Lewisville supports studying sunflowers

Published 1:33 am Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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Survey required to move forward with projects

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

The Lewisville Town Council took positive steps in last Thursday night’s meeting to continue progress on a couple of important projects that have encountered delays.

First, the council approved a resolution awarding a contract of $419,853 to Kimley Horn for the Lewisville-Vienna Road/Robinhood Road Roundabout Project for the engineering and design of the roundabout near the new Lewisville Middle School.

Town officials were hoping the proposed roundabout would be ready to be completed by the time of the arrival of the new school, but after the project was pushed back to 2022, taking this step will help in staying on schedule for a device sought to help with traffic flow.

“We have finally, at literally the 11th hour this afternoon before the meeting, gotten the approvals from the NCDOT for the contract to move forward,” said Town Manager Hank Perkins at last week’s meeting.

“I’m glad we can get this moving,” added Mayor Mike Horn.

Along that corridor, the town also approved an amendment to a budget ordinance for $3,965 for an endangered sunflower survey ahead of the CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) project on Lewisville-Vienna Road for a sidewalk extension from Riverwood Drive to Robinhood Road.

In the August meeting, Perkins brought up a variable that could impact upcoming projects. It’s called the federal Endangered Species Act, which includes animals and now plants.

“The difficulty in this is that you only have a window from August to October to complete your study,” Perkins said in the previous council meeting. “If you do not study during that time period when the plant is supposed to be present, you can’t move forward with your project.

“The Gateway Project is going to have to be studied because we haven’t had shovel in the dirt right now because we’ve been through two advertisements. So we’re going to add that to study the corridor for the plant as well.”

So also in Monday night’s meeting, the council approved a resolution amending the contract for the Gateway Project to include additional professional services and other surveys regarding sunflowers as required by the Endangered Species Act in an amount not to exceed $16,114.

Earlier in July, Perkins gave the most recent timeline for the start of the Gateway Project, stating that bids were due later that month with a projected construction start in September. However, that got shifted into 2022 after no bids were received for a second time, making the sunflower survey important to avoid further delays if a successful bid is received early next year when the project is advertised again.

The Mary Alice Warren Community Center was also on the agenda in several spots, including concerns on “a little greater slope” behind the center than the town desired, resulting in a discussion that concluded with a decision of bringing in more dirt to reduce the grade.

Originally, plans were calling for early October as the opening of the new community center, which is named after Lewisville resident Mary Alice Warren, who donated the 15-acre site on which the 12,000 square-foot center is being built.

However, town officials are now looking at early November to open the facility, which is located on Lewisville-Clemmons Road next to Jack Warren Park, a 15-acre multi-use park also donated to the town by Mary Alice Warren.

In another item, the council approved a rezoning petition to amend the zoning map in reference to recently annexed property owned at 2675 Williams Road, which is the location of Old Nick Williams Distillery, from AG (Agriculture zoning Forsyth County) to AG (Agriculture zoning Lewisville).

The property was recently brought into the town as a voluntary annexation, and the town needed to modify its previous county zoning to conform to that of Lewisville.

The action came after a public hearing where there was one proponent, owner Zebulon Williams, and another who spoke, Kenneth Hill, who lives at an adjoining property and stated he wasn’t against the AG zoning change but mentioned “the loud music.”

The council then discussed how to address noise issues and potential solutions, and attorney Bo Houff said that Lewisville has the same noise ordinance as Forsyth County. The current remedy for noise, if there are problems, is through the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

In another highlights from last Thursday night’s lengthy meeting, which lasted almost four hours, the council:

• Voted to amend United Development Ordinance (UDO L-166) Chapter B, Article III, Section 3-3.4 Off-Site Parking to remove the provision allowing off-site parking accessory to multi-family and institutional uses — requiring residential property being used for parking to adjacent multi-family development to be zoned multifamily as well. This also followed a public hearing.

• Amended a budget ordinance in the amount of $5,000 to increase the Willow Run Municipal Service District for the Emergency Action Plan for the Falmouth Dam in the Runnymede Development.