you're reading...

Cornelius News

New town home project expected off Magnolia Estates Drive

Nov. 13. By Dave Vieser. In February 2005, the Cornelius Town Board approved a Conditional Use Permit to BV Belk Properties for a multi-unit residential project, to be known as Magnolia Villas. It consisted of 15 acres of vacant, wooded land which begins near the southeast corner of Magnolia Estates Drive and West Catawba Avenue. More than 12 years have elapsed since the zoning was approved; now the details are being worked out between the town and the developer.

BV Belk was the original developer of Magnolia Plaza.

“Our planning staff met with the applicant on Sept. 19th and provided the first round of staff review comments,” said Planning Director Wayne Herron.

“The applicant indicated they were going to make revisions and resubmit. I know as part of their revisions they were going to have some discussions with Duke Energy and possibly some other agencies,” he said.

Herron explained that the meetings will take a while to coordinate “but we do expect revised plans at some point in the future.”

The project will be built in what is now a wooded area which generally runs behind the seasonal farm market, the 7-Eleven gas station and convenience store and Dunkin Donuts.

(The farm market will re-open with Christmas trees next week, according to the operators in Kannapolis. The property is owned by members of the Kunkleman family.)

Belk’s original proposal was for 66 multi-family residential units with a quad condominium layout, but in July of this year, Belk submitted revised plans for 65 town homes.

In responding to Belk’s latest proposal, Town Planner Jason Pauling said that the town home proposal was “very much preferred.” At the same time he outlined in a three-page memorandum to Belk various issues which will need to be addressed before construction can begin.

In his comments to Belk, Pauling noted that “the existing site is heavily vegetated, therefore it is important to preserve existing stands of trees, specifically within the required 30’ buffer adjacent to Magnolia Estates.”

Access to the town homes will be via Magnolia Estates Drive on the north, and an extension of Nantz Road on the south. In the original proposal, the large Magnolia Estates sign at Catawba Avenue was going to be moved further down Magnolia Estates Drive but it now appears the residents would like the sign to remain where it is.

Efforts to reach representatives from BV Belk were unsuccessful.