Commissioners hold hearings on Village of Cumnock project

Aug. 20, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Four public hearings to rezone more than 300 acres for a mixed-use community near Cumnock Road and the northern end of the U.S. 421 Bypass were held Monday night.

A few Cumnock residents expressed their concern for the project with the applicant's attorney, Gray Styers, stating his support for the four rezoning requests, each submitted by Holly Springs-based company Village of Cumnock LLC., during the Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting at the Lee County Government Center.

Styers said the master plan for the community consists of attractive highway commercial and retail centers with mixed-use residential housing, open spaces, job centers and natural features.

"It'd be nice if I had a crystal ball and tell you this is going here or this is going here," Styers said. "... Having said that, nothing can go out there without it coming back for approval (by the commissioners) through a detailed site plan. We need the rezoning to inform the national retailers and home builders to say this is what the county has deemed appropriate."

The following public hearings were held:

* A request to rezone two parcels of land, which total 53.63 acres of land located south of Cotten Road near the intersection of Cotten and Cumnock roads, from residential agriculture to multifamily district. According to the information in the meeting agenda, the multifamily district could allow the development of 648 multi-family residential units on the property. The land is currently vacant and surrounded by property also owned by the applicant.

* A request to rezone a parcel of land, which totals 81.36 acres located east of Deep River and west of Cumnock Road, from residential agricultural to residential 6-conditional district. This conditional rezoning includes buffers along Deep River and area for a public park.

* A request to rezone a parcel of land, which total 45 acres located east of Cumnock Road and between two sets of railroad tracks, from residential agricultural to light industrial conditional zoning. Under a light industrial conditional district, landfills, sewage treatment, chemical manufacturing and mining is prohibited.

* A request to rezone a parcel of land, which total 153.17 acres located north of Cotton Road and east of Cumnock Road, from residential agricultural to planned unit development. Under this zoning district, at least 15 acres will be used for open or green space and buffers, 25 acres will remain undeveloped "for purchase by the Lee County School System for a future school site" and a "detailed site plan will be provided to the county, for approval, prior to development of the property or any portion."  This is the heart of the project, according to Styers. 

Kevin Bryant, who owns three pieces of property along Zimmerman Road, said he's concerned about potential road improvements that could expand Zimmerman and take away property from homeowners.

"I'm not against what they are talking about out toward the bypass," he said. "I am saying you need to think about the people who live out in Cumnock and their property. And what it is going to do to them if we rush all this in there."

Debbie Hall, who lives on Cumnock Road, said she was worried about the lack of buffers included in the request to rezone the 45 acres of light industrial.

"I am not going to say I am opposed, but I am very concerned about the increased traffic," she said.

No action was taken by the Lee County Commissioners concerning the public hearings. The Sanford-Lee County Planning Board will make a recommendation on the rezoning requests and present those recommendations before the board of commissioners at a later date.