The Aberdeen Town Commissioners met Monday to discuss and conduct a public hearing concerning the proposed Blake Village development on N.C.5.
Specifically, they were considering the rezoning of the land in question, that sits across the street from Food Lion, to permit development to proceed. This was the first step in a process that could eventually lead to the issuing of a conditional use permit that would allow construction to start.
The council voted 3-1 to approve the rezoning with commissioner Ken Byrd casting the dissenting vote.
The development will consist of up to 120,000 square feet of office and retail space, 370 residences, and nearly nine acres of parks and recreational areas available for public use. Construction is anticipated to start later this year.
“One of the most unique aspects of Blake Village is that people can live, work and play here,” said Bob Koontz, a principal with KoontzJones Design, a Southern Pines land planning and architectural firm and designer of Blake Village. “This type of mixed-use development is exactly what the Aberdeen Land Development Plan is asking for because it creates attractive, walkable communities characterized by traditional architecture, green space, and a great quality of life.”
Blake Village Center renderings courtesy of KoontzJones Design.
Of the nearly 20 people who spoke at the hearing, several spoke in favor of the development, citing the family-friendly environment the mixed-use development would provide.
However, many speakers were deeply concerned about the increase of traffic on N.C. 5. Several Pinehurst residents were concerned about the impact of traffic past the footprint of the development, especially entering Pinehurst, and felt it had not been adequately studied.
Responding to a request for comment from Sandhills Sentinel, Developer Riley and Walker provided the following statement from Travis Fluitt, Associate at Kimley-Horn; who had been retained to provide an Traffic Impact Analysis.
“Hwy 5 will be able to accommodate 25,000 vehicle trips per day when the four lane expansion (scheduled to start construction in 2022) is complete. When Blake Village is fully built-out, N.C. 5 will see up to 17,000 vehicle trips per day, so this is well below what the roadway can accommodate.
“In addition, the property’s mixed-use configuration will create an environment where residents can live work and play in one location, which should reduce the number of times they access area roadways each day. Also, by providing more shopping and dining options to the community, Blake Village will keep area residents from traveling so far for services, which will help reduce traffic on other area roadways like US Hwy 1 and 15-501.”
Braden Riley, a co-founder of Riley and Walker said “Reducing traffic and improving accessibility is a top priority for us, and our intent with Blake Village is to create a walkable environment that is easily accessible by foot, bike or car. We are confident that the various roadway improvements detailed in the TIA will be a great benefit to both Blake Village and the entire Aberdeen community.”
Aberdeen Mayor Robert Farrell commented “We can all say shut the door (to further growth) and not welcome new development, but that is not going to happen.”
Mayor Pro Temp Jim Thomas added, “Traffic (On N.C. 5) is going to get worst, but this development will be a beautiful addition.”
Commissioner Joe Dannelley, addressing the crowd, commented on how pleased he was to see citizens taking an interest in the town and thanked them for coming out.
The next Aberdeen Commissioner’s meeting is scheduled in August.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 639-9303.