Development Proceeding After Decade of Trouble - TribPapers

Development Proceeding After Decade of Trouble

Developer hopes to begin to complete the project that started over a decade ago.

WoodfinWoodfin Town Commissioners green lit a pending development of more than 10 years. Off the Old Marshall Highway, the 30-acre property at Walnut Spring Drive was in limbo since 2008 after 19 of 25 homes were built in Phase I of the subdivision. The housing bubble of 2008 forced the then-developer to file for bankruptcy. The development got back on track at the Woodfin Board of Commissioners’ December meeting, where a public hearing was held on the rezoning.

Current Development

The remaining property, zoned R-7, was sold several years later. In 2019, the development group Stars and Stripes, LLC, petitioned the town board to rezone the property from R-7 to Mountain Village. In 2020, the developer submitted a plan to build 198 townhouses which were approved. However, Stars and Stripes sold the property to NRS Woodfin, LLC after approval for the master plan and rezoning.

According to Town Planner Adrienne Isenhower’s report to the board, “The plat inaccurately described the entire parcel as zoned Mountain Village, when a large portion of nine of the 12 proposed lots was zone R-7. Additionally, the plat was a substantial deviation from the approved master plan for phase 2 of the development. Therefore, the certificate provided on the plan has been rescinded and the developer is petitioning to rezone the additional lots in phase 1 from R-7 to Mountain Village.”

David Depree of NSR Woodfin addressed the board about the rezoning and his project, saying, “For many of you, this will be deja-vu all over again.” He presented the property and the rezoning history to the board along with what he called a “poor job of communicating” to the current residents of the development, only one of which was there for the public meeting. Depree, a resident of Lake Norman, said the plan is ready to move forward after meeting with the homeowner association president and vice-president on a weekly or bi-weekly meeting, “so everyone is very aware of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Woodfin Commissioner Jim McAllister asked how many townhomes Depree planned to build. Depree said he has the right to build 120 townhomes on 10 parcels of land with three different types of homes based on the typography. Depree said the homes would range from about 1,500 to 2,000 square feet with the price range from $350K to $425k.

“We’re excited to be here,” he told the board, “ I want to get this behind me. We planned to break out in October, trying to beat the weather and get our first 10 units out of the ground. So if we can get this done, I have a GC (general contractor) already ready to move his family up here and get started.” 

None of the commissioners had any questions for the developer. McAllister thanked Depree for his patience, adding this was McAllister’s third time around with Depree.

During the public hearing, only one person spoke. Jim Weber had a question about a tree line buffer between the current homes and the new construction. “The only question I have of this fellow here is that still in the works?”

“I am not aware of a tree buffer beyond what is required by the ordinance,” said Depree going on to say he’d be happy to talk to him about it. “We certainly want to be a good neighbor, so if there’s something we can sit down and chat about…love to get your information afterward and we can talk.”

After the hearing, the board voted unanimously to approve the rezoning. Depree thanked the board and left the meeting.

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