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Survey: Winterville residents seek retail, housing developments


By Angela Harne
The Times-Leader

Friday, March 15, 2019

WINTERVILLE — More places to shop and dine, as well as a greater variety of housing options, top the list of “pressing needs” for Winterville residents who have responded a town-hosted land-use survey.

So far, more 300 residents have responded to the survey, which closes on March 29.

Winterville hosted four opportunities last month for residents and interested parties to offer feedback on the future of their town, in regards to zoning and uses.

The town is working with Stewart, a consulting firm, which is developing a comprehensive land-use plan. The firm recently completed the county’s southwest bypass comprehensive land-use plan, and also is working with the town of Ayden.

Winterville’s four events included a walking tour of downtown, two evening public input sessions and a morning coffee input session. More than 100 people attended the events, said Bryan Jones, Winterville’s planning director, at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

“We are on schedule,” Jones told council members, adding a plan draft should reach them by May, in hopes of the plan being adopted by the summer.

During last month’s input sessions, resident  said they were interested in seeing a variety of housing development. Unofficial statistics, shared by Jake Petrosky of Stewart at a February land-use steering committee meeting, showed 81 percent or respondents are interested in homes with a large yard, 68 percent would like to see homes with small yards. Approximately 51 percent would like to see the development of patio homes and townhomes, while 20 percent would like to see development of apartments and condos.

“Pressing issues” among respondents are the need for retail and restaurant development, Petrosky said.

Stewart’s land-use plan will focus on areas in Winterville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction that are undeveloped, along with areas deemed underutilized.

The plan will be developed using “character areas,” which are suggested as low-density residential featuring single-family homes with large lots; medium-density residential with single-family homes and small lots, apartments and townhomes; neighborhood centers featuring a mixed-use of residential and commercial, like in the Worthington and Old Tar roads corridor now; mixed use featuring residential and commercial properties similar to a downtown-feel; community center featuring offices, retail businesses and outdoor seating, like a plaza; office area featuring light to medium industries.

The office area may be ideal on Forlines Road, which has the “potential for new development,” Petrosky said. N.C. 11, Old N.C. 11, Railroad Street, Laurie Ellis Extension and Firetower Road also show potential for such a district, he said.

Steering committee member Doug Kilian said he believes Beacon Drive to Firetower Road is also a prime area for office development.

A community center district may be ideal on N.C. 11, near Sam’s Club and Chick-fil-A, Petrosky said.

“I feel that area is out of Winterville,” steering committee member Dawn Poaletti said.

Steering committee member Randy Bowers agreed.

“That area is more development of Greenville’s overflow, and not really a boost to Winterville,” Bowers said.

A majority of the input sessions attendees said they were in favor of apartments and townhouses “if in the right place,” Petrosky told the steering committee.

“In mixed-use, you could have apartments on top of retail space in your downtown or an office upstairs and retail downstairs,” said Jay McCleod of Stewart.

On the walking tour, attendees shared the need for more trees downtown, McCleod said. The first evening input session resulted in a push for a dog park, he said.

Others requested a multi-purpose center, greenways, a downtown park, more recreation options on the western and eastern sides of towns and additional sidewalks, according to McCleod.

The Market on the Square is an ideal space for a downtown park, according to Stephen Faber with Stewart.

“You want to make Winterville a destination,” Faber said.

“We are putting big ideas out there. We need you to tell us if they are too ambitious or not ambitious enough,” Petrosky said.

The steering committee will meet next month to review the input session data and survey responses. The survey is available online at surveymonkey.com/r/WintervillePlan. The public is encouraged to participate.