The board of commissioners hosted a public hearing last Tuesday to amend sections of the town’s unified development ordinance and authorized town staff to begin repairs on Fifth Street.
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SILER CITY — The board of commissioners hosted a public hearing last Tuesday to amend sections of the town’s unified development ordinance and authorized town staff to begin repairs on Fifth Street.
The board diverged from its usual Monday evening schedule in observance of Labor Day.
The town’s unified development ordinance outlines most local regulations concerning land development and use, building construction, zoning, subdivision development, stormwater expansion and maintenance and natural resource conservation.
It was originally adopted in 1993, but amended in 2000, 2014, and again at the start of this year.
Last Tuesday, town staff requested the board further amend the UDO to permit extra parking spaces for multi-family, downtown residences.
“Currently it’s one parking space for each bedroom,” Town Planning Director Jack Meadows told the board. “And for the most part we’ve been working with units downtown that are only one-bedroom units, so the ordinance has been relatively welcome by developers.”
But plans for new housing are under way, consistent with the commissioners’ big-picture objective to restore and enhance downtown’s aesthetic and attract new residents.
“We got a new developer that wants to provide multiple-bedroom units,” Meadows said. “The units we’re talking specifically are right beside the Farmers Alliance.”
The Chatham Ave. project will probably include about six units, he added.
To accommodate such new residences, town staff recommended Siler City adopt an amendment permitting 1.25 parking spaces for units with two or more bedrooms, rounded up to the next whole number “for the development”. For example, a multi-family complex with four two-bedroom apartments would have five dedicated parking spaces (1.25 x 4). Visitors would have to park in other downtown, public parking spaces.
The ratio of parking spots to bedrooms is consistent with similar ordinances across North Carolina towns, Meadows said, including Fuquay-Varina, Benson and Winston-Salem.
The board of commissioners voted unanimously to adopt and approve the UDO amendment.
In June, Siler City contracted McGill Associates, an engineering consultancy based in Raleigh, to evaluate a replacement project on the West Fifth Street culverts between Camelia Ave. and the railroad tracks. The tunnels convey water beneath the road away from Loves Creek Tributary 1.
Town Manager Roy Lynch reported last Tuesday a “failure of the roadway” from roadbed material eroding around the culverts. He recommended the board immediately approve a contractor to begin repairs.
The bids Siler City received, he said, “were all based upon an expedited construction as we had asked to be completed in 45 days from the signing of the contract.”
To fund the project, the board voted to approve a budget amendment and award a contract to SKC Inc., the lowest bidder, to complete road repairs for $149,960.
Reporter D. Lars Dolder can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @dldolder.