Published: Mar 22, 2013 02:13 PM
Modified: Mar 22, 2013 02:14 PM
CARRBORO - After hours of questions and discussion, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen delayed an important vote on a new downtown development.
The board postponed its vote on a conditional-use permit for Shelton Station, which proposes 119,000 square-feet of commercial and residential space at 500 N. Greensboro St. The aldermen will now vote on the permit application at their April 2 meeting.
The most recent site plans show a 24,000 square-foot, two-story building for retail and office space facing North Greensboro Street, in addition to a four-story L-shaped residential building with 94 apartments.
The 2.64 acre development would include 170 parking spaces, bike racks for 135 bikes, a Zipcar parking space, and an electric-vehicle charging space.
There would be 19 affordable housing units, with at least 10 percent of the units rented to households making up to 60 percent of Carrboro’s median family income and another 10 percent to those making up to 80 percent.
Developer Ken Reiter from Durham-based Belmont Sayre said certain units wouldn’t be specified as affordable housing units and the 20 percent could change depending on the total number of units.
Mayor Mark Chilton and Alderwoman Jacquie Gist expressed concern that students would occupy the affordable housing units, rather than working-class renters.
Reiter said the apartments are not designed to attract student renters. He said the units would not contain any student suites, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and the three-bedroom units would not have more than two bathrooms.
Mayor Mark Chilton suggested that the affordable housing units be off limits to students.
“For the affordable-housing units, (students) are not who we are trying to reach,” he said.
The board members and Reiter agreed that single UNC undergraduate and graduate students would not be targeted for affordable housing, but families with students could occupy these units.
Gist also brought up the issue of a construction management plan for the development.
“To me, it’s vitally important that a construction management plan that is signed off by the town manager be a part of this,” she said. “I don’t want to lose any small businesses to construction of new businesses.”
Gist said the developer needs to ensure that the construction does not interfere with rush hour traffic or the neighboring residences.Store foot traffic
Several Carrboro residents spoke at the meeting, and they mostly supported the development.
Barbara Jessie-Black, director of the PTA Thrift in Carrboro, said she was in favor of the development because of the potential increase in foot traffic to her store.
David Arneson, who lives on Mulberry Street, said the project would benefit Carrboro.
“I think this type of project in general is good for this location in downtown,” Arneson said. “I think it is perfectly appropriate in size and scale and perfectly appropriate for the site.”
But not all residents were supportive.
Arne Gray, who owns the properties across the street from Shelton Station, said the development is out of place near the historic district in Carrboro.
“I believe this building fits in Durham in Five Points, or Raleigh, but it does not fit in Carrboro,” he said. “It is not in Carrboro’s nature, it is not moderate.”
Last January, the board voted 4-3 to approve the developer’s request to rezone four lots at 500 N. Greensboro St. to conditional-business use, which were previously zoned for corporate town use.
The board also amended the conditional-business zoning category last year to let developers build more residential space, and less commercial, in exchange for environmentally sensitive building and site elements.