At Monday's Franklin Board of Aldermen meeting, the board addressed an ongoing topic of rezoning that has been on the radar for the last few months. Under consideration were sections of East Main, West Palmer, Green and Gaston Streets. Town Planner Derek Roland was at the meeting to discuss the ins and outs of the rezoning plan.
“We've had a situation where a mobile home burnt down on Gaston Street and because of the way it was zoned, the owner couldn't even replace it with a similar home,” said Roland. “There has been similar situations with businesses that are obviously set up for mechanic type shops but because of the zoning, if a business goes out, a new one can't move into the building offering the same type of service. East Franklin is zoned as a C-2 so rezoning the area of West Palmer and East Main to a C-2 would allow the section of the town to grow economically and welcome businesses who are looking to move in here.”
The properties on which the mechanic shops are currently located on were zoned as neighborhood mixed use and with the recommendation from the town planning board, would be rezoned to a C-2 classification. The board also recommends rezoning Gaston and Green Streets from an R-1 to an R-2, which would allow manufactured homes. The floor was opened to the public for comments. Some who were present chose to voice their opinions about the topic to the full house.
“I just want to thank you for your consideration of this issue,” said Franklin resident James Conley Jr. Conley looked to discuss property on East Main and West Palmer. “I don't think there will be a large housing complex move onto the corner of West Palmer. My father and me have had our shop there for years and it's a good area for businesses.”
Mark Lathrop who resides in the area approached the podium to ask about the impacts that rezoning Green and Gaston Streets could potentially have on the area.
“I'm concerned with the density issue,” he said. “Green Street is a small street, we don't even have a yellow line. If traffic increases as a result of this, then I think that's something that needs to be considered.”
Roland addressed the issue citing setbacks that must be followed in order to put in a large, multiple bedroom unit.
“According to out Unified Development Ordinance, the setbacks wouldn't allow a multi-family unit to be placed into the area,” he said.
The board, who often looks to residents for their concerns and possible reasons that would prevent them from supporting an action, cited little pushback from the idea.
“I went to the neighborhoods and spoke to some people who I thought might oppose rezoning and I really didn't find any opposition,” said Alderman Farrell Jamison.
The board voted unanimously to allow the properties to be rezoned.
– Nonprofit funding pool will be accepting applications until August 26.
– The board will consider re-zoning of Pauline Avenue at the October 7 meeting.
– The next Town of Franklin Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3, due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 2.