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Cornelius News

Planning Board revisits Rural Preservation

March 30. By Dave Vieser. Changes to the town’s Rural Preservation Zone were approved by a 6-1 margin at a special meeting of the Cornelius Planning Board last night. The new zoning, if approved as part of the Land Use plan, would increase the density for this part of town.

Under the changes, the allowed density would increase from one house per three acres to two homes per acre.

The current town land use plan was last changed in 2014.

Mayes Road area

The rural preservation zone includes primarily vacant farm land adjacent to Mayes Road in the southeast section of the town. The sole vote in opposition was cast by Hardy McConnell.

Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron reminded the planners that simply increasing the density would not remove developments in this area from the requirement of rural preservation zoning.


“The developers would still have to abide by the rules of conservation sub division, setbacks and 50 percent open space, as spelled out in that zone,” Herron said.

The planning and town boards are in the midst of a lengthy process to update the Cornelius Land Use Plan. Earlier in the evening, the board unanimously agreed to changes in the town center section which would permit buildings up to a maximum of six stories, while changing the area near Town Hall and the Cain Center for the Arts to conditional zoning rules.

All of the recommendations currently under review will be folded into a revised Land Use plan which the Town Board will ultimately adopt, amend or reject later in the year.

Huntersville next door


“There was simply no real way the Mayes and other properties could remain Rural Preservation even under the old rules. Huntersville is building right up to the town border, so in my view this area was ripe for development.” 

—Jim Duke, a member of the Cornelius Town Board.