Linkhaw Farms inched forward

First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON — An ambitious plan to build homes and shops cradled around a new golf course in North Lumberton is a step closer to a ground-breaking.
The City Council on Monday approved six rezoning requests that developer Dwayne Lockman, the chief executive officer of Rajun Cajun Homes of Maryland, needs for Linkhaw Farms, a planned retirement community. The requests will now be sent to the Planning Board for its review next Tuesday.
“I haven’t heard any negative feedback on it,” said Planning Department Director Brandon Love. “Usually that’s a good sign.”
Love said if the requests are approved by the 10-man Planning Board, they would be taken back to the City Council for a public hearing and final approval.
Rajun Cajun plans a retirement community with 442 homes and 40 commercial properties that could add more than $150 million to the city’s tax base. Lockman has said that it would take more than five years to fully develop.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is doing a study on the effects the development and increased traffic would have on Linkhaw and Meadow roads.
“We were very close to finishing it, but I found out today that they had revised the site plan,” Chuck Miller, a DOT district engineer for Robeson County, said Monday.
Miller didn’t want to guess at what the study would find.
“I’d really hate to say … until we finish our review and then we’d have a better idea,” Miller said.
In other business on Monday, the council approved a lease with Adam Walls, an art professor at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, that allows him to display seven sculptures around the city for one year. The city will pay $1,000 for liability insurance.
Councilman Jackie Taylor voted against the agreement, and was disappointed that Walls had attended the meeting so that he could field questions.
In other business, the council:
— Approved an amendment to the billing policy to lessen the responsibility of customers who have been undercharged or overcharged.
— Approved publishing a list of delinquent real and personal property taxes for the 2007 tax year at least once in a local news publication between March 1 and June 30.
— Approved a revised agreement with Time Warner Cable for charges used for the use of cable poles.
— Postponed public hearings to six rezoning and conditional-use permit requests until March 10 because they weren’t properly advertised.

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