QUESTION: What’s the land being cleared for just below Sheetz on NC 49 in Burlington?
ANSWER: Site preparations are now underway on a storage facility along Maple Avenue that had a bit of a bumpy ride when it went through Burlington’s zoning process due to resistance from neighboring residents.
Located south of I-85/40, the site of this proposed storage facility was cobbled together from three residential parcels that a trust affiliated with former city councilman Sam Powell had acquired along this stretch of Maple Avenue in 2012.
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The apparent brainchild of Powell’s son Christopher, this project encountered stiff opposition from the residents of the Mapleview Condos when its requisite zoning went before Burlington’s planning and zoning commission in the spring of 2021. The commission’s members ultimately declined to endorse the zoning request, although it fared better with Burlington’s city council, which passed it by a margin of 4-to-1 (over the dissent of councilmember Kathy Hykes) after a contentious public hearing that April.
Since it received the council’s approval, this project has made its way through the city’s planning review process, which culminated in September of 2022 when the facility’s site plan received the all-clear from a staff-level technical review committee. Then on December 28, the city’s inspections department issued a construction permit for a new shell building, allowing work to begin on the ground.
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