Town officials discuss permanent closure of two streets

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Members of a local neighborhood have pleaded with the town to have two “street stubs” permanently closed in their subdivision in order to prevent “transient traffic” stemming from future growth. 

The Woodlawn Homeowners Association recently requested that the town consider permanently closing and vacating the streets and associated rights-of-ways for Woodlawn Circle and Nixon Leaf Way. 

The town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved the closure Monday night on second reading during their regularly scheduled meeting. 

The ordinance permits the closure and vacation of the related rights-of-way to the pair of streets but does not yet address the addition of another point of access to the subdivision for the purpose of public safety or the erection of a gate on a border of the neighborhood. 

Those matters are scheduled for discussion at the March 23 Board meeting. 

Joe Finch, president of the Woodlawn Homeowners Association, noted that the roads are not currently connected the the exterior subdivisions but stressed that members of his neighborhood would like to permanently extinguish any possibility for future accessibility. 

“We want to protect the tranquility and safety of our 38 houses,” he said. “They surround a 2-acre park that is essentially our front yard. “We want to prevent the access of the 350-plus homes, 10 times our number, that would have a potential throughway into our neighborhood.

If a development has fewer than 50 homes, the town allows for a single access point to the neighborhood, which Woodlawn has. All of the residents in the subdivision support the closure of both street stubs.

The property owner to the north supports the closure of the streets but the property owners to the east do not support the closure if they are required gate off the road. 

The town’s fire department expressed concerns regarding access for safety vehicles.To address this issue, the Planning Commission recommended retaining the right-of-way to the east of the subdivision to allow for an emergency access gate. 

The Homeowners Association prefers that both right-of-ways for the street stubs be closed and vacated but agreed to the emergency access gate. 

The development was created in 1999 and includes 38 houses with an average lot size of 6,880 square feet. 

“Our neighborhood is owned primarily by retired persons who have for years enjoyed the tranquil quiet of our landscaped central park, natural wooded areas and common open spaces,” Finch said. “These requested street closures are to protect our neighborhood.

“Time is of the essence with regard to this requested street closure,” he added. “The vacant property adjacent to our north and east is rapidly developing with new housing and a street network that could connect to the two street stubs and unnecessarily bring a large volume of transient traffic into and through our Woodlawn neighborhood.”