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MINUTES OF THE BURLINGTON PLANNING

AND ZONING COMMISSION MEETING

 

May 23, 2005

 

Council Chamber, Burlington Municipal Building

 

 

CITY MEMBERS:                                                    EXTRATERRITORIAL MEMBERS:

 

George Byrd, Chairman, Present                                   Bud Apple, Present

Jim Burwell, Secretary, Absent                         John Enoch, Absent

Paul Cobb, Present                                                           Richard Franks, Present

Lynn Cowan, Present                                                           Jim Johnson, Present

Elder Greg Hargrave, Absent                                     Ellis Piper, Present

Gordon Millspaugh, Present                                               Bob Ware, Present

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Robert R. Harkrader, Director of Planning and Economic Development

Kurt Pearson, Assistant Director of Planning Services

Haywood Cloud, Zoning/Subdivision Administrator

Dianne Fogleman, Office Assistant

 

 

       ITEM NO. 1Chairman Byrd called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

       ITEM NO. 2:  Minutes of the meeting held April 25, 2005, were unanimously approved.  This was a City and extraterritorial item.

 

       ITEM NO. 3: Consent agenda:  (City)

 

(A)   Mr. Mark Reich, representing Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County, Inc., presented an application for final plat approval of the Ross Street Subdivision.  The property is located on the west side of Ross Street approximately 720 feet north of Sharpe Road as shown on plans by Alley, Williams, Carmen and King, Inc., dated November 2, 2004, and containing 14 lots.

 

(B)   Mr. Mark Reich, representing Wakefield Development Company, presented an application for preliminary plan approval of Section J-1, Mackintosh on the Lake Subdivision.  The property is located on the east side of Bonnar Bridge Parkway, south of Abernethy Trail and north of Back Creek as shown on plans by Alley, Williams, Carmen and King, Inc., dated April 1, 2005, and containing 95 lots.

 

       Staff recommended approval of (A) contingent upon completion of street construction or the applicant posting proper surety with the City Engineering Department prior to recording the plat.  Staff also recommended approval of (B).


 

 

 

       Commission Member Cobb made a motion to recommend approval of (A) with the contingency outlined by staff and to approve (B).  Gordon Millspaugh seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of (A) contingent upon completion of street construction or the applicant posting proper surety with the City Engineering Department prior to recording the plat and to approve (B).

 

       The Commission found that the plats as presented met all requirements of the Subdivision Regulations.

 

       Consent agenda:  (Extraterritorial)

 

(C)   Mr. George Horner presented an application for final plat approval of the George S. and Julia L. Horner Subdivision.  The property is located on the southeast corner of West Old Glencoe Road and Lakeside Avenue as shown on plans by Wayne B. Perry dated April 30, 2005, and containing two lots.

 

(D)   Mr. William Welborn presented an application for final plat approval of the William Clinton Welborn Subdivision.  The property is located on the east side of North Graham-Hopedale Road approximately 175 feet south of its intersection with Woodleigh Avenue as shown on plans by Simmons Engineering and Surveying, Inc., dated March 9, 2005, and containing two lots.

 

       Staff recommended approval of (C) and (D).

 

       Commission Member Franks made a motion to recommend approval of (C) and (D).  Bud Apple seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of (C) and (D).

 

       The Commission found that the plats as presented met all requirements of the Subdivision Regulations.

 

       ITEM NO. 4:    Mr. Dale T. Simpson presented an application to rezone from R-6, Residential District, to B-1, Neighborhood Business District, the property located on the west side of Trollinger Street approximately 75 feet south of West Webb Avenue and being as shown on Alamance County Tax Map 84, Block 359, Lots 41 and 42.

 

       This was a City item.

 

       Staff recommended approval of the request for rezoning on the basis that it would be an appropriate extension of existing B-1 zoning in the area.

 

       Commission Member Cobb made a motion to recommend approval of the request for rezoning.  Lynn Cowan seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request for rezoning.

 

       The Commission found that the zoning change as requested would not adversely affect the adjoining property and would be in keeping with land use planning in the area.    


 

       ITEM NO. 5: Mr. Lawson Brown, representing CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., presented amendments to the site plan for Alamance Crossing recommended for approval by the Commission March 22, 2004, and approved by the Burlington City Council on April 20, 2004.  The amendments include extending Conditional Business zoning to approximately 8.34 acres located in the eastern portion of the development that is currently zoned O-I, Office-Institutional District, as shown on Alamance County Tax Map 3, Block 24, a portion of Lots 2, 2D, 2H, 2P and 2Q.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader pointed out that this is an extraterritorial item and not a City item as indicated on the agenda.

 

       Mr. Brown stated that the amendments would greatly enhance the previously approved site plan and that the most notable revision will be the rezoning of approximately 8.34 acres located in the eastern portion of the proposed development from Office-Institutional to Conditional Business.  The purpose of the change, he pointed out, is to accomplish a more attractive and upscale building presentation.  Previously 80 percent of the 140 acres was zoned Conditional, and 20 percent zoned O-I.  He used a laser pointer to indicate on a projected map various aspects of the proposed project and compared the proposed development to the Streets of South Point development in Durham.

 

       Mr. Brown stated that several of outparcels had been eliminated from the site plan, and the location of the access road had been moved to accommodate the outparcel elimination and mandates protecting wetlands.  In addition, the total square footage of buildings on the primary site changes from 840,000 to 820,000 square feet; however, a change in the commercial square footage was not being requested.  Mr. Brown stated that under the amended plan, a four-lane road would be constructed at the onset of construction whereas previously the plan called for a two-phase construction of the roads  -- a four-lane road to service Phase I and a two-lane road to service Phase II followed by two additional lanes upon the construction of the primary buildings and outparcels in Phase II.

 

       A water feature would be the focal point in the revised site plan, Mr. Brown told Commission members.  He stated that this revised layout is more upscale, aesthetic and modern.

 

       Mr. Brown stated that landscaping would comply with the City’s Landscape Ordinance and would include a 10 to 15-foot buffer between the development and townhouses.  Thus far, planned signage meets all criteria of the City’s Sign Ordinance; however, it is anticipated that some of the national retailers could request variances from the Board of Adjustment to install additional signage.

 

       Mr. Brown stated that several off-premises traffic improvements have been removed from the previously approved Zoning Conditions because the North Carolina Department of Transportation had determined that they were outside the scope of the project.  Mr. Brown listed the seven eliminated improvements.

 

       In conclusion, Mr. Brown stated that CBL would not be required to install a water line up St. Mark’s Church Road to Rural Retreat Road unless the water line is needed for adequate water pressure to the development.  Also, CBL will not be required to install sanitary sewer lines to adjacent streets; however, CBL will provide easements to the City for future installation of such lines.

 

       Mr. Brown introduced Mr. John Meshel, project manager for CBL, who was available to answer questions.

 

 

 

       Mr. Don Reynolds, 1243 Westview Terrace, stated that CBL had been straight-up and honest with surrounding property owners from the very beginning and that nothing he had heard during the evening was a surprise.  He stated that he had no problem with the rezoning but he did have concerns with Westview Terrace becoming a dead-end street with only one way into and one way out of the neighborhood.  He maintained that homeowners would become locked in.  He compared his neighborhood to the one behind Burlington Lincoln-Mercury.  He maintained that having only one way into and out of the residential area had killed the neighborhood and that this could happen to his neighborhood.

 

       Commission Member Johnson questioned how the proposed development would cut the neighborhood off because the development would not change its current state.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that when the original site plan and rezoning request were presented to City Council in April 2004, Mr. Reynolds voiced his concern about Westview Terrace having only one way to get in or out of the neighborhood.  In order to prevent that from occurring, the City Council voted to dedicate a right-of-way for the future extension of Fairview Drive onto the service road.  Mr. Harkrader told Commission members that the opening of Fairview Drive does not change anything with the proposed development being considered and that neither staff nor the Commission should get involved with this issue during the meeting.  He stated that he thought Mr. Reynolds’ concerns had been addressed by City Council, and that staff had not heard from Mr. Reynolds since the April 2004 City Council meeting.

 

       Mr. Reynolds stated that he is concerned about traffic on Garden Road when the project is completed.  He contemplated trying to make a left turn onto Westview Terrace and traffic backing up on Garden Road.  He stated that this would pose a safety concern.

 

       Commission Member Cobb asked if there would be a turn lane.

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that without knowing any details about proposed traffic patterns, he could not answer that question and reiterated that Commission members should only consider the item on the agenda.

 

       Commission Member Johnson asked Mr. Harkrader how does he plan to address the problem.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that he would talk with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

 

       Mr. Johnson asked if this should be done before this item goes to City Council, because if it’s not addressed beforehand, it could become the same situation as it was in April 2204.

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that the amendments and the street situation should be considered separately.

 

       Mr. Johnson asked if this was the first time the Westview Terrace situation had come up.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that Mr. Reynolds had not mentioned the situation since April 2004 and that some of the neighbors want Fairview Drive extended to the service road and some do not. 


 

       Mr. Reynolds pointed out that in March 2004 he presented to the Commission a petition signed by all the neighbors requesting that the adjoining property not be rezoned to multifamily, and that he could get up another petition signed by neighbors stating that there is a problem and that it hasn’t been addressed.

 

       Mr. Harkrader reiterated that this was the first time he had heard Mr. Reynolds’ concerns since April 2004.

 

       Mr. Joseph Short, 3392 Garden Road, asked if there would be any pedestrians wandering into the neighborhood once the shopping center is developed.  Mr. Brown stated that there would be a 15 to 20-foot foliage buffer, a fence plus a retaining wall separating the development from the residential area and he did not anticipate this happening because there would be a 20-foot drop.

 

       Mr. Dick Kalbfleisch, 1233 Westview Terrace, stated that he had lived in his home for 30 years and he was concerned about living with the dust when construction begins.  He stated that he had no problem with the project and CBL had been up-front from the beginning; however, he requested that something be done about the anticipated dust during the summer.

 

       Mr. C. D. Cobb, 3182 Garden Road, stated that he knew the development was coming; however, he was concerned about traffic being able to get onto Garden Road from the proposed Alamance Crossing Boulevard or Road.  He asked if a stoplight could be installed.

 

       Mr. Brown stated that Wilbur Smith and Associates had completed a traffic study of the area and that Mr. Cobb’s concern had been addressed.  Mr. Brown stated that it was determined that there was not enough space between the future intersection to warrant a stoplight.

 

       Commission Member Ware inquired about signage.  Mr. Brown stated that most signs will be ground monumental signs tastefully designed and will adhere to the City’s Sign Ordinance. 

 

       Mr. Ware stated that he, too, was concerned about a turn lane on Garden Road.

 

       Commission Member Franks stated that he thought a turn lane would have to be installed on Garden Road.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that a turn lane may be needed and that would have to be addressed at some point.

 

       Mr. Short stated that he thought the Commission should consider these situations before approving the rezoning and questioned why couldn’t the Commission “cool it and decide about it later.”

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that there is a dedicated right-of-way in place in case Fairview Drive needs to be extended.  He stated that when a public hearing is held, City Council may decide to make additional changes.

 

       Commission Member Millspaugh asked if staff approved removing traffic improvements from the site plan that are listed as number 13 on CBL’s amendment list.

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that staff had no problem with the removal of the off-premise traffic improvements because NCDOT had determined that they were outside the scope of the project.

 

       Mr. Millspaugh asked if staff also approved numbers 14 and 15 (eliminating the installation of water and sanitary sewer lines) on the list.

 

       Mr. Harkrader stated that at this point neither is being considered as a part of this project; however, if CBL determines that these lines are needed for its project, the lines will be installed.

 

       Planning Director Harkrader stated that staff recommended approval of amending the previously approved rezoning.  He told Commission members that the amended site plan is much improved and the proposed development is more pedestrian-friendly with more convenient access while not increasing its size.  In addition, the amended site plan will improve the traffic flow, has less outparcels and overall is a better project.

 

       Commission Chairman Byrd commented that he thought the amended site plan is much improved over the previous one and that if the proposed development is similar to South Point, it will be an asset to the area.

 

       Commission Member Franks made a motion to recommend approval of the amendments to the site plan including the extension of Conditional Business zoning to approximately 8.34 acres currently zoned O-I, Office-Institutional.  Paul Cobb seconded the motion.  The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the following site plan amendments including the rezoning from O-I to CB to approximately 8.34 acres in the eastern portion of CBL’s proposed development:

 

1.          Rezone from O-I, Office-Institutional, to CB, Conditional Business, an additional approximate 8.34 acres in the eastern portion of the development to accomplish a more attractive and upscale building presentation. The property is shown on Alamance County Tax Map 3, Block 24, a portion of Lots 2, 2D, 2H, 2P and 2Q.

 

2.          Elimination of several outparcels on the eastern side of the development pursuant to the submitted site plan. The total square footage of buildings on the primary site, exclusive of outparcels and restaurants (designated “Rest.” on the plan), changes from 840,000 square feet to 820,000 square feet.  A change from the approved commercial square footage is not being requested.  The primary building changes and outparcel changes add to the value and prominence of the center as a whole.

 

3.          Changes in the manner in which the center is developed.  The original plan called for a two-phase development.  The road servicing the development would have been completed in phases as well.  Initially, a four-lane road to service Phase I (the western half) and a two-lane road to service Phase II (the eastern half) would have been built.  Upon construction of the primary buildings and outparcels in Phase II, two additional lanes would have been constructed on the Phase II portion of the road.  Under the amended plan, a four-lane road will be constructed at the beginning of development to service the entire development.

 

4.       The location of the access road has been moved to accommodate the outparcel elimination.

 

5.       The area designated “Water Feature” is a focal point of the revised lifestyle destination shopping presentation.  It is intended that the new layout will be more upscale, aesthetic, modern and shopper-friendly.

 

6.          Pursuant to Section 32.19:F.6.b of the City of Burlington Zoning Ordinance as to the footprint of certain buildings, driveways and parking spaces, the applicant may modify the same in accordance with the final site plan.  The permitted area of all buildings shall not exceed 850,000 square feet plus the buildings on the outparcels.

 

7.       The landscaping for the site, including without limitation, parking lots, will comply with the City of Burlington Landscape Ordinance now in effect.  Driveways, parking areas and pedestrian walks may be permitted within exterior buffer areas subject to the applicant transferring the required plantings to other areas; provided, however, that no driveway, parking area or sidewalk shall be located closer than 15 feet to the property line with the exceptions noted herein.

 

          Along the northern property line, the landscape buffer shall be 15 feet in width with the exception of any area where the maintenance drive parallels the northern property line, where the applicant may construct a retaining wall with a decorative fence amenity.

 

          No landscaping buffer is required along the southern property line where the site is contiguous to the Interstate 85/40 rights-of-way.

 

8.       The signage will be in accordance with the plan as it relates to pylon signage.  Pylon signage will include one pylon sign at a height not to exceed 75 feet, and other pylon signs not to exceed 50 feet in height.  Monument ground signs not exceeding 25 feet in height with an area of not more than 500 square feet per side are also permitted.

 

9.       Wall signs are permitted upon any building wall that faces a pedestrian entrance or faces a public right-of-way.

 

10.     Two business advertising wall signs per wall are allowed with the total square footage of all wall signs not to exceed two area feet of signage per linear wall length; provided, however, up to three signs are permitted on owner and/or tenant spaces equaling or exceeding 25,000 square feet in size.

 

11.     All outparcel identification signs, with the exception of wall signs, shall be ground signs with a maximum height of 20 feet and a maximum size of 100 square feet.

 

12.     Wall signs may exceed above or beyond the wall structure to which they are attached if the same are consistent with the owner and/or tenant occupant’s national signage program subject, however, to the foregoing conditions.

 

13.     The following off-premises traffic improvements are hereby removed from the Conditions pursuant to the determination by the North Carolina Department of Transportation that the same are outside the scope of the project:

 

          A.    Traffic signalization at Rural Retreat Road and University Drive (Western Loop) (installed by NCDOT).

 

          B.   Improvements to the intersection of South Church Street (NC Highway 70) and Williamson Avenue and St. Mark’s Church Road (being made by NCDOT).

 

          C.   Improvements to the intersection of Garden Road and St. Mark’s Church Road (being made by NCDOT).

 

          D.   Improvements to the intersection of Forestdale Drive and Huffman Mill Road.

 

 

 

 

          E.   Improvements to the intersection of Huffman Mill Road and Garden Road.

 

 

          F.   Improvements to the intersection of Boone Station Drive and Forestdale Drive.

 

          G.   Improvements to the intersection of University Drive (Western Loop) and NC Highway 70 (South Church Street).

 

14.     The applicant shall not be required to install the water line up St. Mark’s Church Road to Rural Retreat Road unless the same is required for water pressure to the site as certified by a licensed engineer.

 

15.     The applicant shall not be required to install the sanitary sewer lines to adjacent streets and/or properties; provided, however, that the applicant shall provide easements to the City for such extensions on the site as requested by the City.

 

 

       There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

              ________________________________________

                          George A. Byrd, Jr., Chairman

 

 

 

 

              ________________________________________

                         James M. Burwell, Secretary