MONROE – It’s back to the drawing board for developers who want to build a new subdivision in Monroe.
The Monroe City Council unanimously voted July 16 to table a proposed subdivision with 77 single-family homes called Alexander Commons on Waxhaw Highway and Skywatch Lane. The city would have to first annex the 24.8 acres and then receive approval of the proposed subdivision by Carolina Development Services
At a public hearing in May, the council unanimously rejected the annexation request after area residents voiced concerns with the project. The developer came back to the city on July 16 with several modifications, which included eliminating 25 townhomes and replacing them with 25 single-family homes and requiring that all 77 homes have two-car garages.
The proposed development would have homes at least 1,600 square feet with a density of 3.5 units per acre. It is estimated the homes would be in the $190,000 range. There would also be 6.9 acres of green space.
But nearby residents, including several from the adjacent
Southwinds subdivision, still voiced concerns about the project, including increased traffic in the area. That opposition led to a tense exchange between Councilwoman Surluta Anthony and Keith Fenn, who represented the developer at the meeting.
Fenn said the project has been vetted several times since March and he was surprised by the opposition at the July 16 meeting after the group made modifications to their proposal. Fenn said developers had a neighborhood meeting and appeared before the planning commission and the city council over the past several months.
“As a reference point, we have been going through this process since March,” Fenn said. “I’m not sure where everyone showed up all the sudden today (July 16). We have been diligently trying to address everyone’s issues, and everyone’s concerns. We have conceded on every point and we are making a diligent effort to put a good solution to this parcel.’’
Anthony, however, took offense to Fenn’s remarks regarding the opposition to the proposal at the meeting.
“Some of your language really disturbs me,” Anthony said. “To say that projects that you jump on, the way you speak about money, having to spend money. You can’t place a price on a life. But first of all, when you stood up and said you don’t know where these people came from, let me just say that the citizens have a right the way they decide to go. That was very distasteful. That is how it came across. They have a right to come here to voice their opinion.”
Fenn apologized to the residents but Anthony responded by saying she felt the developer wanted to push the project through by “any means necessary.’’
“It seems, in my personal opinion, that you have a cavalier attitude and you have some problem with the people who came to speak against it,” Anthony said.
City Attorney S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan told the council they could reject the proposal or table it to allow the developer to return after addressing residents’ concerns.
The council tabled the proposal until its August meeting.