The Smithfield Town Council has postponed a vote, by one month, on whether to approve a massive 698-unit housing development in West Smithfield, across from an Amazon distribution warehouse currently being built. The dwellings would be built on approximately 47 acres out of a 198 acre tract of land.
Carolina Land Development LLC submitted plans for Floyd Landing, consisting of 118 detached single family homes, 220 townhomes and 360 apartment units on the south side of Highway 70 West. The proposed development is just outside the Smithfield city limits but the developer has requested voluntary annexation.
A portion of the 198 acre property is within the floodplain. 151 acres, or about 75 percent of the site, will remain undeveloped open space. This area includes streams, wetlands, ponds, flood plain and buffers. The development will include pocket parks and a recreational building. An 8 foot asphalt multi-purpose trail would be constructed along Highway 70.
Developers requested several variances from the Town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). For example, the Town requires a minimum lot size of 8,000 square feet for low density residential development . The average lot size in Floyd Landing would be 5,150 square feet. The proposed typical detached home lot size is 42 feet wide by 115 feet deep. Under town code, without a variance, the minimum lot width is 60 feet
Townhomes would be on average 20 foot wide, with a 10 foot wide driveway.
Smithfield currently has a maximum building height of 35 feet for an apartment building. The developer wants a building height of 50 feet.
Other variance requests include a zero foot setback from the side property line for townhomes. The town requires a minimum of 10 feet. The town requires 34 foot wide paved streets. The developer wants to install 27 foot wide subdivision streets.
UDO code requires a 24 foot square foot enclosed storage space for each multi-family unit. The submitted plans want storage to be included in units that have a garage, and for all other units without a garage, space can be rented at a centralized location for the other property owners.
Plans call for just two parking spaces for each single-family home. Additional parking for up to 70 vehicles is proposed in overflowing parking areas. Developers requested on-street parking within the townhome areas, something town council members were not in favor of.
Floyd Landing would connect to Highway 70 at three locations. Additional highway improvements will likely be required before the NC DOT grants their approval, including potential median crossovers and right-in, right out access.
Mayor Andy Moore said he was concerned about 10 foot wide driveways for the proposed townhomes, saying it doesn’t leave much space for the owner, or if they had guests. Moore said he was concerned about parking in the streets, even if it was prohibited.
Councilman Roger Wood agreed, saying adequate parking was a concern.
Councilman Travis Scott questioned the material and design standards of the homes, the narrow streets and small lot sizes.
In a motion by Councilman Wood and seconded by Councilman Scott, the town council agreed to table a decision on the development until planning staff could meet with Carolina Land Development representatives to address some of the concerns. The motion passed 6-to-0.
No citizens spoke in opposition of the development during the public hearing.
The council could vote on the conditional rezoning request for Floyd Landing as early as their September 7th meeting.