Laurinburg, NC Council vetoes housing complex – focuses on nature of residents

The numbers for the proposed Greenway Residential Development in Laurinburg were impressive.

The apartments would cost as much as $6 million to construct. The tax base for the land where the complex would be located would jump from about $4,000 a year to $40,000 and fees from city utilities would exceed $45,000 annually.

But dollar signs failed to sway the Laurinburg City Council Tuesday night. Council voted unanimously to deny a conditional use request to develop the 56-unit multi-family housing complex near the Scotland Crossing Shopping Center.

Council members said they denied the request because the proposed two-and three-bedroom townhouses would not be “in harmony” with the area, which is mainly commercial.

“I think it is fantastic idea, but not here,” said Council member Joy Ellison.

A lot of Tuesday’s discussion was focused on who would be living in the apartments — mainly low-income residents. In exchange for federal tax credits to build the complex, the developer agreed to make the units affordable for those making significantly less than the median income. The annual salary for renters would range between $20,000 and $32,500 depending on children.

“The elephant in the room is who will will be living here,” said Bill Purcell, attorney for Rock Hill, S.C. developer. “But these are assisted rentals, not subsidized housing. Nobody is guaranteed the rent. If someone doesn’t pay, they get evicted.”

Read remainder of the story at The Laurinburg Exchange

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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