Friday, August 19, 2022

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Graham, NC 27253
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Elon project postponed until Aug. 9

Elon’s town council considered the large, mixed-use development once again Monday night, the third time the board has dealt with what could be its largest residential development (with over 200 new homes and 200 apartments), as well as the addition of over 100,000 square feet of retail space.

Further refinements, or concessions, were offered by the project’s developer Monday night, but the council – short of two members who were absent – decided to put off further, possible final, consideration until its August 9 meeting.

The so-called “traditional neighborhood development” would occupy some 57.72 acres at the juncture of University Drive and Shallowford Church Road on the north side of the town. The developer and his engineers have likened the project’s formulation to some well-known developments in the Triangle, like Chapel Hill’s Southern Village, which is famed for clustering residences within walking distance of retail and recreation.

According to the previous conditions offered, the developer would be able to build up to 130 single-family homes and 80 townhouses within the development’s site – although 10 of these 210 residences would be located within a portion of the project that’s billed as a “village center.” He would also have permission to erect a trio of three- and four-story buildings along University Drive with up to 200 rental apartments in their upper stories and a maximum of 100,000 square feet of commercial space at street level.

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The major newest changes offered by the developer were to eliminate one of the connecting streets into the adjacent Cable Square neighborhood, changing the Ralston Drive connection to being only a pedestrian connection with a sidewalk, but with no roadway. The remaining road connection, Old Towne Drive, would remain. An earlier idea of providing a “speed hump,” was removed, as well.

The town’s new planner, Lori Oakley, had told the council at an earlier meeting that the town’s ordinances do provide, and encourage, connections between subdivisions, but acknowledged that the council had the authority to waive or change that requirement.

Council members were told that having only one connection between the neighborhoods had won the approval of fire chief Landon Massey, as well as Alamance County’s fire marshal.

The developer has also tried to limit the height and proximity of one building adjacent to an existing residence of Patricia Cable Hall and James T. Hall, to a height of three stories facing University Drive and Shallowford Church Road, with the back side having a maximum of four stories. The buffer with the residence would be to a 25-foot setback from the property line of the Hall lots.

Developer Jeremy Medlin (in foreground) with landscape architect Tony Tate during this week’s town council meeting.

The builder also agreed to provide a minimum of 18 feet of parking space between the garage door and the public sidewalk for front-entry homes and the same distance in the back of rear-loaded homes.

Setbacks between houses would be extended from the original 3-foot depth from the property line to 5 feet, thus extending the distance between homes to 10 feet, rather than 6 feet.

Left somewhat foggy was exactly which side of the road the developer would use for a sidewalk connection to Elon University, largely dependent on the Department of Transportation’s final recommendation.

During Monday night’s meeting, mayor Emily Sharpe was joined by councilmen Quinn Ray (above left) and (below, left to right) Mark Greene and Monti Allison. Absent were Stephanie Bourland and Randy Orwig.

Elon’s new planner Lori Oakley

Elon councilmen generally praised developer Jeremy Medlin’s team for its modifications, although none voiced a preview of their final vote on the rezoning needed for the project.

Councilmen did continue to voice a dissent over the developer’s continuing request to waive the town’s requirement for “civic space,” although some also noted that the town’s ordinances do not define the concept very clearly, if at all.

Developer Jeremy Medlin repeated his estimation that the future prices of the residential units would be from the $280’s for townhouses, with single-family houses “up to the $500’s.”
The town council will resume consideration of the plans for the Parc Northwest development at its August 9 meeting, beginning at 6:00 p.m.


See earlier coverage of town council considering the same project:

Council begins discussion of concerns, especially with parking at July 12 meeting: https://alamancenews.com/a-comprehensive-look-behind-elon-councils-decision-to-postpone-additional-consideration-of-proposed-parc-northwest-development-until-july-25/

Neighbors and other residents weigh in during public hearing on June 30:  https://alamancenews.com/large-elon-development-with-homes-on-small-lots-draws-neighborhood-opposition-at-town-council-meeting/

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