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Cornelius News

Alexander Farm project: First you Z it…then you don’t

Alexander Farm / Photo by Jason Benavides

April 13. By Dave Vieser. For those who recently saw the public hearing “Z” signs posted on the Alexander Farm development site—only to be removed a few days later—here’s the scoop.

The signs were posted last month when Florida-based WIN Development appealed a decision by the town which wouldn’t permit them to build more senior units than originally approved. The original approval called for 130 senior units, but Win asked the town to allow 143 units in the final construction plans.


“I advised WIN that I could not make that decision administratively,” said Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron. “They would have to amend their zoning approval legislatively with the Planning Board and Town Board along with the required public hearings.”

Herron said the first hearing was initially scheduled for Monday, April 11 with the Planning Board/Board of Adjustment and the “Z” signs went up.

Difference of opinion

However, WIN CEO Jesse McInerney disagreed with the town’s opinion on whether or not they could reallocate densities from the single-family residential to the active adult section.

“By our understanding and our legal counsel opinion, our rezoning approval notes allow us to move densities around and also modify design, within certain limitations,” McInerney said. (See full statement below.)

On April 7, after discussions with the town, WIN filed a legislative zoning amendment for their original zoning to increase the senior unit count from 130 to 143. In addition, WIN is proposing to move the historic tenant house to the corner of Westmoreland Road and West Catawba. Since that application will not be heard by the Planning Board until May 9, down came the Z signs.

Hearing in May

The Town Board will conduct a public hearing on that same application on Monday May 16 and could make a final decision that same night. Since filing the legislative amendment, WIN has postponed their appeal hearing until May 23. If the Town Board approves their legislative zoning amendment request, the appeal becomes moot and unnecessary.

Both hearings in May will be held at Town Hall and will also be streamed online via the town web site: www.Cornelius.org. (Click on “watch meetings online”).

McInerney’s statement

“We seem to have found a middle ground with the Town. We are going to relocate the Tenant House to the corner of Westmoreland and West Catawba. This will provide a marquee position for the community to enjoy and showcase the history of the property. In exchange we and the planning board are presenting an increase of 13 active adult units to the Town Board.


“Note, this is less than the trip gen exchange equivalent of 19 units as an increase in relation to the reduction of 7 single family lots. We don’t anticipate any hiccups here and we feel this is an equitable solution for all parties.

“The traffic improvements that we are making, along with the pending NCDOT projects are going to make this entire area flow much better. Additionally, the overall trip generation of our project seems to be coming in quite a bit lower than what it was designed for so that is good news for concerns about traffic as well.

“We are very excited to be breaking ground here within the next few weeks and look forward to providing this community with responsibly designed project that will generate jobs and tax base, along with providing a nice venue for families to gather.”