SMITHFIELD – After tabling a decision at their September meeting on a 143 lot subdivision, the Smithfield Town Council voted this week to approve the development. Representatives with StoneRock Engineering PPLC were given approval Tuesday night for construction of the Marlin Woods subdivision on a 31.5 acre section of a 57.7 acre parcel of land on Highway 210 just west of Skyland Drive.
The property is owned by Keener Lumber Company and Ralph Stewart.
The development will consist of 49 detached single family homes and 94 townhomes.
The subdivision is within the Neuse River Basin and within the Swift Creek floodplain. All finished grades for each lot will be required to be a minimum of two feet above the base flood elevation (BFE). A portion of the property is within the 500 year flood zone. The land is currently a mix of agriculture fields, woods and marsh land.
In September, the council postponed approval due to concerns about the developers request for variances from the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The requested variances included smaller lot sizes, lot widths, and street widths.
Since the September meeting, the applicant met with town planning staff to work out some of the issues but variances were still allowed.
At their October 5th meeting, the town council approved the 143 unit subdivision along with nine UDO variances. The UDO requires a minimum of 8,000 square ft. lots (0.18 acre) for single family homes in the zoning district. The town approved lots as small as 5,882 square ft. The town requires 70 foot lot widths, 30 foot front setbacks, 10 foot side and 25 foot rear setbacks. The council approved lots as small as 55 foot wide, 20 foot front setbacks, 5 foot side setbacks, and 20 foot rear setbacks.
For townhomes, the UDO requires 30 foot minimum front setback. The subdivision was allowed to have 20 foot setbacks. Typical distance between townhomes should be 30-40 foot in the zoning district. The town approved 16 foot distances.
Several parts of Marlin Woods will exceed minimum requirements including extra undisturbed open space for a walking trail, enhanced street lighting, enhanced street signage, street trees, a sidewalk on both sides of the streets, extra townhome recreational standards, along with an enhanced entrance off Highway 210.
The preliminary subdivision application and rezoning request were both approved 7-to-0 following a public hearing. No one spoke in opposition.