Council approves conditional use permit, preliminary plat for a 255 lot subdivision

The Albemarle City Council Monday evening approved a preliminary plat, along with a conditional use permit, for a cluster subdivision off Morgan Road of 255 single family lots.

The council also approved a motion to annex 40 acres off Morgan Road for the subdivision along with rezoning the 40 acres from County R-20 to City R-10, single family residential, which is consistent with the other neighborhoods in the area.

The 255 lots, which will be called the Morgan Hills subdivision, are part of phase 1 of a master plan to eventually have roughly 600 lots on Morgan Road.

The subdivision would have about 72 acres for phase 1 and four lots per acre.

Each lot is designed for about 4,200 square feet and would be around 41 feet by 51 feet. There would also be about 46 acres of open space.

“We’re very excited to be coming to Albemarle to bring new housing and this type of development and look forward to working with the city in the future,” said Michael Sandy, of Carolina Development Services, who gave the presentation to council.

The cost of the homes would likely be $160,000 to $210,000. Sandy said the 255 lots would equate to about $320,000 in real new property taxes for the city.

The proposed development would offer benefits to Albemarle and Stanly County, Sandy said, including sales tax revenue with expansion of the tax base and new citizens contributing to the city’s growing local businesses and services and housing for the working and middle class services.

Carolina Development Services employed Ramey Kemp, a Raleigh-based transportation consulting firm, to perform a transportation analysis to see what traffic impacts would be created with the proposed development.

During phase 1, Morgan Road will have a divided median entrance with a left and right turn lane for safety to Morgan Road and there will also be an exit off Marlbrook Drive. Other access points will likely be added to the subdivision once more lots are introduced, including a road connecting directly to U.S. Highway 52.

Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Sue Hall was concerned about the Marlbrook Drive access point, saying it would lead to increased traffic for the residents of the Windsor Hills subdivision, which has less than 40 homes. She would have liked for two independent access points that didn’t include Marlbrook Drive.

Several people who lived in the Windsor Hills subdivision spoke against the subdivision. They didn’t want to be connected to a large cluster subdivision. They also said Marlbrook Drive wasn’t built to handle such an influx of traffic.

“We all live there because we like where we live and the way it’s set up,” said Terry Jones, who lives on Brevard Drive. “We didn’t move there to become part of a 600-house neighborhood.”

“We need to be bringing industry into this county, not a bunch of houses to benefit Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties,” the resident added.

Kim Faulkner, who lives on Marlbrook Drive, said Windsor Hills is a nice, older neighborhood and “we don’t want it to be connected to a cluster subdivision.”

She added that she doesn’t want the end of Marlbrook Drive to be opened up to connect to the subdivision.

“Any kind of development, you’re going to have some impact,” Sandy said about the increased traffic into Windsor Hills subdivision. “There’s no way to mitigate it all.”