Developers in the town of Stallings will have at least three years to finish their projects.
In its Monday, Oct. 11, meeting, the town council voted to accept the terms of North Carolina House Bill 683, which extends development permits in all municipalities through December 2012. Language in the bill dictated that each town could opt out, specifying if they wish to stick with the previous 2010 deadline or allow the permits to remain good for at least another two years.
Under both plans, the clock wouldn’t really start for developers until after the extension expired, as the bill’s language adds any time left on the permit to the end, either January 2011 or January 2013. For example, a permit with four months left on it when the bill was approved would still have four months left after either December 2010 or 2012.
On Sept. 21, the Stallings Planning Board voted 5-1, with Doug Hutton in opposition, to recommend opting out of the bill. Since then, the situation has changed, Town Manager Brian Matthews said.
“It didn’t dawn on us at the time that [the deadline] might create an issue,” Matthews said. “Staff was approached by a potential buyer for the Chestnut Place property, [who said] they would like to wait until the deadline expires and build under R20 [guidelines].”
Currently, the Chestnut Place subdivision operates under a conditional use permit, meaning developers have to meet certain requirements before moving forward with Phase 2. The R20 zoning meanwhile does not establish any house sizes or give instructions on which amenities the developer would have to provide.
“[Chestnut Place] could become something you may not wish for it to be [if we opt out of the bill],” Matthews cautioned.
Council members voted 6-0 to follow the bill’s deadline. Affected projects other than Chestnut Place include commercial construction and townhouses at Stallings Crossings, off Matthews-Weddington Road, a small shopping plaza on Stallings Road and some office development behind Fairfield Plantation. Currently those projects haven’t even gotten far enough to submit engineering plans to the town for review, according to the town staff.