Sidewalks to be constructed on stretches of US 64

ASHEBORO — The Asheboro City Council met this past Thursday, where they approved the expansion of the Social Alcohol District and voted on multiple property matters.

The council received a request from Little River, LLC. to extend the Social Alcohol District south to include the property.

After hearing the request, the council authorized the staff to draft a proposal in order to properly include the requesting property in the district, essentially approving the extension of the Social District boundary south to include 130 Church Street.

“They are an alcohol permit holder, and they were kind of disappointed they were not included in the original map of the social district,” said Mayor David Smith. “We heard from them right after that map was approved and published, and they wanted to be, but for whatever reason, they were not.”

The Social District was fully introduced on May 13, and so far, Downtown Asheboro has not received any complaints from it.

“There’s always concern on if we’re having problems with the social district, and to our knowledge, none have been brought to the attention of Downtown Asheboro, Inc. as far as since the social district was put in place,” said Al LaPrade of Downtown Asheboro, Inc.

However, Mayor Smith had comments on behaviors that he had been noticing in the district.

“Our social district does not absolve people of following the alcohol rules in cars,” Smith said. “It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if they believe that the social district allows it or what, but I’ve seen them right in front of my building get in their cars with two drinks and drive home with a kid in the back seat in a child seat. You can’t fix stupid.”

The council then held a legislative hearing for a rezoning request for property located on the west side of Zoo Parkway and north of Ridge Street.

“It is a request to take the property from a general commercial (B2) district to a general I1 Industrial district,” said Community Development Director Trevor Nuttall. “The address is 1622 Zoo Parkway. There is one parcel ID involved in the request, it’s just under 1.7 acres, and currently, the property is undeveloped.”

According to Nuttall, the property is within the city limits, and city services are already presently available.

The council also heard from the property owner, Bob Crumley, on the request.

“We had great hopes for this piece of property,” Crumley said. “We spent over $150,000 widening Zoo Parkway, we put sleeves for sewer underneath the road, we have three existing DoT curb cuts on this piece of property, and we believed, quite frankly, wrongly, that businesses would go down Zoo Parkway, and it’s not. We have done everything that we could in the last 14 years, including paying taxes on this property, to get people to come down Zoo Parkway.”

According to Crumley, he’s trying to figure out a way to get a proper return on investment, and the rezoning request will give him “one more arrow in our quiver to possibly find somebody that will go there.”

Following the hearing, the council approved the rezoning request.

The council then approved an agreement with the NCDoT for the city to participate in a cost-reduction program for a sidewalk construction project.

“This project is slated to widen Highway 64 from approximately West Chapel Road to east of the Interstate,” Nuttall said. “It also includes the reconstruction of that interstate interchange. The DoT has designed this project to incorporate sidewalks on both sides of Highway 64 and Albemarle Road from where the project enters the Asheboro corporate limits from the west to the project’s end east of the interstate. In total, this is approximately 1,300 linear feet of sidewalk when you total the segments on both sides of each roadway. Under the agreement, the construction and inspection would be managed by DoT, and the City would only provide the proportional amount of the additional project cost that is necessitated by including the sidewalk.”

The additional costs for the city came out to $138,000, which is 30% of the proportional share of the additional costs.

According to Nuttall, the project is anticipated to take three years to complete from an initial start date.

The council also heard an annexation request from Cone Health.

“Staff has received a petition for a portion of property that contains four pins, containing a total of 69.19 acres on the southwest quadrant of Sparrow Road and the interchange of I-73/74 and owned by Cone Health,” said city engineer Michael Leonard.

The council then authorized staff to investigate an annexation petition and set a public hearing for the request.

The council also approved a contract with Hicks Landscaping, Inc. for the installation of turf at the Zoo City Sportsplex.

“Hicks Landscaping, Inc. is the preferred contractor for field turf,” Leonard said. “This is a field turf product, and this is for the installation of their max EasyTurf product. This will be for the final grading installation and drainage and installation of approximately 16,000 sq ft of the field turf for the area around the exterior of the beach volleyball courts and around the perimeter and between the courts at the Zoo City Sportsplex. The total for this is $208,900.”

Finally, the council authorized the county attorney to advertise for lease advertising space on the city’s water towers and approved a resolution of intent to permanently close a section of West Pritchard Street.

The Asheboro City Council will next meet December 8.

By Ryan Henkel