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Franklinton board approves Lane Store Road rezoning

Decision paves way for 55 new apartments

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FRANKLINTON — The Franklinton Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request which could potentially add 55 new apartments to the area at their Tuesday meeting.

The rezoning request, made by Raleigh developer Joe Melamed, was for a 31.84-acre tract. The tract would be subdivided with Melamed purchasing five acres for the planned apartments.

“This tract of land would be part of a phase II development of an apartment development that’s already been approved for Land Store Road,” Melamed told the board during the public hearing on the matter.

Melamed estimated that the phase II part of the development would be built in two or three years. Phase I of the development is projected to have 100 apartments.

Concerns from citizens in attendance mainly involved questions about noise abatement and where construction equipment would be entering the property. Melamed said the construction vehicles would enter from the phase I component of the property and the one major egress/ingress point would be onto Highway 56.

“As far as noise abatement, we will follow state and local ordinances on that,” he said. “I can’t go into specifics because this is phase II of a development and construction is several years down the line.”

It is estimated that the combined 155-apartment development would add about 300 cars to the area, assuming the properties were fully leased.

A two-part zoning request before the board was unanimously denied after the main applicant, Carl David Watson, voiced his disinterest in the request to town manager Gregory Bethea. The rezoning concerned three properties on Pine Street. The second part of the request concerned companion properties on Pine Street.

The board also approved a separate tax amendment to town ordinances concerning noise control and property nuisance.

“This [noise control ordinance] came about because we’ve received complaints from citizens about cars playing very loud music up and down the streets,” Franklinton Police Chief John Green said. “The ordinance we currently have is too broad for officers to enforce. So we reworded it so any loud music that intrudes on personal peace and quiet so it can be enforced.”

“We have several properties around town where code enforcement needed to be enhanced,” Green added. “The ordinance was too broad and we need something that concentrates on specific items in a yard, such as a hoarding situation. The abatement gives us enforcement and process to go about it.”

The next meeting of the Franklinton Board of Commissioners is scheduled for May 21 at 7 p.m. at Franklinton’s Town Hall Annex, 5 W. Mason St.