Citing road concerns, Albemarle council tables proposed subdivision

Published 2:43 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

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The Albemarle City Council on Monday night tabled making a decision regarding a subdivision that would be part of a multi-phase townhome development located off  South Bell Avenue and Amhurst Street until next month, due to concerns about the narrowness of South Bell.

The subdivision presented before council was for the first phase, which consists of a 5.25-acre tract with 18 proposed lots ranging from 2,016 square feet to 4,132 square feet. The second phase is set to be submitted early next year with a potential street connection to Eastover Avenue and roughly 16 additional lots.

Individual townhome units for both phases would be 22 feet wide and 55 feet deep and would include a 100-square-foot rear patio. Sidewalks have also been proposed along South Bell and Amhurst.

Council was concerned about the safety of increased traffic along South Bell, an older road with an estimated width of between 18 and 20 feet, much less than the required 26 feet of width for newer roads.

“With these streets only being 18 to 20 feet, if you’ve got a vehicle parked on the side of the street, you try to get a fire truck through, that’s going to be a nightmare,” Councilman Bill Aldridge said.

Under the current plan, each lot would have enough space for two cars — one in the garage and one in the driveway. But that would still likely not be enough for many families.

“Thinking realistically, anybody that has a house…you know they’re going to have company, and where are they going to park?” Councilman Dexter Townsend said.

After much discussion, Hall made a motion to table a decision until next month, giving time for developer South Oak Partners to come up with other areas of parking within the development. After the motion was seconded, it was approved by council with only one vote against.

The council also:

• Discussed speeding concerns on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Gibson Street and Wall Street. It was decided that Police Chief Jason Bollhorst would look into the issue before coming back to council with a recommendation.

• Was introduced to Greg Morris, the new chief code enforcement officer.

• Acknowledged Judy Redwine, the city’s director of public utilities, who is about to retire after 50 years of service.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3.

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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