The Board of Aldermen voted this week to approve granting the Lutheran Retirement Ministries a special ordinance to build a five-story apartment project in the Twin Lakes Community campus, which will be the town’s first five story building. 

At five stories, the proposed Twin Lakes building would have the most amount of stories in any building in the town of Elon, although it is unknown if it would be the tallest.

Teague, Freyaldenhoven & Freyaldenhoven — one firm working on the project — took “a great deal of time and consideration” working on the plans for the building, according to Walt Teague, an architect working on the project. 

“There’s a lot of character here that makes it a lot more palatable,” Teague said at the agenda setting meeting last week. “The entire campus is so well buffered.”

Voting on special use ordinance

  • Elon’s Land Development Ordinance requires a special use permit for any building that exceeds three stories in the public institutional zoning district. 
  • Elon University and the Twin Lakes Community are the only entities that exist in the public institutional district, which means they are bound to different ordinances than other buildings within the town.
  • The proposed building site is the current location of the Coble Creek Skilled Healthcare Building, the first building in the Twin Lakes community constructed in the early 1980s.

Last week, the Board of Aldermen discussed moving meetings to a larger venue to accommodate for COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing and limited capacity. In the current setting, only 10 people can be inside the board meeting space and four people can be in the lobby. Board meetings are currently broadcast via Zoom to allow for public attendance. 

Alderwoman Emily Sharpe said moving the location of meetings may provide the public an easier way to address the board in-person. 

“How do we accommodate the public who shows up, and how do we accommodate the public who doesn’t have access to the internet, or doesn’t have access to join via Zoom?” Sharpe said during last week’s agenda meeting. “We need to not just think about today and next week, but the long-term of this, and how we are going to accommodate the public in the foreseeable future.”

The board decided to continue holding meetings in town hall unless a meeting looks like it could have high attendance.