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Cornelius News

New apartments on W. Catawba pulled from Planning Board agenda

Cameryn Elise is the name of the proposed apartment project on West Catawba

March 9. By Dave Vieser. Developer Jake Palillo’s pulled his controversial proposal for 252 apartment units on West Catawba from the Planning Board’s agenda just before the meeting yesterday.

“We received an email around 4:30 Monday afternoon saying that the applicant asked that it be removed from the agenda,“ said Planning Board Member Susan Johnson. “There was no discussion at the meeting.”

The proposal, which included the development of 12 acres at 18955 West Catawba Avenue into several multi-family buildings with 252 units as well as approximately 2,000 square feet of commercial space, ran into a brick wall Friday when the town planning staff recommended denial due to high density and the lack of retail/commercial in the plan.

No demand

Palillo said there is almost no demand for retail/commercial on West Catawba right now, in part because of lack of residential density.

At the same time, the town is struggling with how to develop workforce housing amidst soaring property values.

“Apartments are a means of affordable housing,” said Palillo, a Cornelius resident. “Other than that there is no option, land cost are high, development costs are high.”

The plan for what’s known as the Junker Property met with opposition from some residents. It was unclear Tuesday whether the hearing will be rescheduled.

It is the second hearing within a month where an applicant has asked for a hearing to be postponed. In February, developers for Mayes Meadows, a large residential development on Mayes Road asked the town to postpone their hearing before the Town Board after the Planning Board recommended denial.