Town board approves housing density request

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The Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners, in a special-called session last week, approved the density request of a Jacksonville developer who plans to build a 72-unit housing complex just north of town.

The zoning changes will allow the developer to build 10 apartment units per acre and have two parking spaces per unit.

Developer Mark McCloskey had sought the changes before the town’s planning board, but any action was stalled when the planning board failed to get a second on a motion to approve the changes.

It was then sent back to the Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners. The board approval was unanimous and the approval came in a short, 10-minute meeting.

The special meeting was called due to a time crunch the developer was facing in getting an application in on May 10 for a loan of $6 to $7 million from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

McCloskey is competing with two other developers who also plan to build housing complexes at other locations in Wayne County.

Local officials say they are hopeful and confident the local request gets approval because of a dire need for housing in Mount Olive.

Town manager Charles Brown said the big project would add about $45,000 annually to the town’s currently dwindling tax base.

If the project does get state approval and moves forward it will fill a tremendous need, he said.

The developer plans to build the 72 units on an eight acre tract on the west side of the intersection of U.S. 117 Alternate and Northeast Church Road.

The project will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments at a rental range of $400 to $1,100 per month.

It is a project that Mayor Joe Scott has been working on for months.

He said he sees it as a tremendous economic boost and something that will trigger a burst of growth activity.

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