Two weeks ago, a dozen Elon residents expressed concerns about a major new multi-use project on about 58 acres at the corner of University Drive and Shallowford Church Road.
This week it was the town council’s turn, and they spent more than two hours, mostly peppering the developer and his team of engineers with questions about many aspects of the proposal.
In the end, the council decided not to vote on the rezoning request, but rather to carry it over to the town council’s next meeting, a work session scheduled for Monday, July 25.
Parking and traffic generated by the residential and commercial portions of the project continued to be areas of continued focus, as did the target market for the residential portion of the development.
Mayor Emily Sharpe expressed her view that the residential community should not become additional undergraduate housing for students at nearby Elon University. But everyone acknowledged that it would be difficult to craft a prohibition on that eventuality.
Similarly, Sharpe also wanted to require that the townhouses and single-family homes should be owner-occupied before they could be converted into rental units, another desire difficult to legislate.
Sharpe also hinted, rather directly, that she hoped the developer might consider a “trade” with town government of some of the property on the main corner with University Drive for a new town hall. She suggested that the town could trade the existing town hall across from the post office.
The style of the new mixed-use development was given many terms during the discussion, including a traditional residential development, a “village concept,” similar to “compact communities” of another time period some decades ago. The Parc Northwest project was compared to Southern Village and Briar Chapel, both in Chapel Hill, another, much larger college town.
Shown below is the proposed layout of the Parc Northwest development.