The Lincoln County Planning Board is recommending that the Board of Commissioners approve developers’ plans for two residential subdivisions.
The commissioners are scheduled to vote on the proposals at a March 21 meeting.
Essex Homes plans to build 200 single-family homes east of N.C. Highway 16 and Patriot Land LLC has proposed building 19 residences at Ivey Church Road.
Essex Homes is seeking a rezoning to build the Newton Crossing subdivision on 70 acres slightly south of Sarah Drive. The company will donate an additional 17 acres on the northern edge of the site to the county for an elementary school.
Zoning Administrator Randy Hawkins told commissioners Monday night that Essex Homes had amended its plans since Feb. 1, when they opted to continue a hearing on the project to provide time for Lincoln County Schools to indicate whether or not it wanted to build a school on the adjacent property.
The county Board of Education accepted the offer Feb. 9 by a vote of 5-1.
Hawkins said Essex Homes has expanded the features of its subdivision plan to include access from N.C. Highway 16 to the school tract and increased the plan’s minimum residential setbacks to 30 feet from 20 feet.
Essex Homes said 26 percent of the subdivision will be set aside as recreation and open space. Amenities will include a community pool, a cabana with a covered pavilion, a picnic area, and pedestrian access to the school.
Homes are expected to range from 1,850 square feet to 3,500 square feet, with prices starting above $250,000.
The company plans to build the project in four phases, with construction launching on 49 homes in July 2017. It plans to build a second entry to Newton Crossing from Sarah Drive during the project’s second phase, slated to begin the following year.
Essex Homes is seeking a rezoning to planned residential development from single-family residential.
Patriot Land’s request for preliminary plat approval to build 19 single-family homes on 17 acres on the north side of Ivey Church Road faced several opponents.
Four residents were against the project, which would be built about 1 mile east of Buffalo Shoals Road, citing the likelihood of increased traffic and water runoff. Stephen Brusso, who lives across the street from the planned subdivision, said it would result in higher taxes to pay for schools.
A representative for the developer, Jason Wilkes, said Patriot Land would build a 1,000-foot roadway from Ivey Church Road onto the property. Ditches on both sides would be provided to collect runoff.
Patriot Land plans on spacing 50 trees at 40-foot intervals around the roadway, which would also mitigate drainage problems.
Jeff Pariano, owner of Patriot Land, told commissioners that the homes would range in size from 1,700 square feet to 2,500 square feet. Prices would start at $230,000 and go up to $325,000. Most plans allow for a first-floor master bedroom.
The subdivision would feature a two-columned entrance made of North Carolina fieldstone off Ivey Church Road, he said, and Patriot Land plans on installing a 5-foot wide sidewalk along one side of the roadway.
The company plans to build one home per quarter, making the buildout date in five years. Pariano said the proposed subdivision, dubbed Old Village, would be the first new neighborhood built in the northern section of the county in 10 years. He added that all work would be performed by local subcontractors. Local trades and building-supply companies could expect $4.7 million in revenue from labor and materials, he said.
The subdivision will have minimum lot sizes of 32,500 square feet. The property currently features a mobile home, an abandoned residence, and a barn.
Pariano, who said he will provide construction financing for buyers, plans to reclaim the barn’s wood for interior work, and has been in talks to donate the abandoned house to the Lincoln County Fire Department for training purposes.
The nine-member Planning Board voted unanimously in favor of recommending both projects.