Harper Acres hearings put off until June 27

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Applicant asks for continuation in Clemmons council meeting

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

Village Hall was packed for Monday night’s council meeting in anticipation of a controversial residential development coming before the board for public hearings on the question of annexation and a rezoning request.

But the crowd wasn’t there for long as Tonya Powell, an attorney with Nexsen Pruet in Raleigh and a proponent who was representing the applicant, was first to the podium in the initial public hearing to request and be granted a continuation for the two Harper Acres items on the agenda related to voluntary annexation and the zoning map amendment.

Following Powell’s request to move items to the June 13 meeting, the council gave unanimous approval for the request but added the condition of it being moved to the June 27 meeting because of a packed agenda on the requested date.

Last month, the Planning Board held a public hearing of a zoning map amendment and preliminary major subdivision review located on two tracts owned by Jasper L. Harper Sr. and Jasper L. Harper Jr. for a combined 26.76 acres to include 58 lots east of Michelle Drive and north of Lismore Street, and recommended unanimous denial with the adoption of the inconsistency statement of Zoning Docket C-247.

Many families in the Waterford neighborhood have expressed concerns about the potential development and the impact on the existing infrastructure and environment.

Planner Nasser Rahimzadeh provided details to the council in the April 25 meeting, saying the Planning Board session was “a pretty spirited conversation” with a full house and the council “should probably expect the same.”

But now the council, and the crowd that gathered Monday night, will have to wait another month and a half before it happens.

After a brief recess to allow all those in attendance to file out of Village Hall, leaving only a handful of spectators for the remainder of the meeting, the council did move forward on several operational improvements involving traffic safety for local schools.

The first one, according to Village Manager Mike Gunnell, would “spearhead the task force to possibly come up with traffic solutions” for West Forsyth High School and Southwest Elementary School.

Next on the list in the manager’s report was Clemmons Elementary School with potential improvements including additional stacking and sidewalk improvements, and then there was the third proposal of developing a preliminary plan for a crosswalk at West Forsyth.

Kimley-Horn and Associates is contracted to perform these services for the village with a total price tag of $22,700.

In addition, Clemmons entered into an agreement with Allied Associates for surveying services at a cost of $33,372 for the sidewalk project from Morgan Elementary School to Peace Haven Road and then on to the Jerry Long Family YMCA to finish that connection.

Also for the same project, the village contracted with Vaughn & Melton for a required environmental assessment at a cost of $9,500.

All of these proposals will require budget amendments.

In another announcement at the end of meeting, Clemmons introduced Amy Flyte as the new assistant village manager.

“We look forward to having you on board,” Mayor Mike Rogers said to Flyte, who was present at Monday night’s meeting.

Flyte, who has served as senior planner in Davie County, will start her new position in Clemmons on June 6.

She will fill the opening that was created when Gunnell, who previously served in that role, was elevated to interim manager when Scott Buffkin resigned his position for personal reasons in January. Gunnell then was appointed as village manager in February.

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

• Approved a budget amendment for a proposed fire line extension along Dillon Industrial Drive at Public Works to provide better fire protection services

• Also approved a budget amendment in what Gunnell called “basically a clarification” to appropriate funds for NCDOT changes and refund of grant funding for the U.S. 158 sidewalk and greenway project.

• Called for a public hearing for the May 23 meeting for enacting a moratorium of off-premise ground signs.

• Accepted the resignation of Robert Manak from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.