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Cornelius News

​Potts Street development hits a bump in the road

By Dave Vieser. ​Crescent Acquisitions’ p​lan to build nine homes in Cornelius as part of an adjoining 295​-unit development in Davidson hit an unanticipated bump in the road ​in July when town officials notified them that the location for a future traffic circle/roundabout had been moved westward, thereby slicing off some of the property within their proposal.

According to town Planning Director Wayne Herron, the roundabout is a ​so-called b​onus allocation project—​courtesy of the $650 million I-77 toll plan—​designed to alleviate heavy and sometimes dangerous traffic conditions on North Main ​near the YMCA. “The original design had the roundabout located close to where Main Street is now but one of the goals of the project is to allow pedestrians to walk under the railroad bridge. In order to achieve that, we have to move the alignment of Main Street and the roundabout westward.” This will impact on the Potts Street development.

The project, which includes 19 townhomes and 276 apartments, is ​known as the Potts Development. About three-​quarters of the 30-acre site​ are within Davidson’s town limits ​while the remaining 7.32 acres ​are ​in Cornelius. The eastern edge of property​ ​runs along Potts Street.

​Cornelius-based eal estate a​ttorney Susan Irvin and Brian Jenest, managing partner with designers Cole, Jenest and Stone, were at the Pre Development Review Committee’s meeting representing Crescent, and they were clearly taken ​a​back by the news. “When we first developed these plans, that roundabout was not at that location​,​“ Jenest insisted. Irvin said that with the new alignment for Main Street and the roundabout, they may have to go back and redesign a portion of the project.

Whether this means Crescent will have to appear again before the pre-development committee remains unclear. “It is really their option to either return to the committee again with the changed plans, or choose simply to move forward to a community meeting​,​“ Herron said​.​

Either way, the realignment and roundabout appear to be all but a done deal.

“We had looked at two options.​.​.a new traffic signal or the roundabout. The preference was clearly the roundabout and once it is formally approved, I would anticipate land acquisition next year with construction to follow​,​“ said Herron.

Under Crescent’s original proposal, the homes in Cornelius would be on the front portion of the nine lots, with the minimum lot measuring 14,520 square feet. Garages would be in the rear of the properties and a new road would be built to connect the development with Davidson and Potts ​s​treets.

The Davidson portion of the project already face​s​ stiff opposition from ​Davidson​ residents, many of whom believe it is too large and dense for the area. “Our roads and schools are not prepared for this development​,​“ said Davidson resident Melissa Atherton. “Davidson, Bailey and Hough schools are extremely overcrowded with children in modulars. Furthermore, the Potts Property is a Class IV Critical Watershed. The water flows down the land, funnels into streams, and then empties into the lake. This lake is where our children play and the YMCA hosts their open water swims.”

However, Jenest says that the Davidson portion of the project is a “by-right” development meaning no zoning change is required to build the 295 units. There will be a public information session in Davidson on the project at some point, but it has not yet been scheduled, according to​ a town spokeswoman.

Meanwhile a community meeting has just been scheduled for Aug​.​ 9 at 6​ ​pm in Cornelius Town Hall.