Aberdeen Residents Fear Traffic From New Center
Cathy McLean plans to retire in her home on Poplar Street, and she and her neighbors are dead set against a traffic change that could lead to more traffic at the U.S. 1 intersection with U.S. 15-501.
“We don’t need any more traffic on Poplar Street,” she told the Aberdeen Town Commission Monday night.
At issue is a proposed shopping center at the busy intersection and how that traffic would flow along Poplar Street.
McLean said there are a lot of elderly residents and children who live on the street, and extra traffic could be dangerous. She spoke during the public hearing on a conditional use permit for a project that would include a CVS pharmacy and two other parcels with yet-to-be-determined commercial uses.
The commission took no action on the request following the public hearing. The town’s Planning board had recommended the permit, but with more than 20 conditions. One of those is that a proposed access to the shopping center via Poplar Street be removed from the plan.
During the public hearing, increased traffic, access to the shopping center and parking were topics of discussion.
Representing the developer, Ramey Kemp provided a traffic impact analysis, which estimates an additional 4,750 vehicle trips per day into and out of the site upon completion.
On the original plan, the development had access via Poplar and Washington streets. The developer asked to remove the access from Washington Street because the road is substandard and needs significant upgrades, Planning Director Kathy Liles said.
Closing off access from Poplar Street would force residents living there to access the development from U.S. 1 only.
Another concern aired during the public hearing was the issue of a right turn access into the shopping center. The turn lane is being provided by CVS and not by the state Department of Transportation, town officials said.
Pat Ann McMurray called the turn lane a “wonderful safety gesture.”
A public hearing on the 2012-13 budget was also held following a brief presentation of the budget message by Town Manager Bill Zell. No public comment was made on the budget, which will be considered for approval during a special meeting set for 5:30 p.m. on June 18.
The recommended budget includes a $6.48 million general fund and an additional $2.45 million in the water-sewer fund, totaling $8.9 million.
The tax rate would remain unchanged at 43 cents per $100 property valuation, but there is a 5 percent water-sewer rate increase.
The proposed budget includes two additional positions — a police investigator and a grant writer — and money for police vehicles and a vehicle for the public works department.
The budget must be approved by July 1.
In other news, the board approved a conditional zoning district for property at 354 Parkway Drive that would allow a day care center as a use. The facility will be the first of its kind in Aberdeen.
The board also approved an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance that would reflect the proper proportionate representation based on population of in-town residents and those living in the extra territorial jurisdiction. The change means the board will consist of six in-town members and one from the ETJ.
After approving the change, the board also made several appointments to the Planning Board. It reappointed Joe Dannelley, moved Janet Peele from alternate member to regular member, and appointed Raymond Lee and Graylon King as in-town members, and added Timothy Marcum and Peter Koch as alternate members.
The board also appointed Molly Wilson and John Ring as in-town members of the Historic Preservation Commission.
The board also recognized Bob Rigsby for his service on the Planning Board, and Joel Stancil and Shirley Starkey for their service on the Historic Preservation Commission.
Rigsby, a former chair of the board, opted not to be re-appointed after five years on the board. Stancil retired from service on the board after eight years, and Starkey, the chair of the HPC, is resigning after moving out of the town.
All three honorees received a plaque, a set of coasters with pictures of historic Aberdeen and a gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
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