BY STACIE LETT CAIN

The StatesvilleCity Council unanimously approved the first reading of a request to rezone nearly two acres on Secor Avenue from Conditional Use General Business to the R-5 zoning classification that it once had. The Planning and Zoning Board as well as city staff opposed the rezoning request.

MGI Properties sought the rezoning, which is needed to build seven or eight homes on the parcel.

“Planning and Zoning voted 3-2 with an unfavorable recommendation on this rezoning request and some of the members were feeling that they wanted to see a buffer between Garner Bagnal Boulevard and this proposed housing,” explained Planning Director Sherry Ashley. “The city staff was more seeing that area as conducive to commercial development or neighborhood business — not residential.”

Even though council members seemed to share some of those concerns, they believed the best use for that property was residential.

“I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said, but because of the configuration of this parcel, isn’t the only real use for this property residential?” Councilman Steve Johnson asked Ashley. “It seems to me that is the only real option.”

Councilwoman Doris Allison agreed with Johnson that residential use was a viable option for that location.

“Myself, Councilman Foster and the mayor all met with this developer and considering the need we have for housing in the city, even though this may not be a perfect area for it, I think that with what they are proposing and at the price they are offering, this would be an asset to this community,” Allison said.

Councilman John Staford also supported with the rezoning request.

“I agree with Steve that this would be a difficult lot to convert to commercial use,” he explained. “They have a good plan here and I support it.”

OTHER BUSINESS

♦ The council also agreed with the planning board and city staff recommendation regarding a request to rezone the property located at 951 Park Drive owned by Ted Raye. This property, now zoned RSM which is High Density Single Family for Manufactured Homes, will be rezoned to B1 which is a Neighborhood Service District. The property, once used as a daycare facility, is the proposed home of a new barber shop.

♦ The Council also voted to proceed with ward redistricting based on recently released census data. At the September 20 meeting, the council began action on the new boundaries and established a timeline and criteria needed to redraw the boundaries. The goal was to keep each ward at roughly 4,700 residents. Wards 2, 3 and 6 are all well over the 4,700 number, while wards 1, 4 and 5 are below. Ward 5 is the furthest below at 4,340. On September 27, Council reviewed three scenarios as to how to redraw the boundaries. They selected Option 1.2 at Monday night’s meeting. A public hearing will be held on November 1 to adopt the final redistricting plan.

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