Stanly board denies request by Burleson to expand Garmon Mill Estates

Published 3:08 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

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The Stanly County Planning Board has denied the request by Burleson Development Group to add more homes to a Stanfield subdivision.

By a vote of 5-2 Monday, the planning board approved a motion to deny the request by the development group to add three more houses in Phase 2 of the development at Garmon Mill Estates.

Kevin Brickman, Joel Mauldin, T.J. Smith, David Underwood and Michael Williams voted for the motion, with chair Dr. John Eckman and Tim Fesperman voting against the motion.

Planning Director Bob Remsburg presented the item to the board, starting with an excerpt from North Carolina General Statute 160D. The excerpt stated in part, “Decisions on approval or denial of preliminary or final plats may be made only on the basis of standards explicitly set forth in the subdivision or unified development ordinance.”

Remsburg said the request was made in June and would meet the requirements of minimum lot size which were in effect at the time for 30,000 square feet.

Burleson confirmed the application was submitted in June. He told the board it took “quite some time” for the fire marshal’s inspection, adding the marshal was out on medical leave.

When asked about the number of entrances and exits to the property, Burleson said there was one. He said the road will be maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) once 70% of the development is built out. He said DOT approved the design of the subdivision.

Several landowners living near Garmon Mill spoke against the request, including Kristi Ray, who said after heavy rains she has “a river of mud” in her front yard from the subdivision.

“I don’t know what clearing another seven acres will do,” she said.

Christina Barnhardt said she didn’t “want 100 houses behind us with septic tanks because we don’t know what that will do to our land.” She said her property on Mattie Lane “can’t handle any more water.”

Burleson later responded to concerns.

“We haven’t taken out hardly any trees except for what’s on those three lots,” he said.

He said he had permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Burleson said silt fences were behind lots 43 to 58 or 59. Ray said she lives behind Lot 58 and there are no fences.

After the meeting, Burleson was contacted by The Stanly News & Press.

“At this point, I can’t comment on potential pending litigation,” he said regarding the board’s decision.

Residents said they were relieved after the board’s decision. Ray noted the additional water on her property, where she raises chickens and other farm animals, was not an issue until August.

“I’m grateful (the board) cares about our neighborhood that has been here for 20-plus years,” Ray said.

Tice said she has lived in the neighborhood since 2014 and she was “extremely grateful that I’m still going to have a little piece of field as a buffer between these $400,000 and $500,000 houses that will not tower over me.”

Barnhardt said it was “scary that to think that they’re going to put a house within feet of our property.” She said she and her family have had to spend thousands of dollars to repair their property “from the foundation being washed away.”

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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