Ten residents of three nearby single-family subdivisions highlighted their opposition to the proposed infill project on about 60 acres beside and the behind the Walmart shopping center off Mebane Oaks Road, near Agape Baptist Church and Mebane Fire Station No. 3, during the planning board’s Monday night consideration.
Most of the concerns expressed were over “cut through” traffic that neighbors in adjacent subdivisions fear the residents of the new subdivision would use to reach Old Hillsborough Road. And the increase in traffic more generally, particularly from the apartment complex.
The new development would hook onto Longleaf Pine Place in the Manorfield subdivision of single-family homes off Old Hillsborough Road.
“You’re going to ruin our neighborhood,” said Louise Bryan of Yellow Wood Drive (within the Manorfield subdivision), who led off the unanimously critical comments of neighboring homeowners.
Ashley Abashian of Sweet Gum Way noted that the last time the property was up for a rezoning (in 2020), it was rejected by the planning board as being “too dense” – and never came before the city council. “This is even more dense,” she said.
Ray Oliver, who lives in the nearby Arbor Creek subdivision, highlighted that the single-family portion of the development has “nothing” in the way of amenities (other than what he termed an “itty-bitty” playground that was added after a neighborhood meeting where the affected residents raised concerns). Oliver said he feared those new residents would want to use the parks and open space in their areas instead.
Preethi White, of Sweet Gum Way, had a broader concern about the lack of parks on the south side of Mebane. “There not a single park on the south side of the interstate,” she noted, “Nothing for children.”
Charles Stancati of Longleaf Pine Place in the Manorfield subdivision said that the traffic situation in his neighborhood and along Old Hillsborough Road in front of it will go from “bad to worse when you add traffic” from the proposed subdivision. He urged that the subdivision “needs to be scaled down.”
Another resident, Susan Huey, who lives on Longmeadow Drive, worried about overcrowded schools as a result of the new development.
“You’re taking away the culture that was Mebane,” she lamented.
Huey also expressed concern about rising crime in the area.
Brian Dixon, another Longmeadow Drive resident, took aim at traffic by rephrasing the city’s “perfectly charming” motto: “There’s nothing about Mebane Oaks Road that’s positively charming.” Dixon also said that the city shouldn’t need to grant waivers to developers seeking to build in Mebane.
Stan Kessler, another Manorfield resident, said that the discussions about traffic, which he felt were minimized, didn’t take into account the Summit church now under construction at the corner of Mebane Oaks and Old Hillsborough roads, that will also contribute to increased traffic congestion in the area.
James “Don” Windsor, who lives on Old Hillsborough Road, warned that Mebane is “overgrowing.” He also said there are “no decent places to go out to eat,” at least in terms of a steakhouse, in Mebane.
New resident Brenda Buchanan, who lives off of Old Hillsborough Road, said she had moved here in April and already sees the problems with traffic in her area.