you're reading...

Cornelius News

Hearing Monday on Mayes Road rezoning proposal

Mayes Road project site plan

Feb. 11. By Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Town Board will conduct an important public hearing Monday February 15, at 5 pm to consider a rezoning request which would remove “rural preservation” zoning on a large tract of land off Mayes Road.

Denial of the request was recently recommended 6-1 by the Planning Board, but the commissioners are not required to follow their recommendation. Simonini/Bayard Builders wants the OK to build 180 single-family homes on 96.5 acres of vacant farm and wooded land.

Development concerns

The hearing comes in the midst of concern about over-development, and also carries a political overtone as former Commissioner Dave Gilroy has already voiced strong support for the Planning Board’s action. Gilroy is expected to run for the Town Board in November.

Dave Gilroy

In explaining their vote, Planning Board members noted that the Cornelius Land Use plan, adopted in 2014, designated the area in question as Low Density Rural with a recommended density of .33 dwelling units per acre.

“Although cluster developments are allowed, the proposed project called for a density of more than 5 times that number,” said Board member Joe Dean.

“I believe that our decision was the result of careful consideration of the aforementioned 2014 Land Use Plan,” Dean said.

At least one member of the Town Board, Jim Duke, has also expressed reservations about the rezoning.

Duke speaks out

“Without a full understanding of land use discussions and a solid rationale that this property is OK to be placed in a rural preservation zone, I can’t support it,” said Duke.

Leading builder

Simonini is one of the top names in custom builders in Charlotte, with predecessor companies having built a variety of homes in neighborhoods like The Peninsula and Connor Quay.

Final decision March 1

The Town Board is currently scheduled to render a final decision on Monday March 1 and how they vote on this project will signal their thoughts on rural preservation, as well as how they will handle previous master plans, and address growth.

The Board meeting begins at 5 pm—one hour earlier than normal—due to a lengthy agenda. It will take place at Town Hall and will be broadcast live via the Town’s website (www.cornelius.org).

Comment three ways:

—Via Zoom – Access the Town Board agenda at www.cornelius.org and link to public comment guidelines. Zoom participants should be prepared to join the meeting at 5 pm for audio/video testing.

—Via email to: TownofCornelius@Cornelius.org

—In-person, with several precautions, including mandatory masks (even when speaking) and touchless temperature checks.

No audience seating will be available in the Assembly Room. Speakers and guests may wait in the lobby or Community Room, with appropriate physical distancing.