INDIAN TRAIL – Two proposed apartment complexes in Indian Trail could make a bad traffic situation worse according to some on town council and a recent traffic study, though developers say the projects could benefit local businesses needing the customers.
The projects – 216 units on 17 acres at 4500 Old Monroe Road and 144 units on more than 19.5 acres at 1609 Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road – would burden those two roads and others in Indian Trail if approved by the town, council member Chris King said. Town council must approve rezoning the land before the developers can start work and King already has been joined by Councilman David Waddell in voicing concern.
“Our infrastructure is not prepared for that kind of dwelling,” King said of the two projects. Though he acknowledged the apartment complexes and more residents could be good for local businesses, King said the developers have a long way to go before they’ll get his support on a rezoning vote.
“Unless they can produce some compelling evidence that is going to prove to me that, as a result of these apartment complexes, traffic will actually get better and that property values in the area will go up … they won’t have a chance to win me over during the rezoning process,” King said. “If they want to ante up and help widen Old Monroe Road, that might change things.”
The Old Monroe Road project, named Glenn Oaks, also would include two 8,250-square-foot retail buildings, according to the proposal developers Cameron Helms and Larry Sagehorn submitted to the town’s planning department. The complex would go near the proposed home for a Family Dollar store on Old Monroe Road across the street from Heritage Funeral Home, and Helms said he is in negotiations with several well-known establishments “excited and looking forward to bringing their dining and retail options to Indian Trail” if the apartment complex is approved.
“Feedback from the business sector has been very positive,” Helms said in an email. “With this site being surrounded by commercial property and located in the town center, they love the thought of residents being able to walk to their place of business.”
As for traffic, Helms said he understands the concerns.
“Having lived on Old Monroe for close to 40 years and running a business here, I understand the traffic as well as anyone,” he said. “ … At an approximate cost (of) around $300,000, we will do what is required by NCDOT and meet or exceed the recommendations of the traffic impact study.”
The study, conducted by Progressive Design Group in April, said the project would significantly contribute to a decline in service at the intersection of Old Monroe and Waxhaw Indian Trail roads – an intersection already considered to be close to capacity. The project, which the study estimated would add 2,301 vehicle trips per day to area roads, would contribute to the intersection dropping from an E level of service grade to a F grade by 2018.
“The results of the capacity analysis indicate the need for major roadway improvements in order to bring the intersection of Old Monroe Road at Waxhaw Indian Trail Road to an acceptable level of service,” the report said.
While acknowledging that Old Monroe Road is scheduled to be widened from Interstate 485 to Waxhaw Indian Trail Road starting in 2018, the report said additional improvements are needed from the developer – including a westbound 100-foot-long left-turn lane on Old Monroe Road and a southbound 50-foot-long turn lane on Waxhaw Indian Trail Road.
The other proposed project, the Apartments By The Lake, would go at the corner of Wesley Chapel-Stouts and Rogers roads. A traffic analysis for the project was not available and developer Jimmy Bostic could not be reached for comment by press deadline.