The Holly Springs Town Council approved the first development on downtown’s Main Street since 2003 in the hopes that the project could help attract more business to the area.
“We’ve really struggled for development along Main Street for the past 13 years or so,” said Sean Ryan, a planner with the town, at a July 19, meeting.
The Townes on Main will be have six townhouses and one duplex on about a half-acre at the southwest corner of the intersection of Elm and Main streets.
“The Village District Plan does encourage this sort of development in our downtown area at higher densities than what we would typically find in other parts of our town to help establish that residential density,” Ryan said. “To encourage that commercial core that we have so wanted to develop since the inception of our Village District Area Plan.”
The council last reviewed the project at a meeting in June but had concerns about the density of the property, parking and the architectural design. Crown Builders LLC, an Apex-based developer, has since tweaked the plan to include all brick facades and a staggered roofline to create a more urban feel, Ryan said.
“I do say that the design is much better,” councilwoman Linda Hunt Williams said.
This is the first developer to request approval under the new infill development options that the council added to town rules in December. The ordinance change allows the developer to build higher density residential projects if certain architectural requirements are met.
“You need residential to support the commercial, and vice versa,” said Alan Maness, a consultant representing Crown Builders LLC. “It could be the catalyst for more of the type of development in the village that you’re looking for.”
The town also hopes to encourage more growth downtown by updating its Village District Area Plan to ensure developers know exactly what the town would like for the area.
Staff have said the town’s Downtown Development Investment program may also increase developer interest. The grant program allows developers to request money and fee waivers to help offset some of the expenses for public infrastructure for downtown developments, including sidewalks and lighting.
“Staff is really excited about this project,” Ryan said about the townhome and duplex development. “We think it will be a great addition to our downtown.”
The council also considered a request by a property owner for an ordinance amendment to allow self-storage facilities in local business zoning districts by special exception use. These projects would still require approval from the council.
Local business zoning districts are mainly found along the entrances to neighborhoods along major roads, such as the pocket of local businesses at the entrance to the Holly Glen subdivision.
“It’s the entrances to neighborhoods that are intended to be small-scale, neighborhood-oriented businesses, such as drug stores, banks, and connected to those neighborhoods through sidewalks so residents can walk to these establishments,” Ryan said.
The town’s planning and zoning board and town staff have recommended that the council deny this request. The council voted to table the amendment to a later meeting at the request of the land owner.
The council also:
▪ Recognized Jenny Mizelle, the town’s economic development director, who retires Aug. 1 after 20 years with the town.
▪ Approved a special exception use to allow for a private volleyball gym at 250 Premier Drive.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon