The Elon City Council voted at the August 9 regular meeting to unanimously approve the application for rezoning and conditional zoning by the GreenHawk development to allow the creation of the North-West Park. This vote took place after months of discussion between city staff, council, residents and developers.
Lori Oakley, Elon’s Director of Planning, shared the updated terms made by the developers since the last meeting. These conditions focus on entry points into the nearby Cable Square development and clarify the language around the creation of a pedestrian walkway connecting Northwest Park to Elon University.
Oakley said the connection point on Ralston D has been updated to only be a pedestrian connection to allow less traffic to Cable Square. The other connection point on the Old Towne Drive sub-street has been updated to no longer have speed bumps and will also not be an open access point during the construction of Northwest Park.
Oakley said the requirement for a sidewalk to connect to the university is now written in more flexible terms and developers will still need to work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
“The developer will provide a five-foot concrete sidewalk pedestrian connection between the Northwest Parking Lot Development and the Elon University property leading downtown on the west or east side of Williamson Avenue,” said Oakley. “The project will be subject to review and, of course, DOT approval.”
Council member Quinn Ray said while not everyone is able to agree on all aspects of the development, the growth happening in the city of Elon has made it necessary.
“It’s probably one of the best moves we could ever make,” Ray said. “We negotiated and talked and made sure it fit Elon. We want to keep that Elon feel. We have a university — it’s not Elon College anymore. We have a university that keeps growing to the point where we have to look at who we are.
After a presentation on creating a social neighborhood given by Jill Weston, Elon’s Downtown Development Manager, council voted to include a public hearing on the subject at the next meeting on September 13.
Weston said that from August 15, people will no longer be able to consume alcohol in public spaces, which sparked the idea of the social district. Weston said she has spoken with the administration of Elon University who support the proposal.
“The social district is a designated area where you allow alcohol consumption in outdoor dining areas,” Weston said. “We were allowed to have this during COVID. I think for the most part everyone in our city appreciated that flexibility.
The board also approved a budget amendment to allow for a grant from the Alamance-Burlington School System for a new School Resource Officer. Police Chief Kelly Blackwelder, who featured this article, said Elon Police have a strong working relationship with ABSS and will work with them to find out what they are specifically looking for with the officer.
The council also voted to approve two new members to the Downtown Advisory Council, both of whom own property or businesses in Downtown Elon, and voted to approve the donation of an artwork to the center. -town.
The Elon City Council will next meet on September 13, with the August 22 business session meeting canceled. The council also plans to hold three different neighborhood meetings in September. Dates have not yet been finalized, but City Manager Rich Roedner said those meetings would be held in public places with the goal of soliciting feedback from the city on how it could improve.