Homeowners in Gibsonville’s Sullivan Court neighborhood pleaded with the town’s board of aldermen to reject a developer’s proposed expansion of a townhome development when the board held a public hearing Monday night.
While the project’s original site plan was approved in March 2019, the property, located at 962 Burlington Avenue near University Drive, has remained undeveloped. That site plan showed 55 townhomes on 8 acres of the 16-acre property. The other half of the property is considered unusable by the developer due to a small creek and flood plain.
This week, Joe Kupiec of CDI Builders asked the board to allow 26 more residences, making a total of 81, on the same amount of acreage. Presenting the revised site plan to the aldermen, he explained that the homes will have reduced square-footage, now in the 1,500 to 2,000 square-foot range. Each townhome is expected to have three bedrooms and at least two bathrooms, he added.
Although town meetings have had significantly lower turnout over the past year due to the pandemic, five homeowners from Sullivan Court, which backs up to the property, turned out to ask the board not to approve the revised site plan.
Each cited various reasons for their disapproval, from a fear of loss of privacy by Kathy Swanson to a multi-faceted argument by Cathy King, who explained in an emailed comment that the development would reduce her home’s value, mar the area’s scenery, worsen stormwater run-off, and cast out wildlife.
Another resident, who didn’t give his name at the podium, expressed concern over the developer’s lack of definite plans, referring to Kupiec’s broad square-footage range and estimate on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
The sentiment was shared by both the aldermen and the town’s planning board, the latter of which met February 18 and left town planner Brandon Parker with the impression that some of the board members’ questions — centered more on the individual units than the project as a whole — had gone unanswered. During that meeting, the planning board voted 4-to-1 to advise the board to approve the revised site plan; Patty Collins was opposed.
This week, the mayor’s initial suggestion to follow the planning board’s advice hung in the air, with mayor pro tem Mark Shepherd and alderman Yvonne Maizland saying they wanted more information on the proposed site plan before proceeding.
Moments later, alderman Clarence Owen motioned to approve the site plan revision, though it eventually died for lack of a second. The board ultimately decided to carry the item to its next meeting on March 15.
Other recent Gibsonville news coverage from The Alamance News/alamancenews.com:
Aldermen hire new attorney for the town (March 4 edition): https://alamancenews.com/gibsonville-board-hires-giles-as-town-attorney/
Alamance News publisher insists that aldermen’s deliberations on hiring an attorney should be done in open session. They disagree and proceed to 10-minute closed-door interview (February 18 edition): https://alamancenews.com/over-publishers-objection-that-deliberations-should-be-public-aldermen-go-behind-closed-doors-to-interview-potential-new-attorney-for-10-minutes/
Aldermen give developer final deadline – for the fourth time (Feb. 18 edition): https://alamancenews.com/gibsonville-aldermen-give-developer-another-4th-final-deadline-for-school-renovation/