Reader opposes request for Planned Environment Unit in Concord

To the editor:

As of October this year, I will have lived in my home in South Hill subdivision for 38 years.

During this time, I have been part of a Planned Environmental Unit, or PEU, with Cedar Run Apartments, now known as Suson Pines Apartments, and it has been a workable co-existence. The PEU allows greater density for residency in the apartment complex due to averaging out land occupancy with the homeowners of South Hill subdivision. As I see it, there is no benefit from the PEU to the homeowners in this PEU.

In 2004, the PEU expired and an attempt was made to reinstate the PEU. The County Council wisely voted it down, leaving things as they have been. We all have enjoyed a beautiful tree-scaped buffer zone on one side of Suson Hills Drive and a lovely, grassy hillside on the other side.

Now attorney John King, representing McBride Suson LLC, is attempting to reinstate the PEU and greatly increase the density in our suburban area by adding 42 villa units and 23 townhouse units. I am opposed to this project on a roughly 8-acre site. Several reasons for my objection to this rezoning:

• Greater population density in the area than would be allowed by county ordinances if this weren’t a PEU.

• Each unit will have two parking spots plus 15 percent additional parking for guests. This means the potential of 130-plus cars added to the traffic on Suson Hills Drive, which is used as a thoroughfare in our subdivision.

• The destruction of a large forested area immediately adjacent on one side to Suson Park and on another side to the homes of South Hill subdivision, currently a great buffer zone.

This construction will decrease the beauty of being in a county area that has many trees, open land and is adjacent to Suson Park and close to the Kennedy Recreation Center.

• This added development would diminish the views from the apartments of many of the current tenants.

• The water detention areas are potential hazards for the many youth in the area. These water detention areas can hold water up to 48 hours and there is no fencing around these areas. Also, I’ve heard that water may not actually drain completely and, therefore, would be potential mosquito breeding grounds.

• Homeowners in the subdivision on Windleigh Place will also be directly affected by this proposed development.

• Some of the homeowners are concerned that the proposed units could be bought up by management companies to rent out and would not, therefore, be owned by a more permanent home purchaser.

After both sides were allowed to speak at the public hearing on July 21, King was allowed to do a rebuttal. The same was not offered to those opposing. A vote was then taken and there were 10 in favor of the request and 10 opposed. Please note that all of the 10 who opposed currently live in the area affected by the PEU. Of those who voted in favor of the request, only one that I know of was a resident — the others being those who do not live in the affected area and who are looking to make a profit at the expense of the neighborhood. I feel the vote was 10-1 against the PEU.