Tuesday, 14 February 2017 12:07

Second round of discussions on Becker Dr. rezoning set Thursday

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The Roanoke Rapids Planning Board begins a second round of discussions Thursday on a rezoning request which could lead to the construction of senior apartments on Becker Drive.

Planning and Development Director Kelly Lasky confirmed today one of the developers will be at the 5:30 p.m. meeting to discuss the rezoning request in which a B-3 commercial classification is sought. The land, which is beside El Tenampa, is currently zoned B-4.
The meeting will be held at Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall on Jackson Street.
Uses in the B-3 district are more restrictive than those in the B-4, based on the intensity of uses, height and residential setbacks.

While the meeting is solely focused on the rezoning and not the intended use, as the focus will be when the matter goes before city council next Tuesday, comments from those residing in the area at a planning board meeting last month centered on the senior apartments which may go there.
Many residents expressed privacy concerns, about potential occupants of the apartment complex being able to peer into their backyards.
Lasky said the maximum height allowed is 35 feet. “The developer indicated they are likely to position the development closer to Becker Drive and Hunting Ridge Road. That way it increases the distance between the proposed residential development and the surrounding residential neighborhood. They don’t know the building’s position or what the direction the windows will be facing.”
The developer, if the rezoning is approved and plans for the proposed development are submitted, would be required to put up an 8-feet opaque fence or vegetative buffering to screen it from the residential neighborhood.
The ultimate project is dependent on whether it is approved for financing through the North Carolina Housing Financing Agency, which offers several programs, including those for rental housing for developers who want to build what is considered affordable housing based on incomes in the area, Lasky said. “The agency monitors the property to ensure the developers are in compliance with the money they receive to develop the units.”
Developers approved for financing are under a 30-year commitment.
Lasky also said, addressing another concern registered at the first planning board meeting on the matter, “There is no indication in this being subsidized voucher housing. This application is not from the housing authority. The housing authority is the local public housing entity.”


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