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Third phase of subdivision may include new road

Town leaders have neither seen nor approved a site plan for the third phase of a Jonesborough neighborhood, but some community members are already voicing concern over the possible project.
Steve Bacon appeared before the Jonesborough Planning Commission last month to request a rezoning of approximately three acres of land he owns on Spring Street.
Bacon wants the zone change to better blend that land with his master plan for the third phase of the New Halifax subdivision.
“New Halifax off Main Street just has two exits onto Main Street,” said Todd Wood, project engineer. “The third phase is back behind it heading toward Spring Street. The reason for (the rezoning of the two parcels) is, not only can they be developed, but they can be developed in such a way that we can create another ingress and egress to New Halifax.”
The new road into the neighborhood would come out on Spring Street between properties at 313 Spring St. and 315 Spring St.
Bacon’s parcels on Spring Street would need to be rezoned from residential to PRD, or planned residential district, in order for him to develop the land as part of the New Halifax subdivision. If it is rezoned, Bacon would incorporate a 40-foot right-of-way for a street to be constructed from the third phase of the subdivision to Spring Street.
In a report, Town Administrator Bob Browning said the additional access road into New Halifax would be helpful in emergency situations.
It would allow those living in New Halifax to get in or out of the subdivision from a road other than Main Street if, for some reason, the portion of Main Street where the current entrances are located had to be blocked off by police or fire personnel.
With the new road, Bacon said he would also be able to avoid taxing the town with another sewer pump station by instead using a gravity flow system that would bring material to the existing pump station on Spring Street.
“If we don’t have this, we’d have to have a lift station,” Bacon explained. “Overall, we think having another access road in here is hugely beneficial.”
But Steve Cook, who lives at the corner of Spring Street and South Lincoln Avenue, isn’t convinced. Cook spoke against the rezoning at the meeting earlier this month, taking issue with both the creation of the new road and the additional sewer sanitary needs.
“There’s just so many issues that this zoning would create and the first nail hasn’t even been driven into Phase Three,” Cook said. “You’re getting the cart before the horse if you change zoning on that without more being done in Phase Three in New Halifax first.”
Cook called it “absurd” to add an exit onto Spring Street where traffic is already “bizarre.”
He also took issue with the already existing New Halifax neighborhood as well as its neighbor, Main Street Village.
“The drainage from Main Street Village and New Halifax come straight down the valley and even across the property that this talks about being rezoned and goes into the street,” Cook said. “With more runoff coming from Phase Three, anything below Spring Street is going to be inundated many times. Every little rain creates problems there. This type of development where it’s just rampantly dumped on the person below you cannot go on.”
Town Attorney Jim Wheeler reminded Planning Commission members that the issue at hand was the rezoning of the property.
“This is not a site plan approval,” he said. “From the zoning standpoint, it meets all the criteria.”
Citing that they would be able to further address Cook’s concerns during the next step of the process, Planning Commission member Tom Foster made a motion to approve the rezoning of Bacon’s land on Spring Street. The motion was seconded by Ted Lynch and passed unanimously.