Center status removed for Twin Ridge tract

December 16, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Neighborhood centers -- designated areas allowing a mix of houses and businesses -- will remain in Mount Airy's proposed master plan.

However, a 20-acre tract near the Twin Ridge development will not be designated as a neighborhood center, as initially proposed in the blueprint.

The Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission removed the designation last night after some residents objected.

"Put [neighborhood centers] out there where we don't have people," urged John McCumber, a Twin Ridge resident who was among a dozen people at the workshop.

Residents said the development is near a shopping center, which serves them as a commercial center.

The master plan designated five areas as neighborhood centers, which would allow a limited number of small home-based businesses, professional offices and public uses compatible with residential areas.

Norman Hammond, a Rising Ridge Court resident, was more vocal in his opposition.

"This [concept] is very foreign to us," he said. "[Mount Airy] is a small town. . . . It's counterproductive to produce local neighborhoods."

An update of the town's 1982 plan, the proposed master plan envisions a "future for Mount Airy that builds on the features of the community and guides development in a way that is beneficial to the Town's citizens and respectful of the environment," the document states.

The 120-page document sets goals to enhance Mount Airy's small-town atmosphere, control growth in town and help county efforts to retain the surrounding rural area.

The recommendations include forming a Downtown Improvements Committee and/or a Historic District Commission to maintain and improve the historic town center.

The proposed master plan also would change the town's approach to zoning, emphasizing a variety of high-density residential development rather than homes on larger lots.

The plan, which now goes to the Town Council for public review and adoption, has been in the works since 1989.

Last night's meeting was the Planning and Zoning Commission's final work session on the plan.

Before the Town Council reviews the proposal, it is expected to meet with the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss the document.

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