Developers meet La Grange residents to discuss subdivision
By KRISTY BOCK / Neuse News
The La Grange Planning Board met Monday to review a special use permit request by Pendergraph Development LLC. This was not a meeting to approve or deny the request, but to ensure that Pendergraph Development submitted the request for the 48-unit multi-family dwelling correctly.
Lee VanDeCarr, vice president and general counsel for the Pendergraph companies, used the meeting as an opportunity to address resident concerns. The property in question, known as Magnolia Run in La Grange, was originally purchased by Pendergraph Development to be used as a single-family subdivision in 1998. For 20 years, the property has been vacant as the subdivision never came to fruition.
There are two other multi-dwelling proposals, in addition to Pendergraph’s, that will be addressed at the April 1 Town Hall meeting in La Grange. The residents who spoke at Monday’s meeting expressed their concern over the strain adding additional people would do to the town’s resources.
Two school teachers who work at La Grange schools shared their fears of classrooms growing beyond the current amount of 30-35 children per class without any additional resources.
At an earlier town meeting, residents asked about how adding up to 200 families, if all three multi-family dwellings were approved, would impact the water and sewage already at capacity. This question was brought up again at Monday’s meeting, with a resident also expressing frustration that the answer to questions of the town’s resources not being answered.
VanDeCarr explained to a member of the planning board the property would not be receiving project-based rental assistance.
He was then asked by a member of the audience if the property was subsidized; he explained in detail that, “the property was federally subsidized through the use of tax credits which enable the apartments to have lower rents than what might be considered market rents. The apartments will be a low-income tax credit property and that means there are income restrictions.”
When VanDeCarr was asked how his company keeps “undesirables” out, he explained any future residents must pass both a credit and criminal background check. He also told them how the property would have an on-site manager.
Julia Wooten, a planning board member, asked VanDeCarr how the rent was valued for the proposed property. A third-party marketing analysis was done on La Grange and deemed the project feasible with rent to fall between $450-$565 per month.
During the final question and answer portion of the meeting, the citizens in attendance thanked the planning board for their recommendations from the last meeting and expressed their frustration with the town board. One speaker, a 55-year resident of La Grange, asked for decorum to be exercised at the upcoming town meeting. He feared if the meeting was covered by media, due to the controversy of the proposed multi-dwelling units, their town would not be portrayed in a positive manner.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This version has been corrected and clarified from an earlier version that was originally published. We apologize for the error.