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Developer plans 84-unit apartment building near greenway trailhead

Proposed Southgate Apartments Proposed Southgate Apartments

The developers of an 84-unit apartment building proposed for Hendersonville’s south side on Friday heard from a few people concerned about how the project might impact stormwater runoff and traffic congestion in the area.


“Whenever you add something in that part of town, those issues are on everyone’s mind,” said Ken Fitch, a city resident who lives in Hyman Heights.
The four-story apartment building is proposed for 3.63 acres off Kanuga Road on Israel Street. The property is also adjacent to the Fresh Market located off Church Street in town.
Fitch was one of only three people who spoke during a Neighborhood Compatibility Meeting held at Hendersonville’s City Operations Center.
Technical difficulties prevented speakers from joining a similar meeting online earlier this month. City staff arranged for the second meeting on Friday to allow people to ask questions and make comments online through Zoom.
The city scheduled the meeting after developers Suzanne Godsey of Sitework Studios and property owner David W. Royster III of Capitol Funds, Inc. applied for a conditional rezoning from Secondary Business to Central Mixed Use Conditional Zoning District. Royster through Capitolf Funds owns the Fresh Market and the property proposed for the apartment building.
Godsey said the proposed project calls for apartments with one, two and three bedrooms, parking for residents and a biological retention pond to catch and hold stormwater runoff. Gates are proposed for the property’s entrance off Church Street through the Fresh Market parking lot and its exit onto Israel Street. The property might also include a spur onto the planned Ecusta Trail. The greenway's trailhead is near the retention pond.
“One of the things we really like is it is a great infill property,” Godsey said.
Fitch said he was concerned about whether the proposed retention area was enough to prevent problems from stormwater runoff because the area is prone to flooding. He said he also had concerns about whether the entrance off Church Street would cause problems for a new roundabout proposed for that location.
Godsey said an engineer is working with developers on the stormwater issue. The developers are also working with the N.C. Department of Transportation on how the entrance will impact the proposed roundabout.
“We are looking at that really closely. We are well aware of that area,” she said of the stormwater issue.
Fitch also questioned the property’s connection to the Ecusta Trail.
“How does that function? People want to know how that works,” he said.
Godsey said the spur would connect the trail to the apartment complex’s retention and parking areas. It would serve as a way to connect the trail to the shopping center that includes the Fresh Market, she said.
Another online participate said he runs a business in the area and was also concerned about flooding.
“This is a big hole right now to catch water,” he said of the area proposed for the apartments. “I want to make sure we are not flooded out.”
Members of the city staff said plans to address flooding will need to be reviewed by the city before any approval is given to the development.
The rezoning application will move to the city’s tree board and planning board before reaching Hendersonville’s City Council. The issue will likely come before the planning board in December and the council in January, city planners said.