Siler City board delays vote on subdivision to discuss affordable housing component

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SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners postponed a vote Monday to rezone a 99.73-acre tract of land near Hwy. 421 and Harold Andrews Road that would be developed into a 214-unit housing development.

Instead, after a public hearing, commissioners decided to gather for a special meeting on Monday, June 27, to give developers a chance to come up with a plan for affordable housing units for the new neighborhood.

Siler City Planning and Community Development Director Jack Meadows presented the rezoning question and subdivision plan to the board and gave more specifics about the size and the conditions of the rezoning request. The request was made by Apex-based Raval Realty LLC on behalf of the owner, Mary France Davis Life Estate, represented by Gary Davis of Salisbury.

The development would be located on Harold Andrews Road and would have 147 single-family residential lots and 67 multi-family three-bedroom townhomes. In order to rezone from A-R (Agricultural-Residential) to R-3-C (Residential-3-Conditional), the town would have to annex the property, since it’s currently outside of the town’s corporate limits.

Not everyone was on board with the new subdivision.

Siler City resident and pastor Donald Matthews, who unsuccessfully sought the mayor’s seat in May’s primary, spoke during the public comment section of the hearing. He said the town shouldn’t be considering a new subdivision when they are under a water moratorium preventing any additional sewer and water connections within town limits.

“How in the name of God can we allow 127 new homes plus 67 more apartments and we can’t take care of what we got?” he said. “We need to work on infrastructure before we get any new projects going.”

Commissioners had some concerns regarding the development, most specifically with the lack of proposed affordable housing units. Lewis Fadely and Mayor Chip Price expressed their concerns during Monday’s meeting, saying they wanted to ensure affordable housing was a part of the proposed subdivision.

The board agreed and voted to recess the public hearing until 6:30 p.m. next Monday at Wren Memorial Library’s multipurpose room, where the commissioners will hold a special meeting.

Reporter Taylor Heeden can be reached at theeden@chathamnr.com and on Twitter at @HeedenTaylor.

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