UCPS, storm water woes delay vote on proposed Stallings subdivision

STALLINGS – Union County Public Schools redistricting arguments, storm water needs and other concerns caused Stallings leaders to table a decision on a single-family home development project proposed for Stevens Mill Road.

Town council decided to delay the vote for a conditional use permit at its meeting Monday, Feb. 24,  that would allow for a 115-lot subdivision on the corner of Stevens Mill and Idlewild roads. Leaders will wait until the council’s April meeting to give developers time to work out issues addressed by Stallings officials and hear the UCPS Board of Education’s decision on how to lessen the effects of overcrowding seen throughout county schools.

“(Don Hughes) said with the overcrowding issues the schools are facing this may or may not be a good plan, but he didn’t think it was a good plan at this time … Because of the location and the popular demand that Porter Ridge seems to attract, (Hughes believes) your numbers are very conservative,” Stallings Councilwoman Shawna Steele said at the Feb. 24 meeting. Hughes is the director of facilities for UCPS.

Stallings town council recently adopted a resolution stating the town would work closer with the board of education, informing school leaders of proposed developments that would impact the number of students at local campuses. Councilmembers felt approving the subdivision prior to the school board’s decision would only contribute to the overcrowding in area schools.

“I think it’s safe to assume that a development this size would probably generate about 100 children,” Lynne Hair, Stallings town planner, said.

The school board is scheduled to vote on a plan for overcrowding relief during its April 1 meeting, although the decision could be pushed back to a later date. UCPS leaders are currently looking at options such as redistricting, capping, the re-organization of schools and more to help ease overcrowding.

The subdivision, proposed by Hopper Communities, also isn’t in line with the town’s current land-use plan, which calls for the property to be a mixed-use development. But the proposal from developers would instead zone the property for a single-family subdivision. Although council isn’t set on following the land-use plan – which acts mostly as a recommendation to town leaders when voting on development and isn’t binding law –  some would like to see a completed comprehensive plan for the area before rezoning the area for residential

“This is just part of that property versus the plan for that whole area. Maybe the residential is the right thing, but then you have to have the commercial plan,” Councilman Walter Kline said. “… Thinking of the land-use plan and the potential and the fact that we haven’t really looked at a comprehensive plan for the corridor – that’s really my concern.”

Planning board members gave the proposed subdivision an unfavorable recommendation to the council due to the development not falling in line with the land-use plan.

“(The planning board) felt very strongly that this maintains what was established by the land-use plan,” Hair said. “… This is one of the few areas in town where there can be commercial development and mixed-use development.”

The homes would have a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet with 2.4 homes per acre if approved. Nearly 23 percent of the development would be preserved for open space, and developers also would donate land to extend the greenway along Crooked Creek Trail. Stallings ordinances require developers to either donate park land or pay a fee when constructing a new subdivision.

Council unanimously approved a 93-lot single-family home residential subdivision on Lawyers Road during Monday’s meeting. The development, which will be age restricted and require at least one person over the age of 55 to be a permanent resident of the home, should have minimal effects on area schools, developers said at the meeting. The subdivision, developed by Epcon Communities, also is in line with the town’s land-use plan.


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