Asheboro council approves rezoning for 350-unit development

Randolph County Commissioners

ASHEBORO – The Asheboro City Council met on Thursday, Jan. 11, for its first meeting of 2024, with several public hearings and some financial items on the agenda.

A rezoning application for a 350-unit residential development on 94 acres west of Zoo Parkway and south of Newbern Avenue was considered, with traffic being the biggest concern.

“One of the key elements that has come along with this application is the traffic impact analysis,” said Community Development Director Trevor Nuttall. “That has been completed and submitted to both the city and NCDOT.”

A private traffic study recommended a new, dedicated left-turn lane to serve as the primary access on Zoo Parkway, while NCDOT added recommendations for a dedicated right-turn lane into the proposed site, as well as a new, dedicated right-turn lane on Zoo Parkway at Newbern Avenue.

The council approved the request with multiple conditions, including a requirement that all the traffic recommendations be met.

The board authorized city staff to research options for the expansion of the Zoo City social district in order to include Hoover Hatchet House.

“It’s been about a year since we last evaluated the maintenance and management plan as well as the boundary, so we’d like to take a look at that and see if there are any recommendations as well as consider the expansion,” said Downtown Asheboro Inc., executive director Addie Corder.

The council signed off on a facility use agreement with Randolph-Asheboro YMCA, and it approved the creation of a project fund for the David and Pauline Jarrell Garden project in order to set the project in motion.

“The funds are already included in the general fund operating budget that was adopted in June,” said financial director Deborah Reaves. “So there’s only one ordinance that needs to be covered today, which is making changes in the project fund to receive the funds from the general operating fund and setting aside the money for construction purposes.”

“My concern is that we have two open major expenses that have not been completed,” said Councilmember Joey Trogdon, the lone dissenter on the garden project vote and a new member of the council for 2024. “With the general fund, our fund balance is at 15%, which is a 33% drop from last year. We’re heading towards a dangerous territory if we don’t get our general fund balance back up. I think we need to finish what we got, find out where we stand, and proceed from there.”

Finally, the council approved the next step, phase 1, of the Wolfspeed water main extension project at a cost of $5,783,976.90, which includes approximately $750,000 in contingency funds.

“Phase 1 includes at least 60% design — we’re going for 75% — it gives us an opportunity for material acquisition, easement acquisition and permitting,“ said water resources director Michael Rhoney. “It gives us a preliminary engineering report, hydraulic model, all the geotechnical, environmental investigations we need to do, particularly the underground stuff, the field services, lab testing, engineering analysis report, the subsurface utility engineering and then we get to a 30% design which we will approve.”

The Asheboro City Council’s next meeting is Feb. 8.

By Ryan Henkel