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Locust approves conditional rezoning request for proposed subdivision

The Locust City Council Thursday evening approved a conditional rezoning request to lay the groundwork for a proposed subdivision along Pine Bluffs Road.

The parcel of land is in southwest Locust at the intersection of Pine Bluffs Road and N.C. Highway 24-27.

The request approved by council would rezone the land from highway commercial to open space conditional.

The land, which will be called Pine Bluff Subdivision, will have almost 60 acres. Smith Douglas Homes will construct 114 single-family homes. Each lot will be 90 feet and about 10,800 square feet.

It has already built homes behind Locust Town Center.

“We’ve seen some good success with the homes we’ve built and the homebuyers that we’ve provided opportunities for in Locust and wanted to continue doing business within the City of Locust,” Jimmy Gaskins with Smith Douglas told council.

There will be about six acres of open space throughout the property along with two key amenities: a playground towards the center of the subdivision and a walking trail along the southeastern part of the land.

Each driveway will accommodate two cars and, to have more variety in the community, no two neighboring houses will be of the same color scheme. Smith Douglas is planning to build both one-story and two-story homes.

NCDOT is conducting a traffic impact analysis study and any necessary on-site road improvements will be installed as part of the project.

Additionally, an 8-foot berm will be installed and new trees will be planted along the un-vegetated portion of the site behind the Welcome to Locust sign.

Andrew Grant with BGE Engineering said the plan is for the streets to be wide enough to allow for on-street parking on one side and sidewalks on the other.

The council took to a roll-call vote on the rezoning request, which passed 5-2. Councilman Harry Fletcher and Mayor Pro Tem Larry Baucom opposed it.

Fletcher voted against it because of the lack of sidewalks on both sides of the street.

“If you had sidewalks on both sides, I’d sign off on it in a hurry,” he said.

City Administrator Cesar Correa estimates Smith Douglas could begin construction as early as next year.

“I think it will be a good asset to the community,” Correa said. “It’s got a different type of product in terms of the lot sizes, the lot width…it’s something that council has been wanting for quite some time.”

In other news:

• Correa told council that sometime this month Locust is slated to receive half of the $950,000 from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was signed by President Biden into law in early March. Locust will not receive the second $475,000 until at least 12 months after it receives the first.

The funds have to be used for certain purposes, including investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; providing premium pay for essential workers; and providing government services affected by a revenue reduction due to COVID-19.

• It was announced that the city received a net profit of about $14,000 from the Dixie Youth Baseball tournament it hosted last month.

 

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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