Asheboro city council approves rezoning for child care center, land lease

Randolph County Commissioners

ASHEBORO — The Asheboro City Council addressed several property matters at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 5.

The first action item was a public hearing for the rezoning of a 3.3-acre property at 624 Brewer St. and 621 Franks St. The rezoning from RA6 and B2 (CZ) to an amended B2 (CZ) would allow a large child care center to operate on the site.

“The request is to operate a large child care center out of the structure located at 624 Brewer St.,” said Trevor Nuttall, community development director. “In order to do that, she has filed a request to change the zoning from the current residential high-density district to take the entirety of the property, which already has a portion of commercial zoning on it, to a conditional zoning district to allow both a large child care center and to allow the continuation of what the city council previously authorized for the Boys and Girls Club gym which is on the property.”

Nuttall noted that a child daycare had previously operated in the facility, approved in 1982. However, due to the time that has lapsed since the daycare was last in the structure, a new special use permit or change in zoning was required.

The applicant stated that the gym will remain as is, and the center will provide child care for infants to school-age children.

“There’s no question that if any part of Asheboro needs child care availability, it’s East Side right now,” said Mayor David Smith.

Following the hearing, the council approved the request.

The council also approved a request for city staff to submit a land lease to Norfolk Southern.

“The staff requests authorization to apply for and, if favorably reviewed, execute a land lease with Norfolk Southern Railroad for city-owned property at 159 North St.,” Nuttall said. “This is the former Acme-McCrary property just across the railroad tracks from city hall. The purpose of this lease is to support our continuing historic preservation efforts for the building and the property.”

The city plans to request approximately 37,000 square feet from 15 feet east of the rail line and continuing to the edge of the railroad right of way adjacent to city-owned property.

Nuttall was unsure of the total cost at the time of the meeting, but described the lease as “essential to the city’s efforts.”

Lastly, the council approved an ordinance to establish a project fund for the design and construction of a third fire station.

“We have a $3 million grant from the government that can be applied towards the Emergency Operations Center,” said Finance Director Deborah Reaves. “We are at the point in the process where we need to move forward with the design process which means we have to establish a project fund to account for revenues and expenses.”

Mayor Smith emphasized the necessity of the third station, stating, “There’s no question. We are in danger of losing our ISO 1 rating if we don’t and all of the development we have approved in the last few months all down the Zoo Parkway requires that we have a station down that way.” ISO 1 is the highest rating given by the Insurance Services Office, reflecting superior property fire protection.

The Asheboro City Council will meet next on Nov. 8.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal