Published: Jul 30, 2012 12:00 AM
Modified: Jul 29, 2012 02:02 PM
CARRBORO - Town staff have concluded that stormwater draining through a pipe from surrounding businesses must be factored into any future Family Dollar permit applications.
Stronach Properties of Raleigh asked staff June 6 to exclude the stormwater pipe from consideration after the town’s Board of Adjustment rejected its stormwater-variance request.
The board could not approve a special-use permit for the retail project without the variance, so Stronach attorney David Rooks withdrew the application. It has not been resubmitted.
In a letter to town staff, project engineer Ron Sutton said water from surrounding businesses naturally would bypass the lot and drain onto Jones Ferry Road. The site only meets the town’s 5-acre threshold for an ephemeral stream, because the pipe channels water to the site, he wrote.
If the developer installs an underground system to capture the pipe water and release it into the public drainage system on Jones Ferry Road, the variance required to pave over the lot would not be necessary, he wrote.
An ephemeral stream only funnels water when there is high runoff during storms and other inclement weather.
Town planner Marty Roupe responded in a July 13 letter that the town’s land-use ordinance requires staff to consider only the site’s current drainage area.
“Staff is not disputing or disagreeing with the assertion that the water may otherwise drain to Jones Ferry Road were it not for the pipe. Instead, we concluded that where the water might otherwise go, or perhaps did go at some time in the distant past is not pertinent,” Roupe wrote.
The site’s neighbors have vigorously opposed building a Family Dollar in their neighborhood, filling board hearings and holding a protest march in May.
The Board of Aldermen will hold a Sept. 25 public hearing to consider rezoning the Family Dollar site and three other lots on Alabama Avenue. All four sites are zoned B3, or neighborhood business. If the board rezones them to R-10, or residential, that would include single- and multi-family homes, and public uses like libraries and public safety buildings, but not retail stores.
Stronach also would have to seek a commercial or conditional rezoning from the aldermen before another project permit application could be considered.