Controversial subdivision wins council’s blessing | The Johnstonian News
The Johnstonian News

Controversial subdivision wins council’s blessing

Posted on June 22, 2022

Updated on June 25, 2022

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This rendering shows the layout of a planned subdivision along Country Lane.

Courtesy Town of Clayton

This rendering shows the layout of a planned subdivision along Country Lane. | 919-424-1776

CLAYTON — The Town Council had twice put off a decision on Country Lane, a proposed subdivision that, early on, called for 299 homes on 115 acres.

In response to council critiques, the developer first reduced the number of homes, increased the minimum lot size, proposed higher-end home designs, and made sure the largest lots were closest to nearby homes.

Then, this month, it tweaked Country Lane’s stormwater controls, mostly by rolling two retention ponds into one.

And that was enough for a council majority to OK the subdivision.

“Ultimately for me, the plan that we’re looking at tonight represents the most balanced outcome for all those parties involved,” said Councilwoman Andria Archer, who had been among the chief critics of Country Lane’s original designs.

Archer noted that the developer had made many concessions along the way while playing by Clayton’s development rules. “We have the landowner and the applicant who have followed the rules in our code and altered the plan to address concerns,” said. “For them, tonight is the culmination of, I believe, a couple of years of effort, expense and compromise.”

Archer also acknowledged Country Lane’s residential neighbors. “For those who are not in favor, they have legitimate concerns about flooding and erosion, the preservation of sacred Native American sites and maintaining the environmental quality of the area,” she said.

But the developer had addressed the council’s environmental concerns, and Clayton has no legal authority over American Indian sites, Archer noted. “The density of this development is aligned with our town’s comprehensive growth plans (and) meets the standards for preservation of space,” she added.

In short, the developer had eased her fears about Country Lane, Archer said. “So I just wanted to say that I do support the conditional rezoning,” she said.

Archer made the motion to approve the subdivision, and Councilman Mike Sims seconded it. Only Councilman Porter Casey voted against Country Lane, though he offered no comments during the meeting.

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