5/9/2014 10:11:00 AM Board recommends approval for rezoning of Dawn Acres property Public hearings for a rezoning request and development plan will be held during town council's meeting on Thursday, May 8
by Annette Joyce staff writer
STOKESDALE - The Stokesdale Planning Board met Thursday, May 1, to review requests for the construction of a new cell tower, the rezoning of a portion of the Dawn Acres Golf Course property, and a proposed residential development plan for that same property.
In its first order of business, the board heard a site plan case from American Tower for a 195-foot cell tower to be erected at 7537 N.C. 68, located about 2,000 feet north of Haw River.
Guilford County planner Les Eger noted American Tower was required to prove no other way existed to provide standard cellular coverage.
"I did come to the conclusion that locating on the surrounding towers would not give them the standard level of coverage that was needed," Eger said.
American Tower's attorney presented the company's justification for the tower. The planning board asked several questions about the tower's appearance and radiation output before voting unanimously to approve the request. In this case, the board's decision is final and American Tower can move forward with constructing the cell tower.
The next case involved the rezoning of 113.8 acres, currently occupied by Dawn Acres Golf Course, from AG (agricultural) to PD-R (Planned Development-Residential). If rezoned, local developer Kevan Combs plans to develop the property for 80 homes. Although neighborhood businesses are allowed in a PD-R development, Combs says he will develop the property for residential use only.
The Stokesdale Future Land Use Plan recommends that lots in residential developments be a minimum of 40,000 square feet; the most common residential zoning district within the town, RS-40, is consistent with this.
Although a PD-R zoning would allow Combs to build individual homes on lots as small as 20,000 square feet, in exchange for the smaller lots there must be enough accompanying open space and common areas to ensure the same average lot density as in an RS-40 district.
Chris Rohrer is president of Land Solutions in northwest Greensboro, the land surveying and design firm that is working with Combs on the proposed development.
"Our plan is clearly not designed on how many houses we can get (on a piece of land)," Rohrer told the planning board during the public hearing for the rezoning. "It's designed on a really great layout that considers topography, ponds, streams, open space and how we bring all that together to create an appropriate design."
Combs gave the planning board another reason as to why PD-R zoning should be approved for this particular property.
"That's the only way that land can be developed residentially," Combs said, explaining that golf courses are heavily graded, which eliminates a lot of perkable land. After performing soil analysis, he discovered there were only "three or four pockets of good soil" suitable for off-site septic. The open space required by PD-R zoning would allow the space needed for centralized septic.
Although some citizens asked questions about the proposed development, none spoke in opposition to it.
At the close of discussion, board member Stewart Hommel motioned to recommend denying the rezoning based on staff's recommendation to deny it, that the request did not meet the land use plan recommendations, and the proposed development's close proximity to the Pine Needles "tank farm," which he saw as a safety issue. Though Patrick Sullivan seconded the motion, no one else voted in favor of it.
The board ultimately voted 5-2 to recommend approval of the rezoning request (Hommel and Sullivan opposed).
Two other cases heard were the Unified Development Plan and subdivision case for the proposed residential development, which outlined where the lots, streets and open areas would be located on the property. Both were unanimously recommended for approval.
Want to go?
Public hearings for the rezoning request, development and subdivision plans will be held during Stokesdale Town Council's meeting on May 8, 7 p.m., at the town hall on Angel Pardue Road.