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Rezoning request receives approval

Council couldn’t get immediate solution for Idols Road connection

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

As promised, members of the Clemmons Village Council looked into a possible connection to the Idols Road Extension from the proposed Clouds Harbor Landing project, but with no immediate solutions available the board proceeded to approve the rezoning request and major subdivision consideration in Monday night’s meeting.

In the previous council meeting, Arden Drive residents voiced their concerns during a public hearing over increased traffic and access with new development surrounding and going through their old neighborhood off of Hampton Road.

At issue was a Zoning Docket Amendment for Clouds Harbor petitioned by the Wayne E. Weber Revocable Trust for properties consisting of some 8.4 acres currently zoned RS-15 to RS-9 (Residential Single Family) for the boundary survey of parcels shown on a site plan (Zoning Docket C-238).

The Clemmons Village Council ultimately decided to take no action, opting to get further information on a preferred alternative of extending a road out to the new Idols Road Extension to help with traffic flow.

In that meeting, planner Nasser Rahimzadeh also outlined the agenda item for the rezoning and a second portion for the approval of a major subdivision with the primary access off on Arden Drive — adding it will also connect through Old Mill and projected to terminate at the Clouds Harbor parcel, creating two access points when fully developed.

More than 30 acres had already been rezoned RS-9, and this would be asking for the remaining portion of eight-plus acres with 16 lots.

In advance of Monday night’s meeting, council members Mary Cameron and Mike Rogers met with Bill and Diane McGee, who owned property in the old neighborhood, and talked with them about possible connections to Idols Road but learned that further studies would be required, including a large price tag and construction difficulties.

“The McGees said that there are no plans to develop any of the vacant land at this time but that they would be open to a discussion in the future,” Cameron said.

She added that Village Manager Scott Buffkin provided several maps showing topography and locations of any underground utilities and that Nasser Rahimzadah answered questions and explained the topography from a planner’s perspective.

Councilwoman Michelle Barson said that although the connection to the Idols Road Extension can’t be made at this time, “it does not feel out of the realm of possibility for the future — there is no guarantee, but it’s not off the table.

“We are being told that we have the appropriate infrastructure by a well-trusted, third-party traffic engineering firm in place to allow this development. While I don’t believe there will be a problem with Arden Road’s ability to handle traffic for these new developments, I am disappointed we aren’t able to guarantee greater connectivity for Clouds Harbor and Old Mill — especially when connectivity is something Clemmons has struggled with for many years and this council and others have worked hard to remedy.”

In other business from Monday night’s meeting, the council approved five stormwater projects totaling over $1 million on the CIP list. The five projects are 3776 N. Lakeshore Drive Culvert System, 3539 N. Lakeshore Drive Culvert System, Woodlark Court Culvert System, Innisfail Lane and Innisfail Court, and Bridle Path.

Wes Kimbrell, stormwater engineer, said that staff’s recommendation was for all five projects to be approved. Council agreed in the unanimous vote but asked in the future that projects be ranked in order according to priority to help expedite the process.

“In the future, could you just bring them all to us and do all your rankings and then we can just cut out the delays from meeting to meeting?” councilman Mike Rogers asked.

Cameron added, “If you brought them to us ranked already that solves a lot of the problems and questions that we have.”

Also in the meeting, Mayor John Wait said that he received an update in the last Transportation Advisory Committee meeting from Pat Ivey, Division 9 engineer, that NCDOT has spoken to consultants regarding the Lewisville-Clemmons Road corridor project

Wait, who is the TAC representative for Clemmons, mentioned in a January council meeting that most of the changes he heard about were delaying projects, but Monday night’s news confirmed that Lewisville-Clemmons Road is still in play.

“So, it’s not just that we’re getting ready to enter back into this project,” Wait said. “They’ve already had discussions.”

Project U-6004 was approved in September 2018 by the council for improvements to the busy stretch of Lewisville-Clemmons Road, including the I-40 bridge. Some preliminary meetings were held in 2019, but that was followed by NCDOT budget woes and then the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The council previously named a subcommittee, which includes Chris Wrights and Scott Binkley, to work with NCDOT and consultants on the project.

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

• Heard from Rahimzadeh regarding a Site Plan Amendment of real property by Bing-Merr Properties LLC and known as the Tyler Merriman Property at 3711 Clemmons Road — next door to Village Hall (Zoning Docket C-SPA-20-002). He said that the Planning Board gave unanimous approval in its meeting last week. He said that staff requested the closure of one of the driveways but that the petitioner did not agree to that condition. Rahimzadeh said that staff will continue to push for that request.

• Gave approval to VC3 for the VOIP One-Source Solutions System for the village.

• Approved a policy concerning voting on issues presented to the council for the first time.

• Received updates from Buffkin on putting together drafts for a Nuisance Ordinance and an Abandoned Vehicles Ordinance. They will be considered in a future meeting.

• Heard from Wait regarding the problem with litter in Clemmons and the surrounding area. He asked for input if the council and staff was interested in seeing what the village could do to help and received positive feedback.

• Heard in the marketing/communications report that the Medicine Drop will be March 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Clemmons Fire Department on James Street.