Published: Mar 19, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Mar 19, 2013 07:03 PM
CARRBORO - A controversial Carrboro development could move forward if the Board of Aldermen vote to approve developer Belmont Sayre’s Shelton Station project on Greensboro Street.
After a public hearing Thursday, the board will vote on a conditional-use permit for the 2.6-acre development, which proposes 115,000 square-feet of new commercial and residential space at 500 N. Greensboro St.
The latest site plans show a 22,000 square-foot, two-story building for retail and office space facing North Greensboro Street that is located in front of a four-story L-shaped residential building with 94 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
At least 10 percent of the units would be rented to households making 60 percent of Carrboro’s median family income and another 10 percent to those making 80 percent. The rest would be market rate.
In January 2012, the board voted 4-3 to approve the developer’s request to rezone four lots at 500 N. Greensboro St. to conditional-business use.
Board members Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Lydia Lavelle and Sammy Slade, along with Mayor Mark Chilton, voted for the rezoning.
“I value the character of the neighborhood that I live in, the character of the downtown overall, but I look at this site, and I don’t see this site as surrounded by old mill houses,” Chilton said.
Alderwomen Jacquie Gist and Michelle Johnson voted against it, along with former Alderman Dan Coleman, who moved to Australia with his family in December 2012.
Some Carrboro residents have criticized the development as too large and out of place near Carrboro’s historic small, mill house homes.
Arne Gray, who lived in the Carrboro area for 40 years, owns three student rental properties on North Greensboro Street across from the proposed Shelton Station.
He said he restored the homes in the 1990s to their original mill-style.
“I went to some of the public meetings that the town held for (Shelton Station) and many neighbors complained of the possibility of more traffic and more students,” Gray said. “But the main problem I have with Shelton Station doesn’t have to do with either of those.”
He said the development’s proportions and dimensions are overwhelming.
“It doesn’t fit there and doesn’t belong there,” he said. “It belongs in downtown Durham: it doesn’t fit in Carrboro.”
Last year, the board amended the conditional-business zoning category to let developers build more residential space, and less commercial, in exchange for environmentally sensitive building and site elements.
If Shelton Station meets that, the developers could limit the commercial space in the project to 20 percent of the overall square footage.