Elm Street School rezoning finalized

Sue Guinn Legg • Dec 12, 2016 at 9:47 PM

ERWIN — Restoration of the town of Erwin’s 94-year-old Elm Street School building has cleared another hurdle.

On Monday, the town Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave second and final approval to a residential rezoning ordinance that clears the way for developer Lee Naylor to renovate the neglected 1922 building into an upscale condominium development.

The board’s unanimous vote to rezone the property from R-1 low-density to R-2 medium-density residential followed a public hearing in which no one commented or questioned the proposed development.

The board approved Naylor’s $50,000 offer to purchase the property in mid-November. With the sale agreement, the board gave Naylor a 90-day due diligence period to inspect the property’s feasibility for development of eight to 10 1,000 to 1,200 square-foot for-sale condo units.

Town recorder Glenn Rosenoff said Monday a closing date has not been set but Naylor has contacted the town to indicate his readiness to move forward.

Naylor told the board in November that he hopes to begin work in the summer.

In other business Monday, the board passed a resolution recognizing former Alderwoman Sue Jean Wilson for her years of service to the town.

Wilson died unexpectedly in late November, only a few weeks after winning election to her fifth term on the board.

The resolution was passed in tribute to Wilson’s service, accomplishments, commitment and leadership in the enhancement of the town and will be presented to her family.

Mayor Doris Hensley said the board will take up the “difficult” work of naming Wilson’s replacement on the board at its first regularly scheduled meeting in January.

Hensley said seven Erwin residents have expressed a willingness to serve out Wilson’s four-year term, and she hopes to have a recommendation for the board’s consideration by the Jan. 7 meeting.

The list so far includes Wayne Morris and Rob Martin, who ran unsuccessful campaigns for alderman in the November election, Logan Engle, Rachelle Hyder Shurtz, Ron Arnold, Mickey Hatcher and Carolyn Tipton.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.