Red Cross councilmembers approve 250-lot subdivision

(SOURCE: Jesse Deal)

RED CROSS — On Monday evening, the Red Cross Town Council approved annexation and rezoning requests for the proposed Forest Creek subdivision on Hatley-Burris Road.  

Councilmember Melvin Poole made the motion to approve the annexation of three parcels of land by three owners: Richard and Cheryel Bray; Burleson Square, LLC (Joseph Burleson); and LTC Development, LLC (Terry Williams).  

Councilmember J.J. Curlee seconded the request, which passed with a 5-0 vote, and then motioned to approve a request by Burleson — a real estate broker for Whitley Realty in Locust and the developer of the site — for a zoning change from County RA to Conditional Zoning for the same three parcels of land. 

Councilmember Karen Smith seconded the request that also passed unanimously. 

“This is something I’m putting my name and signature on — I want it to be something that I’ll certainly be proud of and the folks of Red Cross and western Stanly County can be proud of as well,” Burleson said. “We’re going to make sure that everything is taken care of and is aesthetically pleasing. I’ll be there every day looking over the process.” 

Burleson confirmed that the full design and approval process will take “about a year” to be completed.  

Prior to Monday’s meeting, the Red Cross Planning and Zoning Board — composed of Harry Williams, Darin Robinson, Dale Burris, Trina Plowman, Tina Eudy, Thelma Tomberlin and Michael Sandy — recommended the approval of the requests for the new subdivision. 

Sandy, serving as the zoning enforcement officer for Red Cross, presented to the council an overview of the planned subdivision with a map and amenity details.   

“We have a total of 250 lots and 3.44 acres dedicated to the right of way that’s going to be on Hatley-Burris Road. The total area in lots is 55.33 acres, and the net property area is 80 acres,” Sandy said. “The developer submitted his offer for amenities through the process. He recommended a minimum of 20 extra parking spaces for residents or visitors that will be placed in common areas. He offered a minimum of 1,800 square foot homes, a homeowners association, no on-street parking, landscape entrances and streetlights.” 

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, two citizens who live near the proposed housing project addressed the council with concerns regarding the possibility of electrical, environmental and increased crime issues due to the development.  

One of the citizens questioned whether the town’s public hearing has been sufficiently advertised while also decrying the expansive nature of the housing plans: “I make an assumption that nobody here lives around that area; but if they did, they would be against it,” he said. 

Mayor Kelly Brattain responded to the comments with the assurance that the planning board had thoroughly researched the local effects of the subdivision and that the public hearing had been adequately announced from a legal perspective. 

“Growth is coming. It’s either going to come from the left side, right side or behind you. It’s coming so we might as well embrace it and do something for the town,” Brattain said. “This is a positive for the town, and it’s going to be a good-looking development.” 

The town planning board is scheduled to meet again on Aug. 3, and the town council is set to reconvene on Aug. 9.