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home : news : e-news August 16, 2022

7/31/2022 12:05:00 AM
Mayor Steven Denton: Smart Growth Is Best
Stanley mayor advises putting brakes on development
Mayor Steven Denton
Mayor Steven Denton

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

STANLEY––The development of multiple new neighborhoods in Lincoln and Gaston counties has attracted much attention.

Growth is coming everywhere in North Carolina, and it’s a popular state for developers. With its proximity to Charlotte among the many things making it attractive, Stanley is but one example of growing bedroom communities near the Queen City. Within the Stanley community and its surrounding area, three large neighborhoods are in the early or late stages of construction. The new Arbordale neighborhood, purchased from another property owner and situated between NC-27 and Old NC-27, already has many folks residing in it, while many other new homes are still under construction there. And Meritage Homes has a newer, separate development, purchased from Craig Development and slated to have some 300 houses. And nearby, other developments are coming up on the outskirts of Mount Holly.

Stanley Mayor Steven Denton addressed these new developments in a Thursday interview with The Herald. Denton also spoke of the Town’s decision, earlier this month, to end its curbside recycling program (see related coverage, only here in The Herald).

The Arbordale neighborhood was approved back in 2006, long before Denton’s role in Stanley’s town government. The housing construction crisis temporarily put the tin lid on that project in 2008. But it did get rolling eventually, some months ago.

A lot of folks don’t like the trend among many developers of attempting to squeeze as many domiciles as possible upon a single acre. The traditional way is to have not more than two homes per acre. But some developers these days, in order to maximize both space and profits, cram four homes on to just one acre.

Denton, however, is among the critics who oppose such schemes.

“I don’t want these houses that close together,” he said, recalling discussions with Meritage and adding of Stanley Town Council efforts, “When Meritage came to us, they wanted the same restrictions as Arbordale. But we made them have larger setbacks, increased lot sizes and have more of a buffer off NC-27 versus Arbordale.”

Plus, a new neighborhood of townhomes is coming, also just off NC-27, as Denton revealed.

“These are going to be some nice brick townhomes,” he observed.

But citing infrastructure concerns, traffic and other worries, Denton stressed that enough is enough.

“But no more,” he emphasized. “We want to have controlled growth, with regard to our infrastructure. We have to pump the brakes on this.”

And while demand is still high, as Denton noted, a housing construction slowdown is beginning to occur. Still, he added, things appear to be on track for the completion of these neighborhoods next year.

Growth, he added, is inevitable. But you can have smart growth, or you can have sprawl.

“We can’t stop it, but we can slow it down,” Denton said, citing rezoning and other efforts. “And we can do it responsibly.”

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