At our board meeting on October 26, we voted to allow the developer (M/I Homes) of the Ballentine property to include a commercial component in their project.  The property is located off of old N.C. 86, not far from the future Twin Creeks Park.  When the total development was initially approved, it was all residential, and Phases 1 and 2 are currently being built.  But the developer re-worked their concept plans for Phases 3 and 4 in a way to allow a mix of residential and commercial development.  In fact, they did this at our request.  When they spoke to us about delays in this project back in 2009, we granted them an extension, and strongly suggested they look at including a commercial component if possible. 

Having come to us with what we suggested, I was hard-pressed (as were others on the board) to tell them to drop the idea.  The commercial component will not be a dominating feature of the design, a point that I believe is necessary with this first step in the northern area of town.  The board did express some concern that the total allowable residential build-out not come to fruition, and the developer assured the board that due to geographic constraints, this would not be possible.  When the developer returns to the board with their detailed project plan, the residential part of the project will be reviewed to make certain this is the case (specifically,  the final vote was to rezone the property from R-R/R-20 to R-10/B-3 Planned Unit Development).  

This was a big step for the board – to “put up or shut up” about efforts to try to get commercial development in the northern area.  Time will tell how this and other projects fare.

You can read more about this project here:

http://www.carrborocitizen.com/main/2010/10/28/board-approves-nta-commercial-zone/