At Monday night’s Mebane Planning Board Meeting, the local officials considered a request from Harmony Homesteads to rezone 15.89 acres, four parcels in total, located at 627 E. Stagecoach Road, and the property immediately to the north and east of 627 E. Stagecoach Road. The 627 E. Stagecoach Road property was owned for many years by John Frank Huey, a longtime Mebane resident who died in 2005, but has been largely unused in recent years.
The request from Harmony Homesteads was to rezone the four parcels, which had zoning varying from R-12 (Single-Family Residential) and R-20 (Single-Family Residential) to R-12 (CD) (Residential Conditional Zoning District), which would allow “Stagecoach Corner,” a subdivision with with 35 single-family homes as a residential cluster development.
The Planning Board listened to a presentation from Phillip Koch, a representative of EarthCentric Engineering, Inc., who works for the developer. Koch answered numerous questions not only from the Planning Board, but also members of the Mebane community who came to the meeting.
Numerous neighbors who live in the immediate area of the proposed development came to express their opposition to the project based on numerous factors, such as traffic, parking, and preservation of foliage and watershed area. They will get an additional opportunity to express their opposition to Stagecoach Corner at a public hearing on the subject at the April Mebane City Council meeting.
“This property has been sitting vacant for I don’t know how many years,” Koch said. “Currently, there’s quite a bit of inconsistency with the zoning in the area there.”
The homes are proposed to be a mixture of 1 and 2-story stick-built homes, with prices starting around $225,000. The foundations will have crawlspaces, and there will be options for garages once the architect has completed the plans.
“The requirement in Mebane is two parking spaces per unit dwelling,” Koch explained.
The existing 2,093 square feet brick house on the property - known as the Huey House - is projected to be painted in order to be harmonious with the neighborhood. One bedroom in the Huey House will serve as the Homeowner’s Association office. Two additional bedrooms will be used for the accommodations of guests of Stagecoach Corner.
There are numerous canopy trees located at the intersection of Ninth Street and Stagecoach Road, along with mature deciduous trees on the north and east sides of the proposed community that the developer plans on keeping intact.
Amenities would include the Huey House common grounds with picnic area, fire pit, and community garden, along with open green space, natural buffers, streetscape, and the before-mentioned tree preservation. There will also be an open play area and private common open space on the property. The front facades within Stagecoach Corner will vary from home to home, in order for harmony throughout the neighborhood. Each lot will provide a 20 x 25 foot pad for parking at the front of the individual properties, in addition to off-street parking at the Huey House.
Connectivity to Stagecoach Corner would be provided by two roadways along Stagecoach Road opposite of two existing roadways - N. Oakland Drive and N. Overland Drive. The neighborhood will not connect by roadway to Ninth Street or nearby Laramie Road.
There would also be access to the undeveloped property to the immediate north of Stagecoach Corner for future extension of the roadway system, as required by the City of Mebane. There would be bicycle and pedestrian access via a 10-foot multi-use path along Stagecoach Road per the Mebane Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, along with the sidewalk along frontage of Ninth Street.
The proposed site is located within Mebane’s General Watershed Area (GWA) Overlay District, which requires the site to cap impervious surfaces such as house footprints, driveways, and paved walkways at 30 percent. A stormwater management device is projected to be constructed on the property, likely in the form of a pond. Stormwater management is required to meet state and local water quality and water quantity control requirements.
In lieu of individual mailboxes, there would be two mail kiosks within Stagecoach Corner - one near the parking area at the Huey House, and the second between two lots not far from the location of the proposed stormwater retention device.
“What you’re asking is not unreasonable, even if you went back to the R-20 (zoning). You’ve provided buffers. You’re maintaining trees. You’re maintaining the original (Huey House) home,” Planning Board member Kurt Pearson said. “You’ve reduced impervious surface. You haven’t impacted people going in and out to Laramie (Road). I think it’s a good use of the land. I think your waivers are reasonable. People need to realize - or visualize - what could come there. I think the developer has provided, in many instances, a good development. Something that is going to fit in. I like it.”
“Looking at the larger map, it looks really like this development has about the same number of houses as the blocks directly across from it,” added fellow Planning Board member Judy Taylor.
Taylor made the formal motion to rezone the property, which was unanimously accepted.
The proposed development will now go before the Mebane City Council at its Monday, April 1 meeting. In order to be approved, the property would have to be annexed as part of the Mebane city limits. The City Council will also have to approve the development itself.