The Mebane City Council Board to voted approve a rezoning request to allow Raleigh developer VGG Holdings LLC to build a single-family home on a lot at 702 Vance Street during the September meeting.
The applicant requests rezoning from B-3, which is neighborhood business zoning, to B-12, which is neighborhood residential zoning. The lot is surrounded by R-20 and R-8 zoning, also residential. The property is in the Mebane City Limits, on the Alamance County side. rezoning of the .343-acre property would allow for a two-story, single-family dwelling to be constructed.
On the property to the west, separated by a thin tree line, at 704 Vance Street, a two-story, single-family dwelling is in progress – also by VGG Holdings. Both the 702 and 704 properties are nearing neighboring property lines on their east and west sides, respectively. Currently, the lots have been cleared and had gravel driveways built.
Both properties have been vacant infill lots until recently, Peter Gitto, a principal at VGG Holdings LLC, said. He presented some of the project’s specifics to the council and noted the company has built in one infill lot on Roosevelt Street and one on Brown Street.
Gitto noted that, when the Vance Street properties were bought, they were presented as one single lot – however, the lots have always been separate lots. When he and the City of Mebane planning department were looking into the properties ahead of the potential development, they found the 702 property was not zoned for residential.
During the August Mebane Planning Board meeting, there was discussion, and concern from residents, about two two-story homes being too crammed in for the neighborhood. The planning board suggested residents ask Gitto to consider changing the plans for the homes, but there is no indication that happened.
As soon as the council approved his rezoning request for 702, Gitto said construction on both Vance Street lots would commence.
“I have the lots cleared and I'm getting ready to start construction as soon as you guys issue that rezoning, so that way I can build both houses at the same time,” Gitto said.
Councilmember Everette Greene said he visited the lots recently and was concerned about water runoff, as he noticed a trench on the premises near the eastern property line, very close to a neighboring home.
Gitto said reinforced concrete pipes were recently put in for both driveways, but once the houses are up a drainage swale will push the water off to the side of the property and into the city’s right-of-way.
“This is not like a, you know, 20-acre site where I can go and push all the dirt somewhere is nowhere to push the dirt right now,” he said.
Councilmember Sean Ewing asked Gitto about how all that would impact the neighbors to the east of the properties. Gitto said it shouldn’t affect them, as he will ensure any runoff is brought into the city right-of-way.
The public was then given an opportunity to speak about the rezoning. West End Revitalization Association (WERA) co-founder Omega Wilson was the only member of the public to speak.
Wilson, who didn’t necessarily object to the rezoning, reiterated concerns raised during the August planning board meeting and to him privately about the potential for residential gentrification in the historically Black area.
“There hasn't been a lot of trust developed between the city officials and African American community around Mebane,” Wilson said. “So, that's the main issue, to build trust with people so they understand exactly what's happening, what's going on relative to this. [A lot of] concern is relative to white residents moving into new homes that may not be affordable for African American residents who have been living there, or their descendants, since the 1800s.”
The council thanked Wilson for his comments and then moved to close the public hearing.
Councilmember Patty Philipps made a motion to approve the rezoning request with Ewing seconding. The motion passed unanimously.