LUMBERTON – Lumberton City Council on Wednesday approved five measures that will advance the development of the Interstate 95 / Interstate 74 industrial park, giving each unanimous approval at the regular monthly council meeting.
These included annexing several plots of land to the city, rezoning said land, approving an overlay district ordinance, enforcing that ordinance, and a special use permit for infrastructure. of the park.
Development of the industrial park, on the northeast side of the junction of the two highways, approximately 5.5 miles southwest of downtown Lumberton, has been in the planning stages for several years. Prior to Wednesday, the land on which the park will reside was almost entirely outside the city limits of Lumberton.
“Annexation is necessary before we can take action on the next four elements,” said Brandon Love, deputy city manager. “Before you can apply city zoning and city ordinances, these properties must be annexed to the city. “
The rezoning became necessary following the approval of the annexation; the land had been zoned I-2, for heavy industry, while under the jurisdiction of Robeson County; the zoning of the correlative city of M-2, for heavy manufacturing, has been approved.
The overlay district which has been approved and then in a separate required step applied has been put in place to ensure that the annexation goes smoothly and that no issues arise that could hamper the development of the park industrial during this process.
“We drafted an overlay plan together with the county,” Love said. “The intention of the Overlay District is to apply additional standards to the park, which are based on improved setbacks for extremely tall and tall buildings. There are appearance standards for buildings, other prohibited materials, others we would like to see, and signage guidelines. But in essence, it will ensure the town and county of Robeson has a very orderly development of the park, tastefully done and welcoming to the public. “
The approval of a special use permit will allow the use of public services in the park and the construction of public streets.
“Special use permits are required any time a private developer, or in this case the City of Lumberton, extends public services or creates public streets,” Love said. “We will do both as part of the industrial park project. “
On June 30, Elkay Manufacturing was announced as the first tenant of the industrial park; The company will lease a $ 28 million facility under construction by SFG Lumberton NC LLC. The Elkay expansion, which has an existing facility on Caton Road, will retain 26 existing jobs and create 20 new jobs.
On Wednesday, council also approved a development agreement with the developer of the Elkay property, while approving restrictive covenants that will ensure proper maintenance of the park. The Board also has a public hearing scheduled for its November 3 meeting to discuss additional incentives for Elkay. These three actions are all the result of a closed-door session at the end of the meeting, said City Attorney Holt Moore.
In addition, council members approved a municipal agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to replace the Lumber River bridges on West Second and West Fifth streets in downtown Lumberton.
The project is in the early stages of planning.
“The project will not adversely affect the activities, features or attributes of the land, including the Riverwalk Greenway,” said City Manager Wayne Horne. “Access to the Riverwalk Greeway will be maintained for bicycles and pedestrians after construction is complete. “
The project will include a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail along the north side of the Fifth Street Bridge that will connect to the Riverwalk Greenway and provide additional access, Horne said.
The Council also scheduled a special meeting on October 20 to approve a redistribution plan and approve a contract with the Lumber River Council of Governments (LRCOG) to work with the city on a successful redistribution, a step required after the 2020 US Census. .
“With the cooperation of the Council and the flexibility of the LRCOG, we have met with all members of the Council to initiate this process,” said Moore. “There will be a few additional meetings needed to keep working throughout the process and identify what will work in this redistribution process.”
Council members said they hope to agree on a map of the district before the Oct. 20 meeting, in which a public hearing will be held before council approval can be given.
Council members also approved a memorandum of understanding with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for the construction of a boat launch at the former Scottish Packing Co. site in South Lumberton, which is underway. to be converted into a park.
The city has already received a $ 1.9 million building infrastructure and resilient communities (BRIC) grant, involving the Lumberton Loop project that will connect an approximately eight-mile walking trail through the city. The estimated cost of $ 144,000 for the boat launch will be paid from BRIC grant funds.
The MOA is set up very similarly to an MOA for a fishing pier in Stephens Park, Love said; Stephens Park is located about a mile further north on the Lumber River. The Wildlife Commission will be responsible for the design, engineering, permitting and construction of the boat launch.
In other matters, Council also approved the request for $ 750,000 in funds from the Neighborhood Revitalization Program for Community Development.
The program is designed to provide grants to local governments for housing, housing-related activities and public amenities that support activities for people with low or moderate income.
“We were able to travel around town to conduct surveys, browse homes and contact people with needs that met the program’s qualifications,” said Ben Jones, representing The Adams Company, who worked with the town on the project. “The program will consist of the demolition, temporary relocation and reconstruction of four houses in the town of Lumberton.
The number of homes chosen was four because of the cost involved, Jones said; in the event that the costs drop and they can also serve a fifth house, another will be included in the request.
The four chosen homes are on East Eighth, East 11th, Orange and North Seneca streets, Jones said; the alternative is on Starlight Drive.
A citizen participation plan and the resolution to adopt the grant application were both approved by Council.
– City Council ratified the approval of a risk mitigation grant for homes damaged by Hurricane Florence; the grant was received and executed, and its ratification by the Board was simply an administrative matter.
– City Council approved a request that two properties on MLK Drive be declared surplus and sold. The city has acquired the properties by foreclosure and has no use for the land; they will be sold by sealed bid, with all bidders being advised that they will be fully responsible for what it takes for the homes on the properties to become legally habitable.
– City Council approved the acceptance of a parcel of land donated to the city by Larry Britt. The vacant lot, located on Hollywood Drive, is in the East Lumberton Mill Village district and is large enough to build a house there, Moore said. There is $ 2,280.15 in taxes owed on the land, which the city will now pay, although most of it is owed to the city itself.
– City Council directed the City Clerk to investigate Oakridge Land Development Company’s annexation application for 15 lots located in the Amberdale Subdivision.
– City Council has scheduled a public hearing for the November 3 meeting regarding a special use permit requested by Mark Morgan for a new road network and the allocation of a right-of-way for a property on Elizabethtown Road, where a multi-family development of 64 units is offered.
In other cases
– City Council approved a generator maintenance service contract with Gregory Poole Equipment Company to continue maintenance on 35 generators used in all city departments. These generators are mostly found at sewer sites, Public Works Director Rob Armstrong said. The cost is $ 39,731.77 per year, or $ 79,463.54 on the two-year contract, and will be divided among municipal departments in proportion to the number of generators used by each department.
– City Council approved an engineering agreement with The Wooten Company for their services on a well relocation project. The cost of $ 475,850 will be paid through funds from the Disaster Relief Supplementary Supplementary Appropriations Act (ASADRA). The design of this project is more complicated than most public works projects, Armstrong said; this includes a series of test wells to explore various potential sites for relocation.
– City Council has approved a contiguous annexation request from Jordan Bowley for a property on Arbor Lane.
– City Council approved a request to change zoning and special use permit by Mayor Bruce Davis or a property on Griffin Street to allow for the development of a cemetery. Due to the mayor’s involvement, Mayor Pro Tem Leroy Rising chaired the portion of the meeting regarding this matter.
– City Council approved the following allocation of community revitalization funds: $ 2,000 to the Robeson Community College Foundation for its fundraising golf tournament to be held next week; $ 1,800 for the sharing and caring vacation program sponsored by Representative Charles Graham; $ 1,200 to Colors of Life, Inc. for the annual Thanksgiving gift and Christmas dinner; $ 1,050 to the Make a Wig Foundation in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month; $ 1,000 for Octoberfest in Ward 5; $ 500 for Ward 8 community day; and $ 250 to Carolina Pines for embellishment.
Chris Stiles can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected]