Local News

Orange County Residents Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mega-Mall

Posted February 25, 2008 6:49 p.m. EST
Updated February 25, 2008 11:44 p.m. EST

— The Triangle may be getting a new mega-mall. A developer wants to build a shopping center in western Orange County, near Mebane.

The proposed Buckhorn Village would be a 134-acre, mixed-use development at the junction of Interstate 85, Interstate 40 and Buckhorn Road. People would live, work, shop and dine on the property.

The development would resemble the Streets at Southpoint in Durham and Southern Village in Chapel Hill, its proponents say. Orange County officials want to lure shoppers away from neighboring counties and generate over $7 million annually in tax revenue.

“Over 70 percent of Orange County residents shop outside of Orange County. So, this would be servicing, hopefully, a lot of Orange County residents that will have a place to shop in Orange County and keep some of our sales tax revenues at home, instead of shopping in Alamance, Wake County or even Durham County,” Orange County Planning Director Craig Benedict said.

Residents got to voice their opinions about the proposed mega-mall during a public hearing Monday night at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough.

Scott Utley said he is in favor of the development.

“You want to go take your wife out to eat, you either go to the other side of Burlington, or you go to the other side of Durham,” he said.

Other residents said they are worried about how Buckhorn Village would impact traffic and noise, however.

“One of the reasons I initially moved in that area is because of its rural nature,” Al Hailu said.

A big concern of residents was how the development would affect the water supply, in light of drought conditions. Benedict said water would not be a problem due to a water and sewer agreement with the city of Mebane.

“We have specific allocations that are assigned to this area, and we've had discussions with the city of Mebane for over eight years now to make sure that those allocations are preserved in some nature, to allow growth to occur in this very busy I-85, I-40 corridor,” he said.

Monday night was the first of two planned public hearings on Buckhorn Village. A final decision on the project is still months away.