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Cornelius News

Growth coming: Here are more ‘active’ projects around town

June 7. By Dave Vieser. While much attention is focused on proposed mixed-use projects such as Greenway Gartens, Sefton Park and the 16.2-acre mixed-use Caroline project near Antiquity, there’s also a number of projects which have already received town board zoning approval.

Cornelius Today reviewed town records to develop a list of those projects, most of which will have some impact on traffic.

Wayne Herron

Some of the projects have slipped under the radar, especially where no work has begun, but the approvals still apply and the projects are considered “active.” Most of the projects required a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) before the approval was granted, and some of the rezoning approvals contain specific requirements of the builder, such as adding turning lanes.

It’s the TIA results which can be troublesome to residents and a challenge to town planners and even commissioners, according to Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron, who discussed the issue at a recent Planning Board Meeting.

“One of the issues where people get upset are the traffic studies, which frequently show that we have a lot of capacity on our roads. Yes there are times of the day when motorists will sit still on our roads. But the way the DOT and traffic engineers do traffic capacity analysis is that it’s done over a 24-hour period.”

—Wayne Herron

Some TIAs come back from the engineers and say “you have space. It may require a turn lane here or there but a lot of people are going to be surprised with the TIA findings. Those are things we have to balance out and understand…specifically how are we going to look at those results and how are we doing to measure them with our quality of life.”

Town board rezoning approval is no guarantee that a project will be built. In some instances, developments have been abandoned before a shovel ever went into the ground. For example, Vanderbilt Children’s College, a Pre-K school planned for Westmoreland Road just east of the Alexander Farm site, has been abandoned by the Georgia-based developer, even as a similar school rises on Hwy. 21.

Here’s the list, followed by a brief status on each:

—Alexander Farm: Develop 55 acres on the northeast corner of West Catawba Avenue and Westmoreland Road, into a mixed use development consisting of commercial, independent living, single-family residences, and open space. The rezoning plan shows 120,360 square feet of commercial space, 200,000 square feet for senior independent living units and 76 single-family detached homes. As of May 1, no work or demolition has begun.

—The Retreat at West Catawba: to develop approximately 9.5 acres into 57 town-home units on West Catawba Avenue across from the church. The property has been cleared, most trees cut down, and site prep is underway.

—Washam Potts Townhomes: Blue Heel Development to build 27 single family town-homes on approximately 6.8 acres. Near 10212 Washam Potts Road. Site clearing under way.

—Forest at Bailey’s Glen/Boon Property: A total of 16 single-family detached homes. Awaiting submission of construction documents to the town.

—Cambridge Square: A mixed-use community consisting of 20 single-family residential units and 2 commercial buildings at 18731 West Catawba Avenue. Two homes under construction; one building (church) renovation near completion.

—Mulberry Townhomes: developing approximately 0.323 acres of vacant land into six town home units at 19834 Mulberry Street. The developer is currently working with the utility providers for utility relocations before construction can begin. No construction timeline.