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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.’

Discussion

4 Responses to “Planning Board OKs Caroline, Greenway Gartens”

  1. So what else is new?

    Thanks for listening to the:
    Antiquity residents also presented the results of a neighborhood canvas which indicated 87 percent of the Antiquity residents opposed the projects.

    I guess they wanted to have this built before the property values go down, dramatically.

    Posted by James Simpson | September 3, 2021, 1:54 pm
  2. The new Traffic Impact Analysis report only included 290 of the 600 approved units. It doesn’t include any traffic from the brewery, the new Zion medical center, and it states that the Cain Center has no bearing on PM traffic because Cain’s peak hour will be 7-9, which is outside the purview of the new TIA. This means it suggests that no one will visit or work at the Center, and that it will not become a destination for people to come to events earlier for dinner.
    It contradicts the earlier TIA which envisioned a 425 foot queue at peak PM times each evening, which is about 25 car lengths, coming south out of the new development from Zion Avenue. And which also didn’t include the brewery traffic with that number. It’s interesting that this new TIA only became available two days before this meeting.

    The initial TIA showed an increase in daily trips of 2000 through the NC115/Catawba Avenue intersection, with a full buildout number of 5000 daily trips, and this did not include the Brewery. How did that change so much?

    The brewery’s initial placement was at the Screw Factory site, approximately parallel to Habitat for Humanity. It would have solved the potential noise problem. I can understand why OMB would prefer to be by the scenic greenway. It should require some noise barrier because it will now be next to open areas that allow sound to carry.

    We recently had an Antiquity HOA meeting at which the Town Manager reviewed all the upcoming changes and development approved. We are on a fast track for many changes in the near future. Some of these will have a direct impact on traffic in the Town Hall area.
    OMB offers a quality product, both in its beers, and its Charlotte venue. But that is located in an industrial area, not residential. Perhaps a bit more foresight on the part of the Planners and Commissioners is called for.

    Posted by Norm P | September 3, 2021, 3:55 pm
  3. My wife and I are 62 years old and have lived in Cornelius for 17+ years. My wife grew up in Gastonia. Things have really changed in 40 years around here. I could list a bunch of things but if you’ve been around 40 or 50 years you know what’s happened all around Charlotte.

    Cornelius has been approving projects at a breakneck clip. Our roads CAN NOT handle all the traffic we have now, much less soon to be additional vehicles.

    Meanwhile the state, while sitting on $6.5 billion, keeps pushing road and infrastructure improvements out
    into the future. IMHO, an interchange to I77 from Westmoreland is THE most important upgrade in Cornelius. Honestly it should be done before all the darn circles.

    Problem is the state has pushed that back until at least 2035. I’m sorry…I will be long gone from Cornelius by that time. As it is now you can’t get around at certain times of the day. By THEN…. Good Luck!

    And for anyone who says don’t let the door hit you on the way out, trust me, I won’t😎

    Posted by Chris Conroy | September 4, 2021, 4:05 pm
  4. LOL what a surprise. The community with hundreds of units that were literally thrown up in the last 10 years without any traffic improvements is solidly against further development. I guess development is only good until you’ve moved in and then its NIMBY time!

    Posted by JB | September 5, 2021, 4:26 pm

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