Perhaps the third time will be the charm for a townhouse project that will be presented to Graham’s city council January 12.
The 15.44 acres off Cheeks Lane in the southern part of Graham was first approved for townhouses in 2005, as a part of a larger subdivision with single-family homes, which was to be called Stillhouse Farm. But nothing was ever built.
In 2015, the townhouse portion of the property got city council approval for special rezoning that would have substituted 80 patio homes for low-income seniors in place of the 112 townhouses that were part of the original (2005) plans. That revised plan was approved 4-1.
Now, the latest (third) iteration of the plans returns to townhouses, now numbering about 105, according to the plans shown to planning board members earlier this month. The plans list the potential number of townhouses as 90 to 110, but the number of townhouses in each of 17 separate buildings shown on the newest drawings tallies to 105.
Glenn Patterson, whose family owns the land where both parts of the subdivision are located, told the newspaper in an interview after the planning board meeting that the 2015 plans fell through when the developer couldn’t get special funding for the townhouses which were to be targeted toward low-income senior residents.
Patterson, a local appraiser who also lives in the area near the Stillhouse Farm subdivision, also confirmed to the newspaper that in addition to a potential buyer for the townhouse property, he believes he is nearing a sale on the roughly 49 acres adjacent to the townhouse property where about 129 single-family homes could be built.
The 2005 conditional rezoning for the main part of the subdivision appears to be R-12, based on recent drawings submitted to the city, and apparently would not need to be changed or renewed since the plans are largely unchanged from when the initial zoning for the single-family portion of the development was approved.
Patterson recalled that he and his family “used to cut Christmas trees on this land when he was a child.”
One reason Patterson thinks there has been interest in both properties was the department of transportation’s removal of a so-called “southern loop,” a by-pass of sorts, slated to run through areas south of Graham’s center. In fact, the loop would have separated the single-family homes from the townhouses in this particular area between Cheeks Lane and Old Farm Road.
Now that acreage where the loop once bisected the subdivision has been converted into “open space” between the two parts of the development.
Patterson was also involved earlier this month in a different rezoning for a separate townhouse development, with 65 townhouses, to be called Bethany Townes, off of South Main Street (NC 87) near Bethany Presbyterian Church. The city council approved the rezoning at its December 8 meeting.
The planning board members recommended the townhouses off Cheeks Lane by a unanimous 6-0 vote at their December 15 meeting.
Also on the agenda for the city council’s January 12 meeting is rezoning for a much larger development, for about 200 single-family homes on 57 acres between Lacy Holt Road and Rockwood Drive.
The developer described plans for the single-family homes as being 2,400 to 2,800 square feet on lots ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet; the price point was estimated to be $300,000.
The development, Colonial Heights, is the second largest to be considered this year in Graham. During 2020, there have been more than 800 single family homes and townhouses approved by the city council, more than the previous five years combined.