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Cornelius News

Infill project on Town Board agenda

Jan. 16. It’s a small residential development, but how the Cornelius Town Board votes on Oakbrooke Inc.’s plan to rezone and develop 1.63 acres at the end of the Queen Street will provide insight on how the board balances concerns over development against the rights of property owners.

Oakbrooke wants to build five new homes in an old established neighborhood just to the west of North Main Street. The developer wants to extend Queen Street into McCall Street for connectivity, which would change the nature of this cozy part of old Cornelius.

Meanwhile, residents all over town are watching development as congestion worsens. The development proposal is on tonight’s town board agenda.

The initial public hearing on the Oakbrooke proposal was held in December, and despite a unanimous thumbs-up from the town’s planning board, neighbors expressed concerns about the infill development—a growing trend in Cornelius.

Joy Dean, a neighbor, is three houses from the proposed extension of Queen into McCall. She expressed concern about the two houses on smaller lots, and whether the houses would be crowded into the property. Separately, there are concerns around drainage and a street that has been a dead-end for decades becoming a through street.

Perhaps the larger issue is how property owned within the town can be developed, and the rights of those who own land.

Much of the Cornelius we know today was literally carved out of farms, and some pieces of the land have now become available for new homes. Those owning the land are looking for the town’s approval so they can use the proceeds of the land sale to finance living and retirement expenses, while neighbors of the properties often lobby against over development.

“The available inventory of available lots is decreasing every year and infill will be the only opportunities left in a very short period of time,” said Wayne Herron, planning director for the town.The number of building permits in Cornelius is actually flat or down, according to Mecklenburg County:

Building in the Town of Cornelius


Number of building permits issued: 885

Average construction value: $84,407.18


Number of building permits issued: 774

Average construction value: $135,585.67

2017 (through Nov. 30th)

Number of building permits issued: 745

Average construction value: $102,766.10

The town board will have the option on Tuesday of making a decision or closing the hearing and reserving their vote for a future meeting.

The commissioners will also review proposed regulations governing the Town’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) which Mayor Woody Washam wants to reactivate this year.

The Board of Commissioners meeting begins at 7 pm, at Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.