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Brookdale residents raise concerns about 185-unit apartment complex

Homeowners living in Brookdale and other adjacent neighborhoods raised concerns about traffic, flooding, the loss of trees, noise and light pollution and cut-through traffic on Wednesday when a developer presented plans for 185 apartments on Greenville Highway.

Lock7 Development, a developer of apartment and condo projects in the Washington, D.C., area and in North Carolina, is seeking a rezoning in order to build five three-story apartment buildings, plus a pool and clubhouse on 6.8 acres south of Brookdale Avenue.

Developer Eric Mioduski told the crowd of 38 people that the apartment complex would provide walking trails, green space and other amenities. He said he is working with the city on making some of the units affordable, although he did not currently have a projected monthly rent. By putting parking under roughly half the units, designers will be able to save more trees as a buffer between the complex and neighboring homes.

The developers chose Hendersonville, he said, because of its authentic downtown and Main Street, strong community and good schools, projected population growth and quality of life and because of its shortage of housing. The project will provide “high-quality, thoughtful, missing middle housing” near downtown and retail and services on Greenville Highway and Spartanburg Highway that people could reach on foot or bicycle. It’s also close to the Ecusta Trail.

The $40 million construction project will benefit local contractors, he added, and the city receives permitting fees, tap fees for water connections and increased tax revenue.

Although city code requires one parking space per unit, the developer plans to provide 1.2 spaces per unit. Residents doubted that would work, saying most apartments would have at least two occupants, each with a car.

Residents of Brookdale, Appledore Drive and other nearby neighborhoods all said flooding is a recurring problem now and that they feared covering most of a seven-acre tract with rooftop and pavement would make it worse. The project engineer, Warren Sugg of CDC Design in Asheville, said an underground system will retain stormwater and that under the law the project can't make flooding worse.

“As much hard surface as you’re adding, there’s going to be times that retaining system won’t hold it,” a Brookdale Avenue resident said.

Ken Fitch, a frequent commenter on rezoning requests, urged the developer to save as many trees as possible along Greenville Highway, a gateway corridor for both Flat Rock and Hendersonville.

“We don’t want to be replacing tall trees with tall buildings,” he said.