Over a dozen residents from Hannah’s Creek subdivision in Clayton attended the Clayton Town Council meeting Monday night opposed to a request by a developer to use 1.5 acres, set aside as a common area, to develop into a building lot. The common area, know as Lot 78 to residents, was set aside 10 years ago when the subdivision was first approved by Johnston County. The subdivision now falls under the jurisdiction of the Town of Clayton.
In a 5-to-2 vote, the Clayton Planning Board voted in November to recommend the lot be denied. However, in a unanimous vote, the Clayton Town Council stunned the residents when they approved the developers request.
At issue was whether the developer, Darryl Evans, actually promised residents in Hannah’s Creek Lot 78 would be a common area. The developer, through his attorney, said he made no such promise.
When the subdivision plat was first presented to future homeowners in 2005 the map designated the area as open space. However, a 2006 recorded plat map of the subdivision showed the lot “reserved for future development.” The 2006 map was approved by Johnston County, but the employee who signed the map no longer works for the County.
The Clayton Planning Department approved the lot for housing use in 2015 but rescinded the approval after learning about the prior open space issues. Planning Director David DeYoung made no recommendation to the Council to approve or deny the lot at Monday night’s meeting.
Prior to the vote, Councilman Butch Lawter said his heart went out to the residents of Hannah’s Creek but the council was bound to vote based on evidence presented to them. The vote was unanimous for the developer.