City Council wants further study of a developer’s proposal to build a mix of multi-family residential units, townhouses and single-family houses on Stewart Street, which connects to West Main Street near the Central Boulevard interchange.
Following nearly 90 minutes of debate and listening to the concerns of many citizens, Council voted Tuesday to return the matter to the Planning Commission, which earlier had recommended approval of the development. Council members directed that the commission to take a second look at the surrounding neighborhood, the layout of the development and the buffer areas.
Keith Walden of CWC Holdings needs the property rezoned and a wavier on minimum lot sizes in order to move forward with construction. He removed blighted structures on the street. In their place, he plans to build 24 multi-family units, with the remainder of the land set aside for townhouses and single-family houses. He also would create a cul-de-sac, closing Stewart Street at Watson Avenue.
Opponents of the development expressed several concerns, including the presence of multi-family units in the neighborhood. They want the construction restricted to single-family residential, saying multi-family units would not be appropriate for the neighborhood. They fear the multi-family units would hurt surrounding land values. The density, coupled with the creation of a cul-de-sac, would lead to traffic congestion and create safety problems at the intersection with West Main Street.
Council took action on three separate matters at its meeting. Council voted to:
• Approve an updated economic development priority list, which the city submits to the West Piedmont Planning District Commission each year. The list is used in applying for federal grants during the year. The list includes infrastructure development at the Berry Hill Road mega park; utility improvements at the former Schoolfield Mill site, streetscape improvements on Craghead and North Union streets, installation of sewer lines along Pumpkin Creek, and grading a site at Riverview Industrial Park at a cost of $500,000.
• Accept a state grant of $200,000 and transferred local money for the Riverwalk Trail extension over the Sandy River.
• Adopt newly-developed Old West End Historic District design guidelines.
The next meeting of City Council will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 6.