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Cornelius News

Developer knocks town staff on rezoning advice. Hearing on town board’s Monday agenda


April 12. By Dave Vieser. Gary Cangelosi, a well-known local developer, has written a 10-page letter to the Cornelius Town Board taking issue with the town’s staff recommendations to reject a proposal to build 40 attached, age-restricted homes on West Catawba Avenue across from Elevation Church. The rezoning request, which has placed the town planning board in the unusual position of rejecting its own staff’s recommendations, lands on the desks of the Town Board Monday April 18 for a 7 pm public hearing.



The controversy focuses on a 9.3 acre site currently occupied by four private homes separated by vacant land. At stake will be the direction the town wishes to take in developing the remaining available properties along the West Catawba Avenue corridor.

Cangelosi was the developer of Kenton Place, across West Catawba from the site in question.

The proposal by Classica Homes for single-family active adult homes has the support of many local residents, as well as the Planning Board itself, which voted 3-2 in favor of Classica’s plan. The town’s planning staff, though, says it is not consistent with the previously adopted Cornelius land use plan.

“The Land Use Plan adopted by the Town Board in 2014 designates this property as Waterfront Mixed Use,” said Wayne Herron, town planning director. “This classification was intended to provide the opportunity to bring a mix of highly active uses between West Catawba Avenue and Lake Norman. It’s our opinion that the proposed plan is not consistent with the land use plan in that it does not provide for or encourage any non-residential component along West Catawba Avenue.”

Developer Cangelosi takes strong exception to the planning staff’s recommendation. “Does the town really think they have the right to use their power of rezoning to force its private landowners to mothball their private property based on mere speculation by government officials that someday the land would have some greater commercial value to the town?” he asked in a letter dated April 11. (To read the full text, click here).

Local residents are lining up with Cangelosi. Bill Carter, secretary and treasurer of the adjacent Vineyard Point Yacht & Tennis Club, says the proposed single-family home development would be better than anything commercial. “We frequently have bumper-to-bumper cars in front of the 9-acre tract that Classica wants to develop. A 40-unit residential project will be much more tolerable than any commercial development with cars constantly pulling in and out.”

The hearing will take place at Cornelius Town Hall on Catawba Avenue starting at 7 pm.