Oakboro gives conditional approval to annex land

Published 8:44 am Thursday, August 20, 2020

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At Monday’s meeting of the Oakboro Town Council, the commissioners discussed annexation of land contiguous to its borders.

The board gave conditional approval for the annexation of 27 acres of land on Hilltop Road adjacent to the northern boundary of other land previously annexed by the town.

Dustin McIntyre, whose land is adjacent to the land, spoke against the annexation at a public hearing before conditional approval was given.

McIntyre said using the number of homes per acre rate built at the nearby Hatley Burris Road development, the 27-acre plot may yield up to 75 more houses. He added he felt even with a tree buffer, “you can’t totally block a housing development.”

He also expressed concerns about schools having enough capacity to hold new students from the development as well as the two-lane county road which accesses it. McIntyre said Oakboro has “that cool, quaint small-town reputation” which is “going to go away” if projects like the one in Phase 4 continues.

The land, owned by Debra Cress and members of her family, is being developed by a company owned by former Stanly County commissioner Joseph Burleson, who spoke to the council Monday.

Burleson said the area is in a growth area of the county’s land-use map and has good access to water and sewer. He added the town will have growth with the addition of the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry plant coming to Oakboro.

The new housing development would also bring an increase to the ad valorem taxes collected by the town, which on a tax base increase of $22.5 million would mean something around $107,000 annually in revenue to the town, not including income from water and sewer fees for the homes.

Burleson said he wanted to get the annexation approval so he could get engineers working on the design. The company could fast track a sewer application with the county’s utility director so the development could be included with upgrades to the West Stanly Wastewater Treatment plant.

Commissioner Bud Smith, a former principal of West Stanly High School, addressed the concerns regarding school capacity, saying during his time there were approximately 10,000 students enrolled, which is down now. In a recent interview, Dr. Amy Blake-Lewis of Stanly County Schools stated the number of enrolled students who were sent surveys recently was 8,210 (see related story: https://www.thesnaponline.com/2020/08/08/majority-of-stanly-parents-in-survey-want-kids-taught-face-to-face/ ).

Smith asked if Burleson had considered fewer homes on the lots which would be “more advantageous for potential homeowners” to have more land.

Burleson said the estimation of 75 homes “is a very early number.” He said the land on the south side has “topography…and some engineering hurdles to cross.”

The average cost of the new homes will be around $275,000, Burleson said. He said he needed to get the engineers started at an approximate cost of $100,000 for the property.

Commissioner Mike Efird, during discussions in the town’s regular meeting later that night, said he was for the annexation.

“It would be in our interest,” he said, to give conditional approval, pending approval from the town’s project review committee.

He said land can not be removed from a town once it is annexed. Potential residents would pay taxes to the town of Oakboro.

The motion for conditional approval passed 5-1 with Smith voting against it.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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