By Richard Sullins | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sanford City Council on Oct. 19 annexed a 169-plus acre tract of land near the end of Valley Road on which a multi-use subdivision has been proposed.
With new industries coming to Lee County and existing ones preparing to ramp up their hiring over the next few months, Sanford is poised for an unprecedented period of growth. Already, 4,500 new housing units are either under review or already approved, along with another 1,250 apartments that will change the character and size of the city.
Before its 6-0 vote (Councilman Chas Post was absent) to annex the land, the council heard concerns raised by neighboring landowners about the new housing development, which if approved would feature up to 404 single family homes, 272 apartments, and some limited commercial usage. The proposed development, which is bordered by Boone Trail Road, Valley Road and Forestwood Park Road, would be called Brookshire. Pinnacle Partners LLC, a Raleigh-based real estate firm, asked the city for the annexation and to assign the property a zoning status which would allow the high density construction (click here to see a map of the proposal).
Scott Osborne of Valley Road represented many of the adjoining homeowners in his remarks during the public hearing. Osborne said the Brookshire plan was developed without regard for the SanLee land use plan and zoning ordinances, and without respect for the land and its natural resources that have been cared for and preserved by adjacent landowners.
“With all of the high salaries associated with new industries in Lee and surrounding counties being touted by local governments, SAGA, and public officials, I just cannot believe that there is no market for developments offering home buyers an option to buy a house with more acreage than what is proposed here,” he said.
Osborne said the development plan proposed by Pinnacle was long on promises but short on specifics. He pointed out that the plan contained no information on the exterior appearance of the housing to be constructed, no details on how stream and wildlife mitigation would be accomplished, and lacked information on how noise and light pollution would be contained within the boundaries of the development.
April Stone of Forestwood Park Road told the council that the roads surrounding the proposed development are already in poor condition and the increased traffic of a predicted 7,000 more vehicles per day would forever alter the character of the community.
“We live in the country. We like to shoot our guns. We like to have our freedom. If you annex this, what are we going to do?” she asked.
Another member of the community, Mary Griffin, believes the Sanford Police and Fire Departments are already stretched to their limits and adding another development into their service areas might be too much for them to handle.
After an hour of comments during the annexation public hearing, the council voted unanimously to annex the property into the city limits. A second public hearing on the question of how the development should be zoned went on for another hour and 15 minutes, with the adjoining property owners advocating for a classification that would reduce the density of housing that would be permitted.
Osborne argued that apartments and commercial development should not be permitted within the tract, that there should be requirements in place to offset damages to streams and wildlife habitat, that details of potential shrub or tree plantings or fencing should be included, and that measures to alleviate potential flooding resulting from increased stormwater should be required.
“As I routinely read of where, what kind, and how dense some of the recent developments are that have been approved in our county,” Osborne said, “it troubles me that too many are leaning to become clones of developments to our north in Chatham, Wake, Harnett, and Johnston counties.”
As the second hearing began to wind down, Osborne told the council this group of property owners had not attended the meeting to hold a ‘Not in My Back Yard’ protest, but instead to highlight the problems that can be created when the pace of development begins to outrun the means by which it can be monitored.
“Some may say, ‘what does it matter if we lose 100 plus acres in an area to development?’” he said. “I contend that every parcel that is incompatible with existing and planned use should be carefully examined before we lose natural landscapes that are irreplaceable as a result of high-density development.”
The city’s Planning Board will present its recommendations on the matter to the council at its next meeting on November 2, when a final vote will be taken on how the development will be zoned for usage.
Looks like there will be a 500 home/townhome development behind CCCC.
The green buffers along the creeks in the plan look pretty narrow. Are there flooding issues that need to be considered?
Everyone wants a Target, Home Depot, or a Harris Teeter, but nobody wants the population and housing growth to support those companies coming to Sanford.
Even though many people like Harris Teeter, Home Depot and Target would you be willing to buy a new home in Apex (for that convenience) which would be more expensive and in a high density neighborhood. Also, you would inherit issues related to traffic and overall quality of life. Up to recently, people moved from Apex to Sanford for bigger less expensive homes on bigger properties. By the way, Target and Home Depot have excellent online shopping.
Nah. A handful of dumbass twats tweet incessantly about a fucking Target. Actual polls of Lee County citizens have painted the same picture for more years than I’ve been alive. (And I’m old.) Retaining the rural character of “our” county has always been paramount. Conserving our river, our streams, our forests, our wildlife— OUR WAY OF LIFE— has ALWAYS been a primary concern. Our local government chose to sell their power to the private sector. They chose to sell out their constituents. The decisions they’re making ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE. We’re in a precarious position already, with our water. I guess they’re banking on making enough money to move elsewhere when the shit hits the fan. The rest of us will be stuck here with the mess they’ve made.
How is Sanford in a precarious position with regard to water? The Cape Fear River catches the flow from the Deep River, Rocky River, Haw River, and Jordan Lake. In Central NC, only Raleigh has more access to water than Sanford.
It’s not about QUANTITY. https://www.facebook.com/100024008776245/posts/1072844006859215/
I live in this community and I “We” don’t want it. It’s always about greed nothing more nothing less!
Really the only recourse is to vote your councilman out. Lee County has never cared about controlling flooding. West Landing is an example of that. No containment ponds. We have an incompetent councilman representing us also.
How’s Waxhaw, Joe Jon?
Since you are located near the top of the Persimmon Creek drainage you should not need retention ponds unless of course the commercial development on 15/501 has diverted run off from their parking lots onto you. You can sue them if they have done that. Or it may be instead of retention you need a couple of bigger pipes under your local streets.
Expecting help or explanations from an elected person is like asking the Finance Officer at the Hospital to explain the details of your upcoming surgery. It’s just not their jobs. That’s what the City or County Manager’s office is for.
@ John Spaugh Who TF said anything about QUANTITY?
The reason the City of Sanford has a water plant is to TREAT the water. Is that so difficult to understand?
Evidently you don’t understand how public services work. They are more expensive to deliver when the homes are far apart. Density is a means of a community being able to afford services. Given that sapprolitic soils in the “clay hole” don’t readily accept septic tanks I would have thought a sustainability person would understand that the County level suburban/rural development you see in parts of the County is what is unsustainable.
I know there are many like Missie who despise change. Specifically growth near their home. I get that. You buy a couple of acres, build a home, and expect it to stay like that forever. Well, for Lee county, that train has left the station. Many are probably too young to remember when Cary was just a small community, and Apex was little more than a crossroads. I remember when Holly Springs had more dirt and gravel roads than paved streets. It really wasn’t that long ago. Sanford is the next logical expansion area.
If you can’t embrace the growth, and the positives that it brings, at least be thankful for the planning that is being put in place. Be thankful for the requirements for sidewalks and the beautification that is being required for these large neighborhoods that are being built. Believe me, if these conglomerates that are building these developments could get by with no sidewalks and street width requirements, they would, just to be able to squeeze 10 more homes in.
Be thankful that new schools will be built. Sanford will no longer be the place that kids grow up and leave because there are few good prospects. Another thing to be thankful for is the complimentary businesses that will be possible. Many will start their own businesses because of the growth that is coming. The money that is currently leaving Lee county to be spent in the big cities will tend to stay here. We will have the fine dining and entertainment options. We will have many things that people have been complaining about us not having for 40 years. I think it’s an exciting time to be living in Lee county. The opportunities are wide open right now.
For those who really dislike the loss of the rural feeling, maybe it’s time to put your property on the market. Prices are falsely high right now, so profit is most likely assured. I could suggest land west of Carthage as a possibility for the rural feel for the remainder of your days. Or maybe down around Tarboro. Lee county is not slowing down, and you can’t stop it.
Missie seems like a subject matter expert on this matter which I respect. She really can help educate many about what we need to know with moving forward on how to preserve our natural resources and plan smart growth. She may be 100 right and this development may be in the wrong place or too big. Unfortunately, her passion is resulting into belittling people and name calling. It has turned many on this thread and on social media off to her cause. When someone calls you a name or belittles you it is human nature to not want to listen to them. It makes you want to respond in the same manner and then both sides see the other as the enemy. I do not think there is a single person who wants our water supply polluted. Due to the free market, Sanford will grow. Missie needs to be a voice in the growth. She has so much knowledge to bring to the table. We are at a crisis in many ways with our natural resources. We need to listen to each other and communicate with respect. We are all in this together.
B Mac – I agree. When you start a comment with “Nah. A handful of dumbass twats tweet incessantly about a fucking Target.”, that would tend to get people to dismiss anything that is said after it. As to Missie being a subject matter expert. how did you arrive at that conclusion?
Be careful with your complaints. Look at California’s new law that doesn’t allow new single home dwelling construction. Would you rather have congested high rise apartment dwellings?
This can happen in any state in the U.S.