After the developer agreed to additional traffic improvements, City Council approved the Sweeten Creek/Mills Gap Road apartment project at their June 28th meeting. Vijay Kapoor made the following presentation (SARBCO presentation) and several other South Asheville residents spoke.
The developer agreed to two additional resident requests – 1) to extend the new right hand turn lane on eastbound Mills Gap to the railroad tracks and 2) to complete the traffic improvements before beginning to build the project. This means that the traffic improvements should be in place by the end of 2017, but the apartments won’t be open until 2020. The official “final” set of conditions from the City are here: Final Conditions 60 Mills Gap Road.
Our efforts significantly changed this project:
First, we successfully reduced the project’s size and associated traffic. The original proposal (seen here: Original Pulliam Proposal) covered an additional 10 acres and had 3 commercial outparcels. The approved project is just residential, covers less area and will not open until 2020. Eliminating the commercial portion reduced expected traffic by 70%.
Second, the Developer agreed to put in a new right hand turn lane at this intersection on eastbound Mills Gap in 2017 and to pay for the intersection’s lights to be retimed (or “optimized”) which should improve traffic flow. When NCDOT constructed the right hand turn lane on westbound Mills Gap, it greatly improved traffic flow. The timing also gives us the improvements two years before any traffic from the apartment complex will occur.
Third, and important for the future, we made South Asheville’s voice heard at City Council. Many people across the City were surprised by the level of participation from South Asheville. We will continue to monitor this project to ensure that the Developer follows the conditions.
While this apartment complex was the impetus for starting the SARBCO group, we plan to continue our advocacy for the South Asheville area and will use this website as a location for additional information. You will be hearing from us in the near future. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Vijay Kapoor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for all of your efforts.