Town Council approved the first piece of a long-awaited 177-home subdivision during a meeting earlier this month.

The 61-acre development, known as the Gordon tract, has been in the planning stages for more than a year, as Clayton and Wilson’s Mills locked horns over which would serve the subdivision.

After months of waiting, the developer decided to move forward on a portion of the development with Clayton, leaving the rest under Johnston County’s planning authority.

But the developer hinted that when all was said and done, the entire Gordon tract could fall within town boundaries.

“We’ve found a way to move it forward,” project developer Jerry Dalton said. “Ultimately the town is going to be happy.”

The council approved the developer’s plan to build 28 homes on 12 acres east of Glen Laurel Road. The remaining homes will be subject to Johnston County’s planning process. Dalton said he is seeking a “municipal transition district” designation for that land, a seldom used zoning that allows higher-density subdivisions than usually allowed in rural Johnston. The designation acknowledges growing areas around towns.

Despite the split planning, the developer can essentially build the subdivision he originally envisioned.

“It’s a totally compatible layout,” Dalton said. “We’ll match this layout with the county’s rules and regulations.”

Initially, the developer approached Wilson’s Mills for services, but later picked Clayton. Neither town could claim jurisdiction over the project without the other’s consent, because portions of the tract were closer to either municipality.

The subdivision will actually touch land that’s already part of Clayton, namely the Glen Laurel development, but because the properties aren’t contiguous to Clayton, annexation was impossible. The developer can move on the 12 acres in Clayton because it’s part of the town’s extraterritorial district.

Dalton, though, suggested that annexation might not be that far away. The prospects are good because of a planned mixed-use project at Glen Laurel Road and N.C. 42 East. The developer there has pledged to request annexation to Clayton. With that property in town, the Gordon tract is really only one more piece from being contiguous to Clayton’s border.

“At some point in time, we’ll ask to be annexed,” Dalton said. “We’ll ask to annex and take another step forward.”

The Clayton council certainly appeared ready to move forward.

“It’s time to get this thing moved on,” Councilman Art Holder said.

Drew Jackson; 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdrewjackson