Norwood Town Council, public discuss Railroad Street development; board takes action

Published 10:08 am Monday, June 20, 2022

A property in the Norwood town limits which originally was going to be used for apartments had a conditional zoning request approved at the June meeting of the town council to allow single-family homes only.

Norwood Mayor Linda Campbell recused herself from the public hearing and vote regarding the property, saying, “I have a personal interest in this,” handing the gavel to mayor pro tem James Lilly.

Michael Sandy, the planner for the town, presented the conditional zoning request to the three remaining council members in attendance.

Councilman Wes Hartsell was not at the meeting; fellow councilman Robbie Cohen said Hartsell was in the hospital.

The current zoning of the property on Railroad Street between Central Avenue and Pine Street is R8A, a single/multifamily property zone. Sandy said the town’s planning board recommended approving the request.

Some conditions for the new zoning included continuation of its homeowners’ association, two different materials for the facade and fences around the property being at least six feet high.

Cohen asked why the town was asking for these conditions “when we don’t ask other people (in these) zoning requirements the same thing?”

Sandy said the conditions were negotiated between the town and the developer.

Mark Hawkins from the town’s planning board said its biggest concern was the property was “a very compacted area” with a “small amount of acreage.”

Hawkins said the board examined how the town could “make sure we did not have a development there that would turn into something that would be a problem for the city.”

He said the town was “having enough problems with just keeping regular homes straightened up, and fining people for trash homes, if you will.”

Hawkins said if the board allowed the single-family homes with an HOA, it would not allow people to “paint a house pink in a gray home section” and not have a “garage that stands open” which “becomes a facility than handles work versus a home.”

Cohen and Lilly asked developers in attendance how much the homes would cost, which was answered as “$220,000 and above.”

The developers, Tru Homes, said they offered the single-family option, rather than duplexes or apartments, as their way of “giving more voice more opportunities to get a better product.”

Councilman Keith Morgan asked about the current zoning and whether duplexes could be built if the council turned down the proposal. Sandy said the duplexes would be “an administrative subdivision approval.”

Cohen moved to accept the conditional rezoning request, which passed 3-0.

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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