New housing in Marion dominates City Council meeting

MIKE CONLEY/MCDOWELL NEWS

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Marion City Council approved annexing an 8.86-acre parcel of land on McDowell High School Road into the city limits. At the meeting, Joey Russell with SP&D Marion, LLC spoke to council about the plans for the property. He said his company would build a 60-unit multi-family apartment complex. It will be located on the right side of McDowell High School Road at the corner with the five lane, opposite the Bojangles restaurant.

New housing in Marion, including a planned apartment complex and the idea of building affordable cottages for residents, was a big part of the discussion at this week’s meeting of the City Council.

The Marion City Council held the second regular meeting for March on Tuesday. The meeting had three public hearings about annexations into the city limits and three more public hearings about the new zonings for these annexed areas.

One of them was about the annexation of an 8.86-acre parcel of land on McDowell High School Road. The land is owned by SP&D Marion, LLC. After hearing no comments from the public, the council approved the annexation.

Later in the meeting, council held another public hearing and this one was about assigning the zoning for this 8.86-acre parcel that had just been annexed. Planning Director Heather Cotton said she recommended the parcel be zoned as R-4 Multi-Family Residential. The city’s Planning Board voted at their Thursday, March 7 meeting to recommend to the council that it be given this zoning.

At the hearing about the zoning, Joey Russell with SP&D Marion, LLC spoke to council about the plans for the property. He said his company would build a 60-unit multi-family apartment complex. It will be located on the right side of McDowell High School Road at the corner with the five lane, opposite the Bojangles restaurant.

After hearing from Russell, council approved the R-4 zoning for this land. City officials talked about the need for more housing in Marion and McDowell County.

“We wish you the best,” said Mayor Steve Little to Russell. “Come back with a lot more.”

Russell told The McDowell News his company will try to start construction in May or June and the work to build the apartments should take eight months to a year to complete. It will be called Phillips Ridge and will provide affordable housing, similar to Harrison Terrace Apartments on Airport Road. He added Phillips Ridge will have a community building, a gazebo, a playground and units for residents with disabilities.

He said if anyone wants to get more information, they can call 336-907-8207.

Later in the meeting, the council voted unanimously to donate a small parcel owned by the city of Marion on West Wilhemenia Street to the Marion Community Development Corporation (CDC).

Marion CDC is a non-profit organization started by the city to use funding from the former McDowell Habitat for Humanity organization to address housing needs. In addition to her job as planning director, Cotton is the executive director of the Marion CDC.

During the meeting, Cotton gave a presentation about the kinds of cottages that Marion CDC could construct, similar to what McDowell Habitat for Humanity used to do here.

The Marion CDC plans to construct a house on that property in the near future. Violeta Flores, a neighboring property owner, spoke to the City Council members during the meeting and told them her driveway crosses this property. Flores asked if she could purchase the property from the city.

City Manager Bob Boyette reported that the Marion CDC had been working on plans for this location for more than a year and council had previously decided to use properties owned by the city to create more housing, wherever possible. After approving the property donation to the Marion CDC, the council agreed for the city to work with Flores to provide a curb cut for a driveway on the opposite side of her property.

In yet another matter related to housing, council voted unanimously to accept water and sewer easements from David Patneaude and Wayne McLaughlin for their planned residential development on Meredith Drive off of Marion Street.

A total of nine residential units will be constructed on this property. The city is extending water and sewer service to their development, on the condition that individual water connections be provided for each unit, the developers pay for material costs and utility easements are provided, according to Boyette.

In other business, the Marion City Council:

• Held a public hearing about the annexation of .31 of an acre at 498 Garden Creek Road into the city limits. The property is owned by Mountain Heating and Cooling, LLC and has one home on it. After hearing no comments from the public, council agreed to annex the property. Later in the meeting, another public hearing was held about the zoning for this annexed parcel. After hearing no comments from the public, council agreed to zone it as R-2 Neighborhood Residential.

• Held a public hearing about the annexation of 1.21 acres at 257 Shady Lane into the city limits. The property is owned by Jackie and Barbara Barnett and has one home located on it. After hearing no comments from the public, council agreed to annex the property. Later in the meeting, another public hearing was held about the zoning for this annexed parcel. After hearing no comments from the public, council agreed to zone it as R-2 Neighborhood Residential.

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