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TRINITY — An upcoming meeting could help determine the future of a well-trafficked area in Trinity, as city council is preparing to discuss a project that would bring 396 apartment units to acreage near Interstate 85.

In February, residents had the opportunity to sound off on the proposal that would also adjoin Finch Farm Road and N.C. Highway 62. After Scott Wallace, co-founder, co-owner and president of Keystone Homes, presented a request to the city government for rezoning at the special-called meeting last month, several in opposition stated their case.

On March 8, council members will seek to consider the complaints and reconcile those with the potential gains from developing 24 acres of property for the apartments, as well as townhomes and single-family homes.

Once built out, the estimated value of the properties is projected to be nearly $200 million, Wallace said. Estimated property tax revenues for the city of Trinity and Randolph County at $6.55 per $1,000 would bring in $1.3 million annually, according to Keystone’s projections.

On the other side of the ledger, a horde of residents, many of whom signed a petition to oppose the development, fear ramifications from the project. Unwanted traffic volumes, school bus-related delays and additional time for morning and evening commutes are among the concerns many residents voiced at the initial meeting.

Daniel Harris, a police officer in a nearby agency, is also concerned that the project will “destroy the identity” and atmosphere of Trinity, citing a higher crime rate he believes will come with the population spike.

“The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office serving our area is already stretched thin and doing their best,” Harris said. “How does the city plan to protect the other citizens of Trinity from the eventual rise in person and property crimes, as well as safety and traffic enforcement?”

The possibility of adding law enforcement officers was briefly discussed by council members and was mentioned several times by residents, which led Allen Miles, a Steeplegate resident, to ask how that could affect the existing taxes for those who already live in Trinity. Wallace was asked by council members if the apartment complex will provide its own security services, which he acknowledged would not be the case.

It is not customary for Keystone to provide security. The corporation manages similar projects in five other locations nearby, including Wallburg Landing, Walkertown Landing, Mebane Oaks, Keystone at James Landing in Greensboro and Wendover at Meadowood in Greensboro.

Proposed as a regional center of sorts, the project is viewed by developers as a potential boon for the city. Keystone is committed to making nearly $2 million in roadway improvements. At the northern property, the organization plans to invest in the creation of five intersections. For the southern property, it would invest in the creation of three intersections.

Some residents, however, contend the tax revenue the city currently brings in is already sufficient. An increase in crime, traffic accidents and potential overcrowding in schools, they argue, outweigh the benefits of the additional revenue. Nathan Barron, who lives in Steeplegate, Trinity’s largest housing development, suggests that the additional housing would transform the community.

“The development of 396 apartments will have a long-term detrimental impact on the city of Trinity in exchange for a short-term, minimal gain,” Barron said. “A developer, Keystone, who has no connection to Trinity, can make a quick buck and leave us with the mess.”

Developers and residents both agree that the project could prove to be transformative. Only time will tell whether the changes will occur and how they might impact existing and future fixtures of the community.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.