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Cornelius News

Planning Board OKs Caroline, Greenway Gartens

Upper left shows logos of the Greenway Gartens project team. The meeting was ‘live’ online

Sept. 3. By Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Planning Board unanimously recommended approval for the Greenway Gartens and Caroline projects at a special four-hour meeting held last night at Town Hall.

Their recommendation will now be considered by the town commissioners at their upcoming meeting Tuesday, the day after Labor Day.

Lengthy testimony

The decision at 10 pm followed exhaustive testimony from the town as well as the development teams.

Under the town’s meeting policy, developers are allowed to speak as long as necessary; their team presentation lasted close to two hours. By the time citizens were permitted to speak, some of the roughly 100 people who jammed Town Hall at 6:30 pm had gone home.

The projects, taken together, would encompass 720 residential units, a 14,000 square foot brewery, restaurant/brewpub, tap room, a 10,000 square-foot indoor event facility as well as other commercial uses.

Complement Cain Center

Supporters said the two mixed-use projects would provide a perfect companion for the Cain Center for the Arts which is under construction nearby.

“The Cain Center for the Arts will be a 400-seat facility,” said Matt Walker of Cornelius. “It cannot send its attendees across the street to a 500 square-foot bar or the deli section in Harris Teeter.”

Other supporters noted that the developer had agreed to pay for significant road improvements in the area.

Neighbor concerns

Neighbors raised concerns over noise, density and traffic.

Scott Higgins

They also quizzed the town on the rapid timing of the projects hearings.

“My concern is that this whole project just doesn’t fit,” said Scott Higgins, an Antiquity resident and chair of the town’s Parks and Recreation Commission.

“Why the rush to judgement,” he asked.

Antiquity residents also presented the results of a neighborhood canvas which indicated 87 percent of the Antiquity residents opposed the projects.

In the end, however, the planning board went along with town staff recommendation, which was based on the developers agreeing to a lengthy list of conditions, many of which include enhancements to traffic control in the area.

Next up: The Town Board

At the Sept. 7 meeting, the Town Board can take one of three steps:

1. Approve the rezoning request.

2. Deny the rezoning request.

3. Table one or both of the proposals.

The meeting Tuesday will begin at 5 pm and take place at Town Hall on Catawba Avenue. The meeting will be live streamed on the towns web site www.cornelius.org. To watch the meeting live, access the link ‘watch meetings online.’