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Council OKs Poplar Creek rezoning for ‘Green Acres’

The Poplar Creek Subdivision may be “the place to be” after South Boston Town Council approved rezoning of 17 lots in the Poplar Creek Subdivision to allow for construction of “green energy” housing.

 

Council’s action came after a public hearing in which no one spoke either for or against the rezoning.

Acting on a planning commission recommendation, council voted unanimously to rezone 17 lots in the Poplar Creek Subdivision from R-2 Medium Density Residential to R-3 Medium Density Residential in the 4.29-acre area.

The lots in question are owned by the town and are fronted on Poplar Creek Street, Harrell Street and Terry Avenue.

Town Manager Ted Daniel told council site preparation such as grading work has been completed, adding construction is slated to begin next month on eco-mod houses on two lots.

“Many of the lots are nonconforming because they’re less than the required 8,000 square feet in area for R-2 zoning,” Daniel told council.

“A preliminary plat realigns some streets to accommodate the new subdivision,” he added.

The first five lots slated for eco-mod housing have already been accommodated with existing water and sewer, Daniel continued.

Pointing to preliminary plans for the subdivision, the town manager noted two triangular-shaped lots, one possibly to be used for storm water management, the other with potential for a neighborhood park.

 

Right-of-way

College Street homeowner Mae Chiles Reed spoke in favor of the town closing and abandoning an unopened but dedicated public right-of-way next door to her property located at 904 College Street during another public hearing on Monday.

The parcel of land in question is owned by the town and is approximately 30’x200’.

Reed is requesting the property be closed and deeded to her at no cost.

“Short term I want to build a garage, and long-term I want to widen my house on that side and enlarge my bedroom, and I need more footage to do that,” said Reed, who currently parks her vehicle on the street.

Councilman Coleman Speece told Reed he was “all for you having this property,” but he added council has to be “very careful with taxpayers’ property.

“We have to be careful about precedents when talking about transferring assets at no cost,” Speece said, before asking Reed if she was prepared to pay a reasonable price for the alley if it became necessary.

Reed replied she didn’t know until after she filed a street closure application there would be other expenses such as costs of a survey and deeding the property. 

“I would want to have the property cleared off, and that’s quite expensive,” she told council. “The trees are very thick, and I would want to clear it off.  Whatever your decision is, I still want the property.”

The town has deeded property on the other side of Reed to Habitat for Humanity for construction of a house, and Councilman Robert “Bob” Hughes, an official with habitat, told council one reason Reed is showing interest in the unopened street was lack of space between the proposed habitat house and the one owned by Reed.

“With the location of the habitat house, there’s hardly enough room for an automobile to get between them to get to the back of the lot.  That’s one reason she showed interest in property,” said Hughes.

“We’ve heard good things about you, about how you’ve worked with habitat letting them use your electricity, and I know we would like to support you,” Speece said.

Council voted unanimously to appoint a board of viewers to study the issue and recommend to council whether any inconvenience would result from closing the right-of-way.

That same board of viewers is expected to recommend a fair market value price for the land in question.

 

Council sets prices for columbarium niches

Council approved an amendment to its 2012-2013 fee and tax listing for prices of wall and ground niches at the columbarium at Halifax Memorial Gardens.

Construction on the columbarium is complete, but the town did not factor costs of marble covers and engraving for individual niches in its initial cost estimate, according to Daniel.

The prices the town charges for wall and ground niches, previously $1,000 and $500, respectively, increased to $1,250 and $750 each after council’s approval Monday.