Albemarle council approves revised subdivision along South Bell Avenue

The Albemarle City Council on Monday night approved a major revision to a multi-phase subdivision along South Bell Avenue.

Council approved of the first phase of the subdivision last month, which consisted of a 5.25-acre tract with 18 proposed lots (16 on South Bell and two on Amhurst Street). The developer, South Oak Partners, has since revised the plat to include a second phase that introduces 18 additional townhome lots on Eastover Avenue for a total of 34.

With an average lot size of around 2,739 square feet, the townhomes associated with the second phase of development would be slightly bigger than the 18 proposed as part of the first phase (2,651), according to the preliminary plat.

Individual townhome units for both phases would be 22 feet wide and 55 feet deep and include a 100-square-foot rear patio. Each lot would have enough space for two cars — one in the garage and one in the driveway. A homeowners association will also be created to maintain the space.

There will be a new 26-foot wide street that will connect all the way through Eastover Avenue. City staff and the developer are working together on a right of way acquisition to make the connection possible. Upon final platting of the subdivision, the developer plans to provide a two-year performance bond to guarantee the street will be fully connected.

Five foot sidewalks have also been proposed on one side of the road along South Bell and Amhurst and on both sides of the new street.

There will be an active open space area of more than 18,000 square feet which includes walking trails and off street parking for residents.

When it came time to vote, council approved the revised subdivision 5-2, with Mayor Pro Tem Martha Sue Hall and Councilman Bill Aldridge opposing it.

The council also:

• Approved of the city’s new redistricting plan which council selected during its meeting last month.

• Approved an ordinance permanently closing Laurel Street as a public street.

• Approved a text amendment of the city ordinance to change the definition of “Homestay” to allow guests to stay in a private residence for no more than 90 total days in the calendar year. It was previously no more than 30 days.

A new “Vacation Rental Home” definition was also added, allowing private residential units to be rented on a short-term basis that exceeds the Homestay criteria, provided approval of a special use permit by council.

• Approved a new text amendment to the zoning ordinance to include a new section on curb cuts.