The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners took unanimous action Thursday night which will allow a 60-unit apartment complex to be built at 384 Old Toast Road.
This came after a public hearing during which no one spoke against the proposed annexation and rezoning of the 5.6-acre site involved, which was required to make the project a reality.
Some objections had been voiced by adjoining landowners at a March 27 meeting of the Mount Airy Planning Board, an advisory group to the commissioners which voted 6-0 to recommend approval by the latter. Also, online postings to news articles about the planned Danbury Pointe Apartments signaled opposition to the project, which included concern about the impact on neighboring property values.
And while one never knows the degree of citizen opinion that actually will surface at a formal public hearing, something was made clear Thursday night by an official of Wynnefield Properties, LLC, a Jamestown firm that wants to develop the apartments:
Mount Airy greatly needs such housing, according to Craig Stone, Wynnefield Properties’ president, which previous reports have indicated will be geared toward the lower-middle income market.
Stone, who spoke during the public hearing to present details about the project, said the heavy demand is evidenced by a waiting list for space at the 56-unit Edgewood Place apartment complex near Walmart, a project his firm previously developed.
In a follow-up interview after the hearing, Stone said a “couple of hundred names” are on that list. In addition to the Danbury Pointe Apartments on Old Toast Road, Wynnefield Properties is preparing to break ground on its Jasper Pointe apartment project.
It will contain 60 units to be constructed in the 100 block of North Franklin Road near the Pipers Gap Road intersection, which the city government earlier rezoned to accommodate.
Thursday night’s action by the board involving Danbury Pointe Apartments included approving the rezoning of the site located near Beasley Street just south of West Pine Street (N.C. 89) from a combination of R-20 (Residential) and M-1 (Industrial).
That property has been part of the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) zone, an area just outside the city limits but still under municipal zoning control.
The commissioners changed that, in conjunction with the annexation, to the municipality’s B-2 CD (General Business-Conditional District) zone, to allow construction of the apartments.
The developers will be required to meet certain conditions, including no more than 60 apartment units being built. And the height of the project’s four-story construction may not exceed 60 feet, according to Will Linville, a city planner who gave a presentation at Thursday night’s meeting.
Also, the southern portion of Beasley Street near the planned site is to be improved, provided the N.C. Department of Construction gives its consent, Linville said.
Presently the property targeted for the apartments is mainly a wooden area, containing one single-family dwelling that is to be demolished. The land is now owned by local businessman E.D. Bray III.
Although the commissioners gave unanimous approval to the annexation/rezoning, Commissioner Steve Yokeley questioned why the new zone is B-2 (General Business) and not R-6 (the customary zoning classification for multi-family housing).
City Planning Director Andy Goodall explained that the R-6 zone does not permit four-story construction, which is allowed in B-2 districts.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.