Applicant withdraws request on property

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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Developers pull annexation and zoning request for large multi-use development

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

A large crowd was expected for Monday night’s Clemmons Village Council meeting, but that was before the applicant for Zoning Docket C-245 withdrew its request regarding a proposed large multi-use commercial and residential development located at the corner of Lewisville-Clemmons Road and Immanuel Road.

So instead of a public hearing, one of the first items on the agenda was to accept the withdrawal of the annexation request from Mid-Atlantic Commercial Properties and the rezoning request from Morgan Companies.

The zoning map amendment of real property consists of some 35.20 acres owned by Robert and William Vogler, Impulse Energy II LLC and Milo White Investments LLC from RS-30 (Residential, Single-Family) and LB-S (Limited Business – Special) to RM-12-S (Residential, Multifamily – Special) and GB-S (General Business – Special).

In the Planning Board meeting on Oct. 19, Zoning Docket C-245 was recommended for denial along with adopting the inconsistency statement for the multi-use development. There were 70 people in attendance at Village Hall for that meeting, which lasted two and a half hours.

Opponents stated their objections to the project, which included concerns over increased traffic, public safety, school overcrowding, environmental impact/flooding potential and not wanting more commercial development in addition to 296 apartments.

Many other letters and petitions were sent to the village in opposition to the use for the property — which includes 10.14 acres of commercial and 25.06 acres of residential development. The petitioner for the project is requesting the following uses: residential building (multifamily), restaurant with drive-through service, drug store, general merchandise store, medical and surgical offices, and convenience store.

Also in Monday night’s meeting regarding this issue, the Clemmons Village Council heard from councilwoman Michelle Barson wanting to discuss putting together a resolution, stating she was “worried about it being rejected by council and taken to the county where the ordinances regarding stormwater and traffic requirements, etc., would be less strict. The goal is to send this to the county commissioners and county planning board.
“Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop and having folks reach out to us after the fact from the county saying they never heard of a concern regarding this, I’d like to be proactive and share all the different reasons that it was a concern to this council and the many people who live near the property.”

Councilwoman Mary Cameron added, “We’re taking the brunt of whatever is built there and yet it’s not going to be built to our standards, and that point needs to be hammered again and again and again.”

After a discussion, Village Manager Scott Buffkin said he would craft a draft for the council to review.

Also in Monday night’s meeting, the council had a public hearing for Zoning Docket C-246 (Main Street Village Point Apartments rezoning), where no one spoke, and the council ultimately decided to take it up in the next meeting.

The Zoning Map Amendment of real property owned by Main Street Village Point LLC from PB-S (Pedestrian Business – Special) to PB-S (Pedestrian Business – Special), located at 3060 Village Point Drive, consists of 6.62 acres.

In the Planning Board meeting on Oct. 19, Zoning Docket C-246 was recommended for approval along with adopting the consistency and reasonableness statement for the multifamily housing complex with 160 units.

After receiving an overview on the project in Monday night’s meeting from planner Nasser Rahimzadeh, who said he liked the design and compared it to a “vision for an artificial downtown” in the area, Cameron made a motion for approval, but there was no second. Councilman Mike Rogers then made a motion to deny the application and adopt the inconsistency and reasonableness statement, which received a second from Barson.

Councilman Chris Wrights then asked: “Is there is a reason for denying it?”

Rogers replied, after being asked by Mayor John Wait, that the proposed project was inconsistent with the plan for the area. Councilman Scott Binkley added that he’d like more time to look at it, and Rogers agreed to withdraw the motion.

In another item on the agenda, Buffkin said that the village received an updated “clean” offer of $600,000 — considered to be the minimum bid — from Henson Realty LLC to purchase the 14.7-acre property at 2848 Harper Road that no longer includes a request for extending sewer, which could cost approximately $250,000.

Buffkin said that the next step would be to go through the upset bid process, which includes authorizing the clerk to advertise the terms and procedure for filing a bid.

“What we’re going to do is ask if anybody wants to make a higher bid along these same terms, and we can see what happens,” said attorney Elliot Fus. “You will still reserve the right to say ‘no’ at any time. We can back out at any time.”

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

• Agreed by consensus to eliminating “fee-in-lieu-of” for both open space and sidewalks after a discussion with Rahimzadeh — and for him to continue work in this area for further updates on the retreat agenda early next year.

• Adopted Resolution 2021-R-18 opposing House Bill 425 and the proposed legislation on development regulations/multijurisdiction.

• Held a lengthy discussion about the possibility of adding “SeeClickFix” — a work management app bridging the communication gap between residents and their local governments. The overall reaction was favorable into considering the software as a more efficient technology tool, but the Council wanted more time to gather information before making a final decision.

• Heard from Shannon Ford in the Marketing/Communications report that the village has made a successful pivot from the Monster Dash & Goblin Hop “and now we are completely into holiday mode,” including the launch of Clemmons Wonderland. The Holiday Pop-Up Market will be Sunday, Nov. 21, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jerry Long YMCA, and the Annual Tree Lighting will be Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall with “the forecast of 100% snow.”

• In the public comments portion of the meeting, Charles Sherrill said he wanted everyone to be aware that the FDA and CDC recently approved the Pfizer mRNA vaccine for use in children as young as age 5 and of the risks involved, using an example as Myocarditis.