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May 12, 2021

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — City council members today will revisit and vote on rezoning requests for two proposed multi-family apartment complexes as well as execute agreements for the Grants Creek Greenway project and signal system network upgrades.

The meeting will take place virtually at 6 p.m. via the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as at salisburync.gov/webcast. Any locals interested in signing up to speak during the public comment period must do so by 5 p.m. today. They can contact City Clerk Kelly Baker at kbake@salisburync.gov or at 704-638-5233.

Following the presentation of two proposed multi-family apartment developments April 6, council members signaled preliminary approval for one but discussed numerous safety issues for another.

Halcon Development, based in Virginia, is requesting that a parcel of about 9 acres currently owned by John Leatherman be rezoned to residential mixed-use with a conditional district overlay. The developer is proposing 84 multi-family, campus-style units to be called Salisbury Oaks Apartments between Jake Alexander Boulevard West and South Main Street near Rosemont Street. The new development would also be adjacent to Colonial Village Apartments.

Following conversations with nearby residents, the developer is proposing the cul-de-sac that currently ends Rosemont Street become city property, be gated and designated for emergency response vehicles only. The designated entrance and exit for the complex is off South Main Street.

Tracy Dusenbury, owner of Halcon, said at the April 6 meeting that she estimates this project would cost $13.7 million. Additionally, Halcon is working with nearby parcel owners to widen the entrance off South Main Street and add a sidewalk.

Council member Brian Miller said at the April 6 meeting that a multi-family complex would suit the area well and that he likes the idea of pushing traffic toward South Main Street. He plans to vote in favor of the proposal today.

The other residential development request comes from North Carolina-based Kent Place Holdings, which is requesting two parcels totaling around 6 acres between Jake Alexander Boulevard West, Brenner Avenue and Milford Hills Road be rezoned to corridor mixed-use with a new conditional district overlay. The company has plans for 84 multi-family campus style units called Tenby Crossing Apartments. They would be located behind the existing Zaxby’s restaurant.

Following concerns from Planning Board members in March about regarding traffic congestion near the area, the developer is proposing an entrance and exit be placed on Milford Hills Road, too. Currently, one house is across from the proposed entrance, and the road ends several houses down. An existing entrance and exit from Jake Alexander Boulevard West as well as Brenner Avenue are also included in the plan.

Council members have asked about conducting a traffic analysis to consider the implementation of a traffic light at the Milford Hills and Brenner Avenue intersection. Miller and Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins said they’d like to see a crosswalk at the intersection of Brenner Avenue. Mayor Karen Alexander suggested the city look into grants that can be obtained for a sidewalk to connect to the road.

Additionally, all members requested the city address the condition of the Milford Hills Road, with council member David Post emphasizing the implementation of a natural landscape barrier since it’s unfair for Milford Hills residents to have to “look into neon lights at all hours of the night.”

The Salisbury Planning Board in March unanimously approved both rezoning requests. Both developments plan to provide affordable housing units for families, though only one may be ultimately granted housing tax credits through the state. The other could reapply in two years.

Also at the meeting, council members are expected to authorize City Manager Lane Bailey to execute agreements with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the Grants Creek Greenway project as well as for the signal system network upgrade project.

The Grants Creek project would extend the city’s greenway from the Meadowbrook community to Kelsey Scott Park. Initial funding for the project was obtained via Transportation Alternative Program funds, with the first phase of the project beginning next month. That phase will fund a low-water bridge connection from Catawba College to the existing greenway near Forestdale Drive. Remaining funds for the project were granted by the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization through Surface Transportation Block Grant funds, and are expected to be authorized for execution at today’s meeting. The two remaining phases of the project extend the greenway from Catawba College to Wiltshire Village property and then to Kelsey Scott Park. Federal funding amounts to $3.65 million total for both remaining phases, while the city’s match will be $1.11 million

Additionally, a federal Surface Transportation Block Grant in the amount of $343,000 and a local match of $85,750 was granted to the city from the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization to support upgrades and improvements to the city’s servers, switches, software and CCTV cameras associated with the traffic signal system. The city’s current system was implemented in 2014 and the aforementioned equipment has reached the end of its useful life, said City Engineer Wendy Brindle in a memo to city council members.

Funding for both projects will be included in the 2021-22 fiscal year budget, with any additional department savings to complement if needed.

Prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m., the council will gather for a special called meeting at 4 p.m. to enter into a closed session to consult with an attorney.

Also on the agenda:

• Council members will continue appointing applicants to various boards and commissions. The original board term expiration date set for March 31 was extended by a month per request from Heggins in an effort to seek a more diverse pool of applicants.

• Bailey will provide an update on the 2021-22 fiscal year budget preparation process.

• Council members will consider adopting an ordinance amending section 13-338 related to prohibited parking as well as section 13-339 regarding prohibited parking except on Sundays of the city’s code of ordinances to reflect parking changes on Long Street and Old Concord Road implemented with the recent resurfacing project. The ordinances intend to match the new striping, correct grammatical errors and implement road name changes.

• Mayor Alexander will proclaim April 22 Earth Day.

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