City Council approves Grants Landing development on Rowan Mill Road
By Natalie Anderson
SALISBURY — After clarifying concerns related to traffic, density and a natural buffer, City Council members on Tuesday approved a 236-home development adjacent to the existing Forest Glen subdivision on Mooresville Road.
Justin Mueller of Sherwood Development Group is working with Bloc Design to develop the Grants Landing subdivision, which will sit on 137 acres near the corner of Mooresville and Rowan Mill roads. Grants Creek runs along the back perimeter of the proposed development.
The development was approved by Planning Board members during a July 13 meeting. Council members on Tuesday approved the developer’s request to rezone the three parcels comprising the property from rural residential to general residential, or GR-3, with a new conditional district overlay. With overlays, developments are approved with conditions that typically aim to appease nearby residents and ensure minimal impact.
Some concerns at the City Council meeting were also expressed during the July 13 Planning Board meeting, including a sufficient buffer from vegetation. Development Services Manager Teresa Barringer clarified Tuesday that Sherwood Development is working with the Forest Glen Homeowners Association on an agreement to add more vegetation to the existing natural buffer along the perimeter of Grants Landing. Tameka Felton, who lives on the abutting Ashton Lane, said the vegetation is particularly sparse where she lives and she’s able to see the backyards of the homes at Grants Landing.
Barringer said terms of the agreement include which development will be responsible for maintaining the buffer. She emphasized the condition called for an “undisturbed landscape buffer,” meaning developers wouldn’t be eliminating any foliage.
Additionally, there will be an 8-foot-tall aluminum fence installed around some of the perimeter of the development.
Linda Holshouser, who owns property on Rowan Mill Road across from the proposed development, deemed Mooresville Road, or N.C. 150, “the highway to hell” due to the dangerous traffic in that area. Mueller clarified findings from a traffic study of the area approved by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which recommends implementing a 100-foot right turn lane into the development from Rowan Mill Road and a 75-foot right-turn lane at the intersection of Rowan Mill and Mooresville roads to mitigate some traffic backup already experienced there.
Mueller and Barringer said NCDOT requires those traffic changes to be implemented before certificates of occupancy are administered, meaning the improvements will be conducted in conjunction with constructing the development. Doing so, Mueller said, requires the widening of Mooresville Road, which is what Holshouser requested during her comments. Barringer clarified that a conditional overlay for that development requires developers to undergo the entire process again if they want to make any changes to the master plan.
Rodney Queen spoke in favor of the development during the public comment period, calling it a blessing because the city is “so starved” for residential developments in a “modest price range.”
“There are traffic issues all around town,” he added.
The development will also have two retention ponds, which council member Brian Miller said helps prevent the overflowing of Grants Creek in times of heavy rainfall.
Some citizens were concerned with an easement that’s listed as an alternate on the master plan, which abuts the 50-foot buffer zone along the perimeter of where Forest Glen meets Grants Landing. Barringer said there are easement agreements in process for water and sewer connections along the southern perimeter of the development.
The project is estimated to require $58.5 million in investment, with Sherwood Development Group estimating the single-family homes would measure between 1,800 and 2,400 square feet and fall within the $200,000s to upper $300,000s price point.
The development’s plan proposes sidewalks on both sides of streets and the addition of street lights and public street trees. Each lot measures 55 by 100 feet. A little more than 5 acres would be dedicated to recreational open space. Entrances and exits from the subdivision would be located on Rowan Mill Road.
The decision to approve the development was made unanimously.
Also at the meeting:
• Council members approved Tamara Sheffield’s nomination of James Carlie to fill Lewellen Padgett’s role on the Community Appearance Commission following her resignation along with Kyna Grubb, who leads Rowan Helping Ministries, to the Housing Advocacy Commission following the resignation of Rev. Anthony Smith, a candidate for the 2021 City Council race.
• Council members approved an ordinance amendment for the 2021-22 budget in the amount of $8,000 to appropriate a grant to assist with trail design at Salisbury Community Park.
• Council members authorized City Engineer Wendy Brindle to extend reimbursement agreements with the North Carolina Department of Transportation regarding the maintenance of signs, markings and markers, traffic signals and the computerized traffic signal system until June 30.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Linda Holshouser as “Linda Holt.” The story has been updated. The Post regrets this error.