The Mebane Planning Board gave the initial go-ahead for two major residential developments, with one that includes retail space, just as another developer has submitted plans for a third project with single family homes, townhouses and apartments.

Keystone Properties got the Planning Board's nod Thursday, April 12, for Mebane Towne Center, which it wants to build on 45 acres at Mebane Airport Road and N.C. 119 (South Fifth Street).

The plans proposes 171 townhouses and 416 apartments. It also would include a dog park, pools, clubhouses, 12 acres of open space and a bike trail, along with 49,292 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The board recommended rezoning the area and issuing a special-use permit for the project. Board member Kurt Pearson asked whether the city needs new apartments. He and fellow board members Keith Hoover and Larry Teague voted against the rezoning, but when that passed, they, along with other board members, voted to recommend the special use permit.

On the Orange County side of Mebane, a developer is proposing 88 townhouses on Oakwood Street, called the Townes at Oakwood Square. It would be built on 18 acres and have two and a half acres of open space. The homes will be priced from $160,000 to $240,000.

Kathy Thomas lives nearby and told the board that she understands that development is inevitable, but she asked that the developers consider neighbors and reconsider aspects of the plans, particularly the buffers at the street. She said she would go from gazing at the sunrise over what is now pasture to looking a pavement and light poles.

“Living in Mebane will go from ‘positively charming’ to ‘deplorably cruddy,’” she said, referencing the city's slogan.

The board voted to recommend rezoning the area and issuing a special use permit.

The Planning Board's decisions are advisory. The Mebane City Council has the final say on whether the projects are approved. Both are slated to go before the council next month.

The board will soon consider another proposal, which Agency Partners of Burlington has submitted to the city’s Planning Department.

Agency Partners wants to build Hawfields Landing on N.C. 119, next door to the Presbyterian Home of Hawfields and across the street from Roland Estates Drive.

The plans call for 279 single-family homes, 62 townhouses and 146 apartments.


Reporter Bill Cresenzo can be reached at or 336-506-3041. Follow him on Twitter at @BillCresenzoTN.