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Denver residents discuss Shea Homes proposal

ELIZABETH HEFFNER

Staff Writer

Denver residents gathered Thursday night to learn and express their concerns regarding the construction of a new adult living community. City Planner Walter Fields and SHEA Communities Marketing General Manager Jay Seymoure led the discussion. So far, Fields and SHEA Homes have worked with Lincoln County for several weeks to file rezoning credentials and conduct a traffic study.

SHEA Homes plans to build 1,650 units across 600 acres for an “adult active lifestyle community.” According to Seymoure, the community would cater to citizens ages 55 and older. The land in consideration is located on the south side of N.C. 73 and the west side of Little Egypt Road in the Catawba Springs Township.

This is not the first time this land has been considered for adult housing. According to Fields, Pulte Homes had discussed constructing an adult housing community there seven years ago. After spending two years on the project however, the company had to abandon the idea. At the time, Denver had run out of sewer capacity, thus postponing any further construction progress until a new sewage treatment plant could be completed. The economy’s decline also played a significant role, Fields said.

According to Fields, the only significant change in the plans is that 300 of the 1,650 units would be market-rate units, or family housing. The houses are projected for 1,100 to 3,000 square feet, with costs from the upper $100,000 to the upper $300,000 price range. The community would possess restaurants, spa and fitness services, swimming pools and, potentially, walking trails for residents.

During their original planning stages, Pulte Homes had designs for carriage type duplexes, two or three story flats and garden apartments in addition to single-family housing. SHEA Homes, however, plans to focus solely on single family detached housing.

A public hearing for the rezoning was originally scheduled for December. However, Fields explained the county decided to reschedule the hearing for January to allow the NCDOT to give more feedback and to flesh out more details surrounding the proposal. The county plans to post the traffic study on their website three weeks prior to the public hearing.

Many area residents expressed concern regarding the potential increase in traffic a new community could create.  Most of the concerns were targeted towards Little Egypt Road and NC 16. According to residents, there is already a significant amount of congestion during peak hours.

“We’re prepared to do whatever the DOT deems necessary, but we can’t just elect to fix a problem that was there before we put a shovel in the ground,” Seymoure said.

The company is projected to start building in May or June of 2014, with home construction starting midway through 2015.

This is not the first time this land has been considered for adult housing. According to Fields, Pulte Homes had discussed constructing an adult housing community there seven years ago. After spending two years on the project however, the company had to abandon the idea. At the time, Denver had run out of sewer capacity, thus postponing any further construction progress until a new sewage treatment plant could be completed. The economy’s decline also played a significant role, Fields said.

According to Fields, the only significant change in the plans is that 300 of the 1,650 units would be market-rate units, or family housing. The houses are projected for 1,100 to 3,000 square feet, with costs from the upper $100,000 to the upper $300,000 price range. The community would possess restaurants, spa and fitness services, swimming pools and, potentially, walking trails for residents.

During their original planning stages, Pulte Homes had designs for carriage type duplexes, two or three story flats and garden apartments in addition to single-family housing. SHEA Homes, however, plans to focus solely on single family detached housing.

A public hearing for the rezoning was originally scheduled for December. However, Fields explained the county decided to reschedule the hearing for January to allow the NCDOT to give more feedback and to flesh out more details surrounding the proposal. The county plans to post the traffic study on their website three weeks prior to the public hearing.

Many area residents expressed concern regarding the potential increase in traffic a new community could create.  Most of the concerns were targeted towards Little Egypt Road and NC 16. According to residents, there is already a significant amount of congestion during peak hours.

“We’re prepared to do whatever the DOT deems necessary, but we can’t just elect to fix a problem that was there before we put a shovel in the ground,” Seymoure said.

The company is projected to start building in May or June of 2014, with home construction starting midway through 2015.

 

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