Monday, February 6, 2023

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Developer files plans for 252 apartments in west Burlington

A Wilmington-based developer has submitted the detailed plans for a new apartment complex in Burlington that had initially proven a bit controversial when it came up for the city’s zoning approval earlier this year.

Burlington’s city council ultimately gave its unanimous nod to this project’s zoning in June – clearing the way for Zimmer Development to build 252 rental units along a particularly busy stretch of Bonnar Bridge Parkway in the southwestern reaches of the city’s municipal limits.

The council signed off on Zimmer’s request despite some lingering concerns about the traffic congestion along Bonnar Bridge Parkway – concerns that were echoed by many of the development’s neighbors.

Both the council and these reluctant neighbors had pointed to the huge volume of vehicles that emanate from nearby Highland Elementary School. They also noted the thoroughfare’s role as the main access road for Mackingtosh on the Lake, the largest residential subdivision in Burlington, as well as the presence of several existing apartment complexes, including one known as Milltown that Zimmer itself has completed not far from the site of its latest endeavor.

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In the end, the council decided to approve Zimmer’s proposed zoning with the understanding that any traffic-related issues would be addressed when the company submitted its detailed site plans to the city’s planning staff for technical review. Those plans, which were prepared by Greensboro-based Hagen Engineering, are currently slated to go before a staff-level technical review committee later this month.

The detailed plans which Zimmer has submitted for technical review are broadly in line with the generic vision that the company had shared with the council six months ago. These plans depict 252 rental units that are to be distributed among seven large buildings with footprints ranging from 1,000 to 1,600 square feet apiece. The apartments themselves are to include 94 one-bedroom units, 122 two-bedroom models, and another 36 with three bedrooms each.

The plans also call for 394 parking spaces; bike accommodations for up to 64 cycles; and various tenant amenities ranging from an on-site dog park and walking trails to a clubhouse equipped with a swimming pool. The clubhouse and pool are, moreover, located near the site’s western edge – a concession that Zimmer had previously made to some neighboring residents who objected to the developer’s original plans to place one of the apartment buildings in that location.

Also depicted in Zimmer’s plans are two entrances onto Bonnar Bridge Parkway – each of which is to be fitted with “curb ramps” as per city regulations. The development’s streetscaping, according to the site plan, is intended to match that at Milltown across the street.

Perhaps the biggest deviation from the broad-stroke plans that were presented to the council is the proposed name of Zimmer’s new rental development. Originally christened the “Bonnar Bridge Apartments,” this project is now dubbed “the Mill,” according to the developer’s site plans.

The city’s technical review committee is scheduled to delve through these plans at its next meeting on December 20.

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