ARCHDALE — A rustic setting of wooded area adjacent to Carl & Linda Grubb YMCA is set to be transformed over this decade into a bustling residential neighborhood, the likes of which Archdale has not seen.
Approved for rezoning last month, what once was the former English Farm off Trindale Road is slated to become the largest subdivision in Archdale after a plan for 536 homes was given the go-ahead by Archdale City Council. Chapel Hill-based Desco Investment Company has proposed to develop more than 200 acres to construct 536 new homes.
Out of 230 acres, about 17 will be used for attached housing for townhomes and the rest will be single-family homes. Amenities at the townhomes could include greenways, sidewalks, a dog park, recreation center and junior-Olympic-sized pool.
According to preliminary estimates cited by developers and city officials, a timeframe of between eight and 10 years for completion is expected. A traffic study must be conducted before construction begins.
Archdale government officials and businesses are excited about the prospects of growing the city by a significant number. Surrounding residents, meanwhile, are concerned about traffic and overcrowding at area schools.
“We’ve lived here for 25 years,” said Debra Fox of Sunny Lane. “We’re talking about people from out of our area coming into our town and putting 10% [of the city’s population] to make a town inside of a town. We came here to Archdale for that small-town feel. The property that they want to build is beautiful, but that’s not what this part of Archdale is.
“For eight to 10 years, we have to deal with this, different aspects of it.”
Nearly a dozen residents spoke in opposition to the project during the regular July meeting of city council. In response to the complaints about traffic and school overcrowding, council received comments from Amanda Hodierne from Greensboro-based Isaacson Sheridan, the firm representing Desco.
According to Hodierne, the details and timing of the project allows educational and infrastructural questions to be answered.
“This gives the school system time to plan,” Hodierne said. “You don’t build infrastructure for something that is a maybe. You build it when you know it’s coming. By asking for this permission tonight, if we were to get approved for 433 units, that allows the schools to know, ‘OK, this is coming; we’ve got to get ready for it.’ By the time the first person moves in here two years from now, they will have had time to plan for that.
“I know that’s a big deal for them, and that’s not something we take lightly, but they have eight to 10 years to do it. We’re not pumping in all the kids that will be created from this project overnight.”
She continued by saying the need for housing makes Archdale, whose officials have stated their intent to grow the city’s size, a place rife for this sort of development. Again, she pointed to the near-decade-long process as a pivotal factor in what makes the hurdles manageable.
“As you know, there is a significant need for housing in Archdale,” Hodierne said. “Housing is in demand; it’s needed. … We understand and recognize that a new population brings new traffic. We understand that a [traffic impact analysis] is required of us. … That’s an important check and balance.”
Ron Jones, pastor at Archdale Wesleyan Church, left city officials with a unique potential shortcoming related to the influx of housing. He stated that construction could negatively impact his church by reducing the size of the institution’s acreage.
“I’m not speaking against the subdivision or the housing,” Jones said. “It’s great. It’s a mission field for our church. What I am speaking against is the [potential street widening]. … If they widen it, they’ll take part of [residential and church property]. You’re taking the frontage of my church.
“In the Bible, God doesn’t handle people taking church property very good.”
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.