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The Morganton City Council took some action Monday night that could pave the way for two new developments in the city.
Council members voted to rezone a block of properties on East Union Street and East Meeting Street from high intensity district to the central business district.
Developers have been under contract to purchase the properties, which have addresses of 500 E. Union St. and 501, 0, 503 and 505 ½ E. Meeting St., from the city of Morganton since late 2022 with plans to develop 70 market-rate apartments on the property with a dog park and off-street parking. Their closing date is set for Nov. 10 after receiving two extensions on their contingency period.
Under the new zoning classification, there are reduced setbacks, higher densities and no parking requirements, said Wendy Smith, director of development and design for the city of Morganton. There are fewer overall allowed uses in the central business district.
If you’re in the market for a house, you might have noticed that prices in your neighborhood are still high. Simply put, that’s a consequence of supply and demand.
Also rezoned was a property at the corner of East Union Street and Kirksey Drive from Exclusive Industrial District to High Intensity District.
In the new zone, the property owners would be allowed to develop more properties including residential and commercial while industrial uses would be restricted, Smith said. There are reduced setbacks, but buffer requirements remain in place for properties that border existing single-family homes.

The city is gearing up to get its stormwater audit back from the state sometime this winter.
Morganton was awarded a $400,000 grant to help with planning for its stormwater system, something that has been highly anticipated since the city’s workshop in February and has been on the minds of city staff for years.
Staff recommended McGill Associates for engineering services, who will be able to map and evaluate the city’s entire stormwater system. The other two companies who submitted quotes when the city put out its request could not cover the entire system, said City Manager Sally Sandy.
The results of the state’s audit of the city’s stormwater system are due back in January, Sandy said, and that audit will set the requirement’s for the city’s stormwater permit.
Other items approved by the city council included:
The council will meet again Nov. 6.
Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.
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