Townspeople question plans for new apartment building

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Developers for a proposed 84-unit apartment building for the south end of Hendersonville on Friday heard from a few people concerned about the project’s impact on stormwater runoff and traffic congestion in the area.

“Every time you add something to this part of town, those issues are on everyone’s mind,” said Ken Fitch, a town resident who lives near the offered apartments in Southgate.
The four-story building is proposed for 3.63 acres off Kanuga Road on Israel Street. The property is also adjacent to the Fresh Market located off Church Street in town.
Fitch was one of only three people who spoke at a neighborhood compatibility meeting held at the City of Hendersonville Operations Center.
Technical difficulties prevented speakers from joining a similar meeting online earlier this month. City staff held the second meeting on Friday to allow people to ask questions and comment online through Zoom.
The city scheduled the meeting after the developers requested conditional rezoning of secondary activities at the central mixed-use conditional zoning district.
Developers Suzanne Godsey of Sitework Studios and real estate owner David W. Royster, III of Capitol Funds, Inc., also participated in the online meeting. Royster, who owns both the Fresh Market and ownership of the apartment building offered through Capitol Funds, has spoken only once saying he is excited about the project.
Godsey said the proposed project provides for apartments with one, two and three bedrooms, parking for residents and a biological retention area to combat stormwater runoff. Gates are available for entering the property on Church Street through the Fresh Market parking lot and exiting on Israel Street. The property could also include a spur on the planned Ecusta trail, which will pass near the retention area, she said.
“One of the things we really love is that it’s a great filler property,” Godsey said.
Fitch said he was concerned whether the proposed retention area was sufficient to avoid stormwater runoff issues, as the area is prone to flooding. He said he was also concerned about whether the Church Street entrance would cause problems for a proposed new roundabout for that location.
Godsey said an engineer was working with developers on the stormwater issue. The developers are also working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on the impact of the entrance on the proposed roundabout.
“We are looking at this very closely. We know this area well, ”she said of the stormwater problem.
Fitch also questioned the property’s connection to the Ecusta Trail.
” How it works. People want to know how it works, ”he said.
Godsey said the spur will connect the trail to the apartment complex‘s retention and parking areas. This would serve to connect the trail to the mall which includes the Fresh Market, she said.
Another online participant said he runs a business in the area and is also concerned about the flooding.
“It’s a big hole right now to catch water,” he said of the area proposed for the apartments. “I want to make sure we’re not inundated. “
City staff members said the flood control plans will need to be reviewed by the city before any approval is given to the development.
The zoning change request will be forwarded to the Tree Board and City Planning Board before reaching Hendersonville City Council. The matter will likely go to town planning council in December and to council in January, according to city staff.

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