Janet Colosi’s voice trembled as she described the daily life at Reems Creek that she has seen over her 20 years of living on Parker Cove Road.
“To most people, Parker Cove Road will look like any other road going in and out on Reems Creek Road,” she said. “Yet there is greenway around there. People come with their kids and their dogs. They read books under the trees. They hold baptisms there — and none of these things are done anywhere else on Reems Creek that I know of.”
Colosi, along with several other Parker Cove residents, stood before the Buncombe County Planning Board on Monday, June 15, hoping to convince the board to deny approval for a revised plan for the subdivision called Maple Trace, submitted by Windsor Built Homes, formerly part of Windsor Aughtry Company.
However, the board decided unanimously to give the developer the go-ahead with the revised plan.
The Planning Board initially approved the plans for Maple Trace in November 2014, with the original design calling for 140 household units and two entrance routes into the subdivision.
However, Windsor Built Homes President Drew Norwood had submitted a revised plan for Maple Trace in May that only included a single entrance and exit route via Parker Cove Road.
Restricting the exit route to only Parker Cove Road has left many residents of that area with major concerns in regards to traffic safety, which they expressed at a previous meeting on June 1.
At the June 15 meeting, project engineer William Buie told the board that Windsor Built Homes could not work out that second access point due to issues with a property owner. After discussing several options with the N.C. Department of Transportation, Buie said that the project was “basically forced” to leave the easement onto Parker Cove Road as the only exit from Maple Trace.
“Unfortunately, the only access point that could be obtained was to Parker Cove Road,” Buie said. “Working with NCDOT, they have approved the driveway permit [for the easement]. The conditions that run with that driveway permit include upgrade widening of that bridge and improvements around that bridge.”
The proposed extension to the bridge has not helped to improve the unease from residents, even with the knowledge that Windsor Built Homes is covering the $125,000 cost for the upgrade.
Board member David Rittenberg asked if the upgrade could be done in the beginning stages of the development’s construction, but Buie told the board that this decision is up to the NCDOT.
The board said that they will try to work with NCDOT to have the bridge be widened during the early stages of development to the property.