Gibsonville’s board of aldermen this week further cleared the way for one proposed residential development, while postponing a vote on another that would be — by far — the town’s largest.
The board approved a rezoning for the development of 78 townhomes on Dew Sharpe Road at the end of September, despite protests from residents about increased traffic, stormwater run-off, and the loss of Gibsonville’s “small town flavor.” Still, the 4-to-1 vote saw alderman Ken Pleasants back the neighboring residents in opposing the rezoning request.
This week, the aldermen went on to approve an annexation of the 14.5-acre property, which will allow future residents there to access the town’s water and sewer system.
The second, far larger development proposed for just over 170 acres at 5613 Highway 61 North first came before the board in February when a Greensboro developer claimed that the 656-unit project would be the “largest development between Greensboro and Mebane.” At the time of the developer’s claim and still, however, two developments — Mackintosh on the Lake and another in Mebane — surpass the proposed Gibsonville project in the planned number of units.
While the board postponed a vote on the property’s rezoning, which would allow for 417 townhomes, 239 single family homes, and a “small commercial portion,” the aldermen did hear from three residents, two of whom asked the board to reject the developer’s request.
The only resident who spoke in favor of the proposed development was Bruce Wagoner, whose family owns the wooded acreage.
“This is something that’s going to be very good for everyone,” Wagoner said Monday, explaining that his support for the development rested on growth for the town rather than a profit for his family.
Meanwhile, adjacent resident Darrell Luck, whose home faces the site and backs up to an electrical substation, expressed concern for traffic, how homes would be connected to Gibsonville’s water and sewer lines, and whether the substation would be expanded in his direction to meet future demand.
Marty Sullivan, whose property is bordered on two sides by the site, told the aldermen that he saw no other option than to relocate if the development is approved later this month.
“I realize that it’s good for the town, but my bedroom window is eight feet from this property line,” Sullivan lamented. “I am in the suburb whether I like it or not. It’s not the rural life that I bought into.”
Both Wagoner and Pleasants offered to devise a solution to help the homeowner, though neither gave specific suggestions during Monday’s meeting.
Additionally, Sullivan told the board, he determined that other adjacent homeowners were “sorely underrepresented” at this week’s public hearing due to the coronavirus and possible confusion over whether the hearing was even going to be held.