ARCHDALE — A plan to develop what could be the largest residential project in Archdale’s history has cleared a major hurdle.

The Archdale City Council on Tuesday voted to rezone about 230 acres of the former English Farm property off Trindale Road, which Desco Investment Co. of Chapel Hill is seeking to develop with up to 536 new homes.

“It will be by far the biggest (residential development),” Mayor Lewis Dorsett said. “I’m excited. It’s a whole different concept and ballgame for Archdale and the Archdale-Trinity area.”

Tuesday’s action changes the zoning of about 215 acres of the site from a mixture of categories to a conditional-use, single-family residential district where up to 433 single-family detached homes would be allowed.

Another 16.8 acres were rezoned to allow up to 103 townhomes.

The project is being planned as a neighborhood “village” concept, with clusters of homes surrounded by open space, trails, a dog park, a playground, pool and other amenities that complement the adjacent Grubb Family YMCA and surrounding area.

The homes in the development must meet several architectural standards.

A future development agreement with the city will spell out transportation improvements and other infrastructure requirements for the project.

Dorsett said city staff worked with the developer for about a year to come up with a design that is consistent with Archdale’s comprehensive plan.

“We didn’t want just cookie-cutter type development, where you cut up a piece of property and have these homes, so the developer came in with about 20 conditions,” he said. “There’s some pretty nice amenities in there that we’ve never seen before.”

Dorsett said the developer has a similar project to its credit in Mebane called Cambridge Park that he’s visited.

An attorney for the developer estimated that it will take at least another year to get all of the plans finalized and that construction probably wouldn’t start for two years. The subdivision would be developed in phases over five to nine years.

Desco Investments must obtain approvals from Archdale’s Technical Review Committee before construction could start.

“They’ve still got traffic studies to do and environmental impact studies to do,” Dorsett said.

In addition, the developer must obtain a special-use permit from the council for the townhome portion of the project.

Dorsett said the zoning conditions approved by the council will stay attached to the property, which protects the city if the developer walks away or sells it to another developer.

Dorsett said Tuesday’s council vote to approve the zoning was 3-1, with council members John Glass, Robert Grey and Tim Williams in favor and Roger Blackwell opposed. Councilman Larry Warlick recused himself because he owns property adjacent to the zoning site. | 336-888-3531