City OKs Sunset Avenue rezoning; subdivision request to come

Chris Berendt Staff Writer

October 3, 2013

A rezoning request by George E. Wilson Family Enterprises LLC that is expected to pave the way for a proposed subdivision off of Sunset Avenue was approved this week.

The request to rezone approximately 10.2 acres along Sunset Avenue (N.C. 24) from HC Highway Commercial to R-8 Residential District, previously withdrawn from the City Council’s agenda at the end of last year, was considered and approved by the Clinton City Council Tuesday.

“The Planning Board has unanimously recommended this and it is going from a less restrictive category of Highway Commercial to a more restrictive category of R-8 residential,” said Clinton-Sampson Planning director Mary Rose.

“For the record, the access to this is out to the public N.C. 24,” said Clinton Mayor Lew Starling.

In February, the Council approved a resolution of support for the construction of a turn lane onto the property as an add-on to the N.C. 24 widening project. City officials have worked with DOT, George Wilson and Clinton Pentecostal Holiness Church regarding development of property, owned by the Wilson family and the church. City officials were told earlier this year that, although the church had no plans for immediate development of the property, Wilson was working on a proposed development with the city.

Councilman Neal Strickland inquired as to issues with a possible “guard house” structure at the entrance of the proposed development.

“We are currently working on that The district engineer’s office is investigating that with DOT in Raleigh,” said Rose. “That will very likely come to you next month as a preliminary subdivision plat. Our technical review committee, which consists of police, fire, public works and planning, will review that preliminary plat when we receive it and then you will receive it at your next Council meeting hopefully. We will address those concerns.”

In discussions at the beginning of this year, city officials said they were looking at future plans to build a connector road between Wilson’s property and, in many years to come, ultimately connect to the area around Royal Lane Park. DOT felt there might be a need for a turn lane at some point in the future for improved connectivity and offered to build one as an add-on project, and the city accepted the offer.

The proposed turn lane would provide a right turn to a proposed street in the subdivision, Rose has noted. The preliminary subdivision plat request shows approximately 24 to 26 single-family residential lots. The right lane would go onto that street and venture back toward Inverness Drive.

Rose noted that the city’s current ordinance states that the streets developed in that area have to meet N.C. DOT specifications.

“So we’re just trying to verify that N.C. DOT would allow such a structure within the right of way,” said Rose. “We’ll continue to work on that. The rezoning is necessary in order for him to request and submit the preliminary plat. You’re strictly acting on the rezoning of the property. This is in no way, shape or form an approval of the preliminary plat.”

The Council approved the rezoning request unanimously.

In other business at the City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday, the Council approved an 18-lot preliminary subdivision plat request by Howell Edwards containing approximately 16.75 acres off of Boykin Bridge Road, as well as a request by Eddie Hines to rezone approximately 0.43 acres along Beaverdam Drive from HC Highway Commercial to R-8 Residential.

Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at