Rockingham approves construction of new alley for RCC campus

By: By Gavin Stone -

ROCKINGHAM — Council members Tuesday finalized the preliminary work to clear the way for the new Richmond Community College satellite campus downtown.

The process required securing a right-of-way abandonment for an alley where the RCC building will be built, and dedicating a new alley to compensate for the loss of the other. The new alley will allow the campus to receive deliveries and have its trash collected.

Last month, the council approved a resolution of intent for the abandonment and dedication required under state law. The alley to be abandoned extends from East Franklin Street along the back of the properties at 119, 121 and 127 South Lee Street.

“The process is done,” Massey said. “We can actually put a building on the alley now.”

The resolution becomes official once Massey records it with the register of deeds on Wednesday.

Other business

The council approved the rezoning of a .73 acre property owned by Eric Altman at 404 East Franklin Street from “Central Business” (B-2) to “High Density Residential” (R-7).

Nothing would change in the way Altman uses the property, which serves as both his home and the office for his law firm, but would allow him to refinance his home loan.

“(Altman) has initiated this request for no other reason than to satisfy the banks on a refinancing project,” Massey said. “The banks have a hang up with the property being zoned commercial and so he’s trying to get it rezoned back to R-7.”

The situation is unique because the property fits into both zoning classifications. The Planning Board agreed that the B-2 classification was most appropriate for the property considering its location on East Franklin Street and the surrounding B-2 boundaries, but determined that the change to R-7 would not affect the adjacent properties.

“Long term he intends to continue to use it as a residence and a law office so it’s inconsequential really,” Massey said.

The council also approved an request for a Certification of Convenience and Necessity by Shannon Adams to start a new taxi service in the city. The Rockingham Police Department must first complete a criminal background check and approve the relevant permits, according to Chief Billy Kelly.

Kelly said he did not know a timeline on when Adams taxi service would begin, as this is only the first step in the process. He said that there was another service that tried to start up but decided not go through with it once they finished the paperwork.

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674.

By Gavin Stone