Multiple residents expressed concerns about the Rhamkhatte Village planned unit development during a joint public hearing of the Holly Springs Town Council and the Town Planning Board at the council’s Dec. 16 meeting. Residents’ concerns included density, traffic and buffers.
The Rhamkhatte Village planned unit development, which was approved by the Town in 2001, includes residential and commercial areas and is located on both the north and south side of Holly Springs Road at the Bass Lake Road intersection. It includes the existing Holly Springs Crossing shopping center and bank. The developer is requesting to amend the north side of the project by strengthening buffers, lessening the amount acreage used for additional commercial development, and more.
Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears emphasized that the purpose of the joint public hearing was for the council and Planning Board to hear public comments before making decisions on the proposed amendments. The Town Council forwarded the Rhamkatte Village amendment to the Planning Board to review at its next meeting.
The Rhamkhatte Village project on the books since 2001 is different from what the developer now is proposing to build. However, if the Planning Board and council do not approve the proposed amendments, the developer could build the project based on much of what was approved more than a decade ago. Differences between the development currently on the books and what the developer now proposes are outlined below.
|Currently approved Rhamkhatte Village development ||Rhamkhatte Village with proposed changes |
|Residential area of 53.83 acres with a maximum of 293 homes (6 units per acre) with single family, townhome and apartments all allowed. ||Residential area of 64.36 acres with a maximum of 386 homes (5.99 units per acre). The residential area is larger as the developer is requesting to use some of the area originally designated for commercial uses (such as hotels, gas stations and drive-through restaurants) for dwellings. The density basically doesn’t change but only allows single family and townhome units. |
|Larger commercial area that allows for drive-through restaurants, hotels and gas stations. ||Smaller commercial area with no hotels. Drive-through restaurants and gas stations would be allowed if they passed through the special exception use development process, which includes public input. |
|Weaker buffers: vegetation on buffers can be destroyed during construction before buffers are later replanted. ||Stronger buffers that also would not be disturbed during development. |
|Apartments and condos can be placed throughout the development without the opportunity for further public comment. ||Apartments and condos only could be built in a mixed-use building in the commercial area of the development near Holly Springs Road. These would go through a special exception use development process, which includes public comment. |
Both the original development and the proposed amendment allow for townhomes and provide for the same depth of setbacks. Similar to Sunset Ridge North, the current and proposed Rhamkhatte Village development also include homes with alleys, townhomes and commercial areas.
Many of the homes adjacent to the Rhamkhatte Village development weren't constructed or even proposed to be constructed when Rhamkhatte Village was approved in 2001. As those developments were approved, adjacent neighborhoods including Sunset Ridge North and Cobble Ridge were constructed with roads planned to be interconnected to the future Rhamkhatte Village development.
At the meeting, staff discussed the traffic impact analysis for the property, which is currently under review, and talked about why interconnected streets are beneficial. Interconnected streets improve traffic flow by allowing drivers – both those in existing homes in adjacent subdivisions and those in future homes – to use different routes to leave and enter their neighborhoods. The interconnections improve emergency service response times, also.
Also at the meeting, the council approved a development plan for the Leslie Alford Mims house and allowed it to be used a banquet facility. The Mims house, built in the 19th century, is the Town's only national historic landmark structure. The property received approval to convert the structure from residential use to commercial use in 2011. Since the approval expired, another approval was required. The applicant plans a banquet facility that can be used for weddings, professional conferences and other occasions.
The council also:
- approved a taproom to specialize in the sale of craft beers for off-site consumption in the Main Street Square development. The business originally was approved for a location within Village Centre Shoppes.
- allowed for expansion of the self-storage facility off N. Main, which will include a 50,928-square-foot, four-level storage building. The building would appear to be a three-story structure from North Main Street and would include 630 individual storage units and an on-site office.
- approved the voluntary annexation of 10 acres off Holly Springs/New Hill Road and rezoned the property to residential conditional use, reducing the density of what could be built on the property. Part of the property, before the rezoning, could have been used for multifamily dwellings.
- rezoned .75 acres along Raleigh Street to Town Village district use, which is consistent with the Holly Springs Comprehensive Plan.
- rezoned five acres off Sunset Lake Road adjacent to the Woodcreek subdivision to match the zoning of adjacent properties.
- rezoned property at the intersection of Earp Street and Avent Ferry Road to Town Village district use.
- approved a private recreation center for the Brook Manor subdivision currently under construction. The recreation center will include a swimming pool, pool house with restrooms and parking.
Also at the meeting, the council accepted a routine audit report of the Town's financial statements.
"The town is in excellent financial health, if what I'm reading and hearing from you is correct," said Councilman James Cobb.
The Holly Springs Parks and Recreation 10U girls and 10U boys all-star soccer teams were recognized at the meeting. During the 2014 Statewide Athletics Committee soccer tournament in November, hosted on Holly Springs fields, the 10U girls team finished as the state runner up, and the 10U boys team finished as state champions.