INDIAN TRAIL – As downtown Indian Trail prepares for the new Hub apartment complex, an additional townhome development on Chestnut Parkway could be added to the mix.
After initially pitching the development to Indian Trail Town Council at the developers workshop Dec. 18, Eagle Engineering returned to town hall Jan. 21 to present the 93-unit development to the planning board and request to rezone 9.11 acres to mixed-use development.
The proposed site of the townhomes is located next to the new Mecklenburg Swim Association and the site of The Hub, a 350-unit apartment complex. It is also adjacent to Chestnut Square Park. The site is zoned as single-family residential, with one portion of it zoned as Union County residential. This portion would need to be annexed into Indian Trail.
Additionally, the planning board was asked to recommend to approve or deny amending the comprehensive plan from parks and the old Chestnut Parkway alignment to mixed use.
The development would include 93, three-story townhomes with two-car garages, along with a two-story commercial building. The townhomes would be between 2,100 and 2,300 square feet and would be priced in the $300,000 range. Senior Planner Matthew Ward said adequate parking will be provided with 372 parking spaces, which includes room for four cars in each driveway. However, Ward said the sheriff’s office expressed concerns about having enough parking in the development.
The commercial development would offer office and restaurant space and have 65 parking spaces available.
“Even though the proposed plan for the mixed use is not consistent with our downtown plan in the town’s comprehensive plan, staff supports this request because it is consistent with the business commercial development occurring in this area of downtown,” Ward said.
Ward said staff believed the request was reasonable and meets goals and objectives of the town’s comprehensive plan. They also believe it will blend with the approved conditional zoning for the Hub apartment complex.
Planning board chairman Dennis Gay asked about the parking and said he had concerns as well. Matthew Kirchner, of Eagle Engineering, assured Gay the garages can hold two cars and each driveway has room for four cars, providing enough parking on site. Kirchner also said the required number of parking spaces is 233, but the developer has provided 139 additional spaces on top of that.
Cheryl Mimy, who serves on the planning board and works at Sun Valley High School, questioned the impact the development would have on schools. Kirchner said a study came back that showed the development would yield four students per unit. Mimy was concerned that schools will be overcrowded as a result.
Mimy also questioned the location from a business perspective, wondering if the business in the commercial building would be slow in that area.
“You’ve also got 350 apartments that are going to have hungry people in it looking for a place to go and shop and eat,” Kirchner responded. “I don’t know the commercial piece by itself is going to have any issues getting people into it with the amount of services you guys have provided in the area.”
Kirchner said the quality of the townhomes, along with the fact that the apartments are for rent and the townhomes are for sale, will differentiate the project from the Hub.
“You won’t see many three-story townhomes starting at a $300,000 range in the area,” Kirchner said. “So, these are high-end townhomes that they’re providing in the area to meet that need and match the rest of the quality that the town has approved to come in.”
The townhomes are set to be next to a proposed stop on the LYNX Silver Line, which may run from Belmont to Indian Trail. One planning board member asked what will go on the sidewalk if the light rail is not there.
Kirchner said there will be open landscaping on the site of where the light rail is proposed. If it doesn’t happen, it will remain as open space.
The planning board voted 3-2 to recommend denial. The town council is set to discuss the project at its Feb. 11 meeting, but Planning Director Brandi Deese said notifications will be sent out if anything changes.