A series of actions by the Mebane City Council this past week will allow two additional residential developments to begin sprouting up in Mebane in the coming months, which will eventually bring approximately 250 new townhouses and more than 400 rental apartment units to town.
On August 5, City leaders approved an ordinance to extend the Mebane public corporate limits and a voluntary contiguous annexation for Tradition Homes Mebane, LLC, for the new Townes at Oakwood Square residential neighborhood, as well as the Mebane Towne Center project.
The Townes at Oakwood Square developers are planning to construct approximately 88 townhouses on an 18.174 acre tract of land located at 906 Oakwood Street in Orange County, along Oakwood Street Extension.
The new townhouses will be to the immediate north of Arrowhead Boulevard and the Mattress Firm and L.J. Rogers Trucking businesses along Oakwood Street Extension. At one time the Oakwood property was considered ideal for manufacturing, based on surrounding nearby businesses and land uses. It was subsequently zoned M-1 (heavy manufacturing).
Tradition Homes came before the Mebane City Council last spring requesting a Special Use Permit, which would rezone the property to R-6, designated for multi-family housing units such as townhouses and condominiums. Back in May of 2018, the City Council voted 4-1 - with longtime member Tim Bradley standing in opposition - to the Townes at Oakwood Square project’s Special Use Permit request.
In July of this year, the Council accepted the developer’s petition for annexation of the property into Mebane’s city limits, and announced the public hearing on the matter for August. No residents spoke either for or against the project moving forward at the public hearing, and the annexation was unanimously approved.
In addition to the approval of the 88 townhouses along Oakwood Street Extension, city leaders also gave the green light to extending the corporate city limits for another previously-approved residential project - the Mebane Towne Center project being constructed by Keystone Group, Inc.
The City Council approved a proposal to extend the corporate limits for 2.41 acres of a 45.71 tract of Keystone property, on which 171 townhouses and 416 residential apartments are to be constructed in the coming years, along with just under 50,000 square feet of retail space. Keystone has already constructed a few hundred apartment units in the first two phases of its residential development in Mebane.
The Mebane City Council approved the Mebane Towne Center’s request for rezoning from M-2 (light manufacturing) to R-6 (multi-family housing) back in June of 2018 after heavy negotiating between the City Council and the developer. City leaders were reluctant to approve the Mebane Towne Center project without assurances that Keystone Group would assist in mitigating traffic concerns along Fifth Street - one of the busiest thoroughfares in all of Mebane. City Council members publicly expressed concern about residents in the London Lane subdivision and the Mebane Towne Center being able to get in and our of their neighborhoods without a stoplight being constructed early in the process.
After considerable discussion, the developer agreed to construct a stoplight at London Lane and Airport Road's intersection with Fifth Street (N.C. Highway 119) before the first phase of the 171 townhouses is completely built out. The City Council agreed to this proposal, and gave the project its blessing.
With the annexation of the Townes at Oakwood and Mebane Towne Center into the corporate city limits, the developers of the two projects can now move forward with infrastructure and the early stages of preparing the land for new home construction. Since the properties are now in the city limits, Mebane staff can begin the process of installing water and sewer lines to the sites in the coming months, which will allow the developers to potentially begin selling new homes on the sites sometime in 2020.