The Carthage Board of Commissioners heard opposing views Monday on a proposed revision to the zoning for a previously approved subdivision.
Pine Tree Estates was initially proposed by local developer Ron Jackson, who recently sold it to Richard Larson, who is changing the name to Tyson’s Trail.
Larson is developing the lots, which in turn will be sold to the builder for the actual construction. The builder, Caviness Lands builds homes in the $310,000 to $330,000 range, which is a higher price point than initially proposed. They requested a zoning variance to reduce the minimum lot width from 100 ft to 75 ft, which will permit them to add six additional homes to the 40 lots currently approved.
Larson cites the increased cost of building within the city limits as opposed to building in the county as to why they want to add more lots.
Carthage has higher standards for infrastructure than the county, including requiring a 27 ft road width with asphalt wedges and sidewalks, as opposed to the county, which requires a 20 ft road width. The town also has stricter requirements for landscaping, grading and erosion control.
“The additional homes will allow them to more evenly distribute the cost,” said Larson.
Several spoke in opposition including Carthage resident Ronnie Fields.
“If we start reducing lot sizes, it will continue with further developments,” said Fields. “The additional cost should be passed onto the purchasers, as opposed to the taxpayer.”
Larson pointed out “the lot sizes will still exceed the minimum lot size of 20,000 sq. ft.”
Commissioner Christopher Nance asked if the approval of the additional lots was a requirement for the developer to proceed.
“We already own the property,” said Larson. “If necessary, I could do some hand-holding with the builder, but the additional lots would make it easier.”
Town Manager Tom Robinson responded to concerns about runoff affecting adjacent properties. He stated that the town had sent the engineering plans off to the state for their approval, which was granted. Town Clerk Dorothy Dutton added that the Town Planning Board had approved the conditional zoning request.
Mayor Pro-Temp Milton Dowdy, Jr said they are going to do what is right for Carthage.
“The hardest thing for a town commissioner to do is to take the information that comes in and process it to do what is best for the town, said Dowdy, Jr. “We are going to strive to do what is best for the town and citizens.”
The vote for approval was 2-2, with Dowdy casting the tie-breaking vote for approval.
The town also received a report on the water problems that Carthage has been having.
On October 27, a pump failed necessitating a temporary switch to using water from Southern Pines. Two replacement motors for the pump were located in Sanford and installed Monday.
The town had received numerous reports of water problems recently, with some residences being forced to travel outside the city limits to be able to shower. In response, the town started to flush hydrants to cleanse the system. Recent water tests show that the town’s water does meet the EPA standards for drinking water.
In other business, the town received its annual audit report, with the report that the town’s records are in excellent condition, with a 99.6% tax collection rate.
The next Town Commissioners meeting is scheduled for December 16, at which time the winners of the recent election will be sworn in.
~Written by Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 639-9303.