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Planning Board endorses 291-unit development near Sam's Club

A development of 291 apartments and townhomes got the green light from the Hendersonville Planning Board on Monday and heads next to the Hendersonville City Council.


Watauga Partners LLC sought a change in the land-use designation from industrial and residential to planned residential development conditional zoning in order to build the dwellings on a 29-acre U-shaped parcel surrounding the post office annex on Lakewood Road. Amenities include a dog park, pool, playground and 3,370-square-foot clubhouse. 
Two previous proposed apartment developments, Lakewood Terrace on the north side and Lakewood Trace on the south side, received the city's blessing but were dropped when developers failed to receive tax-credit financing for affordable housing.

In a neighborhood compatibility meeting in June, residents raised questions about traffic, widening Lakewood Road and buffers.
Planning Board member Jim Robertson said he stood on the corner of Highland Square Drive and Lakewood Road on Friday afternoon and counted 21 cars in a three-minute span, all but one using Lakewood to get to or from Highland Square shopping center (Sam’s Club and Walmart).

“That’s one car every 8½ seconds,” he said. “I wouldn’t be happy if I had a house on Lakewood Road.” He suggested conditions on the rezoning that would reduce cut-through traffic, either by blocking Lakewood before it reaches the post office annex or ending Highland Square Drive at Sam’s Club.
“Typically where you have zoning for this type of housing, you’re going to have traffic,” said the developer, Phillip Cox.

Fixing the problems on Lakewood, Highland Square and Chimney Rock Road goes beyond the Planning Board's scope, said Chair Steve Orr.

“Unfortunately, that’s bigger than we can tackle and it also involves the DOT,” he said.

The Planning Board attached conditions that require the developer to install outdoor lighting compliant with so-called Dark Sky standards and to work with the NCDOT to improve the Sugarloaf Road-Francis Road intersection with U.S. 64.