(City of  Belmont photo)

The City of Belmont grew larger after the September 4 council meeting approving a voluntary annexation request by Southland Resources.

34 additional acres just south of South Point High School will be incorporated into the city. Southland Resources plan to build as many as 118 homes on the narrow stretch of land now called South Point Village.

Apparently, one road will feed the new development, and the land will be clear-cut of trees to enable the site to be worked for higher density house placement. The current site is a mixture of pasture and woodland.

More importantly, this development has not yet received permission to build an outlet road through the South Ridge Development that lies just west of the high school campus. South Ridge has its only access road feeding onto an already congested Nixon Road.

The annexation was approved unanimously, with property rights advocates, Charlie Flowers and Charlie Martin, bringing the proposal to the table.

Our concern is two-fold on this annexation and proposed development. First is the road access. Under Traditional Neighborhood (TND) guidelines that the city attempts to live by, roads in developments will be interconnecting and have multiple outlets. The proposed development has neither. Second, a rush to approve clear-cutting in developments concerns us a a community. Developers like to get rid of as many trees, mature or not, to increase the density for the greenspace set asides. Of course trees can be planted.

However, non-native species of trees, ornamentals, and indiscriminate plantings affect the whole community over time.

Lifelong resident and retired Duke Power employee, George Hall, pointed out a concern over the massive clear-cutting that is taking place in the Belmont area. He noted that several older developments, Glenmere and Fallingbrook, incorporated the mature trees into their plans. Of course these developments were also 1-acre lots. The new developments are cramming 3 sometimes 4, and in rare occasions 5 lots in an acre of land.

The Hawthorne project that was recently completed in the old Imperial Mill Village area, did a very good job in the replantings. The developer, Bob Clay, representing Pharr Yarns, replanted oaks, maples, poplars, birches, and several versions of evergreens.  

We need more people to participate in “watchdog” type of activities as developments are brought to the council for approval. This is a development happy group that only looks out after the city coffers for the growing city employee population, not the taxpayer.