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Ayrsley Developer Requesting Site Plan Amendment

(December 28, 2006) The developers of Ayrsley have submitted a rezoning application for a site plan amendment. See Rezoning Petition 2007-021.

As Gene Bodycott of Cambridge Partners described at a community meeting on December 28, the petition is requesting four changes:

1. Approval to add more signage to the entertainment and corporate districts of Ayrsley, Signs would be larger and have moving parts, color, and lights. The Ayrsley Grand Cinema and other businesses have little visibility from I-485 and S Tryon Street. Signage that would draw more attention to businesses is not permitted under the current site plan.

2. Approval to add traffic calming on Ayrsley Town Boulevard, specifically a traffic table (or long speed hump).

3. Approval of angled parking instead of parallel parking on certain streets not yet completed and open to traffic.

4. Removal of a requirement that the developers of Ayrsley pay to widen Whitehall Park Drive to add a right turn lane. This lane would be adjacent to the Applebee's, which is across S Tryon Street and not a part of Ayrsley.

Mr. Bodycott also said that parking will be prohibited on Ayrsley Town Boulevard once the city takes over maintenance and it becomes a public street. Parking is at a premium near many of the businesses near the Ayrsley entrance. However, Mr. Bodycott said that the town center concept is not like a strip shopping center. Patrons shouldn't expect to be able to drive up to the front of a business. Ample parking in other lots, including a new parking deck, will be available nearby.

Currently the only access to Ayrsley is from S Tryon Street, but at least two roads connecting to Pioneer Avenue and Westinghouse Boulevard should be open in about a month.

Several residents expressed dissatisfaction with the intensity of new lights that recently were added to an office building near the townhouses. They also were concerned about the noise made by garbage trucks in the middle of the night.

The public hearing on the rezoning petition is scheduled for the City Council's regular zoning meeting on February 19 at the Meeting Chamber at the Government Center.

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