Albion Getting Residential Housing

By MATT GETTS (Shared with permission from KPC Media Group).

ALBION — The town of Albion is getting more housing.

During Tuesday’s town council meeting, Keith Leatherman, of Monarch Development, and Town Manager Stefen Wynn presented plans for the 21-home Village of White Oaks phase III-IV development on the town’s west side, south of Village Drive.

Working with the Albion Plan Commission, Leatherman presented detailed plans during the meeting, going so far as to describe specifics on everything from the placement of water and sewage lines to the number and location of fire hydrants to the type of curbing which would be used.

“What we’re trying to do is keep Albion moving forward,” Leatherman said.

Wynn credited Leatherman for the thoroughness of the infrastructure plans, which were required by the plan commission to make sure it will meet town development standards.

A handful of nearby property owners attended Tuesday’s meeting to hear the plans.

“It’s very exciting,” town council president Vicki Jellison said. “It’s growth, which we need.”

Granite Ridge Builders will be handling the construction of the homes, according to Leatherman.

It’s the second major development announced by Granite Ridge in the county, after the builder committed to a 60-home development in Ligonier earlier this year.

The last home built in the Village of White Oaks was completed in 2018.

Wynn said the homes will have a minimum of 1,200 square feet for a single story dwelling, and 1,800 square feet and up for a two-story home. The lots, which vary in size, will all be larger than a 1/4-acre in size.

Leatherman said the high cost of putting in infrastructure requires smaller lot sizes so more homes can be built on the property to help offset the investment made by developers.

The development will begin with the construction of eight homes south and north of Scott Street, then work will continue north. Leatherman said Granite Ridge is to have the new phases completed in four years.

Detention basins to handle water runoff will be constructed on the southwest and northwest corners of the development.

The council learned that instead of the concrete streets currently utilized in the previous phases of the Village of White Oaks, the new streets will be asphalt. It’s a difference encouraged by the town.

“They’re easier for us to maintain,” Wynn said.

Another change is the requirement, via covenant, that all of the new homes have some sort of front yard light.

Councilman John Morr did not agree with that section of the covenant, saying there are no yard lights in the neighborhood where he lives. But if it was still included in the covenant, he wanted all homes to have it.

“I’m in favor of being consistent,” Morr said.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Jellison said another builder has expressed an interest in developing starter homes in Albion, which are smaller and more affordable for first-time home buyers.

Economic development leaders have said such starter homes are needed to maintain a good work force in the area.