US 13/158 corridor deemed as prime real estate

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2007

GATESVILLE – The proposed expansion of US highways 158 and 13 has brought several landowners to the doorstep of the Gates County Commissioners looking for clarification.

On February 20, the Gates County Planning Board voted unanimously to pass a resolution on to the Gates County Commissioners recommending the creation of a commercial district in Eure in anticipation of the widening of US 13/158.

Planning Board Director Randall Cahoon informed the commissioners at their March 5 meeting of his board’s recommendation that the tract of the highway that runs from Barfield Road to Tarheel Bar-B-Q on US 13 is potentially prime commercial real estate in the near future.

&uot;There is a five mile stretch of highway in our region that has 8,000 cars pass through it daily,&uot; Cahoon said. &uot;When I look at our county map the way I am trained to look at it, that area screams out commercial viability.&uot;

Commissioner David Brown acknowledged the potential for the area despite the county population base not being very dense.

&uot;Most businesses could not survive on Gates County revenue alone,&uot; Brown said. &uot;They would need to tap into the transportation or tourist corridors, which we have here in our county.&uot;

Roland Tinkham, owner of Odom Farm in Eure, was one of several citizens who attended the planning board meeting to request his land be reclassified from agricultural to commercial zoning.

Tinkham noted there were currently 12 commercial business properties along that corridor as opposed to only four residential property owners.

Cahoon detailed the process as it would apply to both sets of landowners.

&uot;Without question those citizens who own land along that corridor stand to turn a profit,&uot; Cahoon said. &uot;Unfortunately if that corridor expands in the manner that D.O.T. expects it to, some homeowners will be displaced.&uot;

The board of commissioners agree to conduct more research on the matter and readdress it at a later date.