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City reviews plans for housing units

Albemarle City Council acted on two recommendations from the city planning board in addition to hearing concerns expressed by a resident of Melchor Road during its recent meeting.

Planning and Development Services Director Kevin Robinson presented a site plan for a proposed 80-unit senior apartment complex, to be known as Uwharrie Trail, to be located off Hilco Street and Barnard Road, along with recommendations made by staff for revisions to the plan.

Two primary concerns expressed by developer Mark Morgan was the city’s ordinance requiring two egress points to the property, as well as the staff recommendation that at least 650 feet of the entrance road be upgraded to city street requirements for width, curbing and right-of-way.

“We have a low-trip traffic elderly development,” said Morgan. “What we are asking for is a minimization based on this…we are not going to have a lot of traffic in and out. It is not warranted to do this additional street construction at this time.”

After extensive discussion, Councilman Chris Bramlett moved, seconded by Councilman Benton Dry, to approve a paved ingress/egress road, with a 200-foot gravel extension leading to the required second ingress/egress road. The motion passed by a 5-1 vote, with Councilwoman Martha Hughes dissenting.

In subsequent action, approval of a site plan for a 72-unit housing development, titled Grandview Meadows (a second phase of the existing Grandview subdivision) was passed unanimously with no discussion.

Earlier in the meeting, Barbara Mayton of 1206 Melchor Road had appealed to council regarding problems with the driving conduct and property conditions of neighbor Andrew Latz.

“Mr. Latz has been a problem for our neighborhood for quite some time,” she said. “He has 17 cases coming up in court for driving without a license, and has 29 pending legal cases in Stanly County alone. The police are doing all they can, they are ticketing him and towing his cars but he keeps paying the fines and apparently has very deep pockets. He has left rotten meat and fish in his yard, and his dog is becoming a nuisance because he lets him run loose. The dog has jumped on two elderly residents recently.”

In addition, Mayton said she has a video of Latz intentionally destroying the fence between her home and his by first driving into the fence, then manually breaking fence posts.

“I know you all are aware of the problems this guy is causing,” said Mayton, “and I’m here to ask what we can do to get this fellow off the streets before he really does hurt somebody … he has nearly hit pedestrians and has sideswiped and totaled one car.”

Mayor Ronnie Michael indicated that the local cases against Latz are in the hands of the District Attorney, and that Latz has continuously appealed lower court rulings to Superior Court, as well as having failed to appear, but after being arrested pays bond and is released within hours.

“We (the city) are at the mercy of the courts,” said Michael. “About all we can do is talk to the District Attorney and request that his court dates be moved up.”

In other action:
• A public hearing on a text amendment was delayed until Dec. 17;
• A partial waiver of excess water bills due to a leak was granted to Cody Teague;
• A limited waiver of tipping fees at the landfill was granted to Burl Maner for demolition expenses;
• A consulting agreement for reuse of the Enforge facility was approved;
• An agreement for receipt of state and federal funds for Hurricane Florence relief was approved;
• The date of the 2019 Beach Blast event was discussed, but not set.

The next meeting of Albemarle City Council will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 19.