Sunday, September 26, 2021

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Burlington approves 205 (more) apartments along St. Mark’s Church Road

The Burlington city council voted 5 to 0 on Thursday morning (March 18)  in favor of a request which will allow developer Trey Riddle to build a 205-unit apartment complex on 6.4 acres at 1408 St. Mark’s Church Road.

The council went on to voice its satisfaction with the increased housing density that Riddle’s apartments would bring to this stretch of St. Mark’s Church Road. Councilman Jim Butler observed that increased density will be the main route for the city to grow now that the General Assembly has tightened the rules for municipal annexation.

Earlier on Tuesday night, during its public hearing on the proposed rezoning, Riddle’s plans for this multi-family development prompted several members of the council to inquire about the dicey traffic conditions along St. Mark’s Church Road, which they ultimately conceded are not the developer’s fault.

The proposed apartment complex is on acreage directly behind part of the Alamance Crossing shopping center that contains Boot Barn, Five Below, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Those stores can be seen at the bottom of the proposed layout (below).

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That night, the council also heard one comment from a neighboring resident about a fence that Riddle has agreed to put up between a greenway that the city has asked him to develop and some existing homes near the proposed site of his project.

Seth Hart of Berkshire Road accused the developer of reneging on his promise to construct this barrier if the city permits him to do so. Riddle insisted that he’s as committed as ever to this concession. “I will build a straight fence if the city will allow me to build a straight fence,” he assured the neighboring resident.

Among existing apartment complexes near the proposed site of 205 more is the Retreat at the Park, with 244 apartments that span between Rural Retreat Road and Boone Station Drive and beside St. Mark’s Church Road.

Also now under construction less than a mile away, at the other end of St. Mark’s Church Road, are 183 apartments across from the Savannah West shopping center.

The city clerk indicated Thursday morning that she had received three emails regarding this project from Lisa and David Bowes and two other neighboring residents.

The council went on to discuss the remarks they received from the Boweses, who had objected to a demand by city staff that a greenway which Riddle intends to build as part of his project should be accessible from their own neighborhood.

The Boweses have pushed for a fence to separate the greenway from their neighborhood.

The council, for its part, deemed this request for a fence contrary to the city’s current emphasis on connectivity and a bad precedent for future rezoning requests, so no fence requirement was included.

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