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Developers seek OK for 535 dwellings in city

More than 500 new single-family homes and apartments could go up in Hendersonville if developers win city approval and follow through on construction plans.

The largest of them, 263 apartments in the Waterleaf at Flat Rock development on South Allen Road, won the approval from the City Council last week while the second largest, 95 homes off Chimney Rock Road, won a favorable recommendation from the Planning Board. A third project, for 93 homes off North Main Street, is on hold while the city staff and a developer try to work out an agreement on an access road. The newest development application is for an apartment building off Kanuga,
Here’s a roundup of the potential development around the city:

84 apartments on Kanuga

Suzanne Godsey of Sitework Studios and landowner David W. Royester III of Shelby-based Capitol Funds Inc. are seeking to rezone 3.6 acres from C-2 Secondary Business to CMU CZD Central Mixed Use Conditional Zoning District for the construction of an 84-unit apartment building, the city planning department said Friday. City planners will host a Neighborhood Compatibility Meeting on the proposal at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in the City Operations Center Assembly Room, 305 Williams St.

Half Moon Heights

Residents of Wolf Pen, Wolf Chase and Half Moon Trail are hoping to defeat a development that would clear-cut much of what is now a wooded hillside. They lost round 1 on Monday when the Hendersonville Planning Board voted to recommend that the City Council approve the request.
Developer Joseph Schlotterbeck is seeking the city’s OK to build the three-bedroom, two-bath homes ranging from 2,000 to 2,400 square feet and projected to sell for $375,000 to $475,000. Built on 33.7 acres, the development would have a density of 2.82 units per acre. Schlotterbeck described the price as “semi-affordable,” acknowledging that the cost would not meet the accepted definition of affordable. Construction material spikes and supply chain issues, he said, have already added $25,000 to the cost of each house.
The subdivision would result in the removal of 678 trees, 57 percent of them hardwoods. Of the 247 trees that would be saved, 66 percent are pine trees. Neighbors cite the loss of the forest, stormwater runoff, traffic and depreciation of their property as their reasons for opposing the development.
Schlotterbeck told the Planning Board that he and his father, a homebuilder for the past 25 years, had dropped the size of the development from 121 lots to 95. They also have added a dog park and a playground in response to neighbors’ concerns about insufficient amenities. By decreasing the total number of lots, he said, they save more trees, conserve more open space and reduce the total impervious surface such as roofs, sidewalks and streets.
“One of the biggest challenges is the conservation of natural habitat,” Schlotterbeck said. He said he had reviewed several months of recent city rezoning requests for residential developments. “We have more trees than any other project. We’re actually saving more trees than any other project,” he said. Through the project’s adjustment, the number of trees taken out dropped from 678 to 637. The zoning code requires 29 street trees. He is committing to plant 310 street trees plus 219 buffer trees — “26 times more trees than are required.”
“We realize we are having a large impact on this site but we want to do the right thing so we are trying to do that,” he said.
The stormwater system, Schlotterbeck said, would retain water within the site but also from surrounding property. “We will actually be retaining more water so we will actually will be helping this neighborhood,” he said. “We’re looking at reducing our house footprint on about half of our lots. ... We’re probably somewhere around 20 to 25 revisions to this thing” to address concerns and make the development more palatable.
A resident of Creek Walk Lane, Janice Mallindine, implored the Planning Board members to oppose the rezoning.
“There are so many concerns — with the forest, the canopy, the trees, the slope,” she said. “With all due respect, the environmental impact of removing trees is dangerous for us living downhill. ... Please don’t put more traffic on our road. We are barely handling it now.”
Schlotterbeck said other possible development would potentially make traffic worse than his 95-home development. “It is zoned for up to 10 units per acre,” he said, and adjoining developments nearby like the Ballantyne apartments are 12 and 15 units per acre. Although the planning staff recommended no homes on a slope of greater than 30 percent, the developer sdid not commit to that. The plans call for six or seven homes to be built on the steep slope.
Before recommending that the council approve the rezoning, the Planning Board added nine conditions, including recessing garages so that front porches are “the primary architectural feature fronting the street” and asking the developer to work with city staff to add a hiking trail connecting to the adjoining neighborhoods. Under a conditional zoning request, the City Council can set conditions but under state law the zoning applicant must agree to them.


Providence Walk

High Country Engineering and First Victory Construction applied for a planned residential development conditional-use zoning for Providence Walk, a development with a density of 4.6 units per acre on a C-shaped. A site plan shows 71 single-family dwellings on the north end of the 22-acre parcel and a smaller cluster of 28 two-bedroom homes behind Oklawaha Village neighborhood and south of Duncan Hill Road. The developer plans to save 125 trees and remove 71.
The North Main-Duncan Hill-Signal Hill area is becoming “a hot spot for development,” planning manager Matt Manley told the council.
Lynn Clark, of Yon Hill Road, said she feared that a 93-home subdivision would compound hazardous traffic conditions and that the neither the city nor the NCDOT had presented any plans to deal with congestion and improve safety.
“The comment was made that this area is a pressure point right now,” she said. “That doesn’t make me feel good.” Citing large developments currently under construction on Clear Creek Road at I-26, she asked, “How can we talk about a development if you don’t know how you’re going to manage the traffic.”
Council members agreed that 90 homes would likely worsen congestion on a narrow winding road that is already overcapacity.
“I agree that we are creating much more traffic here,” Jerry Smith said. “We are definitely on a road that I agree, when I drive there at night, I have to pay attention the whole time. ... In approving this as it is we are taking ownership of a traffic problem.”
Jennifer Hensley, the city’s representative on the Transportation Advisory Committee, assured the neighbors that the North Main-Duncan Hill area is on the NCDOT’s radar for safety improvements and said the city could try to advocate for pushing the work forward.
Both the Providence Walk and Half Moon Heights rezoning request could come up at the City Council’s Nov. 4 meeting.

Waterleaf at Flat Rock

Greenville, S.C.-based Graycliff Capital Development applied for a rezoning from Henderson County’s office-institutional designation to the city’s planned residential development zone for the apartment complex on 15½ acres on South Allen Road. Based on the city’s policy requiring annexation when new development needs city water and sewer, the property would be annexed into the city.
Developer Seth Peterson, of Graycliff, said during earlier public meetings that Waterleaf at Flat Rock would be made up of garden-style apartments with hardy plank materials, stainless steel appliances and other amenties. The complex will include pocket park areas between the buildings, he said.
During a neighborhood compatibility meeting, neighboring property owners expressed opposition based on density, building height, parking, traffic and impact on emergency services. Plans call for 15 structures — seven four-story apartment buildings, four carriage houses with garages, a clubhouse and maintenance buildings — and an overall density of 17 units per acre. The proposed 444 parking spaces exceeds the required 421. A traffic analysis showed the apartments would generate 1,438 trips per day — 112 during afternoon peak travel times.
The new Jabil Healthcare plant across Upward Road from the development is expected to add 150 jobs, Peterson noted.
“We are trying to help meet the lack of rental housing for the jobs that are coming,” he told the council. “Live here, work here.”
Asked about price, Peterson responded that the company plans to charge a “right down the middle of the plate rent for a new product. It’s not going to be a Taj Mahal rate but it’s not going to be lower down the line.” He projected the rent at $900 to $1,500 depending on size, number of bedrooms and other factors.
Council member Hensley said that rental units costing less than $1,500 a month are almost impossible to find in the city.
“This is desperately needed,” she said.